Southwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society
Interesting New Books
The Southwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society welcomes books and periodicals for review. Reviews will be placed here on our Web Page where they have the opportunity to be seen by thousands of people around the globe. They will be published in SWOGS' quarterly magazine, The Tree Tracers, a 50 page periodical mailed to about 400 members, exchange societies and selected libraries, and a review will also be published in The Lawton Constitution's Tree Tracers, a weekly column by Aulena Scearce Gibson. Copies of the review will be mailed to the publisher following publication. All books sent for review will be placed in the Lawton Public Library following publication of the review. Please be sure to include ordering information, price and shipping charges. Send review books to: Review Chairman, Southwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 148, Lawton, OK 73502-0148.
Notice: When you order one of the books that has been reviewed on this page, please tell the author/publisher that you saw it on SWOGS Home Page.
Indian Research and History, with Biographies, Book Reviews and Cemeteries, by Barbara Morris Goodin, 210 pp., soft cover, $35.00. Order from Barbara Goodin, 1375 NE Cline Rd., Elgin, OK 73538.
After researching her Comanche and Kiowa roots, Barbara Goodin wote up the process in several articles, gave lectures, and helped the Lawton Public Library obtain research material. Due to her efforts, the library's Family History Room maintains an important collection of KCA research material. Recently, Goodin gathered together her various articles from the past twenty years into a single Volume.
nbsp; Goodin's writings are extensive and cover a wide range of topics, mostly centering on the KCA tribes of southwest Oklahoma. The topics are grouped by the following categories: Indian Research, Census and Microfilm, Indian History, Cemeteries, Books, Book Reviews and Miscellaneous. The biographies are primarily those of familyi members.
Anyone interested in tracing their KCA heritage, or just investigating the history of those tribes needs her book. Readers learn about the various records available for research and how to use them. Interesting historical articles include: the Comanche language, the horse, Comanche kinship, royalty, Camp Eagle, the Big Pasture, and guides to various local cemeteries.
British Roots of Maryland Families, Vol. II, by Robert W. Barnes, 345 pp., hard cover, $38.50 + 3.50 S&H. Order from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or 1-800-296-6687.
A second volume has been added to British Roots of Maryland Families by Robert W. Barnes. Volume I documents 500 individuals and families who crossed the ocean and seeded the early population of Maryland.
In volume II Barnes discusses the origins of 203 more Maryland settlers. Their home parishes in Britain were identified and they arrived in Maryland before 1800. In a few cases Barnes disproves lines published elsewhere. In addition, he discusses the connection to 120 settlers in other colonies (or states).
Volume II was necessary because more information came to light. This second volume also includes additions and corrections to the earlier volume published in 1999.
In general, the families listed in volume II are traced back two or more generations in Britain and are brought forward two or more generations in Maryland. British sources used by Barnes include printed and manuscript genealogies, county histories and heraldic visitations, works on the peerage and landed gentry, and more importantly, marriage bonds and allegations published as part of the Harleian Society Visitation series.
Scots in the Mid-Atlantic Colonies 1635- 1783, by David Dobson, 246 pp., hard cover, $25.00 + 3.50 S&H. Order from Genealogical Publishing Company, 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or 1-800-296-6687.
This new book could give you a jumpstart in your research if your ancestry fits. Scottish settlement in the Middle Colonies of America dates from the early 17th century. Dobson's study found that the main phase of immigration from Scotland to America during the colonial period occurred in the aftermath of the French and Indian Wars and before the outbreak of the American Revolution.
Soldiers brought over to fight in these wars often liked what they saw and chose to be discharged in the New World. Others who returned home encouraged their families to emigrate.
A typical entry in the book is "George Mckie, born in 1727, a farmer from Inch, Wigtownshire, with Jean McMiken his wife and their children Peter, Thomas, Janet, David, Jean and Alexander, from Stranraer to NY aboard the Jackie of Glasgow on 31 May 1775 [PRO.T47.12]." PRO refers to the Public Record Office, London.
Dobson's compilation of some 3,000 Scots is based largely on primary sources from both sides of the Atlantic. The sketches are arranged in alphabetical order and each one is linked to at least one source record.
The Book of Irish Families Great & Small, compiled by The Irish Genealogical Foundation, 386 pp., soft cover, $38.00 + 4.00 S&H. Order from Irish Families, Box 7575, Kansas City, MO 64116.
The Irish Genealogical Foundation has a variety of publications to help researchers. One series dedicated to surname research in Ireland has 28 volumes. Volume 1 in the series, The Book of Irish Families Great & Small, is now available in its third edition.
The largest portion of the book, Origins, History, Arms, includes random selections from a vast collection of materials about surnames. The Location Index lists 18,000 family locations extracted from the Master Book of Irish Surnames, noting the territory of specific families. A very important addition in this volume is the master index of 45,000 surnames listed in all 28 volumes of the series. An index is also available on Internet at www. irishroots.com. Do not overlook the basic research information offered throughout Volume 1.
Volumes 2-8 are hardbound books. They are dedicated to family sources and are being published by county.
Volumes 9-28 are spiral-bound books containing actual records from the Irish Archives in their unaltered form. These books include original extracts from 17th to 19th century family records.
Use Volume 1 as a starting point for your Irish surname research. Information attached to each surname may vary. Sources include census schedules, historical and modern manuscripts and books and family notes.
Attached to each surname may be variant spellings, history associated with the name, origins and locations of the name, ancient maps, some coats of arms associated with the names, source guides and more. Regular updates on the series are published in the journal of Irish Families and editor Michael C. O'Laughlin welcomes your comments and additions. His e-mail address is email@example.com. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Vital Records Index for Scandinavia, Pub. by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2001, 7 Cds, $16.50. Order from LDS, 1-800-537-5971, item 50108.
This new offering from the LDS church contains 4.5 million records extracted from original birth, christening and marriage certificates (1500s to 1905) from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Volunteers of the Church continue their remarkable extraction program to benefit researchers around the world.
The database also gives source information. It enables users to refer to the original record on microfilm for additional data.
Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians, Edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, 2001, 654 pp., hard cover, $44.95 + $3.50 S&H. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202.
Do not judge a book solely by its title! If you believe this book is not for you because you are not a "professional," you are wrong. The book, while a manual for the professional, is no much more. If you are an amateur interested in producing high quality research, editing your society's or family organization's journal, joining a lineage society, or speaking at your society's next meeting, this book will be of great interest and help.
Consisting of 29 chapters, Professional Genealogy covers a wide variety of topics normally not addressed in the published genealogical literature. Besides topics you would expect to find in a manual for professionals (ie., certification and accredi- tation, setting up a business, fees, research reports, etc.) there are timely discussions on a basic home genealogy library, copyright and fair use, research skills and evidence analysis, preparing lineage papers, writing, indexing, publishing, teaching and lecturing. The appendix provides genealogical ethics and standards.
Editor Mills has gathered contributions from nearly two dozen of the most noted genealogists in the country. Each has produced scholarly, well written chapters. (Paul Follett)
A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in the Germanic Areas of Europe, 4th Edition, by Angus Baxter, 116 pp., soft cover, $11.95. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1-800-296-6687.
This updated 4th edition includes telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and web sites, when available. They are presented in a way that we can utilize them from the United States.
The book is written to help us trace our ancestors in the "old country" whether the forebears came from Germany or Austria or one of the many European countries that had German settlements. The best part is that we don't have to leave home.
Did your family descend from the Germans who immigrated to Russia between the mid-1700s and the mid-1800s? If so, you may have assumed there is no chance of tracing your forebears back to their place of origin in the area that is now Germany. In fact, Baxter reminds us that there is a very good chance records exist that provide vital information.
A historical overview including extant records is offered for the different areas. The book reflects the many changes in the location of both national and local archives, church headquarters, and areas of operation of genea- logical socities that resulted from the unification of East and West Germany. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Indians and Intruders, Vol. IV, by Sharron Ashton, $22.95 p.p., 2001, 120 pp., soft cover. Order from Ashton Books, 3812 N.W. Sterling, Norman, OK 73071.
Sharron Ashton has added a fourth volume to her published series of pre-1889 Indian Territory records that comprise present-day Oklahoma with the exception of Oldl Greer County and the Panhandle. This compilation identifies extant records available in the Archives and Manuscripts Division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, located in Oklahoma City.
It also illustrates the type of records available to researchers. Volume IV contains, "Lists of Valuations of Cherokee Improvements, 1835," "Roll of Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation, 1866," "Murder in the Choctaw Nation," "Choctaw Deaths 1837-1854," "Our Brother in Red, Indian Territory News, June 1891-August 1981," "Index to Chickasaw Nation Record Book, 1837-1855," "Abstracts from The Cherokee Advocate, 1878," "Murders in the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations" and "Register of Cherokee Claims, 1842." The book contains over 4300 names in the index, with Indians and non-Indians names in two separate lists. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
A Complete Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors in the Germanic Areas of Europe, 4th Edition by Angus Baxter, $11.95, 116 pp. soft cover. Order from Ancestry, Inc., 1-800-296-6687.
This updated 4th edition includes telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and web sites, when available. They are presented in a way that we can utilize them from the United States.
The book is written to help us trace our ancestors in the "old country" whether the forebears came from Germany or Austria or one of the many European countries that had German settlements. The best part is that we don't have to leave home. We can conduct research by correspondence using the resources of libraries and archives or the records of church and state.
Did your family descend from the Germans who immigrated to Russia between the mid-1700s and the mid-1800s? If so, you may have assumed there is no chance of tracing your forbears back to their place of origin in the area that is now Germany. In fact, Baxter reminds us that there is a very good chance records exist that provide vital information. A remarkable man, Dr. Karl Stumpp, kept records that were published in 1978 by the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (www.ahsgr.org). The Emigration from Germany to Russia 1763-1862 documents some 50,000 German settlers, with their places of origin and settlement. Tidbits of information such as this are helpful throughout the book.
A historical overview including extant records is offered for the different areas. The book reflects the many changes in the location of both national and local archives, church headquarters, and areas of operation of genealogical societies that resulted from the unification of East and West Germany.
Angus Baxter has written and lectured extensively on genealogy and has appeared on radio and television. He is author of In Search of Your British & Irish Roots, In Search of Your Canadian Roots, and the prize-winning In Search of Your European Roots. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors, Dwight A. Radford and Kyle J. Betit, soft cover, 296 pp., $19.99. Order from Betterway Books, 800-221-5831.
If you are just beginning your search for Ireland ancestors, this new book offers strategies for research, even if you only think that your ancestors came from there and have no proof.
Expectations and judging results are important items discussed by the authors. For instance, most Irish Catholic and Presbyterian church records do not begin until the 1820s. Consequently, the average Catholic or Presby- terian lineage can only be traced back to the late 18th century. The Church of Ireland was the established church and those registers often commenced earlier. However, more than half of the Catholic registers were destroyed in the fire of 1922. Even with challenges such as these, many researchers are successful in identifying an ancestor's exact homesite and often the exact house itself. And, of course, if you find your ancestor was of the gentry or the upper class, you have a good chance of locating an extensive pedigree that can take the family back hundreds of years.
Research ideas are abundant for an organized search either at home or across the ocean. Because Irish families often split up in the migration process, you may need to search for records of your ancestor's siblings in other countries. Chapters in the book cover that search process.
Doing Irish research is often easier to do at home than it is in Ireland. The LDS Church has microfilmed records in Ireland over the years and these can be obtained at their Family History Centers. Internet resources are also discussed in the book and you may be surprised to find excellent on-line help.
The Vital Records Index for Western Europe, The LDS Family History Library, set of 21 CDs, $27.00. Order from LDS Family History Library at 1-800-537-5971 or on the Internet at www.familysearch.org.
In the late 1970s when my interest in genealogy was first sparked, I could not imagine that such large indexing projects as The Vital Records Index for Western Europe would ever be accomplished--much less be available for home computers on compact discs. This set for Windows is an index of 12 1/2 million names from the vital records of Western Europe.
The index includes information extracted from birth, christening, and marriage records from the Alpine, Benelux, French, German, Italian, and Spanish regions. In the near future, indexes of vital records will be made available for Scandinavia and Mexico.
The Western Europe records set includes people who have lived primarily from late 1500s to the late 1800s. It is an extraordinary tool to help us locate original records of our ancestors. The information was extracted from microfilms produced by the Family History Department of the LDS Church in full agreement with European laws. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide, David Thackery, 2000, soft cover. 168 pp. $12.95. Order from Ancestry, Inc., 1-800-ANCESTRY.
: For many years David Thackery helped develop an impressive African American collection at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. It was one of the first serious collections of African American genealogy in the country and it set the standard for other libraries. He died in July of 1998 at the age of 45, but he left a legacy of writings, a portion now published in this book. This book reflects his deep interest in helping others search for their African American ancestry prior to the Civil War.
The book includes myths and complexities. The author found regional patterns involved in the selection of African American surnames. His studies revealed that at least one out of ten African Americans was already free when the first shot was fired on Fort Sumter, beginning the Civil War. For the remainder, it meant no legal rights. They could not even claim a legally recognized state of matrimony. Some exceptions to the norm were those in an elite society of Louisiana. They were often slave owners themselves.
In many states free blacks were required to register proof of their status with the county government. The registration provided pro- tection for free blacks and also helped in pre- venting slaves from passing as free people. These registers are now finding their way into print.
African Americans were not enumerated with other U.S. residents until 1870 (the first census year following the Civil War and emancipation). Prior to that, slaves were listed under the names of their owners. Personal information was limited to age, gender, and racial identity (either black or mulatto). There were some happy exceptions however, such as when family groupings were placed together.
As distasteful as we find it today, slaves were treated as property. Thus, the researcher must focus on the slave owner's records.
This excellent book proves that successful pre-Civil War African American research is not insurmountable. Besides the author's thoughtful commentary, chapters also include case studies, a bibliography of sources, and a guide to African American Internet resources. This book will assist with understanding and locating records. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Discovering Your Ethnic Ancestors by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, $18.99, 260 pp., soft cover. Order from Betterway Books at 1-800-289-0963.
There are more than 100 different ethnic backgrounds among America's population today. Some of us probably have genes in Heinz 57 fashion, but we have little documentation. That is our challenge. Just being a "white" American seemed so ordinary and unexciting to Sharon Carmack. She said, "I shudder to think what would have happened to our ethnic heritage if I had not taken an interest in genealogy. It is because of that interest that I discovered my ethnicity, learned what it means to "be" Italian and Irish." She has taken steps to pass to her daughter an appreciation of their ethnic heritage. Using her own research experiences and expanding to other ethnic groups, she has produced this new guidebook. It provides excellent research help, particularly for the less experienced researcher.
The book is divided into three parts and focuses on American sources. Part I "Getting Your Genealogical Research Started" includes different kinds of records that are available for you to explore, ending with foreign sources. It also includes interesting comments on trends that might affect a search, such as name changes and migration patterns.
Part II "Major Ethnic Groups in America: Historical Overviews" is an introduction to the different ethnic groups with studies of their arrival periods in history and where they tended to settle. Census statistics are quoted to report percentages of those with foreign ancestry in 1990 with German the highest. Forty-two different ethnic groups are profiled, including African American and Native American.
Part III "Leaving a Legacy" offers help in writing what you learned along your research journey. The book is interesting and well organized. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Early Texas Settlers 1700s-1800s, Family Tree Maker Family Archive CD-ROM #7514, $29.99 + $3.50 S&H. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or 1-800-296-6687.
Computer search capabilities have enhanced the way we research. An example is this CD-ROM disk from Family Tree Maker. It includes eight important books in the field of early Texas genealogy. In a matter of minutes, I searched all of the books for several of my ancestors' names--and identified some of them in the Poll Tax Lists.
The books included in this CD are: Republic of Texas: Poll Lists for 1846; Austin Colony Pioneers, Including History of Bastrop, Fayette, Grimes, Montgomery and Washington Counties; Character Certificates in the General Land Office of Texas; Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families; Kentucky Colonization in Texas, A History of the Peters Colony; Ancestor Lineages of Members of the Texas Society...Colonial Dames 17th Century; A New Land Beckons; Germany Immigration to Texas, 1844-1847; and New Homes in a New Land; German Immigration to Texas 1847-1861.
This period of time is prior to Texas statehood, yet nearly 100,000 settlers are identified in the books--ranging from genealogical sketches to compilations of passenger lists, land records, and tax lists. This instant gratification method of searching books can no longer be overlooked in genealogical research. It's now a "standard" research tool with resources rapidly increasing. The books have been scanned, thus I could view the original pages. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Discovering Your English Ancestors by Paul Milner and Linda Jonas, $18.99, soft cover. Order from Betterway Books at 1-800-289-0963.
Two authors thousands of miles apart have cooperated in the writing of this new book. Paul Milner is a native of northern England and a professional genealogical researacher. Linda Jonas is a U.S. native and is president of the British Isles Familiy History Society-USA. She is also a full-time professional family historian.
The book offers ideas on how to search English records from both sides of the ocean. A "must read" third chapter of the book "Uniqueness of English Research" reflects discussions about the country, the importance of place, religion and social class, English record keeping, special problems, and more. Accessing the resources of the Internet is stressed throughout the book, although a complete chapter is devoted to the subject.
The chapter "Accessing the Resources of Libraries and Family History Centers" includes many great ideas and a step-by-step approach to locate and utilize microfilmed English records in this mother-lode collection of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The chapter "Parish Registers," is of great importance. In 1538, Thomas Cromwell, Vicar-General of Henry VIII, ordered parishes to keep records of all baptisms, marriages, and burials in their areas. The Church of England, the official church, had the responsibility for the record keeping and social welfare of everyone residing within its boundaries. Even if your ancestor was a Catholic, for instance, he may have been baptized in both churches for his personal protection in the future. These English records are exciting to research.
"Post-1857 Probate Records," "Civil Registration and Its Indexes" and other specialized record groups are discussed in detail within the book. If you need help in identifying records for your English ancestors, this guide will point the way. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
A Comanche Life by LaDonna Harris, ed. by H. Henrietta Stockel, $25.00, 160 pp. Order from Univ. of Nebraska Press, P.O. Box 880480, Lincoln, NE 68288.
I was pleased when Aulena Gibson asked me to review A Comanche Life. Aulena's friendship with Ladonna Harris has been going for many more years than mine, but mine is on a much different level--we share our Comanche heritage.
This new book on the life of LaDonna Harris came about through her responses to a series of questions put forth by the editor, H. Henrietta Stockel. However, corrections to the draft copy, made with the help of her ex-husband, former Senator (from Oklahoma) Fred R. Harris, were not incorporated into the final publication. The book chronicles her life from growing up in rural Walters (Cotton County), Okla., to her life in the national political spotlight, to international recognition as an advocate for American Indians and indigenous peoples worldwide.
Her warmth and humor come across loudly in the interviews throughout the book. She sees things through "Comanche eyes" and calls it as she sees it. You know she is proud of her Comanche heritage, and you can still feel the impact her grandmother had on hr,, not only when she was a child, but throughout her life. Many emotions went through my mind as I read the book, amusement, sadness and a real connection to the acts of discrimination against her. She was candid about her dyslexia and how she's worked to overcome it. She will be an inspiration to many people.
Her passion for her work comes through in the final chapter, Epilogue: A Continuing Mission. When a person loves what they do, it shows. Comanche values and history are dispersed throughout the book. (Barbara Morris Goodin)
Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places by Laura Szucs Pfeiffer, $39.95, 292 pp. hard cover. Order from Ancestry, Inc., 1-800-ANCESTRY.
Quick, easy-to-access information without reading a thick "how-to" book is a busy person's dream. Laura Pfeiffer has compiled an admirable collection of less-used, yet easily accessible records that fits the bill. This book provides clues to the location of many American records. Her short explanations help determine whether or not a given record may contain the information needed. A list of books with further information about the records is included, as well as web-site addresses for those who enjoy using the Internet.
Licenses are often over-looked during a search of records. Although everyone is aware of the genealogical value of a marriage license, there are many other types of license applications available. Municipal records contain applications filed by shopkeepers, saloon keepers, pedlars, and other local business owners requesting permission to operate a business in a particular city or state. The applications often include the applicant's age, birthplace, marital status, and residence. Professional organizations also keep records on their licensed professionals.
Another example of little-used sources might be contracts for indentured servants. The English system of indentured servitude was adopted to populate the colonies and to provide labor. Emigrants who couldl not afford to pay for their journey to the New World would sell themselves into service for a specific period of time in return for the cost of passage and provisions. Children were bound out for periods that would often last until they reached adulthood. Contracts exist and Pfeiffer lists an Internet site on this subject. It is connected to the Genealogy Club of Albuquerque site. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
The Genealogist's Virtual Library by Thomas Jay Kemp, $27.95, 268 pp. Order from SR Books, 1-800-772-8937.
Researchers rejoice in the fact that sources in digitized form are becoming available on the Internet. This includes full-text books and journals. It means that we can view an original record that may previously have been hidden away in one of our nation's archives or libraries or home attics and possibly not cataloged.
As materials are scanned and placed on the Internet, it can be a challenge to find them. Search engines often show too many "matches" and it's easy to become frustrated while seeking through the thousands of choices on a particular subject. To the rescue is this new book by Thomas Kemp. It is a helpful finding tool, hot off the press. It is a guide to entire books and materials that have been digitized and made available for free on the Internet. Internet sites that charge to read the books are not included in this publication.
The entries are in bibliographic format. There are three sections: Family Histories, Local Histories and General Subjects. Family histories are listed in alphabetical order by surname. Local histories are listed by state and county. The listings under the General Subjects start with "African Americans" and end with "Zaire." Whether seeking military records of a particular time frame or church records or an obscure subject, this section should not be overlooked.
A CD-ROM with easy-to-use hot links to all listed sites is included with each order. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Web Publishing For Genealogy by Peter Christian, $10.95 + $3.50, 73 pp. soft cover. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or 1-800-296-6687.
The World Wide Web, often simply referred to as the Web, offers new exciting ways to preserve our genealogical findings. It is an alternative to book publishing for our special-interest material. The greatest benefit is the possibility of a broader readership--worldwide.
For the researcher who never wants to finalize a family history, Web publishing offers an opportunity to update the material regularly as the research continues. It's obviously less expensive. Worldwide distribution is automatic. Publicity is free and the information is more searchable.
If you are interested in creating a Web page for your work, this is an excellent step-bystep guidebook. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, 3rd edition, by Val D. Greenwood, $29.95 + $3.50, 676 pp., hard cover. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or 1-800-296-6687
My all-time favorite genealogy reference book has been revised. This book is my No. 1 recommendation for every researcher's personal reference library. It has opened doors in my personal research by widening my understanding of research possibilities.
This new edition incorporates the latest thinking on utilizing the Internet and CD-ROM for family research. It also includes a new chapter on the property rights of women, a revised chapter on the evaluation of genealogical evidence and updated information on the 1920 census. Little else has changed due to its timeless nature. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide for Family Historians by Kip Sperry, $16.95, 201 pp., soft cover. Order from Ancestry, Inc. at 1-800-ANCESTRY or www.ancestry.com.
Living in Lawton-Ft. Sill, I am very accustomed to abbreviations and acronyms of the Army, but even if I should know what the intials represent, recall crash often occurs. Condensing verbiage is good and I'm all for it, but there are times when one needs a reference book. Kip Sperry's new book can rescue genealogists, historians, reference librarians and others with similar interests.
Sperry lists abbreviations and acronyms in alphabetical order from a variety of sources. They might be found in federal population census schedules, newspapers, court records, church records, medical records, libraries, archives, etc. Most of the abbreviations refer to the United States and Canada. Some are found in British sources and sometimes in other countries as well, but generally foreign terms are not included.
I recently pondered the acronym "cd" in a record. All I could think of was compact disc, but the writing was unrelated to high tech and before its time. Sperry's new reference book would have come in handy then. It refers to "civil docket," as well as CD-ROM. It could refer to "contrary to the Discipline," commonly used in Quaker records.
Symbols can also be a challenge. Thus, Sperry has included a few pages of symbols that might be relevant. He also included a comparison chart for Roman numerals, cardinal numbers and ordinal numbers. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Tracing Your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham, $19.95 + $3.50 S&H, 396 pp. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or 1-800-296-6687.
Now in its 2nd revision, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, helps remove the mystery from Irish research. This updated book is a comprehensive and authoritative guide by professional Irish researcher John Grenham.
The good news about Irish research is that much can be accomplished on this side of the ocean. Through an LDS Family History Center near you, one can borrow microfilmed copies of Irish records from the Family History Library at Salt Lake city, UT. Records include the General Register Office indexes and registers, a large proportion of church records, the records of the Genealogical Office and the Registry of Deeds, plus much more.
Irish material has also been placed on the Internet. According to Grenham, the largest onliine guide is part of the Irish Times site. The printed address in the book is www.irish-times.com, but I found it at www.ireland.com and then by clicking on the icon "ancestors." The side was compiled by Grenham.
The bad news is that researching Irish records can be frustrating and perplexing. For example, you might find Presbyterial or other non-Established church members listed in the parish records of the Church of Ireland. That's because in theory, up to 1844 only marriages carried out by a minister of the Established Church were legally valid. If they wanted a legal marriage, they had to conform.
Church of Ireland records are extant as early as 1634 when local parishes were required to keep records of christenings and burials. Most extant records, however, start between 1770 and 1820. The Church of Ireland ceased to be the Established Church in 1869 and the registers were declared to be the property of the state. They were to be sent to the Public Record Office in Dublin unless the local clergyman was in a position to demonstrate that he could house the records safely. Unfortunately, those original registers that were sent to the PRO were destroyed in the fire of 1922.
Early land records exist, but our immigrant ancestors were probably not landowners or they would have remained in Ireland. The vast majority of the Irish population lived as small tenant farmers on large estates owned primarily by English or Ango-Irish landlords. The most difficult records to search are the estate records, but hidden in that pot of gold could be nuggets of information about our tenant ancestors.
The most complete county-by-county early record for identifying an ancestor's residence is Griffith's Valuation of 1848-1864. Also, the Tithe Books of 1823-1838. Even if the time period is wrong for your immirant, the existence of the surname in a particular parish is a clue to further investigate--particularly if it is an unusual surname. The Irish were closely tied to the land even as lessees, thus someone in the family may have remained on the same land our ancestor left.
The "County Source-list" portion of the book comprises the bulk of the soft-cover book. If you know the county of your ancestor, this section can be extremely helpful. If you have not discovered the county and parish of your ancestor's residence, your challenge is great. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Scots in Georgia and the Deep South by David Dobson, $25 + $3.50 S&H, 218 pp. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or 1-800-296-6687.
Scottish Lowlanders and Highlanders began migrating to what is now Georgia and the Deep South in the 1730s. Scottish author David Dobson has filled this book with names of Scots that he has identified from records he investigated on both sides of the ocean. Yu may wish to use this listing as part of your initial survey if you think you have Scottish ancestors there.
The names are listed in alphabetical order and were found in a variety of records. Many are from the U.S. census schedules and the Public Record Office in London. The names are also from a few unique references and many publications. Details of each documented reference are provided beside the person's name.
An example entry is: "BOYD, THOMAS, from Pitcon, Ayrshire, emigrated to Georgia in 1736 [PRO. CO.5.670.286] [SPC.43.148]; granted 500 acres in Georgia on 4 August 1736. [PRO. CO.5.668]." The code PRO is used for Public Record Office, London. SPC is the code for Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, series. No addresses are published indicating the location of the records, but most can easily be traced. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Kinship: It's All Relative, 2nd Edition by Jackie Smith Arnold, $9.95 + $3.50 S&H, 123 pp. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or l-800-296-6687.
Laws and customs continually change and this book is an admirable attempt to explain family relationships. It explains such things as degree of blood relationships, or consanguinity between yourself and your cousins. You probably already know that the child of your first cousin is your first cousin once removed--that's easy. But, there's much more that is of interest to genealogists.
How did the institute of the family get started? Why do civil incest laws prohibit you from marrying certain relatives? In the United States, our laws now determine whom one may marry, and how one must treat one's spouse and children. American courts are beginning to address questions concerning children born of modern technology (surrogate, in vitro fertilization, or artificial incemination) and whether such children have legal rights to know about their ancestors and to socialize with their biological kin.
"To isolate an individual from his kinship group and family in the name of love is to bury one's head in the sand," according to the author. She has good reason for the statement. We know that there is scientific evidence of genetic diseases. Now researchers at the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoptive Research also say some personality traits are at least partly determined by heredity in additioin to environment. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Birth and Death Notices in Oklahoma and Indian Territory from 1871 by N. Dale Talkington, 1999, Book is out of print, but can be viewed at Books.Google.com
This new reference book for Oklahoma researchers includes selected newspaper references to 1,962 individuals who were born or died either in Indian Territory, Oklahoma Territory or the State of Oklahoma from 1871 to 1937. About 80 percent of them are dated before statehood.
Each reference gives the date of birth or death notice, the name of the newspaper, the town where published, the page number and column of newspaper where the notice appears and, sometimes, the unusual nature of the event. Facsimiles of selected clippings show the different styles of early birth and death notices.
A Time Remembered: The Verden, Oklahoma Cemetery by N. Dale Talkington, 1999, Book is out of print, but can be viewed at Books.Google.com
Over the years, Talkington recorded every headstone inscription at the cemetery, studied funeral home and cemetery records and researched area newspapers. Of the 1,000 plus graves in the cemetery, 93 unmarked burials were successfully identified by published newspaper obituaries dating from 1903 forward. The compiler states, "It is hard to realize that a person could lead a long and productive life--marry, have children and grandchildren--yet, be so quickly and totally forgotten by relatives, neighbors and friends."
The book contains all obituaries found on the burials, as well as headstone information.
The Long Blue Line: Civil War Union Soldiers and Sailors Buried in Oklahoma by N. Dale Talkington, 1999, 754 pp., hard cover. Book is out of print, but can be viewed at Books.Google.com
This book represents 20 years of extensive research by Talkington. It is a collection of data on more than 8,600 Civil War Union soldiers and sailors who are buried in Oklahoma. The data ranges from only a few lines of information per person to a maximum of 35 lines, detailing the facts that give names and locations from the cradle to the grave.
Talkington's extensive research was often creative. On occasion he would set up a card table at the Oklahoma Veterans Cemetery in Oklahoma City on Memorial Day. He was successful in finding descendants as they placed flowers on the graves of their ancestors. He often found out more than he needed to know about the veterans' families.
Anadarko: Days of Glory by N. Dale Talkington & Pauletta Hart Wilson, 1999, 1220 pp., hard cover. Book is out of print, but can be viewed at Books.Google.com
This book started out several years ago as a simple collection of a few newspaper stories covering the 1951 Anadarko (Caddo Co., OK) high school graduating class in honor of their 50th anniversary to be held in May of 2001. The project grew into a rather comprehensive cross-section of educational, social and business life from 1939, when the class started grade school through graduation in 1951, and a little beyond.
Selected articles from microfilmed copies of back issues of The Anadarko Daily News are duplicated in the book in chronological order. The compilation shows the potential of documenting an individual's life through the archives of the local newspaper. The compiler found that he could accurately date many old photos by comparing them to the events written in the newspaper. He also found that only 18 back issued of the daily editions were missing from the Anadarko newspapers on microfilm at the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City.
There is no index because a complete index would have made the book half again its size, according to the compiler. However, there are pages in the back of the book in index format. You are encouraged to index articles pertaining to your own family. Book profits will benefit the Anadarko High School Alumni Association and the Class of 1951.
The Loyalists in the American Revolution by Claude Halstead Van Tyne, 1902, reprinted 1989, 1999, $31.00, 360 pp., soft cover. Order from Heritage Books Inc., 1540-E Pointer Ridge Place, Bowie, MD 20716.
Was your ancestor tarred and feathered for hurrahing King George? The history of the loyalists during the American Revolution continues to be analyzed and romanticized.
There is good reason. They constituted a majority of the population in some of the American colonies and a very large minority in the population as a whole.
Our colonial ancestors had tough decisions to make. Over 100,000 loyalists were drived into exile in Canada and elsewhere by their former neighbors following the war. Many did no return.
The author wrote numerous historical works on the American Revolution and was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1930. He was head of the history department at the University of Michigan for most of his professional life.
This book is a good source for those seeking accurate information about the subject. Van Tyne didn't dwell on the battles of the American Revolution in the book. To seek insight about those who were loyal to the king during the Revolution, he examined such things as private papers, newspapers and the laws of each of the 13 colonies during the whole period and whether or not the laws were really carried out in all of their severity.
The Whigs or "patriots," as they called themselves, believed it necessary to change the opinion of the loyalists for their country's welfare. They were up against the Tory Party in America. The Tories were the most dangerous of those who supported the king--soldiers, for instance.
Other loyalists were primarily appointed officials and clergy of the Established Church, but not all, who were dependent for their livings upon the British Government. Their stand was just and natural. They were contented men.
Our loyalist ancestor may not have taken a stand early on. Many didn't--until extravagant demonstrations by mobs caused revulsion in the minds of sensible men.
In New York, soldiers pulled down the leaden status of George III on Bowling Green. Elsewhere signs with any resemblance of the Crown were taken down.
Such disregard for property lost the Whigs the support of many easy-going conservative citizens who had, up to this time, gone about their daily business unmoved by the prevailing discussions.
Some could have lived with either government. As the war advanced, the Whigs forgot that their loyalist neighbors had been their respected friends. The stage was set for atrocities toward the loyalists.
Loyalists fled to England to watch the course of the war, others went to the West Indies and the Bahamas, or some part of Canada, but the far greater number awaited the outcome in the American cities which were then in control of the British. Of these cities, New York was the chief city of refuge. Your ancestor may have been among those wandering loyalists.
In Search of Your British and Irish Roots by Angus Baxter, $18.95 + $3.50 S&H, 320 pp., hard cover. Order from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202 or 1-800-296-6687 or Genealogical Publishing Co.
The new fourth edition of this book is now available and it is an excellent guide book for researchers with English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish Ancestors.
Many of us are looking back to far-off days before our ancestors arrived in America. Some are discovering ancestral ties abroad, visiting those countries, and having a ball doing it. Whether you conduct your search in person or by mail, this book is full of helpful hints. Successful researchers do their homework first which inclues a review of extant records in the area of the search. That's what this book is about.
Learn all you can about the place from which your family immigrated. If the exact location is a village, you will need to identify the nearest large town. Start your search by prodding the memories of your oldest relatives. Keep a record of who said what and what you learned. Seek out a gazeteer or atlas at the library. Then try to find a map of the appropriate time period. Find out what was going on at the time your ancestors resided there. Learn where all the pertinent records are kept and find out if there are any relatives still there. Family history societies and libraries in the area may help you in your search. Just remember to always include a self-addressed airmail envelope and two or three International Reply Coupons, available at your local post office. Otherwise you probably won't receive a reply.
Read the first few chapters of the book for more general research ideas and then skip to the chapters devoted to the area from which your family came--England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands. Each has a different system of recording and storing its records.
The index to the book will be useful. I checked the index to see if the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland was listed. Indeed it was. I found the address and telephone number along with a brief survey of what the society is equipped to handle. The office will undertake searches of records of specific churches. It will also supply up-to-date names and addresses of churches and ministers, and details as to the extent and location of surviving church records.
Records do not always stay in the same location for generations. This book includes such topics as the transfer of important genealogical records from Chancery Lane and St. Catherine's House to the new Family Records Centre in London--most notable, civil registration records, census returns, and records of the Perogative Court of Canterbury. Don't overlook the bibliography. You will probably identify other books that will be useful.
Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity by Dee Parmer Woodtor, Ph.D., $25.00, 452 pp. hard cover. Order from Random House, 201 East Fiftieth Street, New York, NY 10022.
This book teaches readers how to sort out their racial and cultural identities. Author Dr. Dee Woodtor, has written this wonderful "how to" book with the idea of confronting a past that is shrouded in mystery and misinformation. The book particularly assists the descendants of the four million slaves in the U.S. who became free by 1865.
Woodtor understands the challenges awaiting African Americans as they search for enslaved ancestors. She steers the reader through valuable records that are often underutilized. She includes the obvious records, such as the Federal census schedules, explaining their usefulness and limitations.
For instance, the census schedules between 1920 and 1870 are very important for African American research. Census schedules prior to 1870 enumerated enslaved African Americans under the name of their slave owner by age and sex only--not by name. During this period, there is often little research to do until the slave owner is identified. Clues to the plantation owner's name may be obtained from surnames of the African American family, but that is not a rule of thumb. Identifying the ancestor's place or places of residence is of utmost importance.
The 1870 and 1880 agricultural censuses can be used to identify all white farmers enumerated near an ancestor's residence. This might narrow the number of potential slave owners whose plantation records may be extant. The larger the plantation, the greater chance there is of locating slave records and plantation history. Following the Civil War, a great majority of former slaves signed contracts with their last owners, thus early labor contracts should be explored.
Family lore, naming patterns, migration paths, physical features, and other family idiosyncrasies are discussed by Woodtor. She challenges and encourages readers to imagine what their earliest African ancestors in the United States were like, what they thought, and what language they spoke. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy by Christina Kassabian Schaefer, $35.00 + $3.50 S&H, soft cover, 310 pp. Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore MD 21202 or 800-296-6687.
Researchers soon learn that the early laws of the land were the primary reason we now have difficulty in locating information about our female ancestors. At one time a woman could not own real estate or own her own business. She could not sign a deed, devise a will, enter into contracts, etc. Marriage was a necessity and divorce was not an option. She was not even allowed to be guardian of her own children, should her husband die.
Thus, we quickly learn to seek clues about her from the records of her husband and other male relatives. However, with a better understanding of the laws in each state, we can usually have greater success in uncovering female identities.
This new book by Christina Schaefer is an excellent study of how the laws of America from the 1600s up to World War II affected women. The first part of the book includes special ways in which women are dealt with in federal records, such as immigration, passports, naturalization, census, land, military and minorities. It also includes non-governmental records, such as newspapers, cemetery records, city directories, church records and state laws covering common law marriages and marriage and divorce registration.
The bulk of the book is a state by state study. You will discover, for instance, when women could own real estate in their own names in a particular state. Each state has its own timeline of events. Important dates in the state's history are followed with a detailed listing of key categories of information: Marriage and Divorce laws and where to find the records: Property and Inheritance: Suffrage: Citizenship; Census; and other information affecting women. There is a bibliography for each state and selected resources for women's history. An interesting glossary of terms is also included. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
paper. What prompted the photograph? Jot down all that you can think of about the time period.
Cherokee Connections by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, $9.95 + $3.50 S&H, softcover, 56 pp. Order from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202, Ph. 1-800-296-6687.
If your family has lived in Oklahoma for several generations, your chances of being, at least, part Indian are excellent. Myra Vanderpool Gormley, a syndicated columnist with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, set out to prove her family's alleged Cherokee heritage and her experiences were so profound that she wrote a book to help others in similar quests.
This book is not only a guide to help you prove your Cherokee lore, but it is also designed to help you obtain tribal membership. Gormley discourages the beginning researcher's inclination to jump back to the time of the Trail of Tears (1838) or earlier as an initial search.
There are basics that must be explored--such as finding your relatives in the 1920, 1910 and 1900 federal censuses. You may discover leads in more recent records that will more accurately take you back in time generation by generation.
You may also be surprised to find that your Indian heritage is connected to a different ancestor than you thought. You could find that your Indian ancestor was not even living in the confines of his tribe around the turn-of-the-century when the Dawes Commission determined eligibility for the final rolls. Under the rules, he relinquished his rights as a citizen of the particular tribal Nation when he moved away.
You may also find that your ancestor was not affiliated with the particular tribe you thought, but with another tribe. Stories that are passed from generation to generation tend to be over zealous, but they probably have some basics of truth. There is no better time than now to set the record straight.
First published in 1995, Cherokee Connections has recently been reprinted. It's a value-packed guidebook of only 56 pages, but Gormley added a selected bibliography for those wanting further study. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Indians and Intruders, Vol. III by Sharron Standifer Ashton, $22.50 p.p., soft cover, 120 pp. Order from Ashton Books, 3812 NW Sterling, Norman, OK 73072-1240, E-mail: Ashtonbooks@aol.com.
If you are searching in Indian country for records of your ancestors whether they be red, white or black, you will soon discover the importance of records created as a result of Indian-White relations. Ms. Ashton is making the search for these records easier by compiling and publishing a continuing series of books, the latest of which is volume number three.
It includes the following records.
1. Warrants issued to Indian Light Horsemen in the Creek Nation, I.T., 1869
2. Cherokee Civil War Claims Index which includes over 400 individual claims for personal property losses.
3. Chickasaw Nation, I.T. Citizenship Records, 1896-1897
4. Our Red Brother Methodist newspaper, Jan. 1890-May 1891
5. List of Choctaw Indians attending Mission School in Mississippi, 1823
6. Blue County, Choctaw Nation, I.T., Court Records, 1852-1858
7. Indian Captives in the Southwest Kiowa Indian Agency, 1870-1872
All of the above records are available at the Archives and Manuscripts Division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, 2100 N. Lincoln Blvd., Okla. City. Ashton included a full-name index and the names are printed in bold within the book--which I appreciate.
Ashton reminds researchers that Indian Territory before 1889, with the exception of the panhandle and old Greer coounty, comprised what is now the state of Oklahoma. The Five Civilized Tribes, located in the eastern half, had functioning tribal governments. Non-Indian residents did not have access to their court system. When seeking marriage, probate, and other court-related documents for non-Indian residents before 1890, researchers must extend their search to adjacent counties of bordering states. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins by Loretto Dennis Szucs, $19.95 + $4.95 S&H, soft cover, 292 pp. Order from Ancestry, P.O. Box 990, Orem, Utah 84059/1-800-262-3787/www.ancestry.com.
Don't be deterred from seeking out important records about your ancestor's immigration adventure. There is help available. If you don't know where to start or have questions about the records, I highly recommend this new book.
Loretto Szucs clarifies the complex laws that have changed over the years. She discusses about every conceivable trail which might lead to the naturalization record or alternative record, including the use of the Internet. She also discusses how some derived citizenship automatically, individually or en masse.
You may be surprised to find that many courthouses have transferred their naturalization records to different locations for archival purposes. A significant number of naturalization records have been microfilmed and those films can be borrowed from the LDS Family History Library through the local Family History Centers. Szucs also includes an interesting listing of "Immigration Chronology" from 1562 to 1990. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Guide to the Historical Records of Oklahoma, compiled by Bradford Koplowitz, $20.00 + $4.00 S&H, soft cover, 219 pp. Order from Heritage Books, Inc., 1540-E Pointer Ridge Pl., Suite 300, Bowie, MD 20716 or 1-800-398-7709 or online ordering at Heritage Books Web Site.
Guide to the Historical Records of Oklahoma has been revised. This significant and very popular book for Oklahoma genealogy and local history research lists public records through 1920 for the county offices of assessor, board of county commissioners, county clerk, court clerk, election board, sheriff, superintendent of schools and treasurer in all 77 counties.
Municipal records of historic significance and those towns with populations over 5,000 are also included. It also has listings of public records stored in historical societies, museums, public libraries and special collections. For instance, under the heading of Comanche County, holdings of the Lawton Public Library and the Museum of the Great Plains are included.
This 1997 revised edition differs from the 1990 version in format. It is easier to use. It also includes new and expanded holdings statements for many offices. An important change occurred in 1994 with the dissoulution of the office of the Superintendent of Schools. In general, these records are under the authority of the County Clerk. However, in some counties the records are maintained by the Board of the County Commissioners. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
The Ultimate Search Book: Worldwide Adoption and Vital Records by Lori Carangelo, $39.95 + $6.50 S&H, soft cover, 293 pp. Order from Heritage Quest, P.O. Box 329, Bountiful, UT.
Twenty-five percent of families in the United States are affected by adoption and most eventually wish to reclaim their true heritages. Add that to missing persons, including stolen children, and it adds up to the tremendous need of understanding the search process. Lori Carangelos's new book includes government and private sources and reveals inside secrets to locating information that will help uncover lost people.
The book is almost a step by step procedure depending on what you know. Chapter titles are "Search Basics," "Missing and Runaway Children," "Family Tree, Genealogy, Debtor, Child Support, Heir, Classmate, Old Love, War Buddy--or Anyone," "With or Without a Name: Family Members Separated Due to Adoption/Divorce/Donor Offspring," "Computerized Searches," "Searching the USA," "U.S. Possessions and Trust Territories," and "International Searching."
The majority of the book is devoted to helpful addresses and laws of the states and 200 foreign countries. Most will be accurate since the book was published in 1998, but the reader should understand that change is inevitable, such as addresses and telephone area codes. Needless to say, fees are changing. The Oklahoma death certificate is now $10 rather than the $5 as listed in the book. Laws probably have not been updated, but then again--no stone should be left unturned. There is so much information packed in this book that the updates may not be pertinent to your search. This is an idea book that might substitute for an expensive private investigator. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Gardens of Stone: Harper County (OK) by Deone K. Pearcy and N. Dale Talkington, hard cover, 800 pp. Order from N. Dale Talkington, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the 1990 census, Harper County, OK was home to 4,063 residents, a decline of 47.6% from statistics in the 1930s. The larger population of earlier years included pioneer families from nearly every state in the nation. These adventurers and their descendants were the history makers in the county and those who died there are remembered in this extraordinary book.
Harper County borders Kansas at the west end of the Cherokee Strip in Oklhaoma. The 1,033 square-mile prairie land was included in the Land Run of 1893. Pearcy and Talkington personally walked each cemetery in the county and recorded the data listed on each stone. The book, published in 1995, included information from tombstones, burial records of funeral homes and early Harper County obituaries in newspapers on microfilm at the Oklahoma Historical Society, Newspaper Division of the Archives in Oklahoma City.
No other single source is as helpful in identifying Harper County residents as is this 800 page hard-cover book. Names are alphabetized, followed by known dates of birth, death, age and marriage, plus names of spouse, mother, father, cemetery and remarks. Also included are county place names, a map, a cousin finder chart and selected obituaries. The compilers have completed a similar book for Grant County.
Slaves II: A Deeper Look Into the WPA Slave Narratives by Brenda Terry, $45.95 + $7.50 S&H, soft cover, 338 pp. Order from OneBorn Publishing, 9090 skillman 128-A-277, Dallas, TX 75243 or 1-888-704-7734.
Interviews with 2,000 former slaves were conducted between 1936 and 1938 under the auspices of the Federal Writer's Project Administration. The narratives, which were on 10,000 pages of transcript, have been published exactly as they were originally presented. However, the record in its entirely has been tedious to locate genealogical information--until now.
Brenda Terry converted the work into an easy-to-use index in her recently completed her book. It is an important work for any researcher knowing the name of a slave ancestor, particularly if the plantation owner's name is also known. In her book, Terry listed the names of the slaves, owners, slave's birth date, birth state, interview state, parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse, children and additional comments. All are included in its index.
States where the interviews took place include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
The Silent Cities of Grant County, Oklahoma: Cemetery, Funeral Home, and Newspaper Accounts by Deone K. Pearcy and N. Dale Tarkington, 1000 pp., hard cover. For price and to order contact Dale Talkington, e-mail: email@example.com.
"The Silent Cities" is an exemplary work to follow for those who aspire to remember and document the people who gave us our roots in Oklahoma. The authors personally walked each cemetery in the county and recorded the data listed on each stone. They extended the research to the recording of current and obsolete funeral homes in the county, thus vastly increasing the gravesite information.
The project continued with newspaper research for obituaries, death notices and tidbits of information which would expand and verify the information. Their final effort of obtaining information came from personal interviews with Grant County residents.
It was September 16, 1893 when the Cherokee Strip was opened for settlement and Grant County was at that time simply known as "L" County. The Republicans later chose the name "Grant" to honor President Ulysses S. Grant. Published 100 years later, no finer tribute could have been made to those who helped build the county than this 1000-page compilation of its citizens who "came before." (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
American Place Names of Long Ago Republished by Gilbert S. Bahn from Cram's Unrivaled Atlas of the World, $35.00 + $3.50 S&H, 347 pp., hard cover, Order from Genealogical Pub. Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202.
Finding old books in attics and used book stores is a passion for many family historians. Such a passion developed when Gilbert S. Bahn, Ph.D. inherited a rare "find" titled Cram's Unrivaled Atlas of the World. In it, he discovered 500 pages of valuable information for historians and genealogists, thus he set out to republish a portion of it as a U.S. research finding aid.
The last 106 pages of Cram's Atlas comprises a detailed index, alphabetically by state, "of every county, city, town, village and post office in the United States, and it shows the population of the same according to the Census of 1890." Thus, Cram evidently had access to the 1890 federal census which was later destroyed. Bahn stated about Cram's work, "...he may have presented the finest representation of the then-current geography of present-day Oklahoma as has ever existed..."
This reproduction under the title of American Place Names of Long Ago is a rich resource. For a multitude of reasons, place names may have changed over time and one might find a listing in the book as the "only" official listing. The index connects each place name to county, as of 1890.
Pioneers of Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, Vol. II by Nova A. Lemons, $65.00 + $4.00 S&H, 518 pp., hard cover. Order from Nova A. Lemons, 12206 Brisbane Ave., Dallas, TX 75234-6528. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nova Lemons was overwhelmed with the interest in volume one of this book. It sold out, and was so well received that she expanded it to volume two. Her contribution of compiling family and location histories for publication in the books will help many future researchers.
The first part of volume two is organized by county and includes, Bryan, Marshall, Murray, Pontotoc, and Stephens. Much of the information in this section is taken directly from the Indian-Pioneer History Collection (WPA Project S-149) edited by Grant Foeman in the 1930s. A microfilmed version of these early interviews is available at the Lawton Public Library Research Room. The originals are housed at the Oklahoma Historical Society, Archives and Manuscripts Division, in Oklahoma City.
All kinds of information is included in the book, such as cemeteries and early burials, maps, photos, trails, roads, railroads, internet sources, obituaries, current research facilities, societies, museums, historical places to visit, and sources for further reading. About 350 pages are devoted to wonderful family histories about pioneers of all races who lived in the area prior to Oklahoma's statehood in 1907. My only negative thought while perusing the book was, "Why limit the index to surnames only?" Obviously, space was a consideration, but this secondary source with a full-name index would have been even more helpful to researchers. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Cherokee Proud: A Guide for Tracing and Honoring Your Cherokee Ancestors by Tony Mack McClure, Ph.D., $22.95 + $3.00 S&H, 140 pp., hardcover. Order from Chunanee Books, 4040 Boothe Road, Somerville, TN 38068. The author's e-mail address is: CherokeeDr@aol.com
Many of us have Cherokee blood running through our veins. That family tradition has passed down through my lineage, but it's been terribly difficult to prove. This new book is packed with ideas for research and it is the best and most complete guide I have seen.
First of all, it might surprise you to know that there is no such thing as a "Cherokee chief" or a "Cherokee princess" -- at least not until Europeans settled here. That myth should not be perpetuated in your family tradition. It has only been recently that tribes have adopted those words and connotations.
As any good family researcher knows, McClure suggests starting with what is known and working backwards. He explains the Indian censuses, starting with the Cherokee Emigration Rolls of 1817-35.
Numberous records are available in the National Archives. The researcher should be aware that the Federal Government was utimately interested only in information on those Native Americans who maintained tribal affiliations.
According to Brent Cox who contributed a section of the book, most of us are descended from intermarriages that occurred in the 18th century. For this pre-roll era, he suggested that we start with a surname search of William L. McDowell, Jr.'s The Colonial Records of South Carolina: Documents Relating to Indian Affairs. These records are the most thorough available of British/Cherokee trade.
Research information about adopted Cherokees, native newspapers, addresses, periodicals, history of the Cherokee people, enrollment information, and more subjects are found in this excellent guide.
McClure is a mixed-blood Cherokee descendant from Tennessee. He has been the producer/director of Bill Dance Outdoors, the nation's highest rated outdoors-oriented television series for more than 25 years.
Whites in Skullyville County, Choctaw Nation: Permit Register 1889-February 19, 1905; Choctaw Volume 222 by Sandra McKim, $27.00 + 4.00 S&H, 161 pp. Softcover (#M146). Order from Heritage Books, Inc., 1450-E Pointer Ridge Pl., Suite 300, Bowie, MD 20716.
Many of us have non-Indian ancestors who moved into eastern Oklahoma prior to statehood when it was still Indian Territory. Some came to hide out in the hills, but others were looking for legitimate work. Locating information about them is, indeed, an arduous task.
A permit to enter the Territory may have been obtained by your ancestor. Whites or non-Indians were required to have permits in order to enter and work and a tribal member had to sponsor them.
This book identifies each non-Indian in the Territory with permission and the name of the Choctaw citizen as employer, the amount due and amount paid. It does not list Intruders (non-Indians in the Territory without permission) nor the listings for 1903 and 1906. The author included a map of Indian divisions and identified the Skullyville area in the Choctaw Nation. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Indians and Intruders, Vol. II by Sharon Standifer Ashton, $20.00 + $2.50 S&H, 122 pp., softcover. Order from Ashton Books, 3812 NW Sterling, Norman, OK 73072-1249
Ashton's abstracted information, published in her continuing series, provides us with a great finding aid to the records of our ancestors who resided in Indian country. As a reminder, prior to 1889 our present-day Oklahoma was all Indian Territory, with the exception of old Greer county and the panhandle.
Volume II contains "Cherokee Voters in the Old Cherokee Nation 1835," "Creek Nation Licenses and Permits, 1875-1895," "Choctaw Nation Divorce Records, 1875-1905," "Records of Marriage in the Cherokee Nation, 1869-1895," "Chickasaw Nation Court Records: Estates and Guardianships, Tishomingo County, 1875-1889 & District Court Records, 1870-1889," "Cherokee Nation Divorce Records, 1875-1895," and "Choctaw Nation Marriages, 1889-1898."
Photocopies of example records and a full-name index are also included. Records entered in the book are available in the Archives and Manuscripts Division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Land and Property Research in the United States. by E. Wade Hone, (1997), 531 pp., Hardcover, $44.95. Order from: Ancestry, Inc., P.O. Box 476, Salt Lake City, UT 84110 or 1-800-262-3787.
If your ancestors left the old country willingly, they probably came with prospects of owning land here. By the mid-1800s, as many as ninety percent of all adult white males owned land in the United States. Family historians rely on land and property records which remain among the best preserved public records. They also appear to be the most accurate of written records.
Admittedly, land records can be difficult to access and understand. This book clarified the many questions researchers have about land records. It necessarily deals with understanding the records and why they exist. Overlay maps in relation to modern boundaries provide a visual understanding the general strategies for research are suggested. Of the 13 chapters, I read with interest the sections "Native American Land Records" and :Strategies for Federal Land Records."
Land records can lead to court cases and other types of records. There has long been a connection between marriage and land entitlements. From Dower Rights to estate settlements and community property rights, women have been involved.
The records have identified ellusive maiden names of wives when a deceased father left land in a husband's name. It was well into the 19th century when married women owned land in their own names.
You may eventually want to seek out records pertaining to the eras of the Spanish, British, French and Mexican possessions. These records pose special knowledge and Hone has contributed greatly to the understanding and importance of these pre-possession U.S. records.
The author appropriately stated, "Land and property, when creatively utilized, can provide more answers, more often, than any other single source available." (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Guide to Cherokee Indian Records Microfilm Collection at the Oklahoma Historical Society Archives and Manuscripts Division by Sharron Standifer Ashton, 1996, 115 p., softcover, $22.50 + $1.50 S&H. Order from Ashton Books, 3812 Northwest Sterling, Norman, OK 73072-1240.
This book reveals records which trail the history of a great nation - that of the Cherokee. It allows the researcher the convenience of identifying available records and information on specific subjects prior to the search.
Resources described in the Guide include records of Cherokee citizenship, census, enrollment, legislative and executive records; land, permit, and estate records; district and supreme court records; allotment plat maps; tribal council records; school records; lists of intruders and other non-citizens; Civil War records; records on slaves and freedmen. Also included in the Guide is a subject-locality-name index containing over 3500 entries.
The records at OHS comprise the largest collection of Cherokee Indian records outside the National Archives. The proceeds of the book are to be donated to the OHS Friends, a support group of volunteers and donors. (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
Indians and Intruders by Sharron Standifer Ashton, 112 p., softcover, $22.50 + $1.50 tax. Order from Ashton Books, 3812 Northwest Sterling, Norman, OK 73072-1249. Proceeds will benefit the Oklahoma Historical Society Archives.
Family historians with limited time are often frustrated with their research pursuits until someone takes the time to index and/or identify and explain extant records of interest. Sharron Ashton has recently done just that with Indians and Intruders. Most of the records that she covers in the book are available at the Archives and Manuscripts Division of the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City. Listings include some of the Indian, intruder and non-citizen residents of the Indian country in the southeastern United States and Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). There are over 2,000 entries in the index.
Secondly, the booklet illustrates records that are available to researchers (i.e., United States government publications, Indian census lists and schedules, military records, and tribal government papers). Subjects included in the volume include "White Intruders in the Old Creek Nation, 1831," "Intruders in the Choctaw Natiion, 1882," "1860 Indian Territory Slave Schedules, Chickasaw District and Choctaw Nation," "Fort Supply, Indian Territory: Records of Burials, Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths," "Evidence of Marriage in the Creek Natiioinal Records," "Chickasaw Traders in 1766," "Cherokee Nation Permits," and "Intruders and Non-Citizens in the Creek Nation." (Aulena Scearce Gibson)
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