New FamilySearch Database Collections Update as of March 28, 2016

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Explore the new record collections for Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928, Czech Republic School Registers 1799-1953, United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records 1812-1815, and more than 7 million additions to the Find A Grave Index. Search these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Belgium Antwerp Civil Registration 1588-1913 – 5,142 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium Brabant Civil Registration 1582-1914 – 28,028 – 2,055 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Belgium East Flanders Civil Registration 1541-1914 – 41,927 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium Hainaut Civil Registration 1600-1913 – 4,729 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium Liège Civil Registration 1621-1914 – 5,655 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium West Flanders Civil Registration 1582-1910 – 43,815 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Czech Republic School Registers 1799-1953 – 0 – 1,158,164 – Added images to an existing collection
Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928 – 0 – 2,993,164 – Added images to an existing collection
Find A Grave Index – 7,586,038 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Japan Genealogies 850-2012 – 0 – 59,303 – Added images to an existing collection
Japan Village Records 709-1982 – 0 – 223,187 – Added images to an existing collection

United States Databases

South Carolina Georgetown Passenger Lists 1904-1942 – 1,302 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Texas and Arizona Arrivals 1903-1910 – 59,299 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Passport Applications 1795-1925 -38,025 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records 1812-1815 – 1,130,851 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

The Return of a World War II Japanese Photo Album Found in Foxhole

The following teaser is from an article posted August 16, 2015 at Military.com:

Roy Hessman (Photo: The Hutchinson News)
Roy Hessman (Photo: The Hutchinson News)

For years after World War II, the photos of the Japanese families mesmerized Grace Hessman.

She would turn the pages of the photo album and study the exquisitely dressed ladies and the men in their military uniforms.

“It was like nothing I had ever seen, and you can’t imagine how fancy they were,” said Hessman, 96, a Hutchinson resident. “They were such nice-looking people.”

Her husband, Roy Hessman, found the photo album when his tank battalion came under heavy fire. He crawled into a foxhole to seek protection during a battle on the Philippines. The foxhole had previously been home for a Japanese soldier. Along with the album, there was a sword and a decorative letter opener. After the war, Hessman came home to Kansas with the album and the letter opener. However, the military confiscated the sword.

Roy Hessman, who grew up on a farm in Ford County, received a Purple Heart after being wounded in action, plus three Bronze Stars. Following the war, Roy wouldn’t talk to Grace about those experiences. But she felt herself drawn to the photo album, flipping through the pages and studying every detail.

Read the full article.

New FamilySearch Data Collections Posted the Week of 27 July 2015

The following is from FamilySearch:

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Highlights of this week’s updates include the Alabama County Marriages 1809-1950, Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928, Philippines Civil Registration (Local) 1888-1984, Utah Obituaries from Utah Newspapers 1850-2005, and Zimbabwe Death notices from 1904-1976. Explore these newly released collections and others by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928 – 0 – 1,371,304 – New browsable image collection.
Japan Passenger Lists 1893-1941 – 0 – 15,681 – Added images to an existing collection
Peru La Libertad Civil Registration 1903-1998 – 186,394 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (Local) 1888-1984 – 0 – 4,019,816 – Added images to an existing collection
Zimbabwe Death notices 1904-1976 – 158,202 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States
Alabama County Marriages 1809-1950 – 718,870 – 223,694 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Utah Obituaries from Utah Newspapers 1850-2005 – 60,859 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

FamilySearch Adds Over 39.5 Million Indexed Records & Images to Collections from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Italy, Mexico, Spain, & the SUA

The following is from FamilySearch:
FamilySearch.org
FamilySearch has added more than 39.5 Million indexed records and images to Collections from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 24,856,324 indexed records and images from the U.S., New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909-1957, collection, the 2,284,230 indexed records and images from the Canada Passenger Lists, 1881-1922, collection, and the 3,399,062 indexed records from the U.S., New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1891, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1609-1909 – 238,573 – 27,020 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration, 1582-1912 – 8,758 – 2,811 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1598-1906 – 167,757 – 125,349 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1911 – 176,150 – 11,447 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

Belgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798-1906 – 40,818 – 39,720 – New indexed records and images collection.

Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, 1621-1910 – 55,048 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Belgium, Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1608-1912 – 0 – 13,317 – Added images to an existing collection.

Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912 – 0 – 33,287 – Added images to an existing collection.

Belgium, West Flanders, Civil Registration, 1582-1910 – 160,737 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Brazil, Mato Grosso, Civil Registration, 1848-2013 – 0 – 127,795 – Added images to an existing collection.

Brazil, Pernambuco, Civil Registration, 1804-2013 – 0 – 207,023 – Added images to an existing collection.

Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Miscellaneous Records, 1748-1998 – 0 – 461,811 – Added images to an existing collection.

Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999 – 0 – 1,845 – Added images to an existing collection.

Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902-1980 – 0 – 328,694 – Added images to an existing collection.

Canada, Quebec, Notarial Records, 1800-1900 – 0 – 244,429 – Added images to an existing collection.

Canada Passenger Lists, 1881-1922 – 2,201,052 – 0 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

Chile, Santiago, Cemetery Records, 1821-2011 – 0 – 525,106 – Added images to an existing collection.

El Salvador Civil Registration, 1704-1977 – 406,035 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

France, Protestant Church Records, 1612-1906 – 33,342 – 4,712 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

Italy, Agrigento, Agrigento, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1942 – 0 – 418,594 – Added images to an existing collection.

Italy, Messina, Messina, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1939 – 0 – 141,128 – Added images to an existing collection.

Italy, Modena, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806-1942 – 0 – 1,358,232 – New browsable image collection.

Italy, Napoli, Barano d’Ischia, Civil Registration (Comune), 1809-1929 – 14,861 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

Japan, Passenger Lists, 1893-1941 – 94,842 – 0 – New indexed records collection.

Mexico, San Luis Potosí, Miscellaneous Records, 1570-1882 – 0 – 151,711 – Added images to an existing collection.

Portugal, Beja, Civil Registration and Miscellaneous Records, 1609-1950 – 0 – 291,199 – Added images to an existing collection.

Portugal, Coimbra, Passport Registers and Application Files, 1835-1938 – 0 – 444,466 – Added images to an existing collection.

Portugal, Évora, Civil Registration and Miscellaneous Records, 1554-1938 – 0 – 237,371 – Added images to an existing collection.

Spain, Cádiz, Testaments, 1531-1920 – 0 – 226,453 – Added images to an existing collection.

U.S., Georgia, Probate Records, 1742-1990 – 0 – 18,842 – Added images to an existing collection.

U.S., Illinois, Northern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991 – 0 – 187,480 – New browsable image collection.

U.S., Louisiana, First Registration Draft Cards, 1940-1945 – 107,706 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

U.S., Maine, Vital Records, 1670-1907 – 1,362,179 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

U.S., Missouri, Cole County Circuit Court Case Files, 1820-1926 – 0 – 37,377 – Added images to an existing collection.

U.S., Missouri, County Marriage Records, 1802-1969 – 0 – 5 – Added images to an existing collection.

U.S., Montana, Big Horn, County Records, 1884-2011 – 0 – 27,135 – Added images to an existing collection.

U.S., New England, Petitions for Naturalization, 1787-1931 – 0 – 153,903 – Added images to an existing collection.

U.S., New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909-1957 – 24,856,025 – 299 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection.

U.S., New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 – 3,399,062 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

U.S., Oklahoma Applications for Allotment, Five Civilized Tribes, 1899-1907 – 0 – 33,418 – Added images to an existing collection.

U.S., Wisconsin, Probate Estate Files, 1848-1948 – 0 – 122,317 – Added images to an existing collection.

United States Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898 – 181,326 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection.

76M New US Historic Records & Millions more for Brazil, China, Ireland, Italy, Russia, & Spain Added at FamilySearch.org

The following information is from FamilySearch.org:


76 million much-anticipated state census, naturalization, immigration, and vital records were added this week for 22 states, including Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Since partnering with the National Archives of Italy to digitally preserve and index its civil registration, more than 24 million images have been published and 4 million names have been made searchable on FamilySearch.org. Millions more free records were published this week for Armenia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland. Search these diverse collections and 2.8 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Foreign Country Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Armenia, Church Books, 1838-1929 – 0 – 23,781 – New browsable image collection.
Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965 – 336,090 – 597,070 – Added indexed records and browsable images to existing collection.
Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Civil Registration, 1890-1980 – 0 – 175,292 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Canada, British Columbia, Wills, 1861-1981 – 0 – 127,172 – New browsable image collection.
Canada, Saskatchewan, Probate Estate Files, 1887-1931 – 0 – 312,198 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Chile, Santiago, Cementerio General, 1821-2011 – 0 – 114,525 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
China, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-1980 – 0 – 1,360,481 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600-2010 – 0 – 668,102 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Czech Republic, Censuses, 1843-1921 – 0 – 31,176 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Czech Republic, Church Books, 1552-1948 – 0 – 1,122,697 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Estonia, Population Registers, 1918-1944 – 0 – 37,107 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Germany, Bavaria, Traunstein, Family Group Sheets, 1830-1918 – 0 – 61,932 – New browsable image collection.
Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895-1980 – 0 – 15,844 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
India, Punjab, Moga Land Ownership Pedigrees, 1887-1958 – 0 – 1,605 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924 – 3,127,594 – 133,011 – New affiliate indexed records and browsable images.
Italy, Catania, Catania, Civil Registration (Comune), 1820-1905 – 0 – 21,926 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Italy, Catania, Diocesi di Acireale, Catholic Church Records, 1560-1941 – 0 – 59,711 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Italy, Toscana, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1808-1923 – 0 – 3,171,819 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Japan, Village Records, 709-1934 – 0 – 57,591 – New browsable image collection.
Netherlands, Limburg Province, Certificates of Nationality, 1860-1913 – 0 – 68,237 – New browsable image collection.
New Zealand, Immigration Passenger Lists, 1855-1973 – 366,063 – 0 – Added indexed records to existing collection.
Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1939-1995 – 0 – 27,329 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Peru, Cajamarca, Civil Registration, 1938-1996 – 0 – 30,866 – New browsable image collection.
Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992 – 0 – 105,277 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Peru, Cusco, Civil Registration, 1889-1997 – 0 – 306,181 – New browsable image collection.
Peru, Lambayeque, Civil Registration, 1873-1998 – 0 – 583,011 – New browsable image collection.
Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996 – 0 – 54,834 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Poland, Roman Catholic Church Books, 1600-1950 – 0 – 36,579 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Portugal, Coimbra, Catholic Church Records, 1459-1911 – 0 – 351,853 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Portugal, Viseu, Catholic Church Records, 1523-1989 – 0 – 91,319 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Russia, Samara Church Books, 1869-1917 – 138,277 – 1,851,515 – Added indexed records and browsable images to existing collection
Slovakia, Census, 1869 – 0 – 278,392 – New browsable image collection.
Spain, Diocese of Albacete, Catholic Church Records, 1504-1979 – 566,136 – 23 – Added indexed records and browsable images to existing collection.
Spain, Province of Barcelona, Municipal Records, 1583-1902 – 0 – 84,297 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Switzerland, Bern, Civil Registration, 1792-1876 – 0 – 4,900 – New browsable image collection.

United States Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

United States Census, 1940 (Alabama, California, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Washington) – 20,975,134 – 0 – Added indexed records to existing collection.
United States, Alabama, County Probate Records, 1830-1976 – 0 – 611,330 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Arkansas, Second Registration Draft Cards, 1948-1959 – 61,237 – 11 – Added indexed records and browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 – 0 – 119,418 – New browsable image collection.
United States, Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1629-1983 – 0 – 74,753 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Michigan, Probate Records, 1797-1973 – 0 – 1,261,323 – New browsable image collection.
United States, Montana, Yellowstone County Records, 1881-2012 – 0 – 37,097 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Nevada, County Marriages, 1862-1993 – 0 – 123,409 – New browsable image collection.
United States, New Jersey, State Census, 1905 – 2,146,861 – 0 – New Indexed collection.
United States, New York State Census, 1915 – 9,742,867 – 117,082 – New affiliate indexed records and affiliate image links.
United States, New York State Census, 1925 – 11,117,922 – 130,042 – New affiliate indexed records and affiliate image links.
United States, New York, County Naturalization Records, 1791-1980 – 0 – 2,129,659 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 – 0 – 3,800,317 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977 – 0 – 1,097,134 – New browsable image collection.
United States, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950 – 342,186 – 256,680 – Added indexed records and browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906 – 1,022,168 – 140,547 – Added indexed records and browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 1683-1994 – 0 – 3,197,552 – New browsable image collection.
United States, Texas, Divorce Index, 1968-2010 – 3,599,300 – 0 – New Indexed collection.
United States, Texas, Marriages, 1966-2010 – 7,606,159 – 0 – New Indexed collection.
United States, Vermont, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1732-2005 – 0 – 927,764 – New browsable image collection.
United States, Washington, County Marriages, 1855-2008 – 0 – 32,775 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 – 2,943,096 – 0 – New Indexed collection.
United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 – 1,844,985 – 500,007 – Added indexed records and browsable images to existing collection.

Ancestry.com Offers FREE Access to its Japanese Internment Camp Record Collections Until Midnight ET Feb. 23, 2012

The following excerpt is from an article posted at rafu.com:

In remembrance of the 70th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which placed more than 120,000 Japanese Americans in internment camps, Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, is offering free access until Feb. 23 to its extensive internment camp record collections.

The more than 180,000 records, spanning 1942-45, allow all Americans a chance to better understand the nation’s wartime mindset and the effect it had on Japanese Americans. For those with Japanese heritage, these databases offer a glimpse into their families’ removal from their homes and businesses and insights into how they were forever affected by their internment. To begin searching, users can visit www.ancestry.com/japanese.

The U.S. government viewed the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as justification to relocate people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast and place them in internment camps throughout the interior of the country. As the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) report stated, the forced removal and mass incarceration was the result of racism, opportunism and a failure of political leadership.

Read the full article.

Grand Opening Scheduled for the Heart Mountain Relocation Center Interpretive Center

The following excerpt is from an article in the August 11, 2011 edition of refu.com:

The grand opening of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation’s long-awaited Interpretive Learning Center on Saturday, Aug. 20, will offer visitors a special opportunity to tour the new museum, located at the former World War II concentration camp in Wyoming’s Park County, where nearly 14,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned from 1942 to 1945.

According to Shirley Ann Higuchi, chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, some 1,000 former internees, descendants and supporters across the nation are planning a pilgrimage to the site to honor Heart Mountain survivors and commemorate the opening of this lasting tribute to their experiences. The theme for the three-day celebration, Aug. 19-21, is “Lessons from the Past … Guidance for the Future.” The weekend also will include the world premiere of “All We Could Carry: The Story of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center” by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki.

“The grand opening of the Interpretive Learning Center is the result of an enormous effort to preserve this historic site and interpret what occurred there for the current and future generations of Americans,” said Higuchi, a Sansei whose parents were incarcerated with their families as children at Heart Mountain.

“The Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center and surrounding site will stand as a powerful reminder of the need to balance concern for national security with respect for basic civil rights,” she stated.

Higuchi, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney and past president of the District of Columbia Bar, said it is the only museum of its type built by a private foundation and only the second U.S. museum commemorating the site of a former concentration camp for Japanese Americans.

Read the full article.

Japanese Names – Cut Down to Business Card Size

The following teaser is from an interesting article by Michael Hoffman about Japanese names, found in the October 11, 2009 edition of the Japan Times.

National unifier, Oda Nobunaga (1534-82)

“How do you do, my name is Saito Ichiro Sama-no-kami Minamoto-no-Ason Tadayoshi.”

We can be grateful to the reformers of the Meiji Period (1868-1912) for cutting Japanese names down to size. Renaming the Japanese people was part and parcel of their overthrow of feudalism. The system currently in use — surname followed by personal name — comes so naturally to us we tend to forget its revolutionary impact. The way the Japanese identify themselves today would have shocked their ancestors.

The Mr. Saito introducing himself above is imaginary, but his name, long enough to overwhelm a modern meishi (business card), was typical in pre-Meiji samurai or upper-class peasant circles. (Yes, contrary to popular supposition, most commoners had full names, sometimes very imposing ones).

Read the full article.

Read another interesting article by Hoffman about Japanese names, titled The Long Road to Identity.

Monument to be Erected Commemorating the Merced Assembly Center

To commemorate the 4,669 Americans of Japanese ancestry detained at the Merced County Merced Assembly Center photoFairgrounds from April to September 1942, the Merced Assembly Center Commemorative Committee (MACCC) is working on erecting a monument that is scheduled to unveil on Feb. 20, 2010.

As part of the educational component of this project, the MACCC is also developing a documentary about the experience.

If you have any stories to share, contact the Merced County Courthouse Museum office at (209) 723-2401.

There’s a good article on the construction of the Center in the August 1, 2009 edition of the Merced Sun-Star. Following is an excerpt.

Merced received orders from the Army to begin construction on March 26, 1942. It was built in a shocking 11 days, operating 24 hours a day in two 12-hour shifts. It was also built eight days ahead of its April 15 deadline, largely due to the use of concrete and assembly line practices.

Under U.S. engineers Caldwell and Duckering, the Harris Construction Co. of Fresno was commissioned as the main contracting company.

Others also helped to erect the over 250 buildings. On March 30, three days after construction first began, it was reported that over 1,000 men were working on the project.

Read the full article.

Japanese Nationality Acquired by DNA Testing

A 76-year-old man who was born to a Japanese man and a Filipino woman in the Philippines before World War II and still lives there will soon acquire Japanese nationality because his Japanese ancestry has been confirmed through DNA analysis, a support group for him has said.

While 26 Japanese-Filipino men and women have been allowed to become Japanese by setting up family registries in Japan so far, it’s the first time a DNA test has been used to get such permission, said the Philippine Nikkei-jin Legal Support Center. The case was based on a ruling Thursday by the Tokyo Family Court.

Read the full article from the Kyodo News in the June 7, 2009 edition of the Japan Times.

Dark Clouds over Paradise: the Hawaii Internees Story

hawaiistatelibrary Any chance you’re going to Hawaii in June? If so, then check out “Dark Clouds over Paradise: the Hawaii Internees Story,” an exhibit by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, at the Hawaii State Library from June 5 to 26, 2009. The exhibit will be in the Lobby, so one shouldn’t have a difficult time spotting it.

Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor of December 7, 1941, about 10,000 people living in the Hawaiian Islands were investigated for security reasons. These investigations resulted in the detainment of 1,569 people, of which 1,466 were of Japanese ancestry.

This exhibit will show how the Hawaiian internees, mostly immigrant leaders in the local Japanese community, were forced into internment camps.

The Hawaii State Library can be found at 478 South King Street, at the corner of Punchbowl and South King Streets.

Click here for more information.

Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality to be Launched at Seattle University

Fred T. Korematsu This blog is not terribly genealogical, but I’m pleased to be able to post it. Tomorrow (April 18), Seattle University’s School of Law will launch a new center called the “Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality.” The purpose of the Center is to address, through research, advocacy and education, discrimination in all areas – from race and ethnicity to gender, sexuality, class, disability and religion.

The name of Fred Korematsu may not be familiar to you. However, the man did something a bit unusual when the Japanese Americans were rounded up during WWII. He was only 22, and wanted to marry the girl of his dreams. So he refused to be interned along with his parents and three brothers. He went so far as to attempt to disguise his appearance by plastic surgery. However, he was eventually arrested, jailed and interned.

Later, Korematsu went on to become an advocate for minorities and those who were discriminated against. President Clinton even awarded him the Presidential Medal of Honor. He passed away in 2005.

I happen to believe that diversity – and the freedoms we enjoy in America – are part of what makes this country great. It’s a pleasure to see Mr. Korematsu honored in this way.

Read more about the launch of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality in the April 17, 2009 edition of the News Tribune.

Minidoka Internment Camp Tours & Memorial June 26-28, 2009

My readers know that I have strong feelings about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. I’ve written on the subject many times in my 59 years… Our family had friends who got caught up in all this, so it’s personal. One of the camps was the Minidoka Internment Camp near Twin Falls, Idaho. There will be a pilgrimage of sorts to the area this June. Following is a teaser from an article about the upcoming event in the April 15, 2009 edition of Salem-News.com

(SEATTLE) – Sixty-seven years ago, during World War II, almost thirteen thousand people of Japanese ancestry, Minidoka Internment Campmany of whom were American citizens, were forcibly removed from their homes in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, and sent to a desolate “internment camp” near Twin Falls, Idaho.

To commemorate this event, former internees, their families, friends, and those interested in this historic event will make a pilgrimage from Seattle and Portland to the former Minidoka Internment Camp from June 26-28, 2009.

The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Nisei Veterans Committee, and the Friends of Minidoka invite all those who are interested to join us on our pilgrimage.

Minidoka served as an active concentration camp for over three years. Even today the site evokes a mixture of poignant memories and strong emotions: including feelings of denial, distrust, shame and joy. Those on the pilgrimage will revisit the site and reflect on memories shared in a supportive environment with family, friends and National Park Service officials.

Read the full article.

Japanese-American Fumiko Hayashida says, “There’s No Use Crying About the Past”

There’s a good article in the Hayashida Photo March 1942Seattle P-I today about Fumiko Hayashida, who in March of 1942, was loaded up along with 225 other folks from Bainbridge Island, Washington – and transported to the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California. At 98 years old, Hayashida is now the oldest living Japanese-American from the island who was incarcerated. It just happened that a P-I photographer got a photo of her – a photo that became an iconic image of the Japanese relocation during the Second World War.

According to the article, “The Seattle chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League will honor the 98-year-old Beacon Hill resident on Saturday [today] for raising awareness about the wholesale denial of civil rights to a group of about 110,000 people.

The Bainbridge Island-born Hayashida has testified before Congress about her internment and spoken to students and people at conferences nationwide.

“There’s no use crying about the past,” the soft-spoken woman said…”

Read the full article in the January 23, 2008 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.