Coyle Public Library in Chambersburg, PA Gets a Renovation With Expanded Genealogy Center

The following excerpt is from the July 29, 2016 edition of publicopiniononline.com:

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CHAMBERSBURG [Pennsylvania] – Coyle Library is well underway in the $5.5 million renovation process, which is scheduled to be completed in the winter of 2018.

“We’re in that demolition phase,” Franklin County Library System Director Bernice Crouse said. “Everything’s pretty much on target.”

Demolition has been ongoing at the library’s old address at 102 N. Main Street, with selective demolition occurring first, followed by regular demolition. Selective demolition involves carefully removing portions of the old building the officials want to incorporate into the new design. Crouse predicts a couple more weeks of demolition will take place before moving onto the next phase, which involves concrete and steel work. The goal is to have the concrete and steel portion done sometime in November.

Coyle temporarily moved into the old Jennings Dealership building at 340 North Second Street in May for the duration of the renovation process…

The second level (second floor) will provide space for the fiction and nonfiction collections, library services, offices, an expanded genealogy center, a business center, huddle rooms and conference areas. Mezzanine seating will overlook the first floor and have full view of a Living Wall of plants to beautify the space and improve indoor air quality.

Read the full article.

Family Discovery Day in Gig Harbor, Washington: August 6, 2016

The following except is from the July 25, 2016 edition of the Tacoma News Tribune. It’s the paper that lands on my driveway every morning – and I see that a Family Discovery Day is about to take place in nearby Gig Harbor.

It is called Family Discovery Day, and one person describes it as “a mini Genealogy Roadshow.” It is in Gig Harbor and it is free.

If you have felt the desire to discover more about your ancestry, how to organize your effort, or how to use modern technology to make connections over the centuries, this event may be for you.

Family Discovery Day is four hours of fun and informative workshops from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 6, hosted by my friends at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at their beautiful building at 12002 Peacock Hill in Gig Harbor.

Admittedly a rank amateur at family history efforts, I did once tape an oral history interview of my beloved maternal grandmother when she was 80 and blind, and when I typed it up it became a family treasure.

Read the full article.

Dr. Sam Wheeler Has Been Appointed Illinois State Historian

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According to an AP article posted at fox2now.com, Dr. Sam Wheeler has been appointed as the Illinois state historian. He will direct collections and research at the state historical library. Dr. Wheeler has been a research historian at the library, which is part of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

It is planned that he will also head up efforts to use Illinois’ historical resources (museums, library collections & historic sites) to further educate the public concerning Illinois’ heritage.

Read all about it at: http://fox2now.com/2016/07/27/trustees-appoint-new-illinois-state-historian/

Read another article about Dr. Sam Wheeler.

German Immigrants in American Church Records – the Series

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I am excited to be able to announce that Family Roots Publishing just signed contracts to continue the publication of what was Picton Press’s German Immigrants in American Church Records series of books.

Under the direction of Lewis Rohrbach, these volumes have been printed at the rate of just under 2 per year since 2005. They are amazing books, listing the names, relationships and German homeland birthplaces of thousands upon thousands of German settlers in the Midwest United States. Under the direction and editorship of my friend, Roger Minert, these records have been meticulously extracted by students at BYU, then formatted and indexed to make for some of the finest German birthplace aids in existence today.

For those who may not know, Mr. Rohrbach was one of the premier genealogists and genealogy publishers in the country, specializing in Swiss research – but also known for his quality publications – both in content as well as appearance. Lewis passed away last January, and Picton Press closed it’s doors. Read his obituary at Dick Eastman’s blog. Seventeen volumes of the series were shipped to customers. I personally know of 74 libraries that have nearly the entire series. The manuscript for Volume 18 was sent to Picton just prior to Lewis’s death and was never shipped, although I suspect it may have been printed. I understand that Lewis’s widow plans to donate his inventory to various libraries, and I am in hopes that those 74 libraries (plus others I am sure) will get Volume 18 during that process. Because of contractual and copyright issues, neither Roger, nor Family Roots Publishing has access to any of volumes one through eighteen at this time – other than ten copies of Volume 5, one copy of Volume 4, and one copy of Volume 8.

German Immigrants in American Church Records – Volume 19: Missouri (Excluding St. Louis County) will ship in September 2016. We will be posting it at the Family Roots Publishing website in the near future. If you or your library wish to be placed on a standing order for the volumes as they come out, email me at Lmeitzler@gmail.com and I’ll forward you a standing order form to get the book at a substantial discount.

Note that Family Roots Publishing is very interested in maintaining the superior quality of this hard-bound series, and like Mr. Rohrbach, will ensure that all volumes will be hardbound and printed on 60# acid-free paper for long-lasting shelf life.

Volunteers at the Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy Help Others Locate Their Ancestors

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The following teaser is from the July 28, 2016 edition of TheDenverChannel.com:

DENVER – Many Colorado Hispanics who have reached retirement age aren’t ready to stop working. Some want to continue contributing to their community, so they do volunteer work.

Pat Manalo is one of them. She’s a genealogist at the Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy.

“In the 1970s, you asked your aunties and uncles about your family,” she said. “Now, there are other resources available.”

Manalo told Denver7 that she never got to retire. She said she’s still a fulltime homemaker, but added that that job gave her the opportunity to go to libraries and to other people’s homes, to learn about family histories.

“Back then, you did everything by charts,” she said. “Now, it’s a little easier because we have more resources and we have a computer.”

The society maintains a library at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Southwest Denver.

Society President Joe Gallegos said most of the reference materials are church records.

“They include baptisms, marriages, deaths and confirmations,” he said. “A lot of information is also available on the internet.”

Read the full article.

450 Year Old Fort San Marcos, On Parris Island, SC, Located and Mapped

In this undated image provided by Amanda Thompson with the University of Georgia shows archeologists Chester DePratter, left, with the University of South Carolina and Victor Thompson, right, of the University of Georgia, running ground penetrating radar across a land grid. (Amanda Thompson/University of Georgia via AP)
In this undated image provided by Amanda Thompson with the University of Georgia shows archeologists Chester DePratter, left, with the University of South Carolina and Victor Thompson, right, of the University of Georgia, running ground penetrating radar across a land grid. (Amanda Thompson/University of Georgia via AP)

The following teaser is from the July 27, 2016 edition of FoxNews.com.

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. – Archaeologists have found the location of a long-sought Spanish fort on the South Carolina coast at the site of what was once the first capital of Spanish Florida.

Santa Elena, founded in 1566 to protect Spanish shipping interests, was the first capital of Spanish colonial Florida. The site of the settlement itself was located back in 1979 beneath a golf course at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island.

But the site of San Marcos remained a mystery.

Using the high-tech equipment, scientists were able to measure differences in local magnetic fields to locate the fort. They were also able to map where buildings stood on the 15-acre Santa Elena settlement. Those buildings included a church, courts, shops, taverns and farms.

Read the full article.

Old Staten Island Newspapers Now Online

The following excerpt is from the June 27, 2016 edition of silive.com:

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Those who believe those “Print is Dead” rumors might want to reconsider.

The oldest Staten Island newspapers, like the Richmond County Advance, are now available at www.NYPL.org/SINewspapers in PDF format. There are more than 250 pages of scanned newspaper articles, going back to the 1890s.

“We are thrilled that this project brings together forward-thinking community partners like the New York Public Library, Staten Island Museum and the Staten Island Advance,” says Ed Wiseman, executive director of Historic Richmond Town. “Through this partnership you can point, click or swipe through thousands of local news pages from anywhere in the world. And the best thing —this trove of ‘current events’ is now totally searchable.”

Read the full article.

Early Rhode Island Court Records now available online

The following teaser is from My Backyard News.

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(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) – The Rhode Island Historical Society has launched the digital archive “Colonial Justice: Preserving and Digitizing Early Rhode Island Court Records.” These specific collections were selected by RIHS curators for digitization based on their rarity, as well as their unique documentation of the colonial justice system in Rhode Island.

From a single online location, users can now access selected 1729-1812 records from the courts of Providence County, Kent County, and what was known as Kings County (now Washington County). The online archive is free and open to the public.

Read the full article, with links.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

New FamilySearch Collections Update: May 9, 2016

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A variety of small collection updates this week including Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565‐2011, Germany Prussia East Prussia Königsberg Funeral Sermons 1597‐1794, Guam Judicial Land Obituaries and Census Records 1712‐2000, Ontario District Marriage Registers 1801‐1858, and can you believe, Zimbabwe Death notices 1904‐1976! See the table below for other additions this week.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565‐2011 – 206,594 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Germany Mecklenburg‐Schwerin Census 1867 – 3 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Germany Prussia East Prussia Königsberg Funeral Sermons 1597‐1794 – 0 – 31,607 – New browsable image collection
Ontario District Marriage Registers 1801‐1858 – 0 – 2,738 – New browsable image collection
Zimbabwe Death notices 1904‐1976 – 10,358 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States Databases
Montana Meagher County Records 1866‐2012 – 1,030 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Texas World War I Records 1917‐1920 – 6,271 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Guam Judicial Land Obituaries and Census Records 1712‐2000 – 22,418 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update as of May 2, 2016

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Millions of new US an international records this week including Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984, New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1998, Massachusetts Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626-2001, France Saône-et-Loire Military Conscriptions 1867-1940, Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939, Paraguay Catholic Church Records 1754-2015, and Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920. Find these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

France Saône-et-Loire Military Conscriptions 1867-1940 – 244,795 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Lesotho Evangelical Church Records 1874-1983 – 0 – 20,396 – New browsable image collection.
New Brunswick Saint John Saint John Burial Permits 1889-1919 – 0 – 13,902 – New browsable image collection.
New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1998 – 10,511 – 363,839 – Added images to an existing collection
New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1948 – 27,054 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ontario County Marriage Registers 1858-1869 – 0 – 9,447 – New browsable image collection.
Paraguay Catholic Church Records 1754-2015 – 397,638 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Lambayeque Civil Registration 1873-1998 – 339,222 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Puno Civil Registration 1890-2005 – 0 – 248,882 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984 – 0 – 1,741,178 – Added images to an existing collection
Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939 – 0 – 444,585 – Added images to an existing collection
Russia Tver Church Books 1722-1918 – 0 – 905 – Added images to an existing collection
Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920 – 0 – 205,216 – Added images to an existing collection

United States Databases

Arkansas Ex-Confederate Pension Records 1891-1939 – 172,347 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California Fresno and Napa Counties Obituaries 1974-1997 – 65,850 – 76,098 – New indexed records and images collection
Iowa Church and Civil Marriages 1837-1989 – 13,474 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Iowa County Marriages 1838-1934 – 67,489 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626-2001 – 472,449 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Town Records ca. 1638-1961 – 58,412 – 87,781 – New indexed records and images collection
Michigan Church Marriages 1865-1931 – 2,303 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Michigan County Marriages 1820-1940 – 62,733 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New Hampshire Birth Certificates 1901-1909 – 104,327 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Pennsylvania Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records 1865-1936 – 14,100 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
South Carolina Deaths 1915-1965 – 157,759 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

An Engineering Disaster on Edge of L.A. Left Nearly 500 Forgotten Deaths

The following excerpt is from newsweek.com

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The remnants of the worst engineering disaster of 20th-century America sit about an hour’s drive from downtown Los Angeles…

Eighty-eight years ago, the St. Francis Dam burst in the middle of a March night, killing nearly 500 people. There are some images of the aftermath, but numbers tell the story better: 12.4 billion gallons of water rising to the furious height of 140 feet, surging 54 miles to the Pacific Ocean, an inland tsunami 2 miles wide leveling towns in its path. Some thought a saboteur had dynamited the dam. This would be easier to believe than the dam failing and people dying senselessly. But that was the case. And given the sorry state of American infrastructure, something similar could be the case again: the St. Francis Dam as portent, not aberration.

Read the full article.

Lost Roanoke Colony’s Ft. Raleigh? New Find on Roanoke Island Creates Stir

The following excerpt is from m.obsentinel.com

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Scott Dawson, a native of Hatteras Island and now a resident of Colington, has shared the location of a discovery he made on National Park Service property with that agency, which has now secured the area and posted surveillance to insure that intruders don’t disturb the site.

Doug Stover, park historian of the Park Service, said that park officials think that the site may be the remains of Fort Blanchard, a Civil War fort.

But if proven correct in his beliefs, Dawson will be the envy of many archaeologists who have spent their careers in the search of the long-lost Ft. Raleigh, Ralph Lane’s 1585 fort on Roanoke Island.

Read the full article.

To learn more about the Lost Colony of Roanoke check out this Wikipedia page.

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

Teens tipped over headstones at 175-year-old Michigan cemetery

The following teaser is from an article posted on clickondetroit.com

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Teens tipped over headstones at 175-year-old Michigan cemetery ‘because they were bored’

GENEVA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Authorities say three teenagers have confessed to tipping over and damaging more than 30 headstones at a cemetery in southwestern Michigan.

The Van Buren County sheriff’s department says in a statement that two 15-year-old boys and a 13-year-old girl told deputies they tipped headstones at Lacota Cemetery in Geneva Township on March 19 “for fun and because they were bored.”

Read the full article.

9 Historic Cannons at Fort William Henry in NY are From a Sunken British Warship

The following teaser is from an article posted in the Arts section of Yahoo.com.

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Research has determined nine historic cannons displayed for the past 60 years at a recreated French and Indian War fort in upstate New York were originally aboard a British warship that sank in the Florida Keys in the 18th century, according to an underwater archaeologist who led the project. Joseph Zarzynski, of Wilton, New York, said a study of all 68 cannons at Fort William Henry found that some if not all of the nine iron cannons likely came from HMS Looe, a British warship that sank after hitting a reef in 1744.

Read the full article.