Sometimes you come across great sites for research while doing something entirely different. I went to the Perseus site at Tufts University to research some Greek Mythology. I was amazed. Besides the Primary and secondary sources for studying ancient Greece and Rome they have Issues of the Richmond Times Dispatch from Nov 1, 1860 through Dec 30, 1865. It is searchable in a number of different ways, including by name. Of course, those issues of the Richmond Times Dispatch include lots of articles regarding the Civil War. Taking a few moments away from my Greek mythology research, I dropped in my wife’s paternal great grandfather’s name. Poof, it came back with a hit. He was credited with capturing one of the Union’s regimental flags at the “The Crater” during the Siege of Petersburg.
Wikipedia indicates that “The Crater” was a particularly horrific battle. The article indicates,
“The prisoners taken will reach at least eleven hundred, including the wounded, who are at the Poplar Lawn Hospital, and being well cared for. The Yankee loss, all told, cannot fall short of five thousand men. Their officers, under flag of truce yesterday, acknowledged that they had about three thousand wounded in their hospitals. This, with eleven hundred prisoners and the seven hundred dead of the army, will very nearly approximate five thousand.”
Of course, as is often the case of war correspondence, the numbers appear bloated. Wikipedia indicates that Grant wrote,
“Union casualties were 3,798 (504 killed, 1,881 wounded, 1,413 missing or captured), Confederate casualties were approximately 1,500 (200 killed, 900 wounded, 400 missing or captured).
In just a couple minutes the Richmond Times Dispatch through the Perseus Hopper added to my knowledge of the family history.
The Perseus Digital Library is definitely a site to add to your Civil War and Virginia searches. Check it out at: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/search
I have always wondered who my natural father was. Being the
illegitimate child of an illegitimate child has always made my perception of
father figures somewhat misty. My mother did not know her father during her
childhood. Her father child-napped her when she was three because he did not
care for how his former girlfriend was raising his daughter. His former
girlfriend (they were never married) sic’d the police on him. After he was
arrested for child-napping and spent prison time for the offense, he did not
try any longer to have a relationship with his daughter. It wasn’t until his
daughter became an adult and pursued a relationship with him that she grew to
know anything about him. They became close in a distant sort of way. Today, he
has passed and she would like to be interned next to him and near his mother
I wasn’t so lucky. My mother has no memory of who my father
was. I was the result of a date rape while she was visiting North Carolina
& South Carolina from Michigan. Certainly there was too much alcohol and
probably some other drug that night. In any event, she has no memory of who was
there that evening. I never had a name, not a first name, nor a last name; just
a pair of question marks. Of course growing up is tough when you don’t know
your father’s name. Even tougher is trying to figure out how to enter
information in forms to get a security clearance.
About five or six years ago, I began seeing ads for Y-DNA. Ways
to find cousins or others that are close genetic matches. I thought, “Well,
maybe the test could tell me some things and give me a starting point to figure
out who my natural father might be. The test started coming down in price and I
decided to go for it.
Being a member of Ancestry.Com I received the most
advertising from them. I did a comparison between them and other services
available at the time and decided to order the Ancestry.Com test
. As I recall
there wasn’t much of a price difference between the 33 and the 46-marker test
so I ordered the 46. (Today’s prices at Ancestry.com are $149 for the 33 marker
and $179 for the 46 marker.) Therefore, back in the fall of 2008 I ordered the
test and waited with anticipation about what this journey might bring.
It seems that I left the best for last of the RootsTech videos (of those I intend to watch).
YouTube Your Family History
By Devin Ashby was extremely good. He spent a short time with background information about You Tube and then gave three ideas for ways to use You Tube. First was an Ancestor Video. Creating a life story for an individual can be wonderful. He does a great job of showing that a video might be much more interesting to family members than the boring trees and charts I love so much. He suggests some possible software applications that can be used to produce your video. He has great ideas, some of which will may the “Aunties Project” I’m working on much better. I think I can also use some of his ideas on some church videos. So his material was very useful.
He talks some about creating a website tour, where you provide sort of a guide to your website. I don’t think that is useful to me right now, but I’ll keep the idea in the back of my mind in the event it does become necessary.
Finally, he talked about creating a channel. He mentioned that having a channel can provide a way to make money from your videos. Of course, he mentions his channel, The Google Genealogist
which looks very good. I’ve subscribed and am looking forward to seeing more of his materials.
As a side note, in the background portion of his talk he mentions the YouTube Symphony
. I had vaguely heard of it but had never seen it. His mention spurred me to looking it up. It is really good. I’m playing it as background as I work and am enjoying it immensely.
In keeping with my goal to watch all of the presentations from this past RootsTech conference I decided to watch GeneTech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems by Nathan Murphy. The presentation was originally given at RootsTech but was re-recorded somewhere else (presumably at Family Search).
Because of my genetic history, I have a substancial interest in YDNA and using it as a tool for research.
Overall, the presentation had good material and was worth watching. He provided good information about various tests and potential reasons to select between Family Tree, Ancestry DNA, and GeneTree.
He also talked about places that allow for free uploads of your data, YSearch, GeneTree and Ancestry.
Nathan’s presentation style was quite stiff. He failed to engage the audience, and was quite apparently reading his material.
That said, most importantly his talk and discussion really made me want to document my DNA experiences. I think they are interesting, so, I plan to document my findings and experiences with both my Y-DNA and my autosomal DNA tests and their results. You will see the story of My DNA interspersed with my other posts.
Last Wednesday I did my first volunteer shift at my local Historical and Genealogical Society. Interesting. I spent a good amount of time in conversation with the Society’s curator and Vice President. Very enlightening. It appears that they have a lot of records and documentations that have never been digitized nor indexed. From a genealogical perspective it appears that there is a lot of really great things that can be done. I’ll be very interested to see what may have been done in the past and what might be done in the future. It appears to me that they may have many newspapers. Stacks and racks of them from many years ago. Certainly, it seems to me that if we could capture images of the births, marriages, & obituaries we’d have a place to start from. Anyone have ideas about what might be a good way to begin?