LinkConnector Validation

A Genealogist In The Archives

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Preserving War Correspondence and V-Mail

This week, as we Remember Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt's saying "A date which will live in infamy". I will be share some preservation tips on preserving various military artifacts and memorabilia.

Many genealogists have correspondence from their ancestor's during their time in the military and especially correspondence that was sent to family members during wartime. This correspondence can include handwritten letters, postcards and V-Mail. Also, among genealogical family papers could be Western Union Messages that was sent by the soldier or by the U.S. Government to advise the family of the death of their family member or other information.

WWII V-Mail Correspondence, Houston County, TN. Archives


So, how do we preserve this correspondence? Whether these letters date back to the Revolutionary War or as recent as last week you received a letter from your son from Afghanistan, the process is the same and very easy for the genealogist to accomplish.

The archival materials you will need purchase:

-Archival document sleeves to put the letters and documents in, these come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate the various sizes of stationary

-Archival file folders, to put the documents that are in archival sleeves

-Archival boxes, to put the file folders full of correspondence

I am asked all the time about whether or not the letters should be taken out of their envelopes and my answer is a resounding YES! Each and every letter should be removed from their envelope, unfolded and flattened. Place the letter AND the envelope in the same archival document sleeve. This keeps the envelope with the letter it belongs to and doesn't get mixed up with other letters. Be sure to fold down the flap on the envelope where the glue part is located. Even if there is no glue remaining, it doesn't need to touch the letter.

Correspondence in Vertical File, Houston County, TN. Archives


Take the letters, postcards and other correspondence that you have put in archival sleeves and place them in archival file folders. You can put more than one letter in a file folder but I wouldn't put more than ten letters in one file folder. It is up to you how your label your file folders, however, a suggestion could be to put the file folders in chronological order.

Once the correspondence has been put in archival sleeves and file folders, the folders then need to be stored in archival Hollinger boxes. Some like to store their file folders in filing cabinets and that is also acceptable. Be sure to label the Hollinger boxes so that it is known what is contained in them.

V-Mail Correspondence, Houston County, TN. Archives


An additional way to preserve military correspondence is to transcribe all the letters and save those transcriptions electronically. So, if you have letters, postcards and V-mail from your ancestors when they were in the military, be sure to properly preserve them.


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE!


*******

Want to know more about preserving old family letters?

Get My Legacy Family Tree Webinar:

Preserving Old Family Letters: Tips from an Archivist

http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1168








Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Remembering with Oral Histories

Today, December 7, 2016, we remember the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.....




One way Pearl Harbor and all of WWII has been remembered is through oral histories. Many archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, university archives and museums have collected and preserved oral histories of the survivors of Pearl Harbor and other veterans of WWII.

As genealogist we search for paper records but are you seeking out oral histories? They can come in the form of audio, video or transcriptions or a combination of any of these. Many local communities took it upon themselves to record the recollections of local war veterans to preserve for future generations.

WWII Oral History Transcription of William Halon Cobb, Houston County, TN. Archives 


Finding oral histories is not that difficult but actually finding one for your ancestor might be a bit daunting. It is quite possible your ancestor never did an oral history but it's always a good idea to check repositories for the possibility of finding your ancestor recorded.

WWII Oral History DVD of Leslie Roland Roby, Houston County, TN. Archives


Start at the local level where your veteran or ancestor lived. Possibly the local historical society asked them to tell their story of their service in the military and any experiences they had during wartime. Check online catalogs for local genealogical societies, county archives and libraries. Then move to the state level and the State Archives. Many of the states have their catalogs online and will list what they have as far as oral histories go. Many times oral histories were recorded at the time of an anniversary of a certain war or possibly an archives received grant money to do an oral history project.

After you have tried the local level then the state level, next would be the national level. Check with the U.S. National Archives, the Smithsonian Institute just to name a couple of possibilities.

WWII Oral History DVD of Wayne R. Richardson, Houston County, TN. Archives


Don't think that oral histories were done just for WWII. Other wars and conflicts were also remembered and documented by oral histories. If you ancestor was in the Korean War, Vietnam War, etc. there could possibly be an oral history archived somewhere.

Also, if you have living family members that served in the military and especially if they served during war time, sit them down and record their recollections and remembrances of their service. This is great for your own genealogy research and family but I would suggest that you donate a copy to the local archives, historical or genealogical society so their voice and stories can be remembered.


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!

*****

NEW! NOW AVAILABLE!

My Legacy QuickGuide on Amazon. com

Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine

http://amzn.to/2gaw84Q




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Preserving a Military Uniform

This week, as we Remember Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt's saying "A date which will live in infamy". I will be share some preservation tips on preserving various military artifacts and memorabilia.

As genealogists we try to document our ancestors that served in the military. That can include obtaining service records, pension records, old letters and even our ancestor's uniform. Many of us are fortunate enough to have inherited a military uniform or at least the jacket if nothing else. So, what is the best way to archive or preserve a military uniform.


WWII Uniform Donated to Houston County, TN. Archives

Surprisingly, the process of preserving a military uniform is quite easy and something any genealogist can do.

The archival materials that you will need to purchase are:

-Archival tissue paper to layer in the bottom of the archival box and to cover the uniform



-An archival box large enough to hold the military uniform



To start the archiving process, lay a piece of archival tissue paper in the archival box. It's okay if the tissue paper is larger than the box, once the uniform is in the box you can fold the excess tissue paper onto the uniform.

Next, place the uniform on the archival tissue paper in the archival box. If you have more than one piece of the uniform (pants, jacket, etc.), place the first piece in the box, then put a piece of tissue paper on that piece and then lay another piece. Making sure to have layers of archival tissue paper inbetween each piece of the uniform. You do not want the uniform pieces to touch but have a layer of tissue paper protecting each piece.

Finally, lay a piece of archival tissue paper on the top of the last uniform piece. If there is excess room in the box and the uniform is moving around in the box, crumple up archival tissue paper and place it around the uniform to make sure the uniform fits snuggly in the box and doesn't move. Do not stuff the box so much that you are crowding the uniform in the box and creasing the uniform. The uniform needs to be flat and not creased as it sits in the box.



Be sure to write up information about the uniform such as what war, who it belonged to and how you received it. Place this information in the box with the uniform. Maybe include a photograph of the person wearing the uniform if you have one.

Store the boxed uniform in a cool, dark and dry place. Do not store in an attic, basement or where it will come in contact with direct sunlight and humidity.

Preserving our ancestor's military history is important and making sure their uniforms are stored properly is also important.


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!

*******

NOW AVAILABLE!

My Legacy Family Tree QuickGuide

Vertical Files: What Are They and How To Use Them

http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1450






Monday, December 5, 2016

Preserving the American Flag

This week, as we Remember Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt's saying "A date which will live in infamy". I will be share some preservation tips on preserving various military artifacts and memorabilia.

Many genealogists, for whatever reason, have in their possession an American flag. Maybe it was handed down from generation to generation and now it belongs to you. Maybe the flag you have was once draped over a casket of a deceased soldier or veteran from your family.

Whatever the reason, if you have an American flag among your genealogical records and artifacts, it is important that you know how to fold it and preserve it so that it will survive for generations to come.

First, the American flag must be folded property. Here is a great website to show you how to fold the flag and it includes visuals: http://www.usflag.org/foldflag.html

Once the American flag has been folded properly, it's time to archive is properly. To do this, you will only need to purchase two items.

You Will Need:

-Archival Tissue Paper to wrap the folded flag in before it is put in an archival box



-A special archival box specifically for folded flags



These items can be purchased at any online archival materials store:

Online Archival Supply Stores:

Gaylord Archival: http://www.gaylord.com/
Hollinger Metal Edge:  http://www.hollingermetaledge.com/
University Products: https://www.universityproducts.com/
Light Impressions: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/


Take the folded flag and wrap it in archival tissue paper. Place the wrapped flag into the archival flag box. It would be a good idea to add a note in the box stating how you obtained the flag, the significance of the flag to your family and who it belonged to.

Store the boxed flag in a cool, dry and dark place. Do not store in an attic, basement on in direct sunlight. If you decide to frame the American flag, that is perfectly fine. I do suggest that you take it to a framing company that is experienced in archival framing with archival matting and UV protective glass. You can frame the flag yourself by purchasing a memorial flag case from an online archival materials store. They have one that you can hang on the wall or set on a table.

Memorial Flag Case for the Table



Memorial Flag Case for the Wall













It is important to preserve and archive our most precious family heirlooms and if we are fortunate enough to have an American flag in our collection, be sure to take care of it in a proper and archival way.


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!


********

NEW!!! NOW AVAILABLE!

My Legacy QuickGuide on Amazon

Vertical Files: What Are They and How to Use Them

http://amzn.to/2gWt09X 

 





Thursday, December 1, 2016

When Genealogy has Gone to The Dogs!

As genealogists we are constantly searching for records for our ancestors that we have not seen before. Records that are unique and will fill in those gaps in our ancestor's timeline.

Archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, libraries, University archives and museums are full of these types of records. One such set of records in the Houston County, Tennessee Archives is a "Dog Registration" book.

Houston County, Tennessee Dog Registration Record Book spine, Houston County, Tennessee Archives


This particular "Dog Registration" book dates from 1901-1923. The purpose of this record book was to register dogs who were over 6-months old. The owner had to pay a fee or tax which started out in 1901 to be $1.00 and by 1923 was up to $3.00 per dog.

W.H. Griffin dog registration entry, July 16, 1907, Houston County, Tennessee Archives

The fees that were collected were put into what was called the Sheep Fund. The Sheep Fund was there for any farmers who had a sheep killed by a dog or had one damaged by a dog. The owner of the sheep would be able to ask for funds from the Sheep Fund to replace the dead or damaged sheep. At the end of the year, if there was still funds left in the Sheep Fund, it would be given to the local schools to help purchase books and supplies.

W.R. Boone dog registration entry, May 16, 1901, Houston County, Tennessee Archives

Information that can be found on the dog registration receipts include the dog owner's name, the owner's address, the name of the dog, the description of the dog and the date of the receipt. Who knew that our ancestor's dogs could help us with genealogy information today!

As genealogists we can get some great information from records sources like this "Dog Registration".


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!

******

NOW AVAILABLE!

My Legacy QuickGuide on Amazon Kindle!

Preserving Old Family Letters: Tips from an Archivist

http://amzn.to/2gPjowE




 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Preserving Diaries and Journals

Diaries and journals are some of the most unique records that can be found in family records. Many genealogists can only hope that they will receive or inherit diaries or journals from their deceased family members or ancestors. These very personal record sources have helped many genealogy researchers by supplying dates of events, family secrets, family tragedies and family successes.

Preserving diaries and journals can prolong the life of the record. The process is quite simple and only takes purchasing a couple of archival items.

You will need:

An Archival Box: In the Houston County, TN. Archives we like to use this Adjustable 1-Piece Rare Book Box OR the Clamshell Custom Rare Book Box, which can be purchased at any online archival supply store.

Adjustable 1-Piece Rare Book Box











Clamshell Rare Book Box























                                                                             



Archival Tissue Paper: Tissue paper is not always necessary in this process but in an archive setting we like to use archival tissue paper to wrap the diary or journal for additional protection before the book is placed in the book box. Also, if there are pasted items in the diary or journal such as newspaper clippings, it is suggested that archival tissue paper be placed between the pages where these items are located to deter ink transfer or other damage. Feel free to insert archival tissue paper anywhere in the diary or journal that you feel necessary, it will be an additional layer of protection.

Wrap the diary or journal in the tissue paper. Do not use any tape or adhesive to secure the tissue paper, just fold the ends neatly. Place the diary or journal in the book box. If the diary or journal doesn't fix snuggly, crumple up some archival tissue paper and put around the book so that it does fit snuggly in the book box.

It's as simple as that!

When storing diaries and journals or any rare books, be sure to lay them down on their sides and do not stand them up on their ends. The pressure on the spine when they are stored on their ends on shelves can be damaging to the books. Store in a cool, dark and dry place. Do not store in an attic, basement or where the humidity levels are too high.

So, if you have your ancestor's diaries and journals, use these simple steps to preserve them for your descendants.

Online Archival Supply Stores:

Gaylord Archival: http://www.gaylord.com/
Hollinger Metal Edge:  http://www.hollingermetaledge.com/
University Products: https://www.universityproducts.com/
Light Impressions: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!

******

Have Scrapbooks? Want to know how to Preserve them?

Get My Legacy Family Tree QuickGuide

Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine

 http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1413

 




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Documenting Your Ancestor's Transportation

As genealogists, we should be documenting every aspect of our ancestor's lives. It's just not enough to only document their birth, marriage and death. Researching and documenting the events and aspects of our ancestors lives that come between those vital events is what tells our ancestor's life story.

Have you ever thought about documenting your ancestor's transportation? From the horse driven buckboard to the family station wagon, from the train to the airplane, our ancestors had many avenues of transportation and documenting this part of their lives can add to their life story.

Wilson Averitt and Pearl Adams, ca. 1900, Houston County, TN. Archives


My Grandfather, Cody Lee LeMaster (1909-1972) never learned to drive. He always made sure the family lived near a bus station, bus stop, near a street car or lived close enough to everything so he could just walk. His philosophy when it came to family members wanting him to visit was "If they want me to visit them, they can come get me and bring me back home". He worked each and every day to provide for his family. He walked to work at Hamlin Metal Products, Corp. in Akron, Ohio until his death on November 18, 1972. He was holding the door open for a female worker and died of a heart attack on the spot. Knowing my Grandfather's thoughts and actions when it came to transportation has helped me understand why they lived where they lived.

Cody Lee LeMaster and Agnes Marie (Curtis) LeMaster, My Grandparents


Researching all the different types of transportation for my ancestors has been fun. I am fortunate in that I have photographs dating back to the 1940's of my family members with their vehicles. Talking to family members about the different kinds and makes of those automobiles, especially those that belonged to the person I am talking to has been interesting.

L-R Lanny Barker, Ruth Athalene (Burcham) Barker, Unknown, ca. 1940's


If you are not already researching your ancestor's transportation, consider adding it to the genealogy research to-do list. You just might be surprised by what you find!


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!


*******

Watch My Legacy Family Tree Webinar:

Researching in Libraries and Archives: The Do's and Don'ts

http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1142