Those doing research in Erie County, PA, will be happy to hear that the ECHS Library & Archives is expanding their Webguide to Collections to include more details of its vast holdings.
It’s not a complete index, but there is an alphabetical listing (by title) of over 120 collections and the list is growing. The web guide contains an overview of the contents and some highlighted items for each collection.
You can find the Webguide here.
In lieu of a regular monthly membership meeting, the Erie Society for Genealogical Research will be hosting a guided, reduced walking tour of War of 1812 tombstones at Erie Cemetery, tonight. The tour will be led by our own Caroline Reichel, and will begin at 6:30pm. It is expected to last until around 7:45. See you there!!!!
In a few days I’ll be heading to Cincinnati for the NGS National Conference. I downloaded the syllabus a couple of days ago, and I’ve been busy reading through its 600+ pages, trying to lay out a plan for the four days I’ll be there. With ten meetings offered each hour, the choices are a bit overwhelming. Here’s my tentative schedule:
- Begin with the Power Tools: Transcriptions, Abstracts, and Analysis – the Rev. David McDonald (this is part of the BCG skill-building track)
- APG Lunch – Curt B. Witcher will be giving a talk on technology’s impact on the 21st Century genealogist
- Genealogical Research & Writing: Are You a Saint, Sinner, or Bumfuzzled Soul? – Elizabeth Shown Mills (need I say more?!)
- Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: The Evidence Presented Clearly Shows… – Barbara Vines Little on creating proof summaries
- BCG Certification Seminar – Laura Murphy DeGrazia, Alison Hare, and Thomas W. Jones on the certification process
- Indexes! Indexes! Indexes! How to Find People Who Don’t Seem to Be There! – more ESM!
- ISBGFH Lunch – J.H. Fonkert on British Genealogy Research (Jay’s in my NGSQ study group and I’m looking forward to his talk!!!
- Red Herrings and a Stroke of the Dead Palsy: Analyzing and Correlating Evidence – Stefani Evans on complications from common names, impaired memory, and ongoing migration
- War of 1812: Tracing the British Soldier – Paul Milner – could this explain why some of my male British ancestors went missing???
- Okay, I “Got the Neighbors’: Now What Do I Do with Them? – ESM (I know this will be a great session)
- Lineage Society Papers: Guidelines for a Successful Application – C. Ann Staley (A continuing dream of mine, but I do get requests for this, so even if it personally never works out for me…..)
- Documentation: The What, Why, and Where – Dr Tom Jones on citations (I loved him in the Boston University program and I’ve been fortunate enough to hear him speak before, I don’t think anyone should miss an opportunity to sit in on one of his talks!!)
- Advanced Word: Automatic Numbering for Genealogists – Alvy Ray Smith. Mastering this would be a big time saver!
- Common Sense for Genealogists – Kay Havilland Freilich, something I can always use more of
This schedule is tentative. There are several other lectures I’d like to see, including:
- Federal Records Relating to Rivers and Canals
-Locating and Understanding the Law
-Advanced Probate Research
-Lost in Pennsylvania? Try the Published Pennsylvania Archives
-Making the DNA Connection
But…..it’s just not possible to fit everything in
Aside from lectures, I’ve also got plans to meet some fellow BU alums for dinner, attend a dinner for geneabloggers, stop by the Nat’l Institute for Genealogical Studies booth to say hi to Louise and Sue, and try to get together with some of my ProGen13 and NGSQ study group co-horts. Oh, and the NGSQ 100th anniversary reception should be fun as well!
It’s going to be a great trip!!
The Erie Society for Genealogical Research and the Erie Public Library are sponsoring a Civil War talk on Saturday, April 21st, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at the H.O. Hirt Auditorium at the Blasco Library. Renowned Civil War historian and author George Deutsch will speak about Erie County’s involvement in the war.
Deutsch, a graduate of Cathedral Prep and Mercyhurst College, was interviewed by the Erie-Times News on 11 April 2011, and that article is available online here. Deutsch teaches Civil War courses each year at the Chautauqua Institution and is co-author of “One of the Very Best Regiments,” a book about the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry.
The talk is free and open to the public, so bring a friend! Not only will this be a great opportunity to hear an engaging, knowlegable speaker, but you will have the chance to mingle with other history buffs and Erie genealogists. Many of the ESGR officers will be on hand as well, so it will be a great opportunity for you to get a sense of what the Erie Society for Genealogical Research is all about!
It took a while, but I was finally able to locate my 6 month old father on the 1940 census. He, his older brother, and my grandparents were NOT living on the street where I’d expected to find them, so it took a lot of page by page searching to locate them. Their entry on the schedule for Attleboro, Massachusetts, reveals a lot about my father’s family at that point in time and provides additional clues about my grandparents’ lives in the early years of their marriage. My grandfather only completed 6 grades of public education before entering the working world. In 1940 he was working 60 hours a week at a box factory and had worked 52 weeks the previous year, earning $1,650, more than double what his neighbors had earned at various fabric and textile mills around the area. It was also more than a neighbor employed as a policeman had earned. In fact, except for the superintendent of the local shoelace factory, my grandfather had earned more than everyone else enumerated on the same page, although a lot of his neighbors hadn’t been fortunate enough to work as consistently as he had that year.
The US Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website offers a Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculator which tells us that $1 in 1940 equates to $16.39 today, and one dollar in 1939 had the same buying power as $16.50 in today’s economy. Using that same calculator, I was able to determine that my grandfather’s 1939 income of $1,650 had the power to purchase $27,225 (in today’s dollar) of the things he and his family needed to live, such as housing, food, and clothing.
When the census was taken, my grandparents were living in a rented home, but a couple months later, my grandparents would purchase a home and 32 acres of land for $1200, of which he’d mortgage half, suggesting they’d managed to save $600 – pretty good for a machinest at a box company, with a 6th grade education!
I enjoyed tonight’s ESGR meeting. Tom’s talk was interesting – I especially liked the passing around of the marble shaped bullets and broken pieces of cannon mortar, which is really strange for me since I don’t generally like guns or anything remotely related to war. Brigadier General Strong Vincent’s story is compelling, and I found Tom’s version of it really engaging.
New president Lisa Stanton did a bang up job of running her first meeting, especially given the size of the crowd that turned out to hear the civil war talk! If you weren’t able to make it, you’ll be happy to know there’s still room for a couple more guests at the 40th anniversary dinner on August 21st, although we need to know ASAP if you’d like to attend. Also, plans for the May 19th fieldtrip to Cleveland to hear speaker Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak are coming together nicely. Contact the ESGR if you have questions about either event.
I spoke for a minute about the ESGR’s 1940 census indexing project. A few people have already signed up for indexing and have linked their accounts to the ESGR, but there’s still plenty of time to join us! Here is the link to the community indexing project where you can register for a free account and identify yourself as a member of the ESGR team: https://the1940census.com/society/ Thanks for helping!!! 17.7 million records have already been indexed but there are millions more to do!
Reminder that the Erie Society for Genealogical Research’s monthly membership meeting is tonight at the History Center at 7:00pm. In honor of the newly released census, tonight’s theme is the 1940s, and attendees are encouraged to come dressed in 1940 garb, or to bring clothing or other item you’d like to share or talk about. [I'm going to go out on a limb here and, on behalf of those of us who have always hated dress-up days, hope out loud that costumes are entirely optional ]
Tonight’s speaker is Tom Hansen, a local Civil War Reenactor who will talk about Col./BG Vincent, the Civil War, and research of Civil War Veterans buried in Corry, PA.
The 1940census.archives.gov website has been at a crawl since the census went online this morning. My screen is stuck on “loading” the image.
Given the excitement of the release, the site is no doubt being inundated with an unprecedented number of hits and it will take a few hours for the site to get its additional servers up to speed. They will be making upgrades to their servers and working hard to speed things up all day.
You can follow the site’s up to the minute news updates at Twitter by following @1940censusnews Good luck and happy hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Passing along information I just got from the FamilySearch Indexing staff… It will take some time for the indexing of the records to be set up, and the indexing team expects it could take up to two weeks to make all states available. The states that will be available by Monday evening will be:
As new states are added, they will appear in the indexing list here
, so check that list often.
The indexing team also has some advice for those who are anxious to get started:
- Avoid peak usage times, which are Saturday evening through Monday evening. They suggest Wednesday and Thursday will be best
- Work offline. The system will slow down as more people try to get online to index. The team recommends downloading two or three batches at a time (about an hour’s work) and work offline.
- Review the training materials now. If you haven’t already, watch the How to Index the 1940 U.S. Census video, and review the tips and tricks slide presentation. Also, read through the project instructions.
It seems from their latest emails, that volunteers will be able to select the state they’d like to work on, but not a specific county.
If you haven’t already signed up, it only takes a few minutes and please remember to select the ESGR as your associated group. Thanks and have fun!!!!!!
The 1940 census is the first my Dad was included in. He was born in a house on the street my parents still live on, in the house next door to the one in which I grew up. The city of Attleboro, Massachusetts, was a town in 1940 with a population of 22,071 (Thanks to Joel Weintraub for that information!), and on April 2, 2012, my plan is to pour myself a cup (or three) of coffee and scroll through page after page of Attleboro’s census returns until I find him. Thanks to Steve Morse’s Unified 1940 Census ED Finder, I already know which enumeration districts to check first. I grew up hearing stories of the neighbors, so I’ll be looking for them as well. And cousins over on Read Street, and Thurber Ave.
The great aunts in nearby Pawtucket, Rhode Island, will be a bit harder to find, although knowing their address will help once I find the right enumeration district. It’s locating my elusive Great Grandfather Joseph that will be the challenge, and (ever the optimist) the thrill… By 1940, he’d already, quite mysteriously, abandoned his family and left for parts unknown. It would be his last census, as two years later he passed away and was interred in what would later become the family burial plot. While others in the family knew of his whereabouts and activities in the last decade of his life, they took that knowledge to their graves, alongside him in the family plot. Realistically, there’s little chance of locating Joseph until an online index becomes available, but I’ll still be keeping an eye out as I scroll through images in the early days of the census’s release
Who will you be looking for first?