23 November 2008

You can Now Find Townships and Ranges on Google Earth

If you are trying to locate land in a "Public Land" state using townships and ranges, you are now have an assistant in Google Earth.

Public Land states are the states that were not part of the original 13 colonies or Texas or Hawaii. The non-Public Land states uses metes and bounds instead of townships and ranges.

Google Earth is a free product by Google (there is a commercial version, but you don't need it.) If you don't have Google Earth on your computer just Google, Google Earth for information on how to get it.

Google Earth allows clever people to write KMLs that are programs that run on Google Earth. [For this application, just consider them computer programs.] These KMLs can add items to your Google Earth like lightening strikes, cloud cover, tropical storm paths and more. The realtors at Earth Point have setup a KML to show the township and range maps some even include the sections. Look over the Earth Point webpage it will provide the longitude and latitude coordinate of the township and range.

You will still have to work with halves and quarters inside the section [these are the aliquots], but that part is easy.

Remember you can find these legal descriptions on deeds, in deed books, on some tax bills or receipts, in the county tax appraisers records or the BLM database. There is a Florida database and where you are searching may have a database. If you will, please share as a comment ideas where to find these legal descriptions.

22 November 2008

Europeana is Too Popular

Europeana is the new digital library of the European Union (EU). The New York Times article of November 22 titled, Europeana Goes Online and Is Then Overwhelmed discusses the surprised popularity of the website. This digital library is intended to focus on the cultural heritage of Europe, its people and nation states. This could be a boon for those researching European genealogies and family histories.

The October Newsletter had advertised the opening of the website on November 20. The Times article explains that the website received three times the web server's capacity and crashed. The article goes on to say that the European Commission will try again in a few weeks, undoubtedly with a larger server.

The newsletter had mentioned, as highlights, views into art museums like the Rijksmuseum, the Louvre and the Mauritshuis, the European Film Institute, and studies of medieval history studies in France. This overwhelming response may prompt more fascinating contributions to Europeana as well.

Lets hope Europeana.eu is up and operational soon.

21 November 2008

What is going on with George Washington's Ancestry?

In last Sunday's [16 Nov 2008] Washington Post there was a query and answer that was titled, The Great-Great-Grandpa of Our Country. The controversy centers on whether or not Anne Pope was John Washington's first wife. They agree that she was mother of all of his children. The controversy has a place, the cemetery at the George Washington Birthplace National Monument in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

Do you have an ancestor with several wives over his lifetime? Well John Washington, our George Washington's great-great-grandfather, had three. If you have good records, it is easily sorted out. In this case even the grave markers are questionable. The markers are from a W.P.A. project in the 1930s.

I thought that this was interesting from the genealogy point of view.

19 November 2008

Old Travel Guides

You may have links to some old maps that show where your family lived, but there is one travel guide from about 100 years ago that was superior then and remains a window into that time. These are the Baedeker Guides. These old guides are still traded, sold, and collected. They are that good. Some of the buildings that are describe may have disappeared, but often their detailed description are in these books.

You might find a copy in a large public library, or for sale online, or viewable online through websites like Google [some even download-able.]

There are other search engines that can find these books, but let me use Google as the example.

I start with the search term "Karl Baedeker" [the quotes are included.]
First you see the web search. Wikipedia, LibraryThing and others have information about the man and his company. Please don't stray yet, you can come back to look.

At the top-left of the webpage you will see: Web Images Maps News Shopping Gmail more now click more you will see a drop-down-list click Books from the list.

The results provide on each result-find a "linked" title of the book, next lines are a very brief description, and the last line of the result is about your accessibility and more place the book might be found. Lets deal with the accessibility: "Full view" - is just that you can page through the book by clicking the title on the first line and for most books download the book to your computer [if you want]. "Snippet view" and "no preview available" - are implying that the book is still under copyright and likely for sale [the Karl Baedeker firm still exists.] Some of these books are for sale by old book dealers. Back to the top of this webpage, there is a blue bar with the words Books Showing all books. If you want to see just the "full view" books, then click the words all books and other choices are listed click full view only. I notice that there are only 63 books left as results. You should look at at least the titles of each and explore the ones you are interested in.

Karl Baedeker being German started in Germany so the older books are on Germany, but all of Europe is included. I see Egypt and Palestine & Syria are on the list. I see Canada and Alaska too. Some of the books address specific areas inside countries. There are many additional books that are not yet available.

Did your ancestor live in Hamburg, Venice, Paris, or London and have need to use, work in, travel on one of the items described in the book?

There are other old travel guides, maybe not this old that are available. Look for Murray, WPA [American Guide Series] and others, however copyright restrictions [AAA books are too recent] will limit the view online.

There are copies of Baedeker Guide to The United States, with an excursion into Mexico are in the John Germany Library in downtown Tampa.

18 November 2008

Should the 1885, 1935 & 1945 Florida Cenuses be Online?

If YES, the Familysearch.org is asking for volunteers to index the 1885, 1935 and 1945 Florida State Censuses. You work from your home and you submitting your indexing to FamilySearch.org.

For details, click the word, LINK.

17 November 2008

Genealogical Periodicals at the Orlando Library

Have you wondered what genealogical periodicals you can find at the downtown Orlando library (101 East Central Blvd. Orlando, FL 32801)?

This link will show you what is available:

14 November 2008

Virginia Britten Receives State Genealogy Award

On the evening of November 14th, Virginia Brush Britten received the Genealogy Outstanding Achievement Award at the 32nd Annual Awards Banquet of the Florida State Genealogical Society in Maitland, FL. Minutes prior to her receiving the award a spectacular nighttime launch of the Space Shuttle was seen in the eastern sky.

In the above photograph Virginia is receiving the award from Patricia Thomas Martin, the Chair of the Awards Committee, in the background is the Florida State Genealogical Society President, Ann Mohr Osisek. A copy of Virginia B. Britten's award certificate is shown below.

Congratulations Virgina and thanks for all your good work.

* * * *

A later announcement about he award is seen on Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter, dated November 30, 2008.

06 November 2008

Michelle Obama's Ancestors

There was an article in the Washington Post back on October 2 that revealed some of Michelle Obama's genealogy. Now that the election is over, I am hoping it is alright to share the information here. Honestly, if her husband wasn't a presidential candidate, this story would have remained untold.

The article is titled, "A Family Tree Rooted In American Soil." Her Robinson ancestors were slaves on a rice plantation near the town of Georgetown, SC. The family remained there after the Civil War for many years. Mrs. Obama still has kin there. The only part of the story that is bad is the slavery. Her family family was hard working and her family line finally left for opportunities elsewhere.

The article is long, but chuck full of facts and detail. What I enjoy the most was the video that is in the "gallery" part of the article. The video shows parts of the plantation and interviews Mrs. Obama's family that remained in Georgetown.

The article reveals a piece of American History that we will not find in textbooks, but is still part of America's history.

I created a link in the article title above or you can uses the url: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/01/AR2008100103169_2.html?wpisrc=newsletter&sid=ST2008100103245&s_pos=
You may be asked to register with the newspaper, but there is no fee [it is free.]

02 November 2008

Nurturing the Next Generation of Genealogists - PCGS Meeting Notice

Who will carry on the search?

Everyone should make out a will to be sure that their treasures are passed on to just the right person. But, what about all the boxes and files you have accumulated from your genealogy research? Years have been spent researching, indexing, scanning and cataloging your family documents and memories; now you have to make sure there is someone who will carry on, but who?

Pattie Schultz and Pam Treme will explain how to nurture that next generation of genealogists without them even realizing it!

The Pasco County Genealogical Society (PCGS) will conduct its monthly meeting on Saturday November 8 @ 10:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints at 9016 Fort King Road, Dade City, FL