Training Film for 1940 Enumerators

November 7th, 2011 Posted in On the Internet | Comments Off
Click here to go to the National Archives census training video on YouTube.

Click here to go to the National Archives census training video on YouTube.

I have my calendar marked for April 2, 2012. Do you?

I plan to be ready by that day to search the 1940 census online for free at the National Archives website, www.archives.gov. Since the U.S. Federal Census cannot be seen by the public until it is released 72 years after the 1940 enumeration date, no one will be able to begin indexing the entries until April 2, 2012. Visit the 1940 Census Records page of the National Archives site for ideas about how to do some sleuthing in advance to narrow down a search to only the pages covering your ancestor’s (or your) neighborhood. While there, you will also find just about everything you ever wanted to know and everything you will ever need to know about the 1940 census.

Constance Potter, of the National Archives gave a detailed introduction to the 1940 census at the Federation of Genealogical Societies National Conference in September 2011, and it was very interesting to hear the about what questions were asked back in 1940. Kathy Huber, the Tulsa City-County Library’s genealogy librarian introduced it last July in Tulsa as well (download her handout from the TCCL Genealogy website).

While in each of the censuses 1880-1930, the census taker asked for not only the place of birth of each person on the census, he (or she) also asked for the place of birth of the parents. That information won’t appear on the 1940 census except for one person out of every 20. The U. S. Census Bureau was more interested in 1940 to study the workforce, so the census taker asked questions about what kind of work, how many weeks unemployed, etc. One question that intrigues me is where each person was living on 1 April 1935. The answer could be “Same House,” “Same Place” (if the same town but a different house), or the town, county, and state or country where the person lived.

To get an idea of the nature of the instructions to the enumerators, or just to get a glimpse back to 72 years ago, watch the training film now on YouTube or at the National Archives website. The mock interview of a housewife by a census taker will help to put the census taker’s job perspective, and you can hear about some of the more tricky census questions in anticipation of your look at the census when it is released.

Thanks to Dick Eastman for blogging about this today.

FGS Conference in Springfield This September

February 3rd, 2011 Posted in Events, Organizations | Comments Off
FGS Pathways to the Heartland

FGS Pathways to the Heartland

Registration is now open for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference, to be held September 7th through 10th in Springfield, Illinois, the former home and resting place of President Abraham Lincoln. I have been looking forward to this national conference since they announced the location a few years ago. The location is not too far of a drive from Tulsa and many of my ancestors lived in Illinois, in Kane, DeKalb, La Salle, Kendall, Union, Ogle, Mercer, Jo Daviess, Rock Island, or Cook Counties. Some of my clients had ancestors in still more Illinois counties. So, not only am I attracted by a national genealogical conference, but local research opportunities are enticing to me as well.

Dick Eastman writes about details of the announcement in his blog post of today. The conference page on the society’s website provides, among other things, links to the conference program (click Conference Activities), online registration, and the conference blog. I just subscribed today to receive emails of the blog posts from the Blog page (down on the navigation bar to the right). The emails I will get will enable me to learn more about things to do in Springfield, conference events, and other insider information.

I am familiar with several of the speakers including Thomas Jones, Pamela Boyer Sayre and J. Mark Lowe – three that we have had in Tulsa to speak and I know to always have professional and informative lectures and lecture materials. And I see the names of many speakers that are not so familiar to me. But, from attending FGS or NGS (National Genealogical Society) conferences in the past, I know that I have been very pleased to attend lectures presented by Paul Milner, Craig Scott, Ann Carter Fleming, Loretto Szucs, Curt Witcher, David Rencher, Rhonda R. McClure, James L. Hansen, Tony Burroughs, and Marie Varrelman Melchiori, and I look forward to hearing any of them again. Typically, the program committee will encourage proposals from speakers who have expertise in the geographic area where the conference is held, so I spotted lectures on Iowa and Missouri in my first quick glance. Again, I have ancestors and clients’ ancestors who lived in both of these states. And there are lectures whose topics are independent of geographic location, offering lessons in techniques and methodology, like the lecture I presented at the 2009 FGS Conference in Little Rock – “How to Be a Power Hitter.”

Programming on Wednesday of the conference will be focused on genealogical society management. Librarians have separate Wednesday programming as well. I would recommend the luncheons, even though they are expensive, not only because of the opportunity you will have to meet other genealogists who sit at your table and because it can be less stressful than trying to find a place to eat, but because the luncheons include a program. They are also often gatherings of the members of an organization, like the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. I noticed that three of the luncheon speakers are Pay Richley (aka Dear MYRTLE), Craig R. Scott (military records guru), and J. Mark Lowe (who has been to several workshops in Tulsa sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust and is always enjoyable). The conference banquet speaker will be Harold Holzer, noted Lincoln scholar and author, speaking on “The Lincoln Family Album.”

I spotted both a Swedish Genealogy Workshop and a German Genealogy Workshop — both of which interest me, since I have German ancestry (a little over 1/4, with Becker, Ebner, Mayer and Trefflich) and my husband has Swedish ancestry (3/8 – Anderson, Anderson, and Berg). These have an additional fee, too, and take the place of three other lectures, so the cost is not insigificant. Still, I will consider attending one or both of these four-hour workshops offered on Friday.

Sometimes the lecture topic attracts me, and sometimes it is the speaker. With several lectures offered during each time slot, I always have difficulty choosing which to attend and which to miss. Sometimes I attend some and purchase the audio recordings of others. In order to register, you do not need to commit to which lectures you will attend, but the committee asks that you select which you will probably attend so that they can determine room assignments. However, they do want you to commit to the luncheons, workshops and the banquet when you register. In case space is limited, you should register as soon as you are sure that you will attend and reserve your space for the events.

National conferences are a wonderful and fun way to advance your understanding of genealogy. You have an opportunity to see books and other products you might like to purchase, to visit with representatives of societies you might like to join, and to watch demonstrations of genealogy software or have your software questions answered. You can also meet other genealogists who share your interest or who know of a contact or resource that will help you in your search. And, of course, you can attend lectures given from some of the best speakers on genealogical or historical topics that you will find anywhere.

I hope you will consider attending this conference, or the NGS Conference in May in Charleston, South Carolina (see information here), and let me know if you think you will go or if you have any questions.

FGS Conference in Little Rock

October 4th, 2009 Posted in Events, Speaking | Comments Off

I have been initiated into the fraternity of national genealogy speakers! I presented two lectures at the 2009 Federation of Genealogical Societies National Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, which was held Sept. 2-5. The first lecture was How To Be a Power Hitter, which was about getting better results when searching in online genealogy databases. I had presented an earlier version to the Tulsa Genealogical Society as the first part of a mini-workshop in May 2009. I really enjoy doing this lecture and presenting examples of how you and I won’t be able to find what we’re seeking until we have conquered the limitations of the index.

The second lecture was one I had proposed because of Little Rock’s proximity to Oklahoma, because attendees often decide to attend conferences in areas relating to their geographic area of interest. This one was called Oklahoma’s Settlement: Territorial Homestead and Allotment Records, and was one I had presented for the Tulsa City-County Library in July. I had updated the graphics on my slides with maps from the Historical Atlas of Oklahoma, 4th edition, (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006), with the permission of the University of Oklahoma Press. For those with an interest in tracing individuals or families in pre-statehood Oklahoma, this is a great resource.

Recordings of the audio portion of each lecture are available for purchase through JAMB Inc..