Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Auld Lang Syne on a Dudelsack

2008 Genealogy Goals

I like to look at my annual lists as goals, as opposed to resolutions. It helps when I don't achieve them. For breaking resolutions has a different connotation than falling short of a goal. This is especially true when the achievements I seek rely on some outside forces beyond my control.

1) Organize my information. For the past 9 months, as I've joyfully discovered all the avenues of exploration available to me, mostly online, I have done a lot of research, and a lot of research lies ahead, but before I continue I need to develop a better system of organizing the information.

2) Get out of my house and into my car. There are several places nearby I wish to visit. This includes: The Missouri Historical Society, Missouri Archives in Jefferson City, local archives in St. Louis County, MO and St. Clair County, IL, and a handful of cemeteries. The only trip that will really require some gas is Jefferson City. That's a 4-5 hour round trip. But I occasionally have to drive down there for work, and when I do, it's usually only for a 1-2 hour morning conference, so I can spend the afternoon in the Missouri Archives. I might also end up traveling to Springfield, IL, but I'll need to have a better idea of what I want to find in their archives before I make that trip.

3) Learn to navigate the Polish Vital Records system. It doesn't sound too difficult, with the language barrier being the biggest hurdle. But this guide, and this one should help me write the letter, and this guide should help me read their response.

Year in Review - Documents

The month of December is one of reflection and as part of the final days, and as an extension of my thoughts back in October, I have considered what I have spent on documents over the past 9 months, and what I have learned. (I started my research back in April)

UK General Register Office
1 Marriage Certificate
4 Birth Certificates
Total: $72 (The cost is 7 pounds with a small shipping charge. If the rate of exchange improves from the current 2-1 the $US cost will decrease.)

The certificates give a snapshot of where the Newmark family was on each date, and the earlier certificates show my great-great-grandfather’s progression from Journeyman Tailor to Master Tailor. I learned the dates of birth for the youngest three of my great-grandfather’s siblings – the ones not born in Poland. There was a sibling, who went by the name Max, who could have been born in either location. The given name, Morris, on the fourth certificate was pretty close, so I had to order it to see the parents’ names. I now have a certificate for a likely non-relative, but if it had turned out to be Max, it would have been worth it. The most important thing I learned from the birth certificates was my great-great-grandmother’s maiden name, or at least I now have a fair sense of how it was likely pronounced, even if I don’t know its proper spelling. Since we had her in our records as Rose Garten, with no supporting documents, and now she is Rose Cantkert, with some supporting documentation, I consider that major progress. I also like what I learned about London’s Great Synagogue as a result of the research I did from the marriage certificate. The couple had four children in London between 1902 and 1909, but neither parents nor children are direct ancestors, so I am going to see if I can convince some of my cousins to order the certificates.

UK National Archives
1 will - $7 (3.5 pounds)

The will was for a William Denyer of Hampshire - d. 1732. I have traced my ancestry back to a William Denyer of Hampshire born in 1770. How the two connect, if the two connect is unknown.

State of Missouri

Thanks to Missouri scanning in death certificates, I downloaded about a dozen for free, learning dates, addresses, burial locations, and more.

St. Louis City, Missouri
1 marriage license & application for license - $3

So far this is the only certificate I had to get up off my posterior to get. (Without counting the activity it takes to mail a letter.) I could have paid the county clerk to do the research, but walking into the courthouse and just paying the cost of the copy made more sense. The one inconvenience is that the office hours are 8-5 Monday to Friday. So I actually took a vacation day to do this. I had hoped to find two marriage certificates, and several birth certificates. However, I learned the birth records are all in Jefferson City, and one set of paternal great-grandparents, Barney Newmark and Bertha Cruvant, were married elsewhere. Probably in St. Louis County or St. Clair, IL. (St. Louis City is a separate county from the neighboring St. Louis County, and East St. Louis, IL, is in St. Clair County, which can confuse some researchers.) I retrieved the marriage certificate of my great-grandparents Herman Feinstein and Annie Blatt. The most interesting thing perhaps learned was the name of the Rabbi who married them, and thus possibly the congregation to which at least one of them belonged. Unfortunately, the congregation disbanded in the 1940s, and its records have been lost.

State of Texas
1 Death Certificate - $20

I learned the date, burial location, and cause of death for Margaret Denyer Van Every, my maternal great-grandmother. I later discovered an aunt had taken photographs of two Margaret Van Every tombstones on a trip she made to visit relatives in Texas several years ago. She hadn’t been sure who was who, but I was able to match up the dates. The other was a step-mother-in-law. (my most prolific ancestor's third wife)

Gonzales County Texas
1 Marriage Certificate - $1

I learned the date of marriage (May 14, 1854) for great-great grandparents Ebenezer Denyer and Sarah Ann Hartley. (The date of marriage is actually online at the Gonzales County website, so I didn’t really learn it from the certificate, but I have the documentation to back it up, and it was only $1.) It’s not a great photocopy. I’d be willing to pay more for a better reproduction, but it’s not exactly common that county records go that far back, so that I have anything is a miracle.

US Govt
1 SS-5 - $27

I learned a little about my great-grandfather, Herman Feinstein. However, I was hoping to find out where he was born. Both of his parents had died by 1936 when Social Security began, and all he knew was that he was born in Russia.

Total: $130 spent over a nine-month period. I feel it is worth the information I learned. I suspect the number of documents will ultimately go down, as there is a finite number of individuals I am currently interested in documenting, but the cost may go up if I start looking for the Polish and Russian records.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Carol

FootnoteMaven has challenged geneaBloggers to post their favorite carols.

I tend to prefer the seasonal ones over the religious ones, since I don't celebrate the religious side of the holiday. As a child, my favorite was "Please Bring Some Snow (for Johnny)". As I grew up, I realized the song wasn't really written for me.

One of my current favorites is by Country artist, Skip Ewing.
"My Name is Christmas Carol". It always brings tears to my eyes.

I was playing Santa Claus downtown on Christmas Eve,
when a little girl of 3 or 4 climbed up onto my knee,
I could tell she had a Christmas wish behind those eyes of blue,
so I asked her what's your name and what can Santa do for you?

She said my name is Christmas Carol, I was born on Christmas Day.
I don't know who my daddy is and mommy's gone away.
All I want for Christmas is someone to take me home!
Does anybody want a Christmas Carol of their own?

Well all that I could say was Santa would do the best he could.
Then I sat her down and told her now remember to be to be good.
She said "I will" then walked away, turned to wave good-bye.
And I'm glad she wasn't close enough to see Ole Santa cry!

She said my name is Christmas Carol, I was born on Christmas Day.
I don't know who my daddy is and mommy's gone away.
All I want for Christmas is someone to take me home!
Does anybody want a Christmas Carol of their own?

Early Christmas morning I got up and dialed the phone.
I made a few arrangements at the County Children's home.
They told me it would be alright to pick her up today.
Now my little Christmas Carol won't ever have to say,

My name is Christmas Carol, I was born on Christmas Day.
I don't know who my daddy is and mommy's gone away.
All I want for Christmas is someone to take me home!
Does anybody want a Christmas Carol of their own?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Carnival of Genealogy

The 38th Carnival of Genealogy has been posted. Several people were better able to remember what happened on December 31, 1999 or December 31, 2000 than I was. Susan Kitchens, of Family Oral History using Digital Tools, has been blogging since then. I started blogging in 2002, but reading her entry I recalled that I purchased my own domain name in early 2000. Alas, it was in February. So I still don't know what I was doing a month earlier.

The 39th Carnival is our New Year's Resolutions with respect to genealogy research.

As the year winds to a close in the next couple weeks it's a good time to review the progress made in our genealogy research and to make a plan for next year. So what did you accomplish last year and what road blocks did you encounter? What are your research goals for next year and how do you resolve to attain them?
While I am in the Caribbean from this Friday until December 30th, I will give this some thought, and I'll write those thoughts up when I return.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This post is for the dogs

On a recent trip with some friends to Springfield, Missouri, we were walking out of the Lincoln home, and the tour-guide was mentioning the Lincoln pets, and I said “The dog’s name was Fido.”
The tour-guide confirmed the information.
A friend looked at me, “how the heck did you know that?”
“It says so in the foyer of the museum we were in twenty minutes ago.”
“There you go, reading again.”

Here’s a brief biography of Fido Lincoln, with three photographs.
Around 1855 Abraham Lincoln's beloved Fido was born. He was a mutt so to speak but as far as the Lincolns were concerned, Fido was royalty. He was often seen with his master around Springfield carrying a newspaper in his mouth. He was a brownish dog with more or less yellow in his coat, resembling perhaps a shepherd.
I like that under the heading it says, “uncertain ancestry.” That’s what the world needs – professional dog genealogists. However, I was shocked to learn of Fido’s end. The blurb at the museum, which included this portrait

also mentioned that he hadn’t gone to DC with the Lincolns, the newly elected President not certain the beloved dog would survive the trip. Fido was left with neighbor boys, John and Frank Roll, with explicit instructions that he be pampered in the style to which he had been accustomed. However, the museum's blurb didn't mention that Fido Lincoln Roll’s death mirrored that of his former master.
One year later, Fido was also "assassinated" or killed by a man, who, in a drunken rage, stabbed the dog to death. Fido had playfully put his paws up on the man who was sitting on the street curb. Fido had strayed from his home with the Rolls, and like his master, was assassinated.
Extremely sad, but Fido did live ten years, in a manner most 19th century canines could only dream about.

For those who like to play the game of comparison between Lincoln and Kennedy, one might also add to the list that in 1966, one century after Fido was stabbed to death, President Lyndon Baines Johnson's dog, Him, was run over by a car. (Linked news story is actually about the death of Buddy, Clinton's dog, but it mentions LBJ's dog.)

A month ago I was looking at some photos in my late grandfather’s collection, and noticed a photograph of my great-grandmother holding a pup. I was told by my mother the dog’s name was Choo-Choo.

I came to the conclusion that Choo-choo, and all the other pets of importance to family members, deserved mention in my genealogy database. Perhaps entire entries. But how do I do that? I’m not so far over the edge that I would indicate a pet as a person’s child. “Adopted” doesn’t quite work either. (Close, but I wouldn't want anyone to get confused...)

So I went to the IFamilyForTiger forums and made the suggestion.

Keith Wilson, the developer behind the software, gave me a few ideas for recording pets as the software currently stood, and also said there was a potential for an AssociatedPerson entity in the future. While meant for friends, business associates, etc, it could certainly be expandable to our animal companions. I look forward to that extension, for recording animal companions, but also because I can think of a few friends and associates for whom I would write entries. However, I know other features may be ahead of it on his list. I also know he is busy working on IFamilyForLeopard which I expect to be updating to when it is released.

Where Was I?

Miriam at Ancestories, and Tim at Genealogy Reviews Online, have begun a meme asking the question - where were you for the census of your life?

('Census' is a Supine noun, so in Latin the plural would be 'census.' Of course, we don't speak Latin; the proper English plural is probably 'censuses.' Still, I like using the Latin plural.)

1970 – I was 1 year old. Regardless of what month the census was taken, my age shouldn’t waver, unless it was taken in the first three weeks of January. Even then, I know I would round up, and I think my parents would have too. I was living in the town of Clayton, in St. Louis County, MO. Both parents, 1 older brother, 1 older sister. I assume my parents filled the census out. (1 census likely filled out)

1980 – I was 11 years old. Still at same location as 1970. Same parents. Same siblings. Same assumption. (1 census likely filled out)

1990 – 21 years old. Where was I in 1990? Early months I was in Grinnell, IA, living in off-campus housing. My final semester there. Do colleges fill out census forms for students? If so, one may have been filled out for me there. Beginning in the summer I was in Washington, DC interning on the Hill. I was residing in Georgetown. I don’t recall ever filling out census forms. I don’t recall receiving any. There is an off-chance since I was sharing an apartment with someone else who owned the apartment, he may have filled it out for me. He didn’t tell me about it if he did. He would have had some of the correct information from my rental application. There was also a brief amount of time between Grinnell, IA and Washington, DC, when I was home. My parents were living in a home different from 1980, but still in Clayton. We had moved there in 1982. In 1990, I would be the only likely child on their census form. (A possibility of 3 census filled out for me by someone else. A possibility of 0 census filled out.)

2000 – 31 years old. I was living alone, renting a condo in the town of Brentwood, in St. Louis County, MO. I own the condo now. I have no recollection of receiving, filling out, or mailing off census forms. This doesn’t mean I didn’t receive them, didn’t fill them out, or didn’t mail them off. It’s a three-step process, and I could easily have done them all without remembering. I could also have done the first two steps without doing the third. In which case there’s a chance there’s some filled out census forms buried in some box of mine. Because I also don’t recall throwing them away. Which leads me to an idea. Whenever I fill out a census form in the future, and I do plan to, I’m going to scan the completed document for my records. That way future generations don’t have to wait 72 years to see the information. I may also encourage family members to photocopy or scan theirs and send them to me (blacking out financial or any other information they would rather not share with family until the 72 year privacy window has passed.)

Summary: Anywhere from 2-5 census forms filled out with me on them over a period of 4 census. I’m batting anywhere from .500 to over 1000. Future census I hope to do better, and encourage my family to do likewise.

Friday, December 14, 2007

TransylvanianDutch in 2008

I've been geneablogging for six months now, and it's approaching January, a natural time for reflection, so I've been asking myself where to go from here. What posts have garnered the most positive response?

There are two types of positive response in my mind
1) a reader saying: "Thanks for posting this"
2) a reader saying, "I think I'm related to you…lets exchange info!"

Call me selfish, but if a post generates positive reaction #2, I don't care if everyone else is bored silly by it. But considering how much I have been helped by other genea-bloggers in my research, I'd like to help/entertain others in return.

I think I've seen what has generated positive reaction #1.

1) Tech-geek posts. Examples include my recent post on downloading YouTube videos, and some earlier posts on Google Groups' Usenet archives, and Google Books. I've spent 10 years doing amateur web design, and I do internet research as part of my daily job, so I have some experience, and ideas to share. I think I may go into some detail on the process I've gone through in creating a family website.

2) Reviews. My review of Ancestry's latest 'book' offering, and earlier reviews of genealogy software. There may not be much for me to review, but if I see something, I will.

3) Poetry. While it might not be useful in the same way as the first two, there have been comments from people that they have enjoyed the poetry I've posted, and I like sharing poetry – my own, and that of others – so as long as some are enjoying it, I won't stop. I will try to keep it related. (pun intended.)

I like the idea of posting some family ahnentafls like I've seen others do, though unfortunately mine are relatively short. Of course, I haven't been doing research for very long. There are a handful of lines that do go back a distance, but one comes from research by a cousin who has not given me permission to share the research with the world, and I will honor my promise not to. The others come from questionably sourced material I have found on the internet, and elsewhere, but I could indicate that in the post.

In addition to not publishing research done by others without their permission, I have so far refrained from posting photos, and for the most part, writing anything about living kin. The only exception I can think of are a couple posts where I mentioned I was cousins with some individuals who are public or semi-public figures, but I didn't say much that wasn't public information. I don't see that changing as I don't really want any internal family squabbles to result from my blog.

I've begun a little research on my Swayze ancestors, because I think they arrived in the US earlier than any non-Native American ancestors (circa 1650). I could end up writing about what I'm discovering, but there would be no reason to write about any of their living descendents. Of course, if I turn up any black sheep, perhaps this blog could end up getting quoted in some tabloids.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Millennial Memories

The Genealogy Carnival for the 6th of Tevet is to remember what we were doing at the turn of the Millennium.

I’m confused. The millennium changed 768 years ago. I wasn’t alive. I have been unable to trace any of my ancestors back that far. The best I can do with one line is to take it back to 5229. I don’t expect to live to the year 6000. To do so would require some major advancement in science.

OK, so I’m not really confused. I actually had to find a calendar converter online to figure out the Hebrew date for December 15th this year, and to convert 1469. I did recently post a Xmas card my grandparents exchanged, after all.

I don’t recall what I was doing exactly on December 31, 1999 or December 31, 2000. Which one was the Millennium depends upon whether you are more interested in the calendar-odometer, and the ‘turning over’ of the numbers, or whether you’re counting from the ‘Year 1.’ Both years I know I was partying with friends, but we didn’t do anything particular to celebrate the Millennium.

Every day is the beginning of a new decade, a new century, and a new millennium. Arguably, every second is. There are just some decades, centuries and millenniums very few people care about. The millennium that lasted from January 23, 789 at 12:34:56 to January 23, 1789, at 12:34:55 is one of them. But it was exactly 1000 years long (if you stick to the same calendar - see next paragraph.)

Another question I never heard discussed (though I may not have been discussing it with the right people at the time) is whether the 'New Millennium' began on Jan 1, or Jan 14. That "Second Millennium" was 13 days short of 1000 years if you observed it on January 1. Thank Pope Gregory for that.

I am curious what my ancestors were doing on Dec 31, 1899. A little Google research turned up that in 1900, Samuel Clemens was in London, so it is conceivable that my Newmark ancestors crossed paths with him during the time he was there.

There are some people, however, who were in a metaphysical state of existence/non-existence on December 31, 1899. Erwin Schroedinger was only 12 years old, and in Vienna, at the time. Apparently on December 30, 1899, the captain of a passenger ship called the Warrimoo noticed that they were extremely close to the international date line, and the equator, with enough time to play the ultimate practical joke on all the passengers. So at midnight, December 30, the date line was crossed at the equator, jumping instantly to Jan 1. No December 31! And since they were at the equator, there was a moment in time they were half in one hemisphere, and half in the other, half in winter, half in summer, half in the 19th century, half in the 20th century. I have no idea if this was repeated 8 years ago. (source) I also can’t find a passenger list for the Warrimoo, so I don’t know who was on the ship.

Wikipedia - Part II: Editing Wikipedia

Anybody can edit Wikipedia. That includes you. So when you see a mistake, you can correct it. All you need to do is hit the 'edit' link at the top of the page, and make the edit.

Of course, that also means those with ill-intent can make changes too. And there is a lot of spam. However, there are enough users of Wikipedia that spam tends to last extremely short lengths of time.

There is also information added by people with good intent, but who aren't as knowledgeable about an area as they think they are. But, fortunately, more and more people are learning 'to light a candle, rather than curse the darkness.' That is, to fix it, rather than attack it. And contrary to another popular aphorism, the more cooks there are, the better the broth. (Especially if the professional cooks overcome any distaste of associating with the amateur cooks, and offer their expertise.)

Tips/Advice from someone who has edited Wikipedia entries.

1) Register and create a username. Your username doesn't have to be your real name. Some people use their real name because it sounds more professional, but it's not necessary, and people really won't think less of you if your pseudonym is DNAfreak (Some might think you're a fan of the late author, Douglas N. Adams though.)

You don't have to register. You can edit a page anonymously. (Your IP address will be recorded, so it's not really anonymously, but the IP address won't be traced unless you start posting libelious statements or something.) If all you are going to do is correct grammar and spelling mistakes, personally, I don't think registering is really important. But if you are going to add content, it's appropriate to register, so that people can identify X made this edit, and made this other edit 5 days ago. It builds a reputation.

2) You can click on your username at the top of the page (the link should be red), and create a userpage. Say who you are. You don't have to provide your real name, but can still tell people a little about yourself. Not everyone does this, but if you want people to know whether you are a 17 year old high school student, or a 50 year old professor, this is the place to do it. Once your userpage has been created, your username at the top of page will be blue. Any red link on Wikipedia means the page is empty.

3) When you add content, provide a source, or it might be deleted as unsourced content. You might be replacing unsourced content with your own unsourced content that you know is correct. However, other editors won't know this, and they might decide that sticking with the previous content is a better choice.

Two detailed instruction pages on:
1) How to edit a page on Wikipedia
2) how to cite sources

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wikipedia – Part I: Using Wikipedia for Research

Wikipedia is attacked often as a resource for inaccuracies. There have been studies done, however, that show it compares well to other encyclopedias. Of course, I recall being told as a college student that encyclopedias in general aren’t great reference citations. That’s because they’re secondary. Someone wrote the entry in the encyclopedia based on other sources. Go to those sources. That doesn’t mean an encyclopedia isn’t a good place to start research. And Wikipedia is no different in that regard. However, Wikipedia is a little different from the normal encyclopedia, in that it is constantly being edited, and it isn’t at first immediately clear at what stage of the editorial process a particular article is in. But there are ways to evaluate individual articles.

Whenever I am looking at a Wikipedia article for research purposes I:

1) Check to see if for the particular information I write down there is a source citation. I write that citation down so I can look that up later. Citations are heavily encouraged at Wikipedia, and an article that doesn't have them usually has a warning message on it at the top stating that the article lacks citations. (e.g. unfortunately, the entry on Genealogy) Particular facts within the article can also be labeled as needing a citation.

2) I look at the "History" of the article to see how old it is, and what the more recent changes have been. If it is a relatively new article, that decreases its reliability in my mind. The more people who have read it, and made changes to it, the more accurate it is likely to be. If it is a very new article, I may click on the names of the editors to look at their user profiles and see if they claim any expertise.

Due to recent controversies in this area, Wikipedia is now Wikipedia considered requiring people to submit proof of academic credentials to back up what they say on their user profiles. These proposals were ultimately rejected out of fear that it would lead to a less democratic system. Though while not required, more editors who do have professional experience will now provide some support of those statements on their profiles. While professionals are known to err at times, the knowledge that a professional worked on an entry does increase the odds that it is reliable. [paragraph revised due to blogger being a little sloppy and relying on memory of news articles over 8 months old.]

I also check the most recent edits to see if any of them impact the information I am interested in.

3) I look at the "Discussion" page to see if there have been any disputes over the content of the page.

Yes, this is more work. But these added steps do help one judge whether a particular article is reliable, and it is still quicker than going to the library. And if there is a source citation, I can take that to the library, and save a lot of time I would have spent there trying to find the information.

What people have to realize is that the editorial process that goes on at print encyclopedias goes on at Wikipedia too - it just happens live. There's no way to know at what point in the process the article is unless you check the history and the discussion page. Like many tools - Wikipedia is neither inherently bad or good – it depends upon how you use it


The above is edited slightly from a post I made recently to the APG-L list. I am not a professional genealogist, but I do subscribe to the list to hear the discussions of professional genealogists, and I occasionally contribute to the conversation when I think I have something of value to contribute. The subject of Wikipedia was raised, and I have had experience editing entries on the site, and I am a SysOp on a local St. Louis wiki.

Part II will focus on advice for the individual who wishes to edit an article. Anyone can.

Friday, December 7, 2007

How to Personalize a Xmas Card

Jasia at CreativeGene had a post recently on Christmas cards which reminded me of a recent discovery.

I was scanning a collection of letters my maternal grandparents wrote to my great grandmother. In the box was a Xmas card my grandmother sent my grandfather in 1942, when he was in Africa. And then he sent it back to her in 1943. I took a quick glance at the inside, saw the poem by Edgar Guest, and my grandmother's signature, my grandfather's note, and almost put it back in the envelope to set aside, as the sentiments were nice, but there was only a little more than their signatures. I was happy to see she appreciated the poetry of Edgar Guest, as I do. I figured I might scan it later, but I wanted to focus on the letters. And then I took a double-take.

My grandmother had cut her face from a photograph and pasted it onto the card. In my defense, I missed it at first partially because I never knew her. She passed away 18 years before I was born, and this is one of only a handful of photographs I have of her from the 1940s.

I like how she personalized the card. Sixty years before the advent of Photoshop -- proving you don't need a computer to do it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

University of Florida Digital Archives

The University of Florida has some potentially useful digital archives.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Florida
The maps were mainly designed to help fire insurance agents determine the degree of damage to a property and show accurate information to help them determine risks and establish premiums. They showed the size (including color-coding), shape and construction of buildings (brick, adobe, frame, etc), dwellings (including hotels and churches), and other structures such as bridges, docks and barns. Along with fire stations, you could also find water facilities, sprinklers, hydrants, cisterns, and alarm boxes as well as firewalls, windows, doors, elevators and chimneys and roof types. The maps included street names, property boundaries and lot lines, and house and block numbers. Other information such as the latest census figures, prevailing winds; railroad lines and Indian reservations and topography were included. Today, the maps are an invaluable guide to inner-city history, land use, and historic preservation.
Sanborn maps from some other states are also available elsewhere. [And that link is to a blog called ResourceShelf where "dedicated librarians and researchers share the results of their directed (and occasionally quirky) web searches for resources and information."]

Oral History Collections
The Oral History Collections comprise the digital holdings of both the Matheson Museum and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.
These are transcripts of over 1500 interviews. The only names I recognized were Dean Rusk, Gen William Westmoreland, George McGovern, Lawton Chiles, Shelby Foote, Tom Wolfe, and Sen. Eugene McCarthy. There may be a few other 'big names' I missed, but the majority aren't.

Samuel Proctor Oral History Program:
The Program's major collection has more than 900 interviews with Native Americans --including Seminoles, Cherokees, and Creeks. Other holdings include such diverse subjects as African Americans in Florida, civil rights activities in St. Augustine (1964), women in Florida, pioneer settlers, a history of Florida education, the citrus industry, and the Florida Highway Patrol.
Matheson Museum:
The Museum’s oral history collection includes 125 interviews of Alachua County residents from all walks of life. Topics include family history and genealogy, the home front experience during the World Wars, schools and businesses, development, race relations and integration, the University of Florida, and the experience of daily life and culture in Gainesville and Alachua County over a 100- year time span.
Florida Digital Newspaper Library

Searchable scanned issues from 214 newspapers across Florida. Issues dating as early as 1762 and as recent as 2006.

Monday, December 3, 2007

161 - Delayed

November is over, and I'm done attempting to write 50,000 words in one month. Alas, I didn't complete the task. But I wrote enough to see the full path my protagonist would follow so I should be able to complete the work.

Two weeks ago there was a meme I was tagged with which I didn't respond to. I hoped to reach page 161 of my 50,000 words, but I didn't quite make it. (about 40 pages shy)

Here is the sixth sentence of page 161 of the first book I picked up to read after National Novel Writing Month concluded:
There is always the obstacle, the barrier, the need for bravery.
Novel: Deryni Rising, by Katherine Kurtz. First novel in a long fantasy series. Sixteen books so far. I've read the books before, though I decided to do a reread of the first to gauge the reading/maturity level. I am uncle to a 9-year old who has read approximately 42-book-equivalents in the past 11 months. I use that strange term as she has read the same 7 books six times over. Her parents are a little desperate to get her to read something different. They have no problems with the seven books, they just feel six times is a bit obsessive. Especially since she isn't responding well to their helpful suggestion to read one "different" book inbetween re-readings.

I've decided the Deryni novels might be a bit more appropriate in a couple years. There's probably a little too much religion and court-politics in the books for her enjoyment right now.

I'm leaning either towards Madeline L'Engle's Time Quintet (which begins with A Wrinkle in Time) and Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. The latter of course being a fictionalized family history.