Monday, June 26, 2006

A WWI Send-off

from Humeston New Era 26 Sep 1917, page 1:

Patriotic Program Given Wednesday
at Corydon in Honor of
Important Day in History of Wayne
County--Boys Given
Good Farewell.

Answering the summons of the nation, fifty-nine Wayne county young men, the second contingent to be taken for the National Army, left Corydon for Camp Dodge, Des Moines, over the Rock Island at 2:35 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.

Corydon and Wayne county honored the National Army men with a program and a big patriotic demonstration. The exercises were held on the court house lawn. Short talks were made by W. H. Tedrow, D. L. Murrow and W. P. Allred of Corydon, Rev. S. H. Hedrick of Allerton and L. Belvel of Lineville. Mr. Tedrow presided at the exercises. Excellent music was furnished by a twenty-nine piece band, directed by Prof. Reizenstein. Ten members of the Humeston band played. Eleven musicians were present from Allerton. A basket dinner was enjoyed at noon.

The fifty-nine soldiers, civil war veterans and the Corydon school children marched in a parade.

Two men from the first contingent attended the farewell Wednesday.

The streets were filled with people and the crowd is said to have been the largest ever seen in the county seat. Hundreds of interested relatives and friends and neighbors were present to bid the boys goodbye.

The call for the second contingent came last week after the county newspapers had been published but hurried arrangements proved satisfactory and the boys were given a good demonstration. The efforts of A. T. Gallagher, president of the Corydon Commercial club, and other were highly appreciated. The farewell last week stirred the patriotism of the county as it has not been stirred for years. There were tears, misty eyes, and choked throats, filled with emotion, but for the most part it was a cheerful crowd. Most of the farewells had been said around the family firesides the night before and on the threshold of homes that morning. Many, though, clapsed the hand they loved or kissed the cheek they had known from babyhood as the fifty-nine were given the parting at the station. Several group pictures were taken.

Daniel Boone Heller, superintendent of the Seymour schools, was selected as captain of the boys until they reached Camp Dodge. Following are the men who reported last week...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Emigration records of Baden-Wuerttemberg

I just found this well-made site of the Landesarchiv Baden-Wuerttemberg (State Archives), that includes a database of emigration records that can be searched. Unfortunately, Franz Geyer and Josef Freund, who emigrated in 1876 from somewhere in Prussia, were not in it, but maybe your ancestor is. The information in the database comes from the archives of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Ludwigsburg, Sigmaringen, and Freiburg. Also on the website is an interesting section with short articles on the crossing and some famous emigrants from the area (such as John Jacob Astor).

Friday, June 23, 2006

Requesting US Military Records

If you have a relative that served in the US Armed Forces after 1917, you may be able to get ahold of their service records fairly easily. The veteran and their next of kin need only apply at eVetRecs. Once you fill out a simple online request form, you'll be asked to provide a signature verification that must be either mailed or faxed to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. If you are not next of kin, I'd suggest asking the next of kin to submit the request, if they are not available, the procedure you must follow is explained at the National Archives site: Access to Military Records by the General Public, including genealogists who are not next-of-kin.

It is important to note that in 1973 there was a fire in the military personnel records facility that destroyed many records. The affected records are described in this excerpt from a description on the National Archives website:

A fire on July 12, 1973, left the top floor of the military personnel records facility in ruins. This floor had contained some 22 million personnel folders, filed alphabetically, for U.S. Army personnel discharged from 1912 through 1959 and of the U.S. Air Force discharged from September 1947 through 1963. At the time of the fire, one-third of the air force records already had been relocated and thus saved, but overall, fewer than 4 million records were recovered, either entirely or with as little as one identifiable document.

Records of military service from before 1917 are available and can be ordered online, visit this National Archives page for more info.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Ideal German Wife

In "The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin" by H.W. Brands ( a book I recommend not just as a biography of Franklin, the author also gives inciteful descriptions of the way life was in Franklin's time) , the author writes that there came a point in the 1750's where the Pennsylvania Assembly worried about the integration of the German immigrants and the English colonists (sound familiar?). Peter Collinson suggested that intermarriage between Germans and English be subsidized. Franklin said this would never work, because:

The German women are generally so disagreeable to an English eye that it would require great portions to induce Englishmen to marry them. Nor would German ideas of beauty generally agree with our women; dick und starcke; that is, thick and strong, always enters into their description of a pretty girl, for the value of a wife with them consists much in the work she is able to do. So that it would require a round sum with an English wife to make up to a Dutch man the difference in labour and frugality.
No wonder Rainer was all into me ;-)

So I guess if we have German ancestors, we can assume the women were probably dick und stark (I know in my family this trait has been passed down to the current generation despite the addition of tiny asian person genes).

Online Learning

I'm seriously thinking of taking the NGS's online course on "Using Census Records in Genealogical Research". I hesitate because it's $35 and I feel I know quite a bit about the US Federal Census records already, but maybe I don't know as much as I think I do. Passing the course gives a $30 discount on the 18-month $495 Home Study Course in American Genealogy, which I'm pretty sure I will sign up for once we move to wherever we'll be moving to at the end of this year, so then it's really only $5. Anyone out there familiar with these courses?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Book Review: BCG Genealogical Standards Manual

This book is produced by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and aimed at the professional (or professional-in-training) genealogist. The first 27 pages of this book give Standards that should be followed by the genealogist. Some examples:

  • "Materials (published unpublished, microfilmed, photographic, and original) are handled with careful regard for their preservation and availability for future researchers."
  • "Indirect evidence is assembled with care and caution to ensure that all relevant evidence is included and all irrelevant evidence is excluded."
  • "Sources are fully cited."
  • "Lecturers do not reuse another speaker's overall presentation or any part thereof (research, handouts, visual aids, case-study examples, or distinctively worded titles) without written permission and source acknowledgement in both the oral presentation and the written materials that accompany it."

The appendixes make up the bulk of the book and present examples of Client Reports, Proof Summaries, Compiled Lineages, and other writings.

This book is essential for the professional genealogist. As a hobby genealogist with thoughts towards a career in genealogy, I found this to be an interesting read that I will probably go back to somewhat often. I was, however, very annoyed that the examples used distracting made up names and places, like Ila Bee Karefull of Mytown, This State; Joe Somebody Else of Histown, His State; and Ima Kean Researcher of Anytown, Research State. The authors could just have easily used fictitious examples like Joe Smith of Springfield, Illinois, which would have made the appendixes much more readable.

I imagine those only superficially interested in genealogy wouldn't find much of interest here, but they would probably not bother with building a genealogy book collection or reading this review either. I wouldn't call this an essential, as a lot of the info is common sense and/or can be found on the web (I've made one link in the list of contents below), but it's still a nice addition to your bookshelf.


Title: The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (buy this at
ISBN: 0916489922
Published: 2000 by Ancestry Publishing
Pages: 125
Cost: $19.95

When Standards Apply
The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual
Research Standards
The Genealogical Proof Standard
Data-Collection Standards
Evidence-Evaluation Standards
Compilation Standards
Teaching Standards
Standards for Lecturers
Standards for Instructors
Standards for Educational Writers
Genealogical Development Standards
Continuing-Education Standards
Appendix A: The Genealogist's Code
Appendix B: The Board for Certification of Genealogists
Appendix C: Example Reports (letter, formal, and memorandum formats)
Appendix D: Example Proof Summaries (cover-sheet list & source-cited text)
Appendix E: Example Compiled Lineages (ascending & descending)
Appendix F: Example Compiled Pedigrees (Sosa-Strandonitz & Multi-Surname systems)
Appendix G: Example Compiled Genealogies (NGSQ & Register systems)

Book Review: Finding Your German Ancestors

This book starts out with a short, uncomplicated history of the region known today as Germany. The same time period is covered in the Germany article on Comparitively, Hansen gives a few more sentences on the early history than the Wikipedia article.

He then gives tips for locating your ancestor's town in modern day Germany (the internet page he gives no longer exists), names a few online German dictionaries (but not, and sends you to for more internet sites. He explains that you will find a lot of spelling errors and variations in spelling in the records, and that you need to know the town before starting research in German records, as records were not kept on a National level until recently, so if you don't know the town name, you need to keep looking in US sources (he does not give any hints on where to look here).

The third chapter gives a brief summary of the different types of records available (brief = one paragraph). The rest of the book is mailing addresses of archives and genealogical societies.

Overall, the book did not provide me with much new information, but it only costs $6.95 (and I got it for $4). Sometimes it's nice to have something in your hand as opposed to on the computer screen, so I don't regret the money spent. There is the possibility that some of the info is out of date, as the book was published in 1999.

In regards to genealogy resources in Germany, I've found the soc.genealogy.german Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page the most useful resource thus far.


Title: Finding Your German Ancestor's: A Beginner's Guide (buy this at
Author: Kevan M. Hansen
ISBN: 0916489833
Published: 1999 by
Pages: 80
Cost: $6.95

Chapter 1: Historic Germany (16 pages)
Chapter 2: Research Tools and Tips (10 pages)
Chapter 3: German Genealogical Sources (12 pages)
Chapter 4: Church Records (13 pages)
Chapter 5: Archival Records (16 pages)
Chapter 6: Genealogical Societies (4 pages)

Setting Sail

It's the first post on my new blog (I've been blogging for a while over at An American Expat in Deutschland). The purpose of this blog is to chronicle my experiences as genealogy becomes something more than a hobby for me. I'll review books and online courses as I read and take them respectively. I'll talk about my trials and tribulations; hopefully my experiences will help you avoid some of the bigger potholes on the family history road. And maybe I'll be entertaining from time to time.

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