LinkConnector Validation

A Genealogist In The Archives: June 2024

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Professional Genealogy: Diversifying for Income Growth Course Registration Now Open!

Many of you who have followed my blog for all these years know that not only am I an archivist working at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives & Museum but I am also a Professional Genealogist. I have been working as a professional genealogist for the past 20 years. I have been very successful with my career as a professional genealogist not only with my clientele but because I diversified my business to include other aspects of this profession. Now, I am a successful writer, speaker, lecturer, teacher and even a well known book reviewer in the genealogy community. 

I am asked all the time, how do you diversify within the professional genealogist profession and do more than take research clients. is your chance to learn from someone who has actually done it and has been successful at building a brand, building a niche professional genealogist business that includes more than taking paying clients.

I am pleased and excited to announce I have partnered with Family History Academy to teach a course entitled Professional Genealogy: Diversifying for Income Growth

If you are a professional genealogist looking to diversify or if you are someone who wants to start their career in the field, this is the course for you!

Go to the Family History Academy website and read the course description and save your seat for this exciting and interactive course TODAY!

Here is the link to the course description and registration:

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Researching How Your Ancestors Were Entertained

As genealogists we collect records, photographs and stories about our ancestors lives. These normally include birth, death and marriage records. The collection could include census records, deed records, court records and tax records. But have you ever thought about what your ancestor's did for entertainment?

Grand Ole Opry Ticket and Journaling from Evelyn Ellis Scrapbook, Houston County, TN. Archives

Our ancestor's worked hard and they also took time out to play and entertain themselves. Depending on their financial abilities and what was available to them in the areas where they lived, there could be all kinds of different entertainment opportunities.

Maybe they had a theater in the area, one that had a great production of Hamlet. Maybe there was a movie theater that showed the latest silent film or Jimmy Stewart movie. Going to the theater or the movies was an event, maybe your ancestor wrote about it in their diary or pasted the handbill in their scrapbook.

Erin Theater Handbill, ca. 1958, Houston County, TN. Archives

Did you ancestor go to the fair? Many communities had an annual Agricultural Fair where our ancestors could have entered homemade baked goods, quilts or other items for judging. Also, at these fairs, would be a carnival type atmosphere that would include rides, games and sideshows. The fair would sometimes be the highlight of the year and whole families would attend. Maybe our ancestors were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons for their entries and we have these ribbons in our genealogical records collections.

In many towns, the circus would make a visit bringing their animals, big tent shows, games and sideshows. This would have been a big event not only for the town but also for the entire family.

Newspaper Clipping of "A Class Visit to an Elephant", Houston County, TN. Archives

So, where can records be found about our ancestors and the entertainment events they may have attended? First and foremost, in our own records collections. Maybe those blue ribbons are among the records in that box we got from Grandma. Maybe our ancestors wrote about their entertainment experiences in their diaries or wrote about them in letters to friends and family. Paying close attention to diaries and correspondence, even transcribing these records could provide great information about their experiences.

Documenting our ancestor's birth, marriage and death dates is important. But documenting our ancestor's entertainment experiences is also important to add to their life story. Don't overlook these unique records and information.



Legacy Family Tree Webinar

Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine

Legacy Family Tree Quick Guide

Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Preserving Our Ancestor's Military Uniform

Today we commemorate and remember June 6, 1944, the day that D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy occurred. We remember and will never forget.

As genealogists we try to document our ancestors that served in the military. That can include obtaining service records, pension records, old letters and even our ancestor's uniform. Many of us are fortunate enough to have inherited a military uniform or at least the jacket if nothing else. So, what is the best way to archive or preserve a military uniform.

WWII Uniform Donated to Houston County, TN. Archives

Surprisingly, the process of preserving a military uniform is quite easy and something any genealogist can do.

The archival materials that you will need to purchase are:

-Archival tissue paper to layer in the bottom of the archival box and to cover the uniform

-An archival box large enough to hold the military uniform

To start the archiving process, lay a piece of archival tissue paper in the archival box. It's okay if the tissue paper is larger than the box, once the uniform is in the box you can fold the excess tissue paper onto the uniform.

Next, place the uniform on the archival tissue paper in the archival box. If you have more than one piece of the uniform (pants, jacket, etc.), place the first piece in the box, then put a piece of tissue paper on that piece and then lay another piece. Making sure to have layers of archival tissue paper in-between each piece of the uniform. You do not want the uniform pieces to touch but have a layer of tissue paper protecting each piece.

Tissue paper in military jacket. Houston County, TN. Archives

Finally, lay a piece of archival tissue paper on the top of the last uniform piece. If there is excess room in the box and the uniform is moving around in the box, crumple up archival tissue paper and place it around the uniform to make sure the uniform fits snuggly in the box and doesn't move. Do not stuff the box so much that you are crowding the uniform in the box and creasing the uniform. The uniform needs to be flat and not creased as it sits in the box.

Be sure to write up information about the uniform such as what war, who it belonged to and how you received it. Place this information in the box with the uniform. Maybe include a photograph of the person wearing the uniform if you have one.

Store the boxed uniform in a cool, dark and dry place. Do not store in an attic, basement or where it will come in contact with direct sunlight and humidity.

Preserving our ancestor's military history is important and making sure their uniforms are stored properly is also important.



My Legacy Family Tree QuickGuide

Vertical Files: What Are They and How To Use Them

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Thumbing Through Your Ancestor's Books

Today in the Houston County, Tennessee Archives we received a donation of various books from a local resident. She had been cleaning out her attic and found them and brought them to the archives to be donated.

This collection of books includes mostly music books but there was also a couple of other books of interest. One of those books was actually a composition notebook where one of her family members copied stories from a history book when he was in school. Not tremendously historical but it was in someone's own handwriting and was dated 1928.

Donated Composition Book, Houston County, TN. Archives & Museum

One action that I always take when I receive any kind of book in the archives is to thumb through it's pages. "Why?" you ask. The reason is because it's amazing what people will put inside of books for a place holder, bookmark or to stash for safe keeping.

In this donated composition book was a small card that has the name John L. Emery and the address Summers St, Cohasset, Mass.

Card Found in Composition Book, Houston County, TN. Archives & Museum

What a find! This card will be documented and processed with the book as it was found.

Have you received or inherited a collection of books from your ancestors? Make sure you take the time to thumb through each book to see if there are any scraps of paper, ephemera or other items that have been tucked into those books. What you find just might have information that could help you with your genealogy research.




My Legacy Family Tree QuickGuide:

"Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine"