January, 2011


Today is Kansas Day

Today, the State of Kansas marks its 150th anniversary of statehood.  Modern pop culture regards Kansas as quiet, flat, ordinary, and even boring; alternatively it’s portrayed as an idyllic land of sunflower fields.  But neither depiction reflects the reality of historical Kansas. Statehood did not come easy to Kansas.  In the 1850’s, Kansas was the kindling ground that became a …Continue reading →

How to Sell Your Grandmother Guilt-Free

In the last post, we told how our friend Sheri Fenley had been approached by a publisher who asked permission to use a photograph of her grandmother which had appeared on Sheri’s blog.  The publisher apparently had no intent to compensate Sheri although the publisher stood to make a fine sum of money from the publication on the cover of …Continue reading →

Grandma for Sale: A Cautionary Tale

A certain genealogist and  blogger (no names, please, but her initials are s.h.e.r.i.f.e.n.l.e.y.) a few months ago had an interesting proposition: she had a chance to sell her grandmother!  What would you have done? Here’s the tale: Sher, I mean, s.h.e.r.i., had some time ago written a post about her grandmother, Maryellen Harris Skillman, who as a young woman was …Continue reading →

On this King Holiday, Some Personal Memories

Half a century ago, in 1961, my family lived in West Germany (a name of a state now washed away  by history), as my father, an Army captain at the time, finished a tour of duty there. It was time for him, in Armyspeak, to “rotate back to CONUS” (i.e., to return to the continental United States). By early summer, …Continue reading →

Federal Court Research Useless to Genealogists? We Report, You Decide

Last week we reported about PACER, the federal courts’ Public Access to Court Electronic Records system.  We demonstrated how it works, and suggested that it may have some genealogical research value.  Reader Martin has some issues with that post.  In the comments Martin says: How many genealogical brick walls have been broken down via federal court cases?  Not many–possibly none.  …Continue reading →

A Little Bit Closer to Charlotte Manson

Sometimes it seems as if ancestors choose to reveal themselves a little bit at a time.  The records and evidence may be out there somewhere, but they may not be apparent for years. We have noted in this space several times before that I trace my paternal lineage to a Scots woman  named Charlotte Manson.    But she remains a figure …Continue reading →

Finding Federal Court Records for Free [Mostly!]

“Court records” can mean literally anything of public interest filed with the courts.  But some of the juiciest stuff is to be found in criminal cases and civil lawsuits.  Ron Arons has an excellent book out called Wanted:US Criminal Records–Sources & Research Methodology.  He describes the state and federal repositories for these records.  I’ve used his book several times in …Continue reading →

GeneaBlogie 2011

What’s coming up on this blog? It goes without saying that here at GeneaBlogie, we regard the passing of 2010 with the attitude, “good riddance!” It was certainly not one of our better years.  But as the great Satchel Paige said, “Don’t look back, [it] may be gaining on you.”  So we look forward the to what’s coming up in …Continue reading →

January 2011
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