Tuesday, March 20, 2012

12 Days Until the 1940 Census Opens

1940 censusEarlier this month, Legacy Family Tree Webinars hosted Thomas MacEntee’s Navigating the 1940 Census. It was so good, I suggested it be bought for our society library and Ray Baalman, our illustrious librarian, did just that! So in a week or so, you can view the CD at the Richland Family History Center and learn all you need to about accessing your family members in the 1940 census even without having an index.

Speaking of which, have you signed up to index the 1940 census with TCGS? Just contact John Covey, our TCGS President, to get your name on our list. It is possible there are incentives for our society if we can help with the indexing. If you are already indexing, it is just a matter of adding your work to the society totals, at least that is the understanding.

And, for those of you who want to go one step further and really understand why censuses were created (and surprise, surprise, they were not created so genealogists could find their ancestors), the attitude of the people about censuses and why some of our ancestors resisted being counted in the census, you may want to listen to the podcast Beyond Numbers: A History of the US Census from the website Backstory with the American History Guys, http://tinyurl.com/4ae9da4.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bibles and Genealogy

Last night brought us another excellent presentation from Susan Davis Faulkner, past president of TCGS. Susan’s witty and thorough coverage of why and how to use Bibles for our genealogical research was outstanding.

TCGS’ monthly general meeting was held at the Mid-Columbia Library to celebrate the exhibit Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible. How wonderful to learn we were only one of two cities in the whole state of Washington to be a part of  this special exhibition. Thanks to Susan and Michael, MCL staff member, for arranging for this wonderful and unique opportunity, the exhibit of several locally-owned Bibles and Susan’s informative presentation.

Susan gave us some good background on the existence of Bibles in our world. Did you know that it took 350 years after the King James Bible was first written for another Bible to take its place along side it? Wow! That’s staying power if there ever was any. And, to be sure, the KJV has not been replaced. Many people today still use it in spite of a handful of other versions.

Because the “family Bible” was a precious commodity, many people chose not to write their family data in it. In spite of this, the Bible owned by your family may still holds pieces of gold. People often kept such important documents as deeds, wills, bonds and land records in their Bible. In addition, one might also find funeral cards, pictures, letters, locks of hair and pressed flowers. Most of these can be used to enhance your genealogical research.

Bibles are especially useful for research because vital records are more rare than one would think. In essence, they are, except for a few instances, a 20th century invention, while the Bible has been around since 1611. Of course, many of the other written records or pictures that wind up in Bibles are also pretty modern concepts, so hopefully your ancestors took the time to record your family’s heritage in the family Bible.

The Manifold Greatness Exhibition will be at the Mid-Columbia Library until the end of March. At 7pm, Thursday, March 22nd, there will be another presentation entitled, “A Visual History of the King James Bible” with author and scholar Donald Brake, Ph.D. In addition, the movie Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible will be showing at Fairchild Cinemas in Pasco, 7pm Thursday, March 29. Both the presentation and movie are free.

King James Bible