Monday, June 26, 2017

The End of Microfilm Lending

Microfilm Aisle at Family History Library, Salt Lake
In case you missed this announcement yesterday, there was big news coming from FamilySearch. They will no longer be lending microfilm to local Family History Centers or affiliate libraries come September 1st. It is the end of the microfilm era for researchers. While not unexpected, I am surprised to hear this now. I had expected it to come about in about a year or so. FamilySearch is digitizing all of their records and has a large amount (over 1.5 million!) done. They expect to have all records digitized by 2020. Also, the manufacturers of microfilm are closed or closing down and they can't get more of the blank material to create microfilms. While I'm sad to see an era pass, I am excited about the new developments and can't wait to see what happens next!

Below is the full announcement copied from our friends at FamilySearch for your reference:

Family History Microfilm Discontinuation

On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services.  (The last day to order microfilm will be on August 31, 2017.)
The change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.
• Online access to digital images of records allows FamilySearch to reach many more people, faster and more efficiently.
• FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections.
• Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide.
• The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.
• Family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home.
Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in 3 places on under Search.
• Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.
• Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.
• Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.
When approved by priesthood leaders, centers may continue to maintain microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch after microfilm ordering ends. Centers have the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day, Anniversary, and Paint

It is Father's Day; it is Rich's and my sixth wedding anniversary. I am exhausted. Rich is exhausted. What are we planning for today? Painting some part of 3 different rooms in high humidity and a possible severe thunderstorm this afternoon.

It is crunch time to get the painting done. I expect the next two weeks will be crazy; for those that don't already know, we are moving. In honor of Father's Day, I am re-posting last year's post about my Dad.

From last year's Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings Saturday Challenge:
1)  Sunday, 19 June, is Father's Day.  Let's celebrate by writing a blog post about our father, or another significant male ancestor (e.g., a grandfather).
Gordon J. Ward

 I found it hard to focus on one aspect of my father to write about. My thoughts were too scattered, especially as I try to get everything back together after a week away from home and many hours on the road. Even though he wasn't interested in genealogy, Dad would have liked the road trip aspect of our vacation. Last year and this, while on our trip to Alabama, I did something that he had once talked about doing. We had often been to the northern terminus of I-81 where it crosses into Canada north of Watertown, However, Dad had the ambition of getting from one end to the other of it someday. Someday, he wanted to reach the southern end of I-81 in Dandridge, TN. I was thinking of him Friday evening when we swung off I-40 and onto the start of I-81. 
Somewhere on Facebook, and I don't even remember now who posted this, there was a series of questions to fill in about Dad. Here are my answers. Some things would be obviously different if my brothers were to answer them as different tv shows were on when they were kids and time had passed with changes in tastes, but I would guess many of these would be fairly consistent across the years. 

1. He is sitting in front of the tv, what is he watching? M*A*S*H, any sit-com, sports
2. You are out to eat, what kind of dressing does he get? French
3. Name a food he hates: mushrooms
4. You go out to eat and have a drink, what would he order? Meat and potatoes type entrée with a diet soda
5. Favorite kind of music? 70’s era country
6. What is his nickname for you? Susie Q, Sukey Wukey
7. If he could collect one thing, what would it be? Fun times; he didn’t really collect any physical items
8. What would he eat every day if he could? Hamburg (or other beef), mashed potatoes, ice cream or pie for dessert
9. What is his favorite cereal? Corn Flakes
10. What would he never wear? A short-sleeve shirt (after he had been burned severely anyway)
11. What is his favorite sports team? Yankees
12. What is something you do he wishes you wouldn't? Get upset/cry easily- I show emotions very easily
13. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind is it? Any would have been fine, but he’d prefer a pie.
14. Favorite sport? Baseball/softball for actual sport. He really enjoyed walking/short hikes though.
15. What could he spend all day doing? Sitting in a campground, relaxing, reading a newspaper- Enquirer was a favorite- and people watching or chatting with anybody that came by
16. What is something he does consistently? Loved to have fun. No matter what the job was, he tried to make it fun in some way. I remember working in the convenience store that my brother co-owned with him. We had to clean all the shelves where canned goods and such were. A long tedious job, well, he’d have 2 of us compete to see who could get a length done the fastest (while of course actually cleaning it) and then give a prize to the winner. A can of soda or a bag of chips or something. Of course, the looser would probably get the same prize, but it was just to create some fun so it didn’t seem as bad a task.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Your Grandmother Wears Army Boots

“Your grandmother wears Army boots,” was once a taunt on the playground. Of course, women didn’t serve in the military during those times. Or did they? The photographs below show a woman in WWI era Army nurse’s uniforms. Well, my grandmother did indeed wear Army boots. The photos depict her upon enlistment and later on the base of Fort Sam Houston in Brownsville, Texas.

Alice Valentine Jennings was not a typical young woman of her times. At the age of 19, she had left home saying goodbye to her parents to never see them again. Setting off on a small skiff in the harbor at Cobh, Ireland, she was soon boarding the ship RMS Laconia. Along with her older sister Elizabeth, she was on her way to America.

Within two years of arriving in Boston, she had left her waitressing job and completed a course in nursing through Long Island Hospital, located in the harbor of Boston. This hospital was one for poor people with contagious diseases. There, the Boston government sponsored a program for young women of little means to becoming registered nurses.

Alice worked at Boston Women’s Hospital for about a year in the children’s ward where they called her “Miss Jenny”. The United States was entering World War I. She had heard that the army was offering citizenship with shorter residency requirements for men who entered the army. Knowing not much more about it, she stepped into a recruiter’s office and asked: “What about the nurses? Will you help us become citizens as well?”

On January 26, 1918, Alice Jennings of Roxbury, Massachusetts received her appointment in the Army Nurse Corps. And on January 29th took her oath of office. She was on her way to Texas.

While at Fort Sam Houston she worked with other nurses in support of the Calvary. They guarded our border. Pancho Villa, a hero of the Mexican Revolution, had been creating trouble there, making raids back and forth across the border. United States Intelligence recently intercepted the Zimmerman telegram hinting that an invasion through Mexico might be imminent. All in all, it was a busy place.

Alice kept a photograph album during this time. That is where we found these two pictures. In the album appeared pictures of many of her friends, both nurses, and men from the Calvary. As you flip through the album, there is one man who begins to appear in more of the pictures. A young soldier named Marion Wooster from the small town of Lysander, in upstate New York.

Two dates stand out during Alice's time in the Army. On December 1, 1919, in a naturalization ceremony, she becomes a citizen of the United States. At this time, not only did few women serve in the army, but also few obtained citizenship on their own. It was a time period where a minor child would become naturalized automatically if their father did and foreign women gained citizenship upon marriage to a US citizen as well as female citizens losing it if they married a man who was a citizen of another country.

The other date soon follows. A little over two months later, on February 18, 1920, Alice married Marion in a simple ceremony in Brownsville, Texas. My grandmother did indeed wear Army boots.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Jefferson County 3rd Annual Genealogy Fair

This Genealogy Fair isn't coming up until September, but mark your calendars. I was able to get to it last year and it is a nice event. Although small, it concentrates on just one county, so there is a lot of good information available there. The people staffing the booths are very knowledgeable about their areas. Oh- and did I mention there's a barbecue lunch available for purchase? Feed your brain and your stomach!