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  • January 2006
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National Archives Genealogy/Family History Website

NARA Genealogy Site

World War II Enlistment Records Online

One great resource available from the U.S. National Archives is the World War II Enlistment Records. These records have been transcribed and made available on the National Archives web site. These records are especially valuable as many of the personnel papers of these soldiers and sailors were later destroyed in a fire.

The National Archives scanned War Department microfilmed punch cards on enlistments to support the reconstruction of the military personnel records at its National Personnel Records Center…The cards were eventually microfilmed for long-term preservation.

Nine million records were later transcribed manually by humans who sat and read the microfilms and transcribed the information onto keyboards. Due to the condition of the microfilms, approximately 1.5 million records could not be scanned. Scanning problems when the microfilms were created also contributed to the errors. Despite these challenges, information about a majority of sixteen million World War II servicemen and women is available via the web site…

The U.S. National Archives says spot checks show that approximately 35% of these records have an error. However, only 4.7% of the sample had an error in the name column, and only 1.3% had errors in the serial number column. Therefore, the National Archives made the determination that a lot of valuable information is available in this database, even with the errors. The database was released and placed online…

Each record provides the enlistee’s serial number and name, state, and county of residence, place of enlistment, date of enlistment, grade, branch, term of enlistment, place of birth, year of birth, citizenship, race, education, civilian occupation, marital status, and component…

This online database also contains information on more than 130,000 women who enlisted in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.

The Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File can provide much information of interest to genealogists. It is especially useful for date and place of birth, even though it does not show parents’ names. At least you will find out where to look for a birth record.

The Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File is available free of charge as one of the databases within the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration’s "Access to Archival Databases" (AAD) at http://www.archives.gov/aad.

from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Free Genealogy Software for Download

Legacy Family Tree – Standard Edition

http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/

Personal Ancestral File 5.2

http://www.familysearch.org/eng/paf/

West Virginia State Hospital For Colored Insane, 1930 Index of Inmates

http://www.blacksheepancestors.com/usa/west_virginia_insane.shtml

What Was Your Ancestor’s Property Worth?

Genealogists often find references to money in old deeds and other documents. Even U.S. census records frequently recorded estimates of a person’s real estate. The naturally question is, "I wonder what that would equal in today’s dollars?" There is a Web site that can answer this question.

S. Morgan Friedman’s Inflation Calculator can convert a U.S. dollar amount for any year from 1800 through 2005 into the equivalent amount, adjusted for inflation, in any other year of that range. In other words, if you find that your ancestor purchased land for $400 in 1805, the Inflation Calculator will tell you that the money he spent is equivalent to a purchase of $4,915.18 in 2005.

The pre-1975 data comes from the Consumer Price Index statistics published in the Historical Statistics of the United States (USGPO, 1975). All data since then is from the annual Statistical Abstracts of the United States. You can access the Inflation Calculator at: http://www.westegg.com/inflation

from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Announcing Internet Genealogy Magazine

The following is an announcement from Moorshead Publications:

The publishers of Family Chronicle are pleased to announce the launch of a new magazine, Internet Genealogy. As the title implies, the magazine will deal primarily with conducting genealogy research using the resources of the Internet.

Halvor Moorshead, publisher of Family Chronicle, says, "Although genealogy is more popular than ever before, newcomers to the field are overwhelmingly conducting their research using the Internet. Most of them limit their searches to Google because they don’t know what else to do. Sometimes they find a family tree that includes their known ancestors and takes them back generations. There is nothing wrong with this but it is only scratching the surface. Many traditional genealogists have been disdainful about the ‘net. They tell you the information cannot be verified, that it is full of errors and that, in any case, only a fraction of the records are available. I admit that I held this view for some years but the rate at which new databases are coming online is staggering and many of these new records are linked to the original images, making them effectively original sources".

A 24-page preview copy of Internet Genealogy is featured in Family Chronicle’s Jan/Feb 2006 issue with several sample articles. This preview copy can also be downloaded from Internet Genealogy’s website, www.internet-genealogy.com.

Internet Genealogy’s first full length issue will be available on newsstands and to subscribers in late February, with a cover date of May 2006.

Internet Genealogy will be published six times a year with a subscription price of $28 (US) however, for a limited time, Internet Genealogy is available at an introductory subscription rate of $20 US.

For more information, please see: www.internet-genealogy.com.

from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

National Archives Features Freedmen’s Bureau Records

The following is an announcement from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration:

The National Archives marks the completion of the first phase of a five-year effort to preserve and make available the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau with two panel discussions on Friday, Jan. 13, and a special document display as part of a series of programs highlighting "The Road to Freedom."

Original Freedmen’s Bureau documents will be on display Jan. 17 through Feb. 16 in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building. These records document the Bureau’s efforts to assist African Americans as they made the transition from slavery to freedom. Exhibit Hall hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

The programs are free and open to the public. The National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., is located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, N.W., and is fully accessible. Reservations for programs can be made by e-mail (reservations.nwe@nara.gov) or telephone (202-357-5000).

from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

North Carolina plantation tracks family tree of slaves

The state historic site that was once North Carolina’s largest plantation is trying to draw the family trees of all the slaves held at Stagville.

For more than a century, the names of the enslaved men and women who built the plantation have been hidden away in the tax records, bills of sale and personal letters of the people who held them as property.

Two years ago, a researcher began using names pulled from the records of Stagville owners and early UNC-Chapel Hill trustees Duncan Cameron and Richard Bennehan to document the names and family ties.

The owners kept records not for genealogy, but for business purposes like recording profits or sales or taxes.

The result is believed to be the most extensive family tree of enslaved blacks in the nation even, though it’s unfinished.

Jennifer Farley has woven together the family connections of 973 of Stagville’s enslaved blacks. She’s the director of the Stagville state historic site, which is what’s left of the plantation that once sprawled across parts of Durham, Orange, Wake and Granville counties.

Family History Center Microfilm Rental Fees Increase

The following is an excerpt from an announcement to all Family History Center Directors from the Family History Support department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

The microfilm circulation loan fees will be changed effective 15 January 2006.

  • Loan fees for microfilm will change from $3.25 to $5.50.
  • Microfiche fees will remain at 15ยข per fiche.
  • All renewals, including films ordered at the $3.25 fee, will be renewed at the new rate of $5.50.

This fee change, the first since February 1997, is needed to keep pace with increasing costs. Continue to use the current Microfilm and Microfiche Order Card (35068) and Microfilm and Microfiche Order Sheet (31895)

Please note that the new fees still include return postage.

from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

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