Bones Collector

Thank you for visiting our latest innovative genealogy tool that will keep you up-to-date on all the happenings in the genealogy world both locally and elsewhere. As your guide and 'Head Bones Collector' for this blog, the primary goal is to provide information that can be referred to over and over again. We're very glad you stopped by! Visit us in person on 3rd floor of the Main Library in the Heritage Room!

Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 2, # 5

EDITOR'S NOTE: This month I’m pleased to introduce an article ("ContentDM") written by the first guest writer for ‘Ancestor Searching’, Susanna Leberman. Susanna has been serving in the capacity this summer of library intern in the Huntsville Heritage Room. The following article is her offering for this issue of the newsletter.

In recent years, more and more genealogists have begun to embrace the Internet as a helpful tool in reconstructing details that illuminate and enrich knowledge about family and ancestral legacies. In utilizing the Internet and online databases for personal research and information gathering, one exciting new program to be aware of is CONTENTdm, which stands for Digital Collection Management Software (

Through this new program, a vast national and international network of historical collections have been made free and accessible to the public. This new CONTENTdm network consists of various institutions including: University Collections, historical societies, public libraries and archives. The Huntsville Madison County Public Library is one such institution aligning with other contributing partners ( to group information together and utilize CONTENTdm software in efforts to make an online digital repository for researches interested in Alabama’s cultural history.

Alabama Mosaic ( is an online repository where researchers may view photographs, diaries, and letters pertaining to Alabama. This statewide data base continues, week by week, to grow as the contributing partners scan and upload new information to the database. Alabama Mosaic, made possible by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, is administered by the Network of Alabama Libraries ( It is designed to help people find information, pictures, and documents on the local level. For example, a person might learn that their grand father attended Joe Bradley School. A person could go to Alabama Mosaic home site ( and type “Joe Bradley School” in the “Search Collection For” box that is provided at the top of the page. This particular search will take you to:, and here the researcher may view school photographs, descriptions, a brief history, school location, and other informative links.

For broader searchers of national databases, content dm’s home page ( offers featured e-collections, various ways of searching by region, media type, organization type, or name. The customer collections page, will also provide additional links to other specific collections who use the CONTENTdm software. Both CONTENTdm and Alabama Mosaic are examples of new and interesting approaches to information gathering. There are pictures to find, diaries to read, and letters to explore, all from the comfort of your home or local library.

Genealogy Workshop

Fact: An excellent article on caring for old photographs can be found on the Suite 101 website. (

Tip: If you looking for photos of ancestors, you might also want to try searching on DeadFred Genealogy Photo Archive. Not only can you search for photos but also upload photos for others to find.

Genealogy News

Mention was made in the May and June issues of ‘Ancestor Searching’ concerning the library’s genealogy seminar to be offered in the fall. The date is set for Saturday, October 27th in the Main library auditorium. The program is Cherokee/Native American research and will be presented by Lorna Morton. Ms. Morton has been Tribal Genealogist for the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama as well as an educator and lecturer. Her topics will include: Cherokee & Southeast Native American Research; The Five Civilized Tribes; Indian Censuses and Enrollment Records; Internet Sites; Published Records and Microfilm Sources. With more than 40 years of experience, Ms. Morton has conducted classes in Alabama colleges and at various genealogical meetings. She has been active in the preservation of Cherokee history, records of Etowah County, Alabama , working with the Alabama State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah. The program is set to run from 9: 30 AM – 2: 30 PM (probably longer with Q & A). The cost will be $ lunch included. Registration deadline is Wednesday, October 1st so as to allow enough time to prepare handout materials for each person (per request of Ms. Morton). You don’t want to miss this one! Tell your friends! Phone 532.5969 for reservations.

Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 2, # 4

This month's newsletter will deviate from previous issues in that all of the information will be coverage of some of the most recent news and events taking place in the field of genealogy.

Have an ancestor who came to America through the port at New York? You can search for FREE the Ellis Island/Port of New York database at The years covered are from 1892 to 1954. President Benjamin Harrison designated the site as the first Federal immigration station. It's estimated that over 12 million immigrants passed through the portal.

For those individuals with a 'bent' towards the 'techie' side, check out the new genealogy software program 'GRAMPS' at The software runs on any computer system using Linux or Windows operating systems. It's also FREE!!

From comes news of the addition of the U.S. Indian Census records covering the years 1885-1940. The Indian Census schedules are census rolls usually submitted each year by agents or superintendents in charge of Indian reservations, as required by an act of 4 July 1884 (23 Stat. 98). The data on the rolls varies to some extent. For certain years – including 1935, 1936, 1938, and 1939 – only supplemental rolls of additions and deletions were compiled. Information contained in the database includes: name (Indian and/or English), gender, age, birth date, relationship to head of family, marital status, tribe name, agency name, and reservation name. Most of the rolls for the year 1940 were retained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and are not included in the database. Rolls were not required to be submitted after 1940 so only a few post-1940 records are included here. NOTE: There is not a census for every reservation or group of Indians for every year.

FamilyLink offers the opportunity to make contact and communicate with expert researchers around the world who are actually local residents and willing to perform work for others who might otherwise not be able to research in person. Go to the PRWeb website - for details.

Wonder if you might be related to Princess Diana? Then, you may be interested in knowing there's a new book out entitled "The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve Generations," by Atlanta-based genealogist Richard Evans. Read more about it on Dick Eastman's blog at

ProQuest has announced that it will offer digital access to a select group of Colonial State Papers through a partnership with The National Archives (TNA) in the United Kingdom. These documents cover the years 1574 - 1757 and release of this collection, scheduled for this fall, coincides with 2007 being the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first British colony in Jamestown, Virginia. ProQuest is part of Cambridge Information Group ( ).

Even though not really, really new, an innovative website to experience is the Genealogy Guys Podcast site Their podcast is the longest continuous running genealogy podcast in the world.

If you need some hints for dating photos through clothing and hairstyles, Olive Tree Genealogy has two pages of information on what to look for when trying to date photographs. Those URL's are and

The New England Historic Genealogical Society has added more than 500,000 new searchable names to its electronic databases, available to members via their Web site,

And finally, this is the most unique and intriguing news item that has just been released to the genealogy public on July 1st. Go to the GenealogyPays website and find out about the genealogy contest, yes, contest that is being offered.

DISCLAIMER NOTICE: Inclusion of information and links to websites should not be construed as endorsement or affiliation by either the Editor of this newsletter or the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. Download and use of online software programs are the sole responsibility and at the discretion of the individual user. The Library assumes no liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions.

Genealogy Workshop

Fact: If you or someone you know has ever had an ancestor who was a keeper in the U.S. Lighthouse Service, information may be available on their service. These records would be for the years prior to 1919 and are housed in the headquarters building of the National Archives in Washington, DC. Visit the Archive site at or write them directly at National Archives and Records Administration, 7th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408.

Tip: Personnel Records for those who served in lighthouses prior to the Lighthouse Service's merger with the Coast Guard in 1939 should also contact the National Archives as the primary repository for all of the records concerning the Lighthouse Establishment and Service. Address postal letters to the attention of the 'Textual Records' section when writing the Archives for these records.

Ordnance Survey – Great Britain's national mapping agency

From the Get-A-Map website... "free improved mapping service from Ordnance Survey. You can search for maps anywhere in the UK simply by entering the place name, full postcode or National Grid reference - and print the maps or copy them for use on your personal or business website*." (*Terms and Conditions apply) Excellent genealogy resource for UK research.

National Archives Releasing Military Records

Military Personnel Records of servicemen prior to 1946 are now beginning to be released to the public in stages. Eventually, over 57 million individual records will be available. Read the news release on the National Coalition for History website.

Genealogy News

October is Family History Month. Here’s some food for thought . . .

"To understand a nation, one must first understand its history. The history is more than the laws and dates of major events. History lies in the daily life of the people for it is the people who make a nation. To ignore the lives of those who have gone before us is to negate their ideas, dreams and accomplishments. It robs us of the warp in the fabric of our own lives. And, each person's life is a thread woven into the tapestry that is that nation." Author unknown.

Editor’s Note: If you recognize the source of this quote, please email the Editor at the address at the bottom of the page so that proper credit may be given.

Exciting News from

If you're like many researchers, you want to know more than just names and dates(birth, marriage and death) about ancestors. Or, you may be compiling a family history book to be published about a particular family and desiring more information.

Then be sure to visit the Mormon church website on major news concerning local and county histories!

Go to News and read about the latest and greatest news!

Syndicate content