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 1, # 5

Researching Military Service Records

As we are all aware, genealogy research takes us into a world of literally volumes and volumes of written records. Our hope is that each and every person we research will have left some kind of records behind that will aid us in learning more about the person and lead us in the right direction in tracing that particular family surname.

Of these seemingly endless amounts of paper, are the records kept on those individuals who were involved in some form of military service. Not only can be found records of actual military service but supporting records. Supporting records may be categorized as…


Bounty-Land Grants




Military Census Records


(First census taken in 1840 and the second in 1890).


Muster Rolls


Pension Records


Prisoners of War


Unit Rosters


An excellent resource now available on the Internet is located on Heritage Quest. Selected Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications may now be located and printed for service personnel. In the way of a side note, ‘Selected’ refers to only certain documents in the folders relating to military service. However, by personally visiting the National Archives or one of its Branches, the COMPLETE folder, which would include ALL documents, may be copied.


Should an ancestor have served during the so-called ‘Colonial Wars’ from 1607 – 1774, these records usually listed just the name and unit in which they served. The phrase ‘Colonial Wars’ refers to the following involvements…


King Philip’s War ~ 1675 – 1676


King William’s War ~ 1689 – 1697


Queen Anne’s War ~ 1702 – 1713


King George’s War ~ 1744 – 1748


French and Indian War ~ 1754 – 1763


The National Archives maintains service records for the years from 1775 – 1912. War records after 1912 are under the jurisdiction of the Veteran’s Administration.


As one can conclude, there are many, many records from a military standpoint to consider and to research. Hopefully, these records will give even more insight into the lives of those who fought for their beliefs and values, and, for their families and friends.


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Genealogy Workshop


FACT: In 1798, Congress passed the first direct tax on homes, land and slaves to pay for the resurrected navy and a new, larger army.


TIP: While a direct ancestor may not have military service or pension records, in many instances it pays to look for service and pension records of family members. Important genealogical leads or answers may be found in their records that would otherwise be missed!


Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 1, # 4

Genealogy Courses

There’s an old adage that’s been around for years that goes ‘You learn something new everyday’. No matter where we are in life, this can be a truth each day.

It may be you’re a novice at genealogy and haven’t really gotten that far in your research or you’ve been at the hobby like I have for many years. Whatever stage you’re at, it always helps to have knowledge of the different aspects of genealogy that one may find themselves involved with in their search for ancestors.


Most of us are aware of the many volumes that have already been published on ‘How to’ for genealogy studies. However, did you know there are courses available online that can help you with a trove of information?


You’ll find that some of the offerings are FREE and others require a fee.


Several such courses are offered by Brigham Young University ( and fall in the NO CHARGE category. Their class lists includes ‘Finding Your Ancestors’, ‘Introduction to Family History Research’, ‘Helping Children Love Your Family History’, ‘Family Records’, ‘Vital Records’, ‘Military Records’; even a course on ‘Huguenot Research’.


Another excellent site for studies is the National Genealogical Society ( which offers an intensive home study course. Be prepared for fees from $85 (course ONLY) up to $565 (Full 16 lesson series - graded for the VERY serious researcher).


There’s also the National Institute for Genealogical Studies ( , ( , DearMYRTLE’s Joy of Genealogy ( and Rootsweb’s Guide to Tracing Family Trees ( to learn in-depth.


There are several reasons why such classes are useful. You can learn from the comfort of your own home, meet other researchers who are working in the same area of genealogy (or even family) as you are, refine your genealogical abilities, for certification or just simply to increase your proficiency in family history study.


Something to think about.


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Genealogy Workshop


FACT: 400 years ago a middle name was NOT allowed in England. It was illegal!


TIP: Don’t forget to check church minutes for ‘Banns of Marriage’. This would have been a public announcement in church, usually over a three-week period of a couple’s intent to marry. Since the Clerk of the Court charged a fee for a marriage bond, this practice made for an excellent alternative.

Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 1, # 3

Library Genealogy Databases and New Books

If you couldn’t make it this past Friday evening, June 2nd, you missed a GREAT experience with our ‘Sitting Up with the Dead’ night in the Heritage Room. We had a VERY enjoyable evening of researching, eating and conversation with an ANXIOUS group of people wanting to do genealogy with even some from out-of-state, namely Tennessee and even one from Georgia! The night was a HUGE success and, yes, we WILL be doing it again!

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Many researchers are not aware of the online databases being offered by the library. Currently, there are three (3) that may be utilized FREE OF CHARGE (except for copies which are 15 cents per page).


The first service is By far, the largest collection of databases on the Internet, genealogists can search over 4 billion names for genealogy information ranging in scope from census, vital records and family histories to court, land, probate and military records, to name just a few.


Secondly, is Heritage Quest Online. An online source of Revolutionary War records, Bounty-Land warrants, PERSI, family and local histories, as well as Federal census records from 1790 to 1930 for clues and answers to family history puzzles. An added bonus to this service is that any card-carrying patron of the Huntsville Library can access the wealth of information on Heritage Quest from their home computer. All you need to have is your 4-digit PIN number. PIN numbers may be obtained from the main service desk at any of our locations.


And, finally, the newest addition is The New England Historic Genealogical Society. If you have ancestors who were from the area, you need to visit the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s online collection of over 2,200 family research databases which currently contain access to over 110 million names.


Also, we’ve added more to our collection of new titles that can now be found in the Heritage Room.


Alabama Obituaries and Death Notices from the Gadsden Times, 1900 - 1905 by Brenda Headrick and Julie Martin


(H 976.167 Hea)


Bible, Family and Marriage Records: Gleaned from Pension Applications by Deidre Burridge Dagner (H 355.1 Lu, Vol. # 22)


The Diary of Johann Gottfried Arends by Jo White Linn


(H 284.1756 Are)


Index to the Twenty-Four Volumes of Cemetery and Bible Records Published by the Mississippi Genealogical Society


(H 976.2 Mis)


Kanawha County (WV) Images: A Bicentennial History, 1788 - 1988 by Stan Cohen


(H 975.437 Coh)


Musgrave to Mosgrove 1066 - 1979: Allied Families - Squire, Keller, Shaffer, Truby, Graff, Brown, Gillespie and Ross by Glenna James Mosgrove (H 929.2 Mos)


South by Southwest: The Saga of Isaac Brinker and His Descendants by Carrol D. Cagle


(H 929.2 Cag)


Unionists and the Civil War Experience in the Shenandoah Valley, Vol. 1 by David S. Rodes and Norman R. Wenger


(H 973.7097 Uni, Vol. 1)


1765 Chester County, Pennsylvania Archives by Katharine F. Dix (H 974.813 Dix)


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… and from the ‘Genealogy Workshop’…


FACT: Many early bounty land application files were destroyed in War Department fires in 1800 and 1814. Remaining papers have been combined with the Revolutionary pensions and are available on microfilm.


TIP: When working with deeds, they will be indexed under both seller and buyer. Depending on the county, there might be separate indexes: one for the Grantor (or seller), sometimes called a Direct Index, and one for the Grantee (or buyer), sometimes called an Indirect Index. And, in some cases, the Grantors and Grantees may be listed together in one volume called a General Index.


Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 1, # 2

Big Plans and New Addition!

This month I’ve got not ONE but TWO REALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS that should be of interest to everyone!!

You may have heard someone else comment in the Heritage Room, “ If ya’ll will just make sure the doors are locked, I would LOVE to spend the night up here working on my research.”


The Huntsville Heritage Room is VERY pleased to announce the FIRST annual genealogy night to fulfill all of those wishes of working on genealogy well into the night.


On Friday, June 2nd, the Heritage Room will be hosting “Sitting Up With The Dead: Genealogy For Night Owls” starting at 6 PM and going to Midnight. Doors will open at 5:45 PM for registration and packet information. The program will include supper, refreshments, gifts and door prizes. Seating WILL be limited so sign up EARLY!


Also included will be the availability of research help in the form of volunteers with experience in lineage research, county records, vital statistics and computer genealogy who will assist you with any questions you may have during the evening.


Genealogical and historical books will be offered for sale (GREAT PRICES) … AND… even though library computers will be available, bring your laptops! You can key-in your research right away to your ancestor software program or computer notepad.


All of this for a cost of $20.00/person. Checks and registration forms MUST be received NO LATER than May 26th. For further information, you can contact the Heritage Room staff at 532-5969. All proceeds will benefit the Heritage Room collection.




The second BIG NEWS for those who may still be unaware… the Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society will be hosting their annual genealogical seminar THIS Saturday, May 6th from 9 AM to 4 PM in the auditorium of the Huntsville Public Library. The speaker will be Teresa Farris, author of ’From England - To Barbados - To Carolina, 1670 - 1700: The Founding of Charles Town’, who will be presenting programs on South Carolina research and will try to assist with ‘those cases you’ve been struggling with’ (to quote the TVGS flyer). ‘One on one discussions with the guest speaker’ will be from 3:30 - 4:00 PM!


Lunch, coffee and refreshments will be included as well as book displays and door prizes. The registration fee for this all day seminar is $ 35.00.


So there you have it! Two WONDERFUL genealogical opportunities to experience!!


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A new feature in the newsletter this time is what I am calling ’The Genealogy Workbook’. In future editions of the ’Workbook’ , I will be offering those facts and tips I mentioned in the last newsletter. To start off in this issue…


FACT: If your research goes back ten (10) generations (approx. 300 - 350 years), you have 1,024 ancestors.


TIP: Watch out for the terms “Sr.” and “Jr.” in documents. It may not necessarily indicate a father and son relationship. Many times, it was used to distinguish between two people in an area with the same name. They could be related as uncle and nephew or other manner, or not even related at all. When they were related, when “Sr.” died, “Jr.” often became “Sr.” and if the later died and also had a son by the same name, that son would become “Jr.”


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Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 1, # 1

Welcome to the first edition of the genealogy newsletter now being offered by the Huntsville – Madison County Public Library’s Heritage Room. Our kickoff today has been planned to coincide with our celebration of National Library Week (this week).


My name is Richard White (email: rwhite [at] hmcpl [dot] org) and I will be the Editor for this monthly e-newsletter. I am currently employed as the library’s Computer Genealogy Librarian and can be found in the Heritage Room located on third floor of the Main Library. I also offer, at present, a Genealogy Online Class once a month in the Gates Computer Lab, also on third floor.


This newsletter will be exploring the world of genealogy and all of its aspects. Here you will find facts and tips to assist you in your family research.


If you have any comments or suggestions for subjects you would like to see offered, please feel free to email me and let me know what your interests are in genealogy.


In this issue…


What’s New in the Heritage Room


Book Titles ~


500 Brickwall Solutions to Genealogy Problems by the Publishers of Family Chronicle Magazine (H 929.1072 Fiv)


Death Seemed to Stare: New Hampshire & Rhode Island Regiments at Valley Forge by Joseph Lee Boyle (H 973.34 Boy)


Fendall Hall – A True Story of Good Times and Bad Times on the


Chattahoochee River by Charles M. Crook (H 976.132 Cro)


Flint River Baptist Association Minutes, 1814 – 2004 (H 286.176 Fli)


History of Smith County, Mississippi (H 976.2582 Smi)


Louisiana’s German Coast – A History of St. Charles Parish by Henry E. Yoes, III


(H 976.333 Yoe)


Navarro County (TX) History by Wyvonne Putman (H 976.4282 Put)


Norwegian Connections from Arctic Fjord to American Prairie by Judy Jacobson (H 929.2 Jac)


Organizing Your Family History Search by Sharon D. Carmack


(H 929.1 Car)


Publications of the Arkansas Historical Association ~ 3 Vols.


(H 976.7 Ark)


The Great Migration – Immigrants to New England, 1634 – 1635 Vol. IV, I – L by Robert Charles Anderson (H 929.374 And)


The Pictorial History of Fayetteville and Lincoln County, Tennessee by Patricia A. Lindquist


(H 976.8624 Lin)


The World War One Source Book by Philip J. Haythornthwaite


(H 940.3 Hay)


Two Centuries in Elizabethtown and Hardin County, Kentucky by Daniel E. McClure, Jr.


(H 976.9845 Mac)


While Our Hearts Were Young (Vol. I) by Tommy Towery


(H 976.197 Tow)



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