Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Follow-Up From Oct Workshop: Answer To WHY Take An Inventory?

Our recent EWGS October workshop featured a presentation on Probate Records by member Susan Beamer. I sent her a follow-up question asking WHY did every little thing have to be listed in an inventory? Wouldn’t and why not the widow just get everything?? Here is her answer: 

 In order to disperse the estate to the heirs, you have to know what's there. Part of that is anything owed the estate (anything the deceased lent--money or otherwise) or any outstanding bills the deceased owed themselves. They collect what is owed.  So the bills are paid first out of what is left of the estate. If things have to be sold to do that, then they are sold. This is especially true when people die without a will--intestate. What is left is then dispersed to the heirs. Most often heirs of those who die intestate aren't wealthy and there are enough of them (often enough) that everything sellable is sold, pooled and divided by the number of heirs, given as cash.

When people die with a will, the will sets out what heirs get. Wills are most common when there is real property and larger items. With a will, unless the deceased was in debt, you often don't know what is in the estate. They will say the wife can have use of what is left after debts are paid for the rest of her life, or the other--she can have what she brought to the marriage, meaning she basically gets nothing from his estate only what she brought in. Then after the wife dies, typically one of the kids gets the rest of the estate.

I've not seen where the widow's items are sold. If it is his estate, all those things of hers are really his. Then, if he was in debt when he died, they will sell all they can to pay the debt, even things the widow would need. Unless she can prove some items she brought with her to the marriage (dowry), but then again, depending on the time and laws, once they marry, all of her things are his. There probably are exceptions for the last couple hundred years, but not many.

Friday, October 16, 2020

WPA & CCC October Workshop Handout.... in case you missed it.


Forging Ahead: The WPA & The CCC

By Donna Potter Phillips, Donna243@gmail.com, please do not use without permission.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on 6 May 1933, signed into law the Works Progress Administration (WPA). FDR was elected president because he had a plan to bring America out of the Great Depression. His 3-part plan called for relief, recovery and reform, and he was willing to commit federal dollars to achieve this plan for America. The goal of the WPA was to employ most of the unemployed people until the economy recovered. The WPA put men to work building airports, dams, highways, roads, bridges, schools, courthouses, hospitals, post offices, museums, community centers and swimming pools, playgrounds, zoos and much more. By June, 1941, the government had spent $11,000,000 on projects which would be $186 billion today.

Besides all those building projects, the WPA created programs of employment for those involved in the arts, education, historians, archeologists, geologists and researchers. The “best thing” for genealogists to come from the WPA was the compiled inventories of manuscript collections…. Burial listings in cemeteries, federal and state census indexes, naturalization records indexes, newspaper indexes, inventories of courthouse and church records and compiling historical oral narratives of slaves, immigrants and Native Americans.

Another project of the WPA was the establishment of the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps. This program, operational between 1933-1942, was established to provide employment to unmarried men between the ages of 17-28 and some 2,000,000 men were enrolled. The men were paid $25 per month and all were required to send $20 of that home to their families. The CCC program ended in 1942 as war was needing young American men.

Want to learn more about the WPA/CCC?

***Paula Stuart-Warren offers a 55-minute webinar/video for Ancestry Academy telling the complete story.

***Google the terms adding your state or area. A simple search for “WPA records” yielded 16,100 hits in under a second.

*** The National Archives at St. Louis is where to go for personnel records. (Fill out a form; pay a fee; be patient.)

*** The Minnesota History Center offers tips, databases and helps.

*** Click to Cyndi’s List, then U.S. History: The Great Depression; Works Progress (Projects) Administration-WPA; there you’ll find 15  links to various WPA/CCC records.

*** American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, by Nick Taylor, 2008, available on Amazon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

FamilySearch Offers A Pay-It-Forward Project

 I'd bet that most of us use FamilySearch.org to some extent in our research. Do you realize that a great deal of the data that you search for, find and use from that FREE website comes from data entry from volunteers? Folks just like you and me?

Currently, FamilySearch is asking for volunteer help to fix place-names. This surely does look like a fun and an easy and a worthwhile project. Check it out? 

Friday, October 9, 2020

YouTube Channels for Genealogy

 I follow James Tanner's Genealogy's Star blog (and I do recommend it to you) for he always has good teaching. Few weeks back he did a post about YouTube channels for genealogy. Besides the piece of his blog I snipped and posted here, there are probably hundreds of genealogy or history related channels on YouTube. Go learn something today!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

More On The Mayflower


We've been whining these past few months about being stuck at home. And yet we have our entire house, running water, probably too much food, TV, books and Internet. We might compare our current "journey" to the 66-day voyage of the Mayflower and count ourselves much luckier.

Some 102 passengers spent most of their time in an area 60-feet by 12-feet. Think of this; how big is your living room? Your house? And with your ENTIRE family it still wouldn't be 102 folks. The ship was 100-feet by 25-feet but there was cargo, ship stores, crew quarters, etc. The pilgrims were squeezed into a small area, "a wooden bathtub with masts," one source said. 

Of course they drank beer; each passenger was allotted one gallon per day. The water was buggy, filthy and undrinkable.  Think how much space was needed for all those people for all those days. 

Jerri McCoy, historian for the Washington State chapter of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, shared a super presentation with EWGS for our September program (via ZOOM).  She reminded us that "today, some 35,000,000 people can trace their lineage back to a Mayflower passenger." 

Those were some H-A-R-D-Y people. After the first winter, when 45 of them died, the surviving 57 souls created a legacy beyond belief. At least to me. (I'm a x8 Mayflower descendant.)

Friday, October 2, 2020

EWGS Fall Workshop Is TOMORROW

It might not be too late for you to register and attend our EWGS Fall Workshop. Our ZOOM contract only allows for 100 people to attend. I hope you make it into the virtual audience! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Needing Scots-Irish Research Help? It's HERE!


Dwight Radford has been a professional genealogist, specializing in Scots-Irish and Irish research for decades. I know him well personally as he's helped me and many others on the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. The subtitle of his book tells the story:  "Strategies and Sources in the Quest for Ulster-Scots Origins." The list of maps and illustrations takes three pages! You will not find list of names in this book but with your ancestor in mind, you'll gain new ideas of where to look for him to document his/her life. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

EWGS Member A 12-Year Volunteer with NEHGS


Bet you'd never guess that an EWGS member is a 12-year volunteer with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Sue Richart is an EWGS member and a member of the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society. She's been a presenter for EWGS a number of times. Know how her volunteering has helped you and me?

If you use the NEHGS website, www.AmericanAncestors.org, and take advantage of their many, many databases (mostly pertaining to New England ancestors) you can thank Sue. She's helped get a number of things ready to be posted online.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Let's Spend Our COVID Time Learning


This voluntary/mandatory house-bound quarantine has seemed forever, surely yes. So let's finish it off with learning something new..... or reviewing something old. I'm talking about the FamilySearch WIKI. Use the WIKI to learn more about the PLACE you are researching and the RECORDS available there. Or just boning up on your genealogy research skills in general. Besides studying (take a good half hour, please!) there are six free video tutorials to help you learn all the tips and tricks for using the WIKI. These are available in the FamilySearch Learning Center,  www.familysearch.org/ask/learningViewer/1035