History

American Ancestors Launches a Database of Men, Women, and Children Sold by the Jesuits of Georgetown College in 1838

American Ancestors has introduced a a beautiful, content-rich site, with significant resource material for genealogists and those who believe they may be descendants of one of the GU272. The following announcement was written by American Ancestors / New England Historic Genealogical Society:

New Website Documents Family Histories of Enslaved People  Alongside the Voices of Their Living Descendants
 
American Ancestors Launches Database of Men, Women, and Children  Sold by the Jesuits of Georgetown College in 1838  
 
GU272 Memory Project: gu272.americanancestors.org
 
June 19, 2019—Boston, Massachusetts American Ancestors is commemorating Juneteenth, a national day observing the 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in America, with the launch of a new website that traces the family histories of more than 300 men, women, and children sold by the Jesuit priests of Georgetown University (then known as Georgetown College) in 1838 to Louisiana sugar plantations. Today also marks the 181st anniversary of the actual date on which the enslaved people of Georgetown College were sold.
 
Named for Georgetown University and the 272 people listed on the 1838 bill of sale, the GU272 Memory Project website (gu272.americanancestors.org) features fully documented genealogies of the families who were sold, along with audio interviews of their modern descendants speaking about a wide range of topics, from personal memories of family members to racism in America. 

Kilkenny’s Rich History is now Available on National Archive Database

The Kilkenny County Library has joined the Digital Repository of Ireland – making Kilkenny’s rich history available to the world at the click of a button. The partnership will see the records currently held by the Kilkenny County Library, including information on the county’s history, geography, antiquities, archaeology, folklore and culture, being added to the national archive database.

Patrick Street

Patrick Street

You can read more in an article by Colin Bartley in the KilKinneyNow web site at: https://kilkennynow.ie/rich-history-of-kilkenny-joins-national-archive-database/.

The ‘Clotilda,’ the Last Known Slave Ship to Arrive in the U.S., Is Found

The discovery carries intense personal meaning for an Alabama community of descendants of the ship’s survivors.

Wreck of the slave ship, Clotilda, photograph from Historic Sketches of the South by Emma Langdon Roche, 1914

The authentication and confirmation of the Clotilda was led by the Alabama Historical Commission and SEARCH Inc., a group of maritime archaeologists and divers who specialize in historic shipwrecks. Last year, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Slave Wrecks Project (SWP) joined the effort to help involve the community of Africatown in the preservation of the history, explains Smithsonian curator and SWP co-director Paul Gardullo.

German Holocaust Archive puts Millions of Documents Online

The International Tracing Service in Germany has uploaded more than 13 million documents from Nazi concentration camps, including prisoner cards and death notices, to help Holocaust researchers and others investigate the fate of victims.

Established by the Western Allies in the final days of World War II and initially run by the Red Cross, the ITS also announced Tuesday it was changing its name to “Arolsen Archives – International Center on Nazi Persecution.”

A Village in France Will Pay You $2,240 to Decipher a Rock

I suspect there are a few experts at reading old texts in various languages amongst the readers of this newsletter. If that includes you, an article by Emily Dixon in the CNN web site will interest you:

Do the letters “ROC AR B…DRE AR GRIO SE EVELOH AR VIRIONES BAOAVEL” mean anything to you? The words might be in ancient French, or Basque,or Old Breton, or possibly something else.

Experts in Plougastel-Daoulas, a village in Brittany, northwest France, have been unable to decrypt the inscription on a rock outside the village, estimated to be centuries old, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency reports.

Leonardo’s Hair to be DNA Tested

Italian experts have found what they say is hair from Leonardo da Vinci and are set to do a DNA test on the Renaissance genius’s locks.

You can read more in an article in the ANSA.it at: http://bit.ly/2DI2P3t.

My thanks to newsletter reader Neil Barmann for telling me about this story.

See Long Hidden Historic Photos of the Gritty, Compelling Lives of Tough Maine Fishermen

The Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine recently finished preserving, scanning and cataloging National Fisherman magazine’s massive photographic archive. The images previously were stuffed into filing cabinets at the publication’s Portland office for decades. Now, every image is online, in a searchable database, for the whole world to see for free.

“The broad ranging archive reveals the compelling, gritty world of commercial fishing. The collection of prints and negatives originally accompanied stories and advertisements. They show emerging technology, as well as everyday fisherfolk hauling nets, processing the catch, repairing trawlers, building boats and setting Coast Guard buoys.”

Newly Discovered DNA Quirk Could Reveal Mysteries of Newfoundland’s First Settlers

A Newfoundland genealogist has stumbled onto a rare and mysterious DNA quirk that he says could tell the untold story of the island’s first European settlers. David Pike, a mathematics professor and genealogist, said the rare mitochondrial DNA profile caught his attention over a decade ago when it began popping up frequently in test results for a Newfoundland and Labrador genealogy project.

The profile — called H5a5, plus another unnamed mutation — is likely European in origin. Only a handful of people from Europe — fewer than 10 — have been found to test positive for the specific profile, and almost all those have roots in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Essay: The Keeping of Church Registers in Austria

The following announcement was written by Felix Gundacker and is republished here with his permission:

Vienna, April 21st, 2019

Dear researchers,

After numerous requests, my essay on the keeping of church registers in Austria which was published in October 2018 is now also available in English and can be downloaded for free.

This essay deals with the evolution of church register keeping starting prior to the Council of Trent (1545-1563), it presents ordinances and regulations issued by Maria Theresia and Joseph II which have partly never been published before, and leads up to later important developments. The explanations are supplemented with quotes of patents and ordinances.

Press Release – Free DNA Test For Leiden Pilgrim Descendants

The following announcement was written by Tamura Jones:

LEIDEN – 19 April 2019
On Thursday 25 April (DNA Day), genealogy expert Tamura Jones will organise a large-scale DNA Test of Pilgrim descendants in Leiden, the Netherlands. Such investigation has not been done before, not even in America. The goal is to try and discover something interesting about the group and their ancestors.

Mayflower Pilgrims

The Mayflower departed from Plymouth, but the Pilgrims came from Leiden, a city they called home for more than a decade. When they left for the New World, they took Dutch ideas such as religious tolerance and civil marriage with them. Thanksgiving even has roots in Leiden’s 3 October Celebrations, the annual commemoration of the Relief of Leiden in 1574.

Nowadays, Leiden does not only celebrate 3 October, but has an annual Thanksgiving Service as well. This Thanksgiving Service is held in the late-Gothic Pieterskerk (Peter’s Church), where the Pilgrim’s pastor, John Robinson, was buried. Two Mayflower descendants speak during this service, an American descendant and a Dutch descendant.

Searching for Descendants in Leiden

Notre-Dame de Paris in Pictures

I am sure everyone has heard this week’s sad news from Paris. Those of us with Parisian ancestors will be interested in the historic paintings and photographs that are now available on the Library of Congress’ web site at: http://bit.ly/2UMMMvK.

Notre-Dame de Paris - circa 1865

Notre-Dame de Paris – circa 1865

At that site, you can see what many of our ancestors saw over the years.

Thousands of old Edmonton, Alberta Historical Photos are now Online

Last October, the City of Edmonton Archives launched a new website and began transferring selected black and while images from its massive collection onto the new system. The new website now contains more than half of their target of 50,000 photos.

You can read more and also watch a video of the City of Edmonton’ archivist, Tim O’Grady, in an article by Adrienne Lamb and Rick Bremness in the CBC News web site at: http://bit.ly/2FU1wyP.

17th-century Massacre in Connecticut was New England’s ‘Jamestown’

A violent conflict between English colonists and Native Americans almost 400 years ago grew into a war that ended with the near extermination of an entire Indian tribe.

The attack on Puritan colonists in 1637 at Wethersfield, Connecticut, was smaller in scale than the Jamestown attack in Virginia in 1622 — just nine settlers were killed, while hundreds were killed in Jamestown. But the Wethersfield conflict grew into the Pequot War in New England, and it resulted in the Mystic River Massacre in May 1637; during that massacre, an army of colonists and their Native American allies killed about 500 people and effectively wiped out the Pequot tribe.

An Historian claims the Pilgrim Fathers set off in the Mayflower from Cornwall, not Plymouth

I suspect this story will cause a bit of disagreement.

Pilgrims departing on Mayflower

History books have always started that the Pilgrims departed Plymouth, Devon, England for the New World and established Plymouth Colony, the second English settlement in what is now the United States of America. However, historian John Chapman says research has proved the Mayflower stopped for fresh water in Newlyn as it headed for the New World – confirming a theory strongly believed by residents in the Cornish seaside fishing port.

You can read about John Chapman’s claims in an article by Gabriella Swerling in The Telegraph at: http://bit.ly/2TQbSVl.

The Online History of the Royal Australian Air Force

Military aviation was first pioneered during the First World War. During that war, both the armies and the navies of all the major combatants operated aircraft. Late in the war, however, when it was realized that aerial fighting was a distinct form of warfare and not just an adjunct to land or sea operations, some nations formed specialist air forces. Combining the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps, Great Britain formed the Royal Air Force in 1918. The four squadrons of the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) remained part of the AIF. In 1920, the remnants of the AFC became the Australian Air Corps, which in turn became the Royal Australian Air Force on 31 March 1921.

The Australian War Memorial contains an online collection of material to help you in your family history research as well as on a variety of topics concerning the wartime experiences of the brave men and women who served in Australia’s military forces.

Boston Public Library’s 78rpm Records Come to the Internet

This won’t help you discover your ancestors but will help you learn about the music they enjoyed. Following eighteen months of work, more than 50,000 78rpm record “sides” from the Boston Public Library’s sound archives have now been digitized and made freely available online by the Internet Archive.

Art Tatum

I am sitting here listening to It Had to be You by Jazz legend Art Tatum. The fidelity is what you would expect from a 78 rpm record made in 1944. That is, it is definitely low fidelity. However, it is obvious that Art Tatum was a keyboard maestro.

You can learn more about this new Boston Oublic Library’s additions to Archive.org’s collection of old music at http://bit.ly/2V5xVsm while the collection itself may be found at: https://archive.org/details/78rpm_bostonpubliclibrary.

 

TranscribeNC is Now Available from the State Archives of North Carolina

The following is copied from the TranscribeNC web site:

TranscribeNC, a transcription project hosted by the State Archives featuring 5 collections, is now live! We are recruiting volunteers to spend a little time helping to transcribe its first project — county draft board records of men who were drafted or enlisted during World War I.

“This project is critical to telling North Carolina’s story,” says Randon McCrea, digital archivist for online programming, who is heading this initiative, along with archivist Anna Peitzman. “Each of these archival collections—WWI draft lists and travel diaries—personalize the human experience and keep this state’s legacy alive. When complete, the WWI information will be of importance to veterans, their families, and communities.”

Other transcription projects will also be made available.

3,000 hours of Oral Irish History Available Online

An Ireland-based oral history organization, Irish Life and Lore, invites educators, students and those with an interest in Irish history and folklore to browse its rich archive of audio material and books.

Founded in 1990 by Tralee-based oral historians Maurice and Jane O’Keeffe for the purpose of preserving oral history across Ireland, Irish Life and Lore has compiled, cataloged and archived over 3,000 hours of audio material, arranged into Oral History Collections.

Each themed collection captures a version of the past, which represents the views and sentiments of Irish communities and explores aspects of historical experience that are rarely recorded. Many important topics are covered in the collections, including the Irish revolutionary period, the arts, sport, literature, emigration, local history, folklore, family history and much more.

The online oral history archive may be found at: https://www.irishlifeandlore.com. All individual recordings are available for purchase by download for €6.99 ($7.90 US) or on CD for €15 ($17 US).

Lost Photos Mystery Solved

Two weeks ago police in Glasgow issued an unusual lost property appeal. A collection of old photos, perhaps treasured family memorabilia, had been found at a department store. Solving the mystery revealed an unexpected link to one of the darkest moments in the history of the BBC.

The photographs had been found in Glasgow’s John Lewis store last year and handed in to police. With no-one coming forward to claim them and thinking they may have sentimental value, officers posted them on social media.

Newspapers and websites picked up the story and soon a team of amateur sleuths and genealogists were working on the puzzle. It wasn’t long before the mystery began to unravel. Much of the detective work was skillfully provided by genealogist Sue Wright.

You can read the interesting story by Calum Watson in the BBC Scotland News website at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-47359945.

My thanks to newsletter reader John Rees for telling me about this interesting story.

We Are The Roots: Black Settlers and Their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies

The following announcement is from the Genealogy à la carte blog by Gail Dever at http://genealogyalacarte.ca/?p=27135:

Winner of the 2018 Alberta Historical Resources Foundation 2018 Heritage Awareness award, We Are The Roots is a documentary that tells the stories of African American immigrants who settled in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the early 1900s.

Thousands of advertisements were distributed by the Canadian Government via posters, pamphlets, and in American newspapers, encouraging Americans to move to the “Last Best West” where 160 acres of land could be purchased for a registration fee of $10.