Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Genealogy Books Added to Collection

What Did They Mean By That?:  A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms Old and New -- By Paul Drake

More What Did They Mean By That?
:  A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms:  Old and New Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms -- By: Paul Drake

The "Show Me" Guide to Missouri: Sources for Genealogical and Historical Research -- By: Sherida K. Eddlemon

The Aden Family of Pine Bluff -- By: David L. Gannaway

The Gannaway Family of Pine Bluff and Warren -- By: David L. Gannaway

Using Land Records to Solve Research Problems -- By: Wendy L. Elliott

The Watkins Family of Isle of Wight County, Virginia
-- By: Dorothy Wright Watkins

Some Alabama Pioneers -- By: Madge Pettit

Selected Final Pension Payment Vouchers, 1818-1864. Alabama Revolutionary War Records -- By: Alycon Trubey Pierce

Natchez Postscripts, 1781-1798 -- By: Carol Wells

Columbia County, Arkansas Cemeteries
-- By: Marcia Chapman, Doris Fletcher and Rebecca Wilson

Columbia County, Arkansas Obituary Index, 1948 to 2004
-- By: Marcia Chapman and Rebecca Wilson

Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky
: Containing a roll of the officers of Virginia line who received land bounties; a roll of the Revolutionary Pensioners in Kentucky; a list of the Illinois Regiment who served under George Rogers Clark in the Northwest Campaign; also a roster of the Virginia Navy -- By: Anderson Chenault Quisenberry

The Surname Index, 1982

Genealogical Gems From Early Missouri Deeds, 1815-1850: Family and Locality Information From Selected Missouri County Land Records -- By: Marsha Hoffman Rising

History of the Colored Race in America: Containing also their ancient and modern life of Africa, modes of living, employments, customs, habits, social life, etc., the origin and development of slavery in the Old World and its introduction in the American continent, the slave trade, slavery, and its abolition in Europe and America, the Civil War, emancipation, education and advancement of the Colored Race, their civil and political rights -- By William T. Alexander

Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants: A History of Frederick County, Virginia
(Illustrated) From Its Formation in 1738 to 1908 -- By: T. K. Cartmell

Compendium of The Confederate Armies: Mississippi -- By: Stewart Sifakis

The First Families of Louisiana: An Index to Glenn R. Conrad's 2-Volume Series of 1970
-- By: Donna Rachal Mills and Glenn R. Conrad

Arkansas Place Names
-- By: Ernie Deane


Keyword   Book Title   Author   Call# ISBN# 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Genealogy Book Index

     In addition to our obituary index, we have a genealogy book index, which consists of books in the library's Arkansas section of genealogy. These books were not among the ones that already had an index, so we created one for them. There are various types of Arkansas genealogy books that we've done such as: cemeteries, churches, schools, biographies and history of some the counties here within the state. 
     I've had several people ask, "what's the purpose of creating an index for a book?" Well, to a person that is doing research, it could provide more information than what an obituary did not list. Some books may not give that much information if the name is found, but it may be linked to another name that may be helpful in some other way. 
     Currently we have over 155,000 names in our database and have indexed over 129 books. For more information on the index or how to request a copy, go to the library's home page, At the bottom of the home page click on, Genealogy Book Search and click on “About Index” or “Request Photocopy” tabs.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Library's Obituary Index

The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System has indexed the deaths and obituaries for the Pine Bluff Commercial, and all of the other newspapers published in Jefferson County for which we have microfilm copies for.  Currently this index contains over 267,500 entries.  All back issues have been indexed, so it grows daily only as more obituaries are published in the newspaper.  The Main Library’s Reference Manager, Jana Blankenship, with the help of her assistant, Sylvia Moore, put this index together with the help of other full time and part time staff, and two special volunteers.

index has been very valuable to many who have not only Jefferson County ancestry, but ancestry from surrounding counties and throughout Southeast Arkansas.  We started computerizing our index in 2003, and by the end of that year we had input over 50,000 names.  We started to extract names from the back issues with the excellent help of our volunteers.  By the end of 2008, we had nearly all of the back issues entered into the database.

When a person finds someone in the
index, they have the choice of coming into our Library (or find a closer Library which carries the particular newspaper) and copy the notice themselves (at 25 cents per printout on the microfilm machine), they can hire someone to do this for them (cost unknown), or they can send $7.50 to the Library and staff will find the notice, print it out, and mail it to the person who requested it.  When the same person is in the index more than once, and this information is provided as part of the request, we will copy each and every notice for this one price.  Over the past few years we have been fulfilling around 250–275 requests per year.

How can this information be used?  Well, anyone who knows anything about Genealogy knows that an obituary can be either a wealth of information, or it will only provide a death date.  We have seen a few where the only information in the newspaper was, “So and so died this past Tuesday…”  But we have also seen the information provide names of spouses, children, parents, the street they lived on, what they died from, and/or other interesting and valuable information.  It is kinda like playing the lottery, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t….but I think your chances of winning “valuable information” from our database are much better than winning anything of value from the lottery.

Each week a fellow Rotarian and local Pine Bluff resident, Joe Dempsey, sends out an email with his “photo of the week”.  On Sunday, September 20, 2009, his photo was from Maple Hill Cemetery near Helena, Arkansas.  It was a statue of a Dog, and is best described in Joe’s own words:   “Pedro, I surmise, was the beloved pet of the late Dr. Emile Overton Moore.  As he has done every year since 1895, the loyal hound waits in perpetuity for his slain master.”  He went on to say that “Dr. Moore died at the hand of a fellow man.”  This intrigued me, so I checked the Obituary Database to see if the Pine Bluff newspapers carried the story.  Joe had included the inscription, which in part read, “DR. EMILE OVERTON MOORE,  BORN OCT. 2 1854, MURDERED FEB. 16, 1893”. 

Here it is Monday morning, I have lots to do, but I am “caught up” in it.  I search the database for EMILE OVERTON MOORE, and get no hits.  I search for EMILE, since this is not a common name, and get some hits, but not for anyone by the last name of MOORE.  Starting to think that I was chasing an imaginary dog, I decided to try one more search, MOORE 1893, and I got some hits, two hits which were just what I was searching for.

Above, results of the search.  Below, the information provided when the first record is clicked.

I asked Jana if they would get me copies of these two notices, and after I read them, I sent them on to Joe.  Joe gets them on Tuesday, sends me a “BIG THANKS”, edits his “Photo of the week” posting where he adds the following:

Newspaper accounts of Dr. Moore’s murder took a different tack than the verbiage etched in stone. On page six of the February 24, 1893, Pine Bluff Graphic, this account is found: “Dr. Overton Moore was shot and instantly killed Thursday evening of last week by Dr. C. R. Shimault. It is claimed the shooting was in self defense.”

A couple of days earlier on February 21, 1893, The Pine Bluff Weekly Press Eagle printed this report on page two: “Dr. Overton Moore was shot and killed by Dr. C. R. Shimault at Helena last Sunday. Moore began a quarrel with Shimault because the latter had responded to a call to attend to one of the former’s patients. The deceased was a very dangerous man and a terror to the community when drinking.”

The newspaper accounts agree that Dr. Moore was murdered and “whodunit.” They disagree on the exact date. We would probably all agree that Pedro was probably the most despondent of all. (This information was kindly furnished by the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System).

This just goes to show you the type of information you might get from newspaper accounts of deaths.  There was no obituary, just the story of a shooting, which caused the death of Dr. Moore, which led to a wonderful monument with a statue of Pedro on top, and which eventually led to Joe’s picture, which you can see when you visit his “Photo of the Week” for Sunday, September 20, 2009.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2010 Census Cautions From The Better Business Bureau

by Susan Johnson -- August 3, 2009

Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers

With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.

The big question is -- how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con-artist?

BBB offers the following advice:

  • If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a hand held device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don’t know into your home.

  • Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, the Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers nor will employees solicit donations.

Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census.

Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud, visit:

(This information was sent to me through an e-mail)