Over the Labor Day weekend my sister and I traveled with our dad to Starbuck, WA for a Jackson family reunion. The trip over and back provided lots of opportunities for our dad to tell stories of his childhood—from riding his horse to the one room school to evenings spent listening to the ranch hands out in the bunkhouse.
The reunion itself is a gathering of descendents of three Jackson brothers, who left Iowa for the Washington Territory after the Civil War. Kay, one of the great granddaughters, has done an amazing job tracking down long-lost family. In the past year she’s made contact with “cousins” in Georgia and Illinois.
"The Source: a Guidebook of American Genealogy" and "Genealogy Online for Dummies"
If you’re interested in genealogy and tracking down your ancestors, you can start your search at the Burlington Public Library. We’ve got books for beginners and accomplished family researchers, plus the library subscribes to Heritage Quest, an online database with U.S. Federal Census from 1790 – 1930 as well as thousands of community and family histories.
Here are a couple of the genealogy resources you’ll find @ your library.
The Library of Congress – our mother ship – has some new “how to” information on preserving family photographs, especially digital ones. They advise setting up a system from the point of downloading your photos from your camera, and also focus on backing up your files. Because they are dependent on technology to make them accessible, updating your technology as well as your photos, papers, music and videos is just as critical. The Library of Congress has produced some good basic videos on “Why Digital Preservation is Important For You;” click here to view.
Both the Library of Congress and our Washington State Library have information on preserving and storing old photographic prints, snapshots, home movies, and other treasures (books, maps, textiles, etc.): see here .
And the Burlington Public Library has the classic photograph conservation book Collection, use, and care of historical photographs by Robert Weinstein; you can find it on our shelves at 770.28 WEINSTEIN.
Many of you may know that the Burlington Public Library houses the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society Book Collection with many family, county, state, and town histories from all over the United States. SVGS volunteers are here to give you one-on-one help with your genealogical questions on Mondays, from 11 – 1pm.
Outside the SVGS collection, we also have a few biographical references that may be of interest to family historians. Though our budget is a bit thin this year, newer titles for beginners include Social Networking for Genealogists and Genealogy Online for Dummies.
If you are interested in your Revolutionary War era ancestors, one of two other new resources in our Reference Collection in the library are American Revolutionary War Leaders. It includes mostly men, but women and minorities are indexed. This source includes fascinating details of Revolutionary War era everyday life and occupations of the signers and framers – their family relations, business disputes, service records, and political lives, all in one place.
Another special resource we have just acquired is the Encyclopedia of Women in American History. Then there’s American National Biography – which is 24 volumes of information!
And last but not least, we have the online database Heritage Quest (for family and local histories, census records, some U.S. Government documents). Talk to us about using it for your family research – it is available to anyone (fromthe library) and from home, 24/7, for those with a library card!