From the Editor
Welcome to the third issue of the newly revived Archives and History Newsletter. We will be publishing an issue monthly by posting on our Web site (http://www.wvculture.org/history), and by distributing copies to historical and genealogical societies and our Archives Library patrons. Among the topics to be covered regularly are new titles available in the Archives Library, upcoming and on-going projects in Archives and History, tips for researching in the Archives Library and for genealogical research in general, recognition of donors and volunteers, and a Calendar of Events. We welcome your questions and comments. Please direct any correspondence concerning the newsletter to the editor, Susan Scouras, Archives and History. Please direct any correspondence concerning our Web site to Joe Geiger, Archives and History.
Are You an Author?
Have you written a novel, a family history, or perhaps a special newspaper story for your hometown paper? Have you published a book of poetry or reflections on life in your community? Is your historical or genealogical society distributing a county records index or compiling members' family trees? The Archives is interested in anything you or your organization have published or prepared in manuscript form that we can add to our collection. Your work would be available to researchers and kept for posterity. Remember, we are not just a depository for all things about West Virginia and West Virginians, but also for materials written by West Virginia natives and residents. Again, we are not only interested in genealogy and history, but in other non-fiction, poetry, and fiction. Please call or write us to find out if your publication or manuscript meets our collection guidelines.
If you are preparing material for publication or desk-top printing, we have a few suggestions. Always include a title page, showing the title you have decided upon the shorter, the better. You can include a sub-title in order to describe the contents more fully. Avoid starting your title with the words "A," "The," or "An." Library cataloging rules require the dropping of those words at the beginning of a title, possibly making your title harder to find, depending on the library cataloging system used. If you are having your work printed and bound, be sure that the publisher or printer words the title exactly the same way on the title page, the front cover and the spine. Variations in the titles give library catalogers headaches!
List the name of the author the same way in each title you produce. For instance, list your name as "John J. Jones" in each volume, not "Johnny Jones," then "John Jones, Jr.," or "J. J. Jones" another time. List multiple authors in the same order each time. If you publish the book yourself, include your name and address, giving at least your town and state. (If you are selling your book, give a full address since people who use your book in the library often will want to purchase their own copies.) You can also list an e-mail or Web site address and a telephone number if you like. Never forget to include a publication date just the year alone is fine.
We urge you to index your work. Often good information is not found because the book lacks an index. The longer or more complicated the book, the more an index is needed. In your index, list at least the names of individuals mentioned and the names of places discussed, plus anything else you think is important, such as obituaries or cemeteries, etc. A bibliography is not necessary, but is very helpful to other researchers. A short list of the main resources for your material is adequate. Give the title, author, publisher and date of publication, if you have it. Think about the materials you used in your research which ones were easier to use? What made them better for you as a researcher? Once you have determined what was helpful to you, include the same features or methods in your own work.
If your work is over fifty pages and unbound, the Archives staff will consider binding up to three copies for the Archives collection and shelving it in the Archives and History Library Public Search Room. To increase your chances of having it bound, leave a generous margin of at least 1«" to allow for the binding. If your work is under fifty pages, we will evaluate it for inclusion in the Pamphlet File or in the Family History File. The Archives also accepts scrapbooks and albums, although loose materials can not be placed in the public search room. Such materials are shelved in the Closed Stacks and are used by the public under supervision. All except Family History Files are fully cataloged with subject listings. Family History Files are listed by family surname in a notebook, and will be included in an on-line index in the future.
Interested? If you have already published your work and would like to donate up to three copies, please call or write the Archives and History Library. If you have unpublished work you would like to have evaluated for donation, describe it for us briefly in a letter, including the physical size and number of pages of the material. There are many families and more than a few counties for which little written information exists. Here is your chance to preserve your heritage for posterity!
We hope we have encouraged you to put your thoughts on paper. Here are two books you may find helpful.
Legacy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Personal History, by Linda Spence, published by Swallow Press/University of Ohio Press, 1997.
Linda Spence has written a thought-provoking guide to help you write the history of your life by answering a sequential list of questions about your own memories and values. Going far beyond the usual list of names, dates and events, Spence will help you produce a true portrait of your entire life and family story by recounting both everyday happenings and special moments as you remember them. She encourages the writer to include the bad with the good, the painful with the joyous, in order to paint a complete picture of the events and feelings that shaped your life. As family researchers know, an ancestor's diaries or letters provide invaluable insight into the mind of the living person far more than any photograph or legal document can hint. By inspiring your writing in a similar format, Linda Spence has produced an excellent guide to assist you in leaving a precious legacy for your descendants.
My History is America's History: 15 Things You Can Do to Save America's Stories, a millennium project of The National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with The White House Millennium Council, 1999.
"Many Americans are historians without being aware of it. Each of us has stories we pass, like family heirlooms, from generation to generation. These stories define us and connect us to distant places and significant events," says William R. Ferris, NEH Chairman, in his introduction to this guidebook for preserving all aspects of your family's history. Topics covered include journal- keeping, how to do an interview, family papers and photographs, heirlooms and keepsakes, and writing your own story. Examples from various American families are presented. The guide urges taking an important step beyond your own family history and connecting your family with the community and with the country as a whole. Included are several listings of resources such as books, films, historical societies and places to visit. We suggest visiting the associated Web Site at www.myhistory.org.
MEET OUR STAFF:
Susan is a librarian with an American history background. She is a newcomer to the Archives staff, having come on board in July 1999. Susan is the primary cataloger for the Archives Library, so all new materials and accepted donations come to her. She is well-versed in the eccentricities of the VTLS on-line catalog, and can assist you in difficult searches. As a native of eastern and central Kentucky, she may be able to guide you if your records trail leads there. Susan prepares all donations for inclusion in a Family History File. If you want a quick answer as to whether a certain title is available in our collection, give her a call. As Archives and History Newsletter editor, Susan welcomes your comments and contributions.
TITLE: AUTHOR, PUBLICATION DATE
An Appalachian New Deal: West Virginia in the Great Depression: Jerry Bruce Thomas, 1998.
Power, Culture, and Conflict in the Coalfields: West Virginia and South Wales, 1900-1922: Roger Fagge, 1996.
Transforming the Appalachian Countryside: Railroads, Deforestation, and Social Change in West Virginia, 1880-1920: Ronald L. Lewis, 1998.
Lamb and Allied Families of the Sequatchie Valley: James L. Mohon, 1996.
The George Morris Family of Ten Mile, with Genealogical Charts for Other Affiliated Families; a Story of the Pioneer Families of the Ten Mile Valley in Harrison County, West Virginia: Ollie B. Morris and Eva Ruth Morris, 1967.
An Index of the Estate Records in the Basement of the Hampshire County Court House from 1754 to 1870 with a Partial Index from 1870 through 1884: William H. Rice, 2000.
A Checklist of Pennsylvania Newspapers: Volume I: Philadelphia County: The Pennsylvania Historical Survey, 1944.
Legacy: a Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Personal History: Linda Spence, 1997.
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY ON THE WEB
Recent features which have been added to the Web site include:
United States Senators: Chart of West Virginia senators with home county, political affiliation and dates of office.
Union Civil War Militia: Searchable database of information gleaned from muster cards of West Virginians who served in Union Militia or Home Guard units, plus wartime letters for each of them.
How to Research an Adoption: One of several Archives staff research guides to aid in genealogical research.
County History Resources: A listing of articles from our newspaper clipping file and of published works in the Archives Library collection relating to the history of West Virginia's counties.
Community Histories: Complete text of fifty- eight community histories written in the 1920's and 1930's.
Trivia: A daily trivia question, a county seat quiz, and seven quick quizzes to test your knowledge of West Virginia history.
West Virginia Memory Project: Searchable databases, including the John Brown Collection.
AfriGeneas: We have provided a link on our Web site to this site for African-American genealogy and history.
Please bookmark our site (http://www.wvculture.org/history) and visit often. Comments and questions about the Archives and History Web site should be directed to Joe Geiger.
ARE WE RECEIVING YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER?
Most of you are probably not aware that the Archives must subscribe by mail to all of the newspapers we receive. The cost of subscriptions takes a considerable percentage of the Archives budget, plus many titles have a very limited local distribution; consequently, we miss out on a lot of potentially valuable local history and genealogy. If you are interested in sponsoring a subscription in your name or in the name of a family member, or are interested in arranging for the forwarding of "local" titles to the Library's collection, please call or write us.
MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS:
MARY M. JENKINS
Mary Jenkins, a 20-year State employee, is the retired Head Librarian of the Archives and History Library. Her reference manual, "Place Names in West Virginia," is a valuable research tool for locating obscure, often extinct, West Virginia communities. As a volunteer since 1988, Miss Jenkins catalogs rare books and specialized publications. Her expertise and continuing contributions to the work of the Library are treasured by the Archives staff.
The 1930 United States Census is due to be opened to the public in 2002 and must be ordered six months in advance from the National Archives in order to receive it by the release date. Because we want to be able to purchase the West Virginia Census and make it available as soon as it is released, Mining Your History Foundation and the West Virginia Archives and History Library are accepting donations toward that cost. A similar campaign ten years ago enabled the Library to purchase the 1920 Census and make it available immediately upon release. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated by the patrons who rely on the Archives Library for their research. Thanks to all who have contributed so far. We are about halfway to our goal. We have new Census forms for transcribing microfilm now available: 1860 Mortality Schedule and 1860 Slave Schedule. We have also obtained The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes, which contains many useful charts and maps we can copy for your use.
"VISIONS OF THE PAST: A JOURNEY BY PHYLLIS PRESTON JARRETT"
In conjunction with the touring exhibition, "A Slave Ship Speaks: The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie," on display in the State Museum at the Cultural Center, is an exhibition chronicling the quest of one African-American woman to trace her family's history. The collection of photographs and documents featured in "Visions of the Past" began in 1997, when Mrs. Jarrett became interested in what she calls "the terrible family secret."
"The knowledge that our ancestors had been slaves was painful for past generations of my family," says Mrs. Jarrett, a Charleston native now living in Cincinnati. "They felt it would be best if certain facts and memories were forgotten." Over the past three years, through determination and what Jarrett refers to as "a little luck," she has been able to trace her family's roots back to plantations in Virginia and present-day West Virginia. The genealogy of African-Americans is particularly difficult to document because slaves were not given last names and frequently were sold or bequeathed to others. In addition, few of the records that were kept by slave owners have survived. Mrs. Jarrett began her search in the records of the West Virginia State Archives at the Cultural Center and has traveled extensively in Virginia and West Virginia to research and visit the places her ancestors lived.
"I know about the cruelty of slave holders because I knew about the whip marks on my great- grandmother Mary Jane Early Preston's back. But to actually be on the Charlotte County, Virginia plantation where my ancestors had lived and worked as slaves to stand on the very ground where they had all been so cruelly mistreated and held in bondage was a heartbreaking experience for me." Mrs. Jarrett calls her journey emotional but says she does not regret delving into her past. "It has been gratifying to me to have learned some of my own history. Despite the tears I have shed I don't regret asking," she adds.
"Visions of the Past" will remain on display through the summer. An exact closing date has not yet been determined.
Mrs. Jarrett also donated African-American history and genealogy information from various Web sites to the Archives and History Library.
If you would like to trace your African- American heritage as Mrs. Jarrett has done, we suggest the following book:
Finding a Place Called Home: Guide to African- American Genealogy and Historical Identity: by Dee Parmer Woodtor, Ph.D., published by Random House, 1999.
Dr. Woodtor's work has been featured in Parade magazine articles and in other publications focusing on African-American genealogy. She is a contributor to the excellent Web site AfriGeneas. Dr. Woodtor discusses the unique difficulties encountered in tracing individual slaves and in identifying slave families. Slave Census schedules, Freedman's Bureau records, etc., are explained. She urges perseverance and provides a wealth of unexpected sources to examine when the usual ones are unhelpful. She includes case histories and examples from her own research to demonstrate her methods and her philosophy. Don't wait until you get stuck on a supposed "dead end" to consult Finding a Place Called Home. Read it before you start, in order to make best use of your research time and to increase the accuracy of your conclusions. Although her intention is to help African-Americans trace their ancestors, she offers good research techniques and common sense advice on documenting oral history, in particular, that would benefit all family history researchers.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
PLEASE CHECK OUR WEB SITE (www.wvculture.org/history) FOR GENEALOGICAL/HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND FOR MORE COMPLETE INFORMATION ON ACTIVITIES LISTED BELOW:
A SLAVE SHIP SPEAKS: THE WRECK OF THE HENRIETTA MARIE, MARCH 25- JUNE 20. State Museum, Cultural Center.
VISIONS OF THE PAST: A JOURNEY BY PHYLLIS PRESTON JARRETT, APRIL 7 THROUGH THE SUMMER, 2000. State Museum, Cultural Center.
"THREE GENERATIONS OF AN IRISH LABOR FAMILY," MAY 5, Speaker: Pat Maroney, Kanawha County Library, Charleston.
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY*, MAY 9. Archives Library will be open regular hours.
HARPERS FERRY NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, MAY 9-13. Variety of events commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of John Brown.
"ITALIANS OF THE UPPER KANAWHA VALLEY ENTER THE MINE WARS," MAY 19. Kanawha Public Library, Charleston.
VANDALIA GATHERING, MAY 26-28. Cultural Center, Charleston.
CIVIL WAR SCHOLARS LECTURE SERIES. MAY 23. "Robert E. Lee at West Point," Dr. Mark A. Snell. South Charleston Public Library.
MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 29. Archives Library will be closed.
WEST VIRGINIA DAY*, JUNE 20. Archives Library will be open regular hours.
WEST VIRGINIA DAY CELEBRATION, JUNE 20. Independence Hall, Wheeling.
INDEPENDENCE DAY, JULY 4. Archives Library will be closed.
*Only the Archives Library will be staffed--all other Archives offices will be closed. The State Museum will be open any time the Archives Library is open, as well as 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. The West Virginia Library Commission Library in the Cultural Center is closed weekends and all holidays.
ARCHIVES LIBRARY HOURS ARE 9:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, AND 1:00 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M. ON SATURDAYS. HOLIDAY HOURS ARE AS POSTED.
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY STAFF
Fredrick Armstrong: Director
Debra Basham: Archivist (photographs, special collections)
Greg Carroll: Historian (Civil War, Native American history)
Dick Fauss: Archivist (microfilm and moving images)
Elaine Gates: Part-time Library Assistant (microfilming and microfilm repairs)
Joe Geiger: Historian (Web page, publications)
Ed Hicks: Photographer (archival photography, darkroom)
Jaime Lynch: Library Assistant (Records of the 1700's and early 1800's, Pennsylvania)
Cathy Miller: Library Assistant (WV State documents, periodicals)
Sharon Newhouse: Secretary to the Director
Harold Newman: Library Assistant (microfilming, Revolutionary War)
Pat Pleska: Part-time Library Assistant (Clipping File)
Susan Scouras: Librarian (cataloging, Kentucky, library collection, newsletter editor)
Bobby Taylor: Library Manager
Nancy Waggoner: Office Assistant
Contract employees working on special projects:
Constance Baston, Allen Fowler, Mary Johnson, and Sanford Scholten.
WE NEED VOLUNTEERS!! PLEASE CALL US FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Archives and History News