From the Editor:
The Archives and History segment of the Division of Culture and History Web site has continued to grow and expand since we last updated you on its contents. As a matter of fact, the scope of the Web site has broadened so much that we decided to feature our Internet offerings in this month's Archives and History News. If you are not a regular visitor to our site, please take a look at the wide variety of interesting topics, valuable links, bibliographies and useful research guides available. A limited amount of primary source material, such as Civil War militia records and letters, and West Virginia- related photographs are also on the site. We do not have adequate staff or funding to place transcriptions of county records or similar material on-line. Gen-Web, linked from our site for your convenience, with entries made by volunteers, is still the best source for that data in West Virginia.
We are very proud of Roger Christianson, Archives Summer Intern, who has been serving in the National Guard on flood-relief duty in southern West Virginia this month. We extend our concern and sympathy to those who have lost so much in this series of disasters. Libraries that have lost any of their West Virginia history collection should contact Susan Scouras, Archives and History News editor. We will publicize library losses in Archives and History News in hopes that our readers will have extra copies or funds they can donate directly to those libraries in need.
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY
ON THE INTERNET
Under the guidance of Joe Geiger, Webmaster, the Archives and History portion of the Division of Culture and History Web site serves several purposes. First, the Archives and History section is identified and its scope of responsibilities and services explained. Second, links to related Web sites for information about West Virginia history and genealogy are provided. Third, as stated by Joe Geiger, "We try to develop educational components helpful to West Virginia history students and those who simply love the state's history." We want people to turn to us when they need help to start a history-related project or to study for the Golden Horseshoe competition. Even if we can not provide all the answers regarding West Virginia history and genealogy, we want to point people in the right direction to find what they need. Our users range from grade-school students who need to know about West Virginia governors and Capitols, to genealogists worldwide searching for their family history, and to Ph.D. candidates retrieving John Brown documents. Let's take a look at some of the site's offerings, including on- going, new and up-coming features.
Daily Trivia and Quick Quizzes
Daily Trivia questions covering a wide range of West Virginia-related subjects are popular. Participants can e-mail answers directly from the site, and those with correct answers will receive congratulatory e-mails and have their names posted on the site as winners the next day. Thirty Quick Quizzes, plus a separate County Seats Quiz, are available. Each interactive Quick Quiz has ten multiple choice questions, and provides additional information about the subject with the correct answer. These features have proven to be valuable aids to West Virginia history students, particularly those studying for Golden Horseshoe. For the rest of us, they are a quick, entertaining way to test our knowledge and to learn more about West Virginia.
Notable West Virginians
Notable West Virginians provides a list of people who are frequently topics for study and writing along with bibliographies of materials available about each person in the Archives and History Library. We are considering developing a Notable West Virginia Events listing along the same lines.
Genealogy Surname Exchange
The Genealogy Surname Exchange is probably the most frequently used portion of the site. Here we offer persons researching the same surname a chance to share and expand their family history information. Over 1,600 genealogy researchers from 48 states and 10 foreign countries have registered from one to five surnames each with the Exchange. Registration is available on the site or on forms available in the Archives and History Library. Surnames are listed in alphabetical order with the registration number(s) of the corresponding researcher(s). Many of the researchers have included an e-mail address, which is hot-linked for immediate access. (Each researcher is limited to five names. If more than five are submitted, only the first five will be used.)
Links to other Web sites are provided through Genealogy Corner, History Center, and Featured Links. Web sites are chosen for linking based on their relevancy to West Virginia history or genealogy, and by their accuracy. Links are frequently up-dated. If you have or find a site you would like to have added, contact Joe Geiger at firstname.lastname@example.org for the site to be considered. Similarly, if you experience a problem with a site listed in our links, let us know.
West Virginia Veterans Memorial Database
The Veterans Memorial Database contains information about the Veterans Memorial on the West Virginia State Capitol grounds, and about the West Virginia soldiers killed during wartime service whose names are engraved on the Memorial. The database is searchable by name, war of service and home county. With information, letters, documents and photographs contributed by their families, biographies of some of those listed on the Memorial have been placed on-line. We expect this database to continue to grow as more information is compiled. Veterans' families are invited to submit material for biographies of their loved ones by contacting Pat Pleska by telephone at (304) 558-0230, by e-mail at email@example.com or by writing to her at Archives and History. We are proud to have this opportunity to honor the memory of those West Virginians who died in the service of our country.
West Virginia Union Militia
West Virginia Union Militia in the Civil War is another searchable database. Over 31,000 muster cards for volunteers in Union Militia units have been made available on-line, along with letters pertaining to militia in each county that existed during the Civil War. The information posted so far is probably of more interest to genealogists than to historians or Civil War buffs, but boxes and boxes of material remain to be sorted, cataloged and transcribed before the Militia site can be expanded. We have volunteers scheduled to start this work, but we will need many more to finish. Contact Joe Geiger if you or your organization can help.
USS West Virginia
Currently accessible through the What's New? section, the declassified Action Report of the events surrounding the USS West Virginia and crew during the attack on Pearl Harbor have been scanned for on-line access. The officers' reports are both thrilling and heart-breaking. Dozens of photographs and a history of the vessel were recently donated to the Archives after a museum closed in Parkersburg. We will be using these photographs and other primary source materials to present an on-line exhibit of the USS West Virginia.
Even those of us who work right here in Archives and History check the What's New? section frequently. Joe and others on staff frequently add interesting material and photographs here. New additions to the Web site will be introduced here. Photographer Ed Hicks has been choosing some fascinating photographs as "Pic of the Week." Current events often have a West Virginia connection that will be highlighted through this site, such as a spectacular display of photographs of African American West Virginians over time placed on-line for Black History Month, articles about West Virginia's own gubernatorial election controversy posted during the contested Florida Presidential election results, and the USS West Virginia documents introduced to coincide with the release of the movie, Pearl Harbor. Keep your eye on What's New?
We are often asked why we do not have more original records on-line, especially birth and death records. The state birth and death certificates recorded since 1917 are the property of the West Virginia Dept. of Health and Human Resources Vital Registration office, so whether to make the information publicly available and when to place it on-line is their determination. Regarding open records of any kind, we simply do not have the staff to do the tremendous amount of work involved. Just scanning information to go on-line is not enough. The information will not be very useful unless it can be searched. Creating a searchable database with a good search mechanism is very time-consuming. Each field (each category on a document) must be set up, then every item on each record manually entered into the proper field. We try to add as much as possible to the Web site on an on-going basis, but we do not have the staff required to undertake very large projects. We are always looking for volunteers to assist, primarily in preparing materials to go on-line. If you or your organization would like to help expand the offerings of the Archives and History Web site, contact Joe Geiger. Joe will be happy to work out a schedule for you to assist in the Archives in the Cultural Center.
JUNE NEW TITLES
Strike the Tent: Jeffrey J. W. Baker, , juvenile.
Souvenir Rupicola 1911-1993: Souvenir issue for the Alumni Reunion 2000 of Spencer High, 2000.
Railroad Periodicals Index: 1831-1999: Thomas Townsend Taber, 2001.
History of Center Point, W. Va.: Anne Mish, [n.d.]
History of Center Point & Families, Vol. IV: Anne Mish, [n.d.]
A Pictorial View of Big Isaac: Anne Mish, 2001.
A Pictorial View of the 1918 Flood: Big Isaac, Doddridge County: Anne Mish, 2001.
A Pictorial View of Our Family Tree: Allen Family: Doddridge County W.V.: Anne Mish, 2001.
Photo View of Doddridge County, W. Va.: Anne Mish, 2001.
14th West Virginia Infantry Regiment: Anne Mish, [n.d.]
WEST VIRGINIA HISTORY
West Virginia History for 1999-2000 is now available. Articles cover West Virginians' service in local state militia and home guard companies, industrialization of West Virginia in the late- nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the role of U.S. Senator Peter G. Van Winkle in the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, as well as book reviews and notes on state and regional topics. The subscription fee for the softbound journal is $12.00 in the United States and $15.00 outside of the United States. Copies will be on sale in the Archives Library and by mail order. For ordering information, call Archives and History at (304) 558-0230, or go to our Web site at www.wvculture.org/history/journal_wvh/wvhinfo.html. We are excited to have this showcase of West Virginia history resume publication.
MEET OUR STAFF:
Joe Geiger is a Historian on the Archives and History staff. As Webmaster, he is responsible for anything and everything having to do with the Archives and History Web site. Joe develops and presents history-related programming, primarily through the use of Internet technology. You may also see him assisting in the Archives and History Library on occasion. Joe was recently featured in an article in the Charleston Gazette that emphasized Joe's love of his work. If you have questions or suggestions regarding the Archives and History Web site, you can e-mail Joe directly through a link on our site, write him, or call him during regular office hours.
Archives and History welcomes Kathy Hughes, new Assistant Editor of Goldenseal magazine, our sister office in the Division of Culture and History. Many of our Archives Library patrons are subscribers and/or contributors to Goldenseal. Goldenseal is a rich source of first person accounts of West Virginia's history and culture. Kathy joins John Lilly, Editor, and Cornelia Alexander, Circulation Manager, to complete the magazine staff. (See, Cornelia, I got your name in there!)
COUNTY LIBRARY OFFERING
NEW SERVICE TO LIBRARIANS
The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Library is now offering Family/Genealogy CD-ROM Service through local librarians. Librarians may send their patrons' genealogy inquiries to the Martinsburg reference librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will answer the requests by e-mail or fax to the requesting library. Please make your request through your local library. The list of family/genealogy CD-ROMs available through the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Library is available on the library's Web site at http://tlc.library.net/martinsburg/default.asp. Although their collection emphasizes the eastern panhandle region of West Virginia, it also includes United States Census Indexes for 1790 and 1800, as well as early records of African-Americans and Native Americans. Librarians who have questions about this service may call Keith Hammersla, Martinsburg Library, (304) 267-8933. (This information courtesy of the West Virginia Library Commission newsletter, Yvonne Shepard, Communications Specialist.)
ARE WE RECEIVING YOUR
If you are interested in sponsoring a subscription in your name or in the name of a family member, or are interested in arranging forwarding of "local" titles (editions distributed only to a limited area) to the Library's collection, please call or write us.
MY COUSIN, MY SELF
by Duane F. Alwin
[The Archives and History News reprints this article from Missing Links, Vol. 5, No. 38, September 20, 2000,published by Julia M. Case and Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG.]
The word "cousin" has a variety of meanings, some of which are more precise than others. We often use the word in a general way to refer to any collaterally related persons more distant than siblings who share a common ancestor. When we want to be more specific, we use the term in a different way: cousins (or first cousins) are the children of siblings. That is to say, the children of my aunts and uncles are my first cousins.
Second cousins, on the other hand, are the children of first cousins, and third cousins are the children of second cousins, and so on. In other words, my second cousins are the children of my parents' first cousins, and my third cousins are the grandchildren of my grandparents' first cousins.
The degree of cousinness, thus, simply follows generational lines, given kinship relations defined by a common ancestor. By contrast, when one crosses generational lines to express relationships among cousins in an adjacent generation or across several generations, one normally expresses these cousin relations as "once removed" or "twice removed" according to how many generations separate the related individuals. Thus, one is a first cousin once removed (1C1R) to his or her parents' first cousins, or to the children of his or her first cousins.
I have always gotten a kick out of telling people that I am a cousin to myself. My maternal grandparents were first cousins once removed my grandfather married the daughter of his first cousin. His cousin was 15 years his senior and he was a few years older than my grandmother. In any event, following the above definitions second cousins are the children of first cousins we can see what may appear to be a contradiction. Because they are both daughters of first cousins, my mother is a second cousin to her own mother. This makes me a third cousin to my mother, as she and I are both children of second cousins in the same ancestral lineage. And, of course, to myself I am a third cousin, once removed (3C1R). Thus, when I use my genealogy software to print out the descendants of Samuel CHACEY (our common ancestor) I appear twice (and in different generations) once as a descendant of my grandfather and once in my grandmother's line. What better proof that I am my own cousin.
Matings between cousins are called consanguineal, meaning that the members of the pair have one or more common ancestors. In some geographical areas at some times such matings can be quite common. Whether we know it or not, each of us probably has some consanguineous marriage in their pedigree. Most cultures have rules that regulate the degree of relationship permitted between two individuals who wish to marry.
In many societies, including our own, marriages between first cousins, uncles and nieces, and aunts and nephews, are typically discouraged or in some cases outlawed. Although it would mean fewer grandparents to keep track of, such matings are probably not a good thing. Individuals with rare recessive sex-linked traits are often the offspring of such matings. On the other hand, such consanguineous matings are not necessarily undesirable. Charles DARWIN married his first cousin Emma WEDGWOOD, and the entire Darwin-Wedgwood lineage was highly inbred. Some have speculated that the pre-eminence of this lineage in the arts, sciences, and the professions may have resulted from some inbred genetic trait. But this is probably the exception, and genetic diversity in families is probably healthier over the long run.
[Duane F. Alwin is Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, where he teaches social psychology, the family and research methods. In his spare time he actively pursues the history of his own family. E-mail: email@example.com ]
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
PLEASE CHECK OUR WEB SITE (http://www.wvculture.org/history) FOR GENEALOGICAL and HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND FOR MORE COMPLETE INFORMATION ON ACTIVITIES LISTED BELOW.
PRESERVING CULTURES, AUGUST 8. Archives and History Director Fredrick Armstrong will discuss the State Archives collection. Kanawha County Public Library, Charleston.
LABOR DAY, SEPTEMBER 3. Archives Library will be closed.
ROANE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY GENEALOGY FAIR, SEPTEMBER 29. Spencer.
COLUMBUS DAY, OCTOBER 8. The Archives Library will be closed due to construction work on the Cultural Center's heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
WEST VIRGINIA BOOK FESTIVAL, OCTOBER 12-13. Charleston.
VETERANS DAY, NOVEMBER 12. Archives Library will be open.*
*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. The West Virginia Library Commission Library in the Cultural Center is closed weekends and all holidays.
NEW LIBRARY HOURS
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY LIBRARY HOURS ARE 9:00 A.M. TO 8:00 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, 9:00 A.M. TO 6:00 P.M. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, AND CLOSED ON SUNDAY. HOLIDAY HOURS ARE AS POSTED.
THE MICROFILM STORAGE ROOM AND STAFF COPY SERVICE WILL CLOSE ONE- HALF HOUR BEFORE LIBRARY CLOSING TIME.
NOTE: ARCHIVES AND HISTORY OFFICE HOURS REMAIN 9:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. THE OFFICE IS CLOSED ON ALL STATE HOLIDAYS. PLEASE MAKE VIEWING ARRANGEMENTS FOR MANUSCRIPT, PHOTOGRAPH, MOVING IMAGES AND OTHER SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DURING REGULAR OFFICE HOURS.
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY STAFF
Fredrick Armstrong: Director
Debra Basham: Archivist (photographs, special collections)
Constance Baston: Researcher (Veterans Memorial Archives)
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)
Ed Hicks: Photographer (archival photography, darkroom)
Mary Johnson: Historian (West Virginia History)
Cathy Miller: Library Assistant (WV State documents, periodicals)
Sharon Newhouse: Secretary
Harold Newman: Library Assistant (microfilming, Revolutionary War)
Pat Pleska: Veterans Memorial Archives Manager
Susan Scouras: Librarian (cataloging, Kentucky, library collection, newsletter editor)
Jaime Lynch Simmons: Library Assistant (Records of the 1700's and early 1800's, Pennsylvania)
Bobby Taylor: Library Manager
Nancy Waggoner: Office Assistant
Employees on special projects: Allen Fowler and Leah Stover. Summer interns: Ethan Byler, Adam Casto and Roger Christianson.
This newsletter is a publication of :
The Division of Culture and History
Archives and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Nancy P. Herholdt, Commissioner
Archives and History News