Friday, December 28, 2012

Documenting Ireland Parliament, People and Migration


Researching Irish Ancestors
Have you searched the Documenting Ireland Parliament, People and Migration (DIPPAM) website yet for your Irish Ancestor who may have spent time in America or Canada, or elsewhere? DIPPAM's online collection of 3 databases is populated with documents " relating to Ireland and its migration experience from the 18th to the late 20th centuries."

3 Irish Databases on DIPPAM Website
  • State and Management of Tontine Annuities
     granted in Ireland in 1773
    Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland (EPPI) Collection.

    Many researchers interested in their Irish ancestry overlook the early Irish Act of Union papers pertaining to when Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.  Even though, you would not expect to see your ancestor’s name in one of these documents, imagine the surprise of those finding genealogical information in the EPPI Collection of the State of Management of Tontine Annuities granted in Ireland in 1773Over 15,000 documents of British Parliamentary papers from 1801-1922 relating to Ireland provides great social history of this period. As a bonus, these records include Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even the USA.   
  • Irish Emigration Database (IED) What a collection of emigrant letters, family papers, diaries and journals! And who doesn’t love a letter filled with family and community news? There are over 33,000 documents in the IED database dated between 1700 -1950.  Many capture the mass Irish emigrations from 1820 - 1920 like that of Henry Moore of Augusta GA who penned a gossip filled letter to Wm. J C Allen in Belfast in 1835. 
  • Voices of Migration and Return Oral Archive (VMR).  Ninety-three returnees and migrants from nine counties of Ulsters shared their life via interviews. These oral accounts detail experiences from 1930 - 2000, but the majority during the Northern Ireland conflict of the 1970’s. 

    The interviews are contemporary, but the family information is filled with good genealogical information tracing migratory paths.  Listen to Helena’s (“Ena”) interview #1 Birth, Kent England, parents, siblings
    .  Ena not only gives her history from England (1927), to Ireland, and life in Detroit,  but tells much of her father's, a British subject born in Cork; and that of her Belfast-born mother and grandparent
    Enjoy your Irish research.

    Kathleen Brandt
    Also Visit Our Website: 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ancestor Research in War Department Papers

Central Decimal Correspondence Files,1940-1945
One of the best treasures held at the National Archives and Records Administrations’ (NARA) is the War Department Correspondence Files. Military, historical, and family researchers may find correspondence from ancestors, written accounts detailing veteran ancestor’s medical discharge, as well as personal letters, telegraphs, and notes regarding political and civil theoretical postulations. Citizens’ correspondence is also saved in these files. 

Where to Find War Time Correspondence?
Beginning in 1914 collections of correspondence have officially been filed and systematically classified according to the War Department Decimal File System. The textural records are held at NARA II, College Park, MD.

Although correspondence is filed much earlier, one of the best collections is for the WWII era, Central Decimal Correspondence Files, 1940-1945. 
The series consists of letters, memorandums, and other administrative documents that relate to activities of the War Department during World War II. The records were maintained by the Adjutant General's Office. Included in the decimal files subseries are records pertaining to organizational data filed under the following file designations: 020 (organization of major Army branches); 320.2 (personnel strengths of specific commands and units); 320.3 (authorized tables of organization); 322  [companies and field hospitals] (activation, composition, and operational histories of specific commands and units); 370.5 (unit transfers and movements); and 400.34 (tables of authorized equipment allowances for units). Personnel information for select individual servicemen is scattered throughout the files, including general information, under file designation 095 and information about awards of decorations and medals (file 200.6), discharges and separations (file 220.8), American prisoners of war (POWs) (file 383.6), and determinations regarding dead and missing servicemen (file 704). The decimal files subseries also includes records pertaining to the military utilization of and racial incidents involving African Americans (file designations 291.2 and 291.21). These files also include correspondence with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and general information regarding segregation policies. Included in the project files subseries are records pertaining to the U.S.S.R. and the Philippines (filed under Foreign Countries); military aviation (filed under Aviation Schools and Flying Fields); and extensive information on officer and enlisted reserves, the National Guard, the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and the Women's Army Corps (WAC) (filed under Special Projects).
Other favorites are the Surgeon General – Army files, 321.01; Officers and Enlisted Men in hands of Civil Authorities, 250.3; and Summary Courts 250.414.

Looking for Details on Ancestor’s Discharge?
Genealogical - historical researchers will want to delve into the War time collection especially to gather an ancestors’ medical discharge (Section II). It is here that researchers can find correspondence between the Adjutant General and Surgeon General and military medical facility leading to a Certificate of Disability Discharge (CDD).

For the WWIII era, in order to have received a Section II discharge there would have been a hearing before a board of medical officers and a Certificate of Disability Discharge would have been issued.  The CDD would then be forwarded to the Adjutant General and a letter sent to the Surgeon General from the hospital. Often the medical event is well noted and discussed prior to the veteran’s discharge date. For Decimal Correspondence of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1917 -, be sure to also review Record Group 407.

Did Your Ancestor Write the War Department?
Myrtle Smith, abt 50 yrs old.
Wife of George Smith,
local mechanic, living on Rhode Island Street
Lawrence, KS

It is also in these Correspondence that researchers can uncover perhaps a letter penned by an ancestor making administrative or personal requests.  When Mrs. Myrtle Smith, Lawrence, KS pleaded to the War Department to halt consideration of stationing “colored trainees” between Lawrence and Topeka for the war effort Jun of 1941, it was customary for the Adjutant General to respond to alleviate her fears. This one letter from a concerned citizen generated several personal exchanges.  

Happy Holidays, and wishing Santa to leave you a gift for NARA Research.

Kathleen Brandt

Monday, December 10, 2012

Researching Your Paiute Indian Ancestor?

Nevada Native Americans
If your Native American ancestor was from western Nevada, be sure to include the Paiute (Pah-Ute) Indians in your search. Actually the Paiute Natives are often subdivided into Northern Paiute which included northwest Nevada, flowing into Oregon, Idaho, and California. The Southern Paiutes can be placed in southern Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and of course, California. There are over 30 bands of Paiute Indians (see listing at the page. 

Tips in Researching
  • Do not limit your research to reservation only, as many Paiute’s did not live on the reservation, but often worked on ranches of white families 
  • Keep in mind that many Paiute’s were considered nomadic in the earlier years, and stripped of land due to wars, railroads in the latter. So it is best to research and understand the migratory paths of the various bands. 
  • The Paiutes were originally a unique Native American tribe, but in later documents (see Census) researchers may see the reference Shoshoni-Paiute, especially on the various Nevada reservations. 
  • Paiute’s carry the nickname of Numa (“The People”). 
  • Today’s reservations in Nevada established between 1859-1891 include Moapa, Pyramid Lake, Walker River and the Shohone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley reservation.
        6 Great Places to Search?
  1. Tribal Records: Your research may include the Fallon Band, Sho-shone or Ft. McDermitt in Nevada (or U-tu Utu Gwaitu Paiute in California). A great first step is to determine when a reservation was established/ This may assist in tracing your ancestor to a reservation: (i.e. Duck Valley Reservation, established in 1877; Walker River Tribe, established in 1859, etc.)
  2. Federal Government: NARA: Be sure to search the National Archives (NARA) - Pacific Regional Archives in San Francisco for records of the Nevada Agency available for 1895-1975.
  3. Nevada State Archives located in Carson City, holds an impressive collection on the Paiute Indians. However, we have uncovered data and information in newspapers, at historical societies, and museums throughout Nevada to include the Clarke County Museum and at the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas. 
  4. indexed the Walker River Valley, Nevada Paiute Indian Records, 1902-1906, located south of Lake Tahoe. Although not complete, this database covers 2000 of the reservation residents from 1902 to 1906.  The best part of these records is they provide the Native American name which may further your family research.
     Indian Census Collection has also indexed the US Indian Census Rolls, 1885 - 1940. There are over 1500 names listed in the census for the Paiute Indians listed in Nevada (some may include Shoshoni’s). (NARA microfilm of Federal Indian Census Rolls, DC - M595).
  5. Special Collections. The California State Military Museum houses some accounts of the Paiute War (1860):. However, newspapers and other collections held at local and state museums will help the researcher on this quest. A good example is the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor Center
  6. School Records. As with much research school records/documentations, may help in uncovering Paiute ancestors.  In Nevada, the Stewart Institute boarding school was opened  from 1890  - 1980. Be sure to check records of faraway schools also. Recently our search at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS proved fruitful for our Paiute ancestral search.  For school records search research should be conducted at the NARA- San Francisco. Reference Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Records Group (RG) 75.20.4 Records of the Carson/Stewart Indian School, NV
Of course if you need to combine research with pleasure, remember the Tudinu, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe

For further information:

Stewart Indian Museum, Carson City, NV 

Kathleen Brandt