Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wake Wednesday - Ella Josephine Baker - the Mother of Civil Rights

Ella Josephine Baker, founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was an alumna and former valedictorian (1927) of  Shaw University.  Baker is regarded as the mother of the civil rights movement. In addition to the SNCC, she co founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with Martin Luther King,Jr. After college she moved to Harlem in New York. At that time Harlem was the hub of the black intellectual and creative thinking phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance.

source

A poll conducted by North Carolina Public Radio voted her the favorite to have deserve a monument in North Carolina. Michael Hill of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources recommends honoring Ella Josephine Baker in a statue on the grounds of Shaw University in Raleigh.

To learn more about the "unsung hero" Ella Josephine Baker, watch the video, Ella Josephine Baker - African American Trailblazers


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Friday, March 24, 2023

NGS 2023 Family History Conference Early Bird Discount Ends in One Week - March 31

 I received an email from NGS this week:


view full email here 

This year’s conference will run from 31 May through 3 June and include

  • More than 110 lectures,
  • Luncheons featuring guest speakers,
  • FOCUS for societies, libraries, and archives
  • SLAM! Idea Showcase reception and program,
  • Expo Hall with companies and organizations,
  • Opening Session with Christy Coleman presenting “Diverse from the Beginning” as well as NGS Awards and announcements,
  • NGS Awards Luncheon,
  • Virginia Genealogical Society’s cocktail hour and buffet dinner,
  • Pre-Conference tours, and much more.

 Don’t Miss Out on Your Early Bird Discount! Register by 31 March 2023.

Join us in Richmond or Sign up for Online at Home!


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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Wake Wednesday - Elizabeth Reid Murray

Let's salute Elizabeth Reid Murray, if not the Mother of Wake County (Margaret Wake Tryon), most definitely the Author of Wake County. Murray was a prolific writer and contributor to the historic writings of Wake and North Carolina at large. Her obituary provides an extensive list of her writings and awards. 

From the obituary:

"Her major published works are WAKE: Capital County of NC, vol. 1 (1983); WAKE: Capital County of NC, vol. 2 (2008), with co-author K. Todd Johnson; and From Raleigh’s Past (1965). 

Other published works include: editor and compiler, North Carolina’s Older Population: Opportunities and Challenges (1960); contributor, Windows of the Way (1964); 

editor, Wake County Historical Society newsletter, 1965-1969; 

editor/photographer, Wake County history filmstrip; guest editor, “Wake County Bicentennial” edition, Raleigh Magazine (1971); 

contributor to a history of the Raleigh Fire Department; contributor, Dictionary of North Carolina Biography (1979-1996); and contributor, Encyclopedia of North Carolina (2006).

Awards: American Association State and Local History for From Raleigh’s Past (1965); first Meredith College Distinguished Alumna award (1970); W.P. Peace Award for best book on NC history (1983); Community Service Award, Raleigh Board of Realtors (1983); Wake County Phi Beta Kappa Award (1985); Silver Bowl Award, NC Museum of Art (1987); President’s Cup, Wake County Historical Society (1994); Anthemion Award, Capital Area Preservation, Inc. (1994)."

 

As genealogists in Wake County, we owe her a huge debt for her Wake : Capital County of North Carolina. All the Wake history you could wish to consume in two handy volumes. Check out Volume 1 at Digital NC.  Volume 2, cowritten with Todd Johnson is available at the Olivia Raney Local History Library which houses the Elizabeth Reid Murray Research Collection.

 

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Second clean up and planning date is scheduled at McCullers Cemetery, this Saturday, March 18

Update on McCullers Cemetery:

Cemetery Clean Up and Planning session For the Patriot Mathew McCullers Cemetery is scheduled Saturday, March 18, from 1-5:30pm. Optional Meet for lunch at Smithfield Chicken ‘N BBQ near the McCullers Crossroad by 11:30am

Cemetery located on Donny Brook Road across 401 South/Fayetteville Road from the South Campus of Wake Tech.

This is a Revolutionary War Soldier's grave site in Wake County. If you are interested in attending, please contact Holt Anderson directly. His contact info is in bold below. This is good work being done to save this and an ajoining slave cemetery.

Please help if you are able. 


Original post::

Holt Anderson, Joel McCullers Hobby, and Tommy Broadwell (all McCullers descendants) are in the early stages of organizing a cleanup project of the McCullers Family Cemetery in southern Wake County. They seek other descendants and interested parties to assist in planning and executing the effort to clear the site located at Donny Brook Rd and US 401 south of Raleigh. The site is the burial place of documented Revolutionary War soldier, Captain Matthew McCullers and includes a total of 19 graves. An associated slave cemetery is located nearby.

Source

Matthew Jones McCullers (1759-1825) married Sarah Lane (1763-1843). McCullers served in the Revolutionary War and attained the rank of Captain. He fought in the Battle of Moore’s Creek (NC), Battle of Brier Creek (Ga), Siege of Charleston and Battle of Lindley’s Mill (NC).

View Captain McCullers Rev. War Pension file here - http://revwarapps.org/w7415.pdf

View the Cemetery Find a Grave records here - https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2242193/mccullers-cemetery

Known associated surnames include Adkins, Anderson, Banks, Heflin, Perkinson, Johnson, Lane, Nance, McCullough, and Rand.

If you are interested in helping plan and execute this cleanup project, please contact Holt Anderson. Please share this information with anyone you think may be interested and willing to participate.

 Holt Anderson
17 Chancery Place
Durham, NC 27707-5001
919-740-8697 (Mobile)
919-489-9310 (Home)
holta@mindspring.com


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Wake Wednesday - Dorothea Dix

Dorothea L. Dix



See NCPedia for the full account of Dorothea Dix, name sake of Wake County's first hospital for the care of the mentally ill. 

 "Interest in the treatment of mental illness had been expressed in North Carolina in 1825 and 1838 but with no results. Several governors suggested care of the mentally ill to the General Assembly as a legislative priority, but no bill was passed. Then in the autumn of 1848 the champion of the cause of treatment of the mentally ill made North Carolina the focus of her efforts. Dorothea Lynde Dix was a New Englander born in 1802. Shocked by what she saw of the treatment of mentally ill women in Boston in 1841 she became a determined campaigner for reform and was instrumental in improving care for the mentally ill in state after state.


In North Carolina Dix followed her established pattern of gathering information about local conditions which she then incorporated into a "memorial" for the General Assembly. Warned that the Assembly, almost equally divided between Democrats and Whigs, would shy from any legislation which involved spending substantial amounts of money, Dix nevertheless won the support of several important Democrats led by Representative John W. Ellis who presented her memorial to the Assembly and maneuvered it through a select committee to the floor of the House of Commons. There, however, in spite of appeals to state pride and humanitarian feeling, the bill failed. Dix had been staying in the Mansion House Hotel in Raleigh during the legislative debate. There she went to the aid of a fellow guest, Mrs. James Dobbins, and nursed her through her final illness. Mrs. Dobbins's husband was a leading Democrat in the House of Commons, and her dying request of him was to support Dix's bill. James Dobbins returned to the House and made an impassioned speech calling for the reconsideration of the bill. The legislation passed the reconsideration vote and on the 29th day of January, 1849, passed its third and final reading and became law."


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Friday, March 10, 2023

Wake Genealogy Watch - Spring Edition 2023, v6.3 - Live Now at our website

The Spring 2023 Issue (Vol.6 Issue 3) of our award-winning newsletter, Wake Genealogy Watch, is now available online for reading or download. You can download the latest newsletter through this link – Wake Genealogy Watch, Spring 2023

Features in this issue include:

  • RootsTech Roundup 2023: All the Tools, All the DNA, All the AI, All the Stories
  • A review of our February Meet Up at Johnston County Heritage Center
  • Brenda Carbon has shared a great case study exploring Ancestry’s new ethnicity SideView feature.
  • Several Cemetery queries and cleanup projects in our area looking to make local connections
  • Pointers to two really good blog posts that cover some basic yet fundamental concepts for working with Genetic Genealogy
  • Our handy events calendar will help you save the dates, so you don't miss a single moment of WCGS excitement.
Photo Note: If you choose to read a printed version of this newsletter, some of the photos will be difficult to view due to size constraints. Please refer to the online edition where you can enlarge the photos to accommodate better viewing.
 

Click this newsletter page link to view this and all past newsletter content. 

We welcome your feedback, input, and submissions for inclusions in future editions. Please address all concerns to newsletter@wakecogen.org.

Visit the WCGS Blog for more events, late breaking news, tutorials, updates, and other special posts.


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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Wake Wedndesay - Anna Julia Cooper

Anna "Annie" Julia Cooper nee Haywood was born enslaved in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1858. From such humble beginnings she rose to accomplished heights too numerous to account for in a simple blog post. Here are the highlights of her career.


source

In 1868, when Cooper was nine years old, she received a scholarship and began her education at the newly opened Saint Augustine's Normal School and Collegiate Institute in Raleigh eschewing the educational track reserved for women, Cooper fought for her right to take courses reserved for men, by demonstrating her scholastic ability.

Upon graduation, she became an instructor at Saint Augustine in 1883. She went on to attend the college level program (male student track again) and graduate from in 1884 Oberlin College in Ohio. Cooper taught there before moving to Washington DC to teach latin and later become principle of the M Street High School.

Cooper advocated for the classical education model for blacks as championed by WEB Du Bois rather than the vocational program promoted by Booker T Washington. 

She is the author of  A Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of the South, a well known and respected speaker. This and more of her writings  are featured in a recent book titled, The Portable Anna Julia Cooper. Read a review about this book here

Cooper had a long and illustrious career as an educator, author, public speaker and  early black feminist. She though she died in 1964 in Washington, her memorial was held at Saint Augustine's chapel and she is buried nearby at Raleigh City Cemetery. A historical marker honors her and marks the way at the at the intersection of North East Street and East Edenton Street.

source


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Monday, March 6, 2023

RootsTech Roundup 2023: All the Tools, All the DNA, All the AI, All the Stories

RootsTech 2023 was this past weekend. Here is a short recap of highlights.

RootsTech is a live an virtual conference held yearly each spring. RootsTech is billed as a "a place to learn, to be inspired, and make connections through family history." The conference is live (this being the first  live instance since Covid) at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you are unable to make it to Salt Lake, you can tune into the conference virtually. The most wonderful part about that is that virtual attendance is free and the sessions are available to watch real time or at your convenience. This is a double win for virtual attendees since this weekend in Raleigh was just too beautiful to stay indoors. 

If you were outdoors all weekend, you can still join in the fun and learning after the fact. Watch the RootsTech 2023 virtual sessions here. (You may be required to register or log in. It is free.)



I did manage to hit a sampling of the sessions and came away with several recurring impressions:
  • AI (artificial intelligence) is popping up often as vendors are discovering new ways to harness its power in the field of genealogy.
  • Story telling and story automation (fueled by AI) are the activity of the year.
  • DNA tools and methodology continue to be a steady interest and driver of presentations at this yearly genealogy and tech convention.


Here are some highlights regarding these three topics with links to guide you:

AI (artificial intelligence) 

AI is pervasive in the development of new tools. The Innovation and Tech Forum featured several examples from small start ups to big players like FamilySearch.

At 20 minutes in, Andy Gold of FamilySearch introduced a new tree technology - Computer Generated Trees. These trees are built by location (world wide) using records specific to the area. They are processed in the cloud using machine learning, AI and clustering. These trees focus family structures by creating a scaffolding to store the data to process complex connections quickly. The CGTs are time savers and connection facilitators!

Storied.com (at 27 min)- an online genealogy tree builder with an emphasis on bringing trees to life with vibrant, collaborative stories, introduced a new tool called Story Assist that uses an AI interface to build story drafts that you can edit and craft to your own voice. 

KinSame.org (at 36 min) - has used  AI to develop technology for identifying family relationships from images for a variety of applications. Could this be the end of all those boxes and albums of unidentified family photos? Can't wait to see if this holds up.

Ericsson (just before 46 min) introduces game changing tech...literally... as they pioneer AI generated virtual experiences created for use in the family history/genealogy market. Don a set of virtual reality goggles and have a visit with your great grandparents or that Viking ancestor from the distant past!

Facilitated Story Telling

In addition to the previously mentioned Storied.com, you will want to explore these new offerings.

Ancestry.com introduced Storymaker Studio just as RootsTech was getting started last week. Crista Cowan tells a great story from her family and walks us through the process of building a story with the new tool. Tool details start at about 52 minutes, but, really, watch all of Crista's Anatomy of a Story video.  More information on building stories can be found on the website.

FamilySearch.org is using AI to create stories, too. Craig Miller illustrates how FS is using AI to create stories using records to enhance indivitual profiles in the FamilySearch 2023 video (starts at 16 min in). This new computer generated story panel can be seen by checking any profile and opening the "about" tab. Here is an example of a FamilySearch AI generated story on the page of my great grandfather, William G. Tarleton. (I find the sentence structure kind of clunky. I hope that improves as the tool evolves.)

New DNA Tools 

My Heritage - Color Coding for Family Trees

My Heritage - cM Explainer for finer accuracy in relationship prediction for DNA matches

Ancestry.com - watch Expanding Your Family Tree with SideView and More AncestryDNA Innovations

DNA Presentations

Diahan Southard - (never miss a Diahan Southard class when it is offered!) 

Should I take a DNA test elsewhere? Or at all?

My Messy Complicated Birth Roots Story

Shared DNA Matches - the only DNA Tool You will Ever Need

Jonny Perl

How third-party DNA tools can help with your family history research

All the DNA topics for 2023

Beginner to Advanced   

Traditional Genealogy offerings

Not mentioned here are the huge number of  traditional genealogy topics for everyone to looking to solve any research problem you can name. View the entire searchable on demand list here.

Be sure to catch this session on research methodology and workflow from Janet Hovorka, Diahan Southard, and Crista Cowan. They are a heavy hitter tag team.  I guarantee you will learn a few new tricks.

DO GENEALOGY Step-By-Step 

Enjoy! I hope you find something that helps your research efforts.

Don't try to take in all this wonderful content at once. As you can see they keep a webinar library and much of the webinars are available for a year or more. So much to learn for free! I hope you will take advantage of all this goodness that RootsTech shares with us.


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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Wake Wednesday - Margaret Wake Tryon - Mother of Wake

March is Womens' History Month!

Let's start it off by recognizing the woman of  Wake - Margaret Wake Tryon. She may or may not have been the "Mother of Wake County", but our county was certainly named for her in 1770, by none other than Joel Lane, according to Wikipedia.

This portrait of Margaret Wake Tryon hangs at Norwich Castle

Margaret was reported to be a "fine accomplish'd lady" in her day, possessed of skills and interests not usually adopted by women of her era. This description at Wikipedia certainly supports that notion.

Wake was described as an "accomplished" and "learned" woman who had a talent for playing the organ and spinet.[3] She was known to avoid women's company and preferred to engage in men's conversation, particularly on the topics of government and military fortifications, which was considered unconventional at the time.[3] She was also interested in military strategy and religion, and kept a large library at Tryon Palace.[12] Wake reportedly insisted on being addressed as Your Excellency, her husband's form of address.[3] 

You may enjoy this story about Margaret at the Norwich Castle Blog


Hats off to Margaret! Huzzah! 

 

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