Thursday, September 27, 2012

Genealogy Humor - How We're Seen....

Here's a little detour from the usual subjects.  This has been making its way around online and I thought I'd share. Funny but accurate too! (OK, the jibe might be a little exaggerated!)  Have a great day and enjoy!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

War of 1812 Bicentennial - The Second War for Independence

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the War of 1812, including manuscripts, broadsides, pictures, and government documents. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the War of 1812 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the War of 1812.

The following titles are just a sample of what is available for you to research in person in the Genealogy Department of the Poplar Bluff Public Library:
  • Arkansas military bounty grants (War of 1812) / Compiled by Katheren (Mrs. Paul) Christensen.
  • Arkansas pensioners, 1818-1900 : records of some Arkansas residents who applied to the federal government for benefits arising from service in federal military organizations (Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian and Mexican wars) / compiled by Dorothy E. Payne.
  • Notes on Kentucky veterans of the War of 1812 / G. Glenn Clift.
  • Records of officers and men of New Jersey in wars, 1791-1815.
  • Soldiers of the War of 1812 buried in Tennessee : names abstracted from Colonel Davidd Henley's "Wastebook", regular and militia personnel for period 1793-1798, in southwest territory (Tennessee) : petition from Overton County, 1813 : Henderson & McGhee, storekeepers, Maryville, Tennessee, account October 1814 to December 1815 / compiled by Mary Hardin McCown, Inez E. Burns.
The library's subscription to "ebrary" provides you with access via the Internet to the following resources day or night:
  • America on the brink [ebrary eBook] : how the political struggle over the war of 1812 almost destroyed the young republic / by Richard Buel, Jr.
  • The naval War of 1812 [ebrary eBook] / Theodore Roosevelt
Looking for additional information but want a physical item to take home to peruse? The following items are available to be checked out:
  • The War of 1812 [DVD] [videorecording] / [compilation, A&E Television Networks].
  • Union 1812 : the Americans who fought the Second War of Independence / A.J. Langguth.
  • The sage of Monticello / by Dumas Malone.
Several works of historical fiction use the War of 1812 as a backdrop, some involving more details and action than others and, although fictional, might be of interest to fans of history. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cenotaph - Word of the Day

If you've never heard of a cenotaph [sen-uh-taf], it's not surprising.  Today, we generally use the word "monument" or "memorial" in its place but it does pop-up occasionally when performing cemetery research.  Cenotaph literally means "empty tomb" according to and comes from Greek and Latin origins.  The body is either buried somewhere else (such as a foreign country), is never recovered (possibly the result of a large scale disaster), or the result of ashes being scattered after cremation.  But people like to have a physical location to go to remember the deceased, so cenotaphs provide just that.  They can be anything from a simple plaque to an elaborate monument.

You know many cenotaphs without even realizing it:
  • Vietnam War Memorial Wall
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Crash sites involving the September 11th attacks
  • Multiple cenotaphs have even been erected around the world to honor those lost aboard the H.M.S. Titanic, from the U.K. to the U.S. to Australia and points in-between.
Click photograph to see full size.
You don't have to travel far to see one in person if you're a local resident.  Located in front of the Black River Coliseum is the Butler County Veterans Memorial Wall.  The granite columns arranged in a circle are inscribed with the names of veterans killed in action.  More information about this cenotaph is available on the Coliseum's website.

So the next time you're at a memorial site that doesn't contain remains, remember you're viewing a cenotaph. And now you have a trivia question with which to stump your friends!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Following in their footsteps - Brick Streets of PB

Click photograph to see full size.
You may not be able to walk a mile in your ancestor's shoes, however, you can walk the same routes and cross intersections made of bricks in downtown Poplar Bluff just as they did a century ago.

The Butler County Historical Society has a wonderfully informative page on their website chronicling the decisions and progress of building the now historic brick streets.  Articles from the Daily American Republic, along with stories from residents, provide the historical context of the times.

The plaque above, located at the corner of Oak Street and Main Street on the grounds of the library, was presented by the Poplar Bluff Rotary Club to the Poplar Bluff Historical Commission in 1990.

If you're interested in learning about the brick streets in greater detail, the articles cited on the Butler County Historical Society's website are available to be viewed in their entirety on microfilm at the library.