A grant has been given to Jonathan Puckett of Richland, MS for planning Clarke-Day-Puckett family reunions, printing genealogical histories on the family, preserving old family artifacts, etc. Jonathan has compiled over 700 pages of related material into two published volumes and is working on a third. He also volunteers his services at local and state archives. And by the way, Jonathan is 15 years old.
Carol Franks is on a personal mission to ensure that irreplaceable White County, Georgia documents are preserved. To this end, she creates digital copies of records found only in filing cabinets at the local library and will use her grant for an external hard drive with auto and cloud backup.
Myrna Shirey of the Fore-Kin Trails Genealogical Society in Montrose, Colorado will use her grant to purchase a large flatbed scanner for digitizing a variety of records - to include funeral home books, newspaper obituaries,and club logs - of the Montrose area. The society funds the Montrose Genealogy Center that is free to the public and is completely funded by donations and product sales resulting from preservation work.
In 2011, the Historical Society of Kent County, one of Maryland's earliest counties, was delighted to receive the donation of a building that will be the future Bordley History Center. The History Center will have both a research library, with computers and databases accessible to the public, as well as a state of the art archival room that will keep the society's collection of negatives, family Bibles, portraits, oral histories, family photo albums and legal documents preserved. Liberty Bliss, a work-study student at the society, requested a grant, explaining that, "under the current director Karen Emerson, we are working very hard to preserve and document the African-American and Hispanic communities that have been in Kent County forever but underrepresented. We are going to begin an oral history project with members of the Hispanic community in the fall, and I am currently working on a proposal to begin a slave genealogy project. In addition to this much needed research center, we are doing our best to fill this crucial need in the historical and genealogical communities. We have the heart, we have the hands, we just don't have the funds." This month's grant is intended to help with the funds part of the equation.
My father's entire side of the family is Carpatho-Rusyn, so I've been a member of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society (C-RS) since it first launched in 1994. In fact, I recently had the honor of speaking at the society's 20th anniversary event in Pittsburgh, and as it happens, this grants program has just reached its 14th birthday! So I've decided to celebrate both together by awarding a grant to the C-RS in support of the Carpatho-Rusyn National Cultural Center in Munhall, PA. If you happen to be part Rusyn yourself, please consider joining and/or visiting soon!
Normally, I summarize applications when sharing grant awards, but I've decided to let this month's for the El Monte Cemetery Association in California speak for itself. I only hope that a few other cemeteries will take their lead and borrow a few of these ideas!
"Savannah Memorial Park, a pioneer cemetery, recently received historical landmark, number 1046. We serve the genealogical and local community as the historical representation of the collective memories of the pioneers, veterans, infants and families who settled in the San Gabriel Valley during the early 1800s and continues to date. Savannah is open every day to descendants, visitors, students and scholars. We are making changes to the property that will make the cemetery a multi-cultural repository and community asset. Savannah hosts Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies, "Retiring of the Colors" events and are part of Rosemead's 4th of July Parade. We are partners with the El Monte Historical Museum and Society, as the two cities have a shared and rich historical past. Savannah has self-guided tours made possible by placards next to more than 40 of our founding fathers (and mothers) so that individuals can learn about the people who settled in Rosemead and El Monte, CA. Girl and Boy Scout troops from our area come to help clean the cemetery, work on badges and on special occasions, Savannah hosts "Probing Days" where the kids can come and probe for sunken grave markers. In the near future the Boy Scouts and their fathers will be coming to raise all of our markers so that they are all level in regards to our drought-tolerant landscaping redesign (we are in a severe drought). We want the cemetery to reflect our city's pride, not a neglected dried up weed patch."
The ASK GRANNY program provides free genealogical session and materials to senior citizen groups. In 2011 they were awarded the "Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Genealogy" by the Georgia Genealogical Society. The Ask Granny authors have distributed free session materials to civic organizations, librarians, and genealogical societies in 48 states as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and have held more than 50 seminars, helping more than 700 senior citizens in the process. The grant will allow them to supply free materials to still more ASK GRANNY students.
The Genealogy & History Department of the Shelby County Public Library provides housing for documentation dating as far back as 1822 for Shelby County, Indiana and surrounding counties. Over 3,500 family and history folders contain invaluable information from Shelby County’s earliest organizations and settlers. The grant award will fund the purchase of a mobile scanner that will be used to help visitors preserve valuable family photos and documents, as well as to quickly share these with the library so more information can be added to the department's family files.
Crystal Medler Rojas Mora of Kenmore, WA has spent the past six years researching the life of her maternal second great-grandmother, Lucretia Berry Porter Cowan, who, after her move from Maine to Seattle with her two young children in 1912 eventually gained a reputation as one of the best photographers in Seattle. Crystal is planning to write a biography of her ancestor and will be making a research trip to Maine, where she will visit a number of libraries, archives, and historical societies. The grant will help to pay for fees associated with this trip.
Caleb Pomeroy will be taking some time to visit his ancestral home in Devon to interview locals, visit archives, and possibly pursue DNA testing. His goal is to contribute to the creation of a comprehensive family tree, by tracing lineage after the sale of the Berry Pomeroy Castle to the Seymour family in 1549, including tracking travels of the family from England to the New World. He'd also like to substantiate more of the castle's history, such as claims that it was one of the last constructed in the old feudal style, as well as to learn more about how the sale of the castle to the Seymour family was conducted. The grant will help to pay for fees associated with this trip.
Photo Credit: Glen Bowman
The Huron Shores Genealogical Society has a room at the Robert Parks Library in Oscoda, MI which houses a vast collection of resources and where Society volunteers aid visitors in personal family history quests. The grant will assist with costs associated with a new Society initiative, “A Legacy on Glass” traveling exhibit. This exhibit will explore the photography of Ard G. Emery between 1892-1904, as well as sharing the technological barriers Mr. Emery had to overcome to create his photos of life in the farms, cities, and landscapes of Iosco County, MI. Personal stories behind various photos, which were unearthed in the course of research, will also be shared.
Photo Credit: This photograph by Ard G. Emery is used with the kind permission of the Huron Shores Genealogical Society.
Raritan Valley Slavic Cultural and Heritage Society of New Jersey is an organization I’ve long admired. With a small group of volunteers, they publish an excellent newsletter and orchestrate a number of interesting events that cater to all Slavs – Belarusans, Bohemians, Bulgarians, Carpatho-Rusyns, Cossacks, Croats, Czechs, Lemkos, Lusatians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Moravians, Poles, Rusnaks, Russians, Ruthenians, Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenes, Sorbs, Wends, and Ukrainians. Phew! I like this inclusive approach and the fact that they share personal recollections, recipes, folk tales, books, traditions – you name it. I often learn about my own ancestral traditions by reading their newsletter, and am delighted to select them for this grant.
Earl Sundmaker visits churches in the New Orleans area to ask if he can copy their records, then scans, prints and put in binders to present to the church for their use.
Read the full story of Earl's work here.