Genealogy: Church Records

Church records can be a valuable asset to genealogical research in several ways. They began in the U. S. in the early 1600s, but civil registration or recording of births, marriages, and deaths was not generally required until after 1900. Sometimes church records are the only records containing vital record information. Therefore, they are a valuable substitute when vital records do not exist. Many churches of different denominations kept such records as births, baptisms or christenings, marriages, deaths, and burials. Unfortunately, many of these records have not survived, but it’s usually worthwhile to check with the church about availability. The types of records kept by churches depends on what mattered most to them in terms of their belief systems. These may include births, baptisms, christenings, communions, confirmations, admissions, removals, lists of Sunday school attendees, church censuses,  financial records, and even newsletters. The kind of information kept by a specific church...


Readers’ Advisory Tips

Have you found a book that you really love? Maybe it is a stand-a-lone or maybe it is a part of a series. But when you are done you feel like a part of you has gone with it? Here are some tips and tricks for finding other similar books and series to ones that you love. We have compiled a few resources for different readers’ advisory options. Readers’ Advisory is the service normally provided to you by your friendly library staff where they suggest titles through indirect or direct means. Since we can’t be with you from the library we are hoping these help in finding more materials for you from the comfort of your home. The Kitchen Sink RA is a great resource for reading a book similar to a particular movie, singer, or different genres. https://kitchensinkra.com/ NoveList is actually available on the catalog when you search for...


Genealogy: Public Land Records

At the close of the American Revolution in 1783, the new United States was cash-poor and land-rich. To help fill the federal treasury and ensure an orderly settlement of lands west of the original 13 colonies, Congress devised a system of settlement to encourage westward movement. The result was the Rectangular Survey System (RSS) or Public Land Survey System (PLSS). This post is meant to give you an idea of how western lands in the U. S. were laid out for settlement and how you can find out if your ancestor bought some of this land from the federal government. The Land Ordinance of 1785 and Northwest Ordinance of 1787 established the PLSS to control the survey, sale, and settling of the new land. Land was systematically surveyed into square townships, six miles on each side. Each township was then subdivided into 36 sections of one square mile each, or...

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Resources for Parents: Coping with Change & Loss

There is the assumption that loss and grief mainly go hand and hand with death. But loss can have many different faces and we are allowed to grieve changes to our every day life. The loss of routines, loss of jobs, loss of socialization is affecting us all at this time. Sheltering in place is the right thing for everyone at this time, but it is a big change for most of us. Children who attended school are feeling their routines being upended and it may cause them to feel more emotional. Parents, there are lots of resources out there for you and your children during this trying time! This page linked below talks about grief in many different forms and offers ideas of how to deal with it. HelpGuide is a nonprofit mental health and wellness website. Their mission is to provide empowering, evidence-based information that you can use...


Exploring Family History with Nancy: Virtual Collections

Genealogists want to physically visit libraries and other institutions to find their ancestors, but did you know that you can visit many of these places virtually through their digital collections? These resources may contain a wide variety of materials you can use to find your ancestors or supplement your family history with some local history. You may find books, maps, documents, photographs, and artifacts, just to name a few. These collections are available on state, public, academic, and special library web sites as well as historical and genealogical society sites. One good way to locate a digital library or collection is to Google search terms such as the state and/or locality and either “digital library” or “digital collections”. The first photo shows search results relating to Nebraska. We can see results from academic, public, and state libraries in just this short list. If we look at the digital collections of...


Jim Henson Style Puppetry

In addition to being a magician and a bubble wizard, our friend Brett Roberts is also an amazing puppeteer! He studied puppetry at M.I.T. under Jim Henson productions. Some of the skills he learned apply specifically to working on camera, but most of the techniques discussed here are for any Muppet style puppet. These skills include eye focus, mouth movement, arm gestures, mime techniques, etc. Thanks to Brett (comedian4kids.com) for making these fun and educational videos for us!

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Genealogy with Nancy: A Guide to Online Resources for Digitized Historical Books

Before the digitization of books, genealogists had to either visit a library in person to use a book or attempt to request it through interlibrary loan. Today there are an amazing number of FREE digitized books that genealogists can access with an Internet connection. Today we’re going to look at some web sites containing digitized historical books. FamilySearch The FamilySearch Digital Library is a free virtual online library of rare historic books contributed by large public libraries and societies that can help you discover rich, unknown details about the lives of your ancestors. This makes the Library a priceless online repository of some of the greatest hidden historic treasures. The collection, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, began in 2007 and is invaluable to genealogists and family historians. When you click on the link below, it will take you to the FamilySearch Digital Library. You need to be logged into...

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How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

We get it. This is a challenging topic for all of us to grasp. This is especially true for our little ones. PBS Kids has compiled some wonderful resources to help make these conversations easier. Feel free to share any favorite tips with all parents in the comments. Thanks, PBS KIDS !