February Historical Celebrations
February 19, 2012
ANCESTRY.COM FREE SEARCH: The Ancestry 1930 census database is free this weekend through February 20. Please take advantage of this!
PRESIDENTS’ DAY: Until 1971, both February 12 and February 22 were observed as federal public holidays to honor the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and George Washington (February 22). In 1971, President Richard Nixon proclaimed one single federal public holiday, the Presidents' Day, to be observed on the 3rd Monday of February, honoring all past presidents of the United States of America.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: February became Black History Month in 1976 when President Ford designated the achievements of African Americans to honor the accomplishments of black Americans in every area or endeavor throughout history. You can enjoy Fold3’s Black History Collection at http://go.fold3.com/blackhistory/.
150th ANNIVERSARY OF CIVIL WAR: This month is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War when Jefferson Davis, on February 8, 1861, became provisional president of the Confederate States of American in Montgomery, Alabama.
CELEBRATING TUSKEGEE AIRMEN: Showing at local theatres is the movie, Red Tails, specifically released this month to honor the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. The movie tells the story of these brave men who endured racism throughout their recruitment and training in 1944. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I do recommend it.
BATTLE OF BUENA VISTA: On February 23, 1847, 5,000 U.S. soldiers held off 15,000 Mexican troops in a mountain pass near Saltillo, west of Monterrey, Mexico, at what is called the Battle of Buena Vista. Fold3 says, “Despite forgotten history lessons about the war with Mexico, which ultimately determined the southwest border of the U.S. in 1848, the names of some of the men who participated in the Battle of Buena Vista are easily recognized: Zachary Taylor, Jeffereson Davis, Winfield Scott, and Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.” For more on this war dating 1846-1848 visit the Fold3 website, www.fold3.com/category_245/.
GEOGRAPH BRITAIN, IRELAND AND GERMANY: The aim of Geograph, www.geograph.org.uk/ and http://geo-en.hlipp.de/, is to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometer (km) of Great Britain and Ireland and Germany. (Wikipedia says one km is equal to 0.6214 mile in United States measurements.) All photos on Geograph are stored within grid squares. You can find grid references by using standard maps, using a GPS receiver, etc. For more on this visit the two links above.
GEOLOCATE PICTURES OF HEADSTONES AND MEMORIALS ON GOOGLE MAPS: Enter the name of the place to automatically geolocate your pictures. You can hunt by city, town or street address. To begin, go to http://maps.google.com/.
CLASSES ONLINE: The FamilySearch Learning Center offers genealogical instruction online. There are video and audio interactive slides at www.familysearch.org/learningcenter/home.html. There is even a research series for beginning research in England.
The Learning Center on Ancestry.com, http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/videos.aspx, offers several videos of information sources and research challenges.
For those doing British research, their National Archives offers a selection of family history videos. Topics include civil registration, the 1911 census, child emigration to Canada, parish administration and records and the manorial documents register at http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/category/family-history-video/.
More family history video tutorials on British research are available at FindMyPast.co.uk at this site, www.findmypast.co.uk/content/start-your-family-history/tutorial-videos.
FREE LEGACY FAMILY TREE WEBINARS: Do you feel you are not getting the training you need? I live outside the city and at this point in my life I am missing many genealogy programs offered for free. I miss that training and exposure. If you have the genealogy program database Legacy Family Tree, then you should be taking advantage of the free online webinars. I just registered for several. You can watch them the day of the seminar or usually for a couple of days later. Go to www.legacyfamilytree.com and check on Webinars to see the variety of topics offered for the next several months. In addition, there is a free Legacy User Group on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 1:30-3:30. You don’t need to register, but if you would like to talk to the sponsor Joanne Corney, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you have a question just ask her. She is very approachable and eager to help you.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.