The Oregon Genealogical Society was recently donated a family bible belonging to the Alexander Erskine Scott family, whom they soon discovered was from the West TN area, specifically Hardeman and Madison Counties. Because they were unable to find a connection for the family to Oregon, they are looking for a family descendant to return the bible to. The following scanned pages have substantial family data. If this is your family, please contact the TN Genealogical Society at (901) 754-4300 for further info.
It's been just 100 years since women were given the right to vote as a part of their fight for equality. Lucy Stone, the first woman to earn a college degree in Massachusetts, dedicated her life to battling inequality.
The Library of Congress is looking for assistance in transcribing over 200 years of her family's documents to make these documents searchable and accessible and YOU can help from home while social distancing and helping to flatten the curve against COVID-19. Can you imagine the stories you may come across?! It's a great project for older teens to help with too!
Written by Sherri Onorati
From a historian and genealogist point of view... right now, what we're going through with the COVID-19 pandemic is a part of living history... and it includes EVERYONE! No matter gender, age, race or financial status.
And just like when JFK was shot, when the first man landed on the moon, and 9/11 ... people will talk about this for years to come ... generations even.
Our schools are closed, businesses shut down, necessities and food shortages, sports and event cancellations, and people are quarantined on a GLOBAL level! Thousands have died all over the world from this. Document it now! Whether you are an adult or a child. Keep a journal and document your feelings and thoughts. Handwritten or typed. Attach photographs or draw pictures of what you see or how you feel. Make a video, write a poem or song. Just write down ... document in some way what you're feeling... scared, worried, mad. Document your daily activities. What did you do for fun, safety, or sanity? Write about how you feel having to stay home... or if you didn't stay home. Did your school year-end early? Was your graduation year forever changed? Explain how serious or not serious this is to you. If someone you know caught the virus, how did you react or deal with it? Interview someone in person, virtually, or by phone. How are they dealing with this situation? How do you feel being away from the ones you love?
Record your life during this pandemic. This is history in the making. And we're all a part of it.
And then save it when it's all over. Take good care of it. Tuck it in with the other family mementos and precious memories. But save it for generations to come. Your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will learn from it. Help create a first-hand account of your life.
By Shaye Weaver
Thursday March 19 2020
It's easy to while away the hours inside your apartment watching feel-good shows or trying to make headway on some spring cleaning, but if you're looking to do contribute something, the Library of Congress will have you.
The federal cultural institution is asking for help in transcribing thousands of significant written and typed documents, from Rosa Parks' writings to personal writings of the leaders of the Women's Suffrage Movement and more.
If transcribing Rosa Parks's writings, you'll find that she was loving, compassionate, and nonjudgmental in the relationships that mattered most to her, according to the Library of Congress.
You can also explore the papers of leading suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Anna E. Dickinson, read through letters to President Abraham Lincoln or transcribe historical legal documents written in Spanish.
You don't need to sign up to try it, you just type on the page next to the document. When you're ready to submit, tag it with keywords and then sign up to edit your text.
So if you're up to both learn and help further society's understanding on a historical event or leader, now's your chance to contribute.
Ansearchin’ News is the Tennessee Genealogical Society’s quarterly magazine which highlights historical stories, photos, documents, databases, etc., about Tennessee's past.
Tina Sansone is the editor for Ansearchin' News and she is currently taking submissions: articles, photos, documents, Bible pages, transcriptions, etc.
While membership to the Tennessee Genealogical Society is welcome, it is not mandatory for submissions. The only condition is each submission must have a Tennessee connection - either lived in or had family in Tennessee or have taken place in Tennessee.
She is also looking for one-time submissions, or even regular writers who will submit an article each quarter. If someone is transcribing microfilm or documents that pertain to Tennessee, that would be welcomed as well. If there is any question on ownership, such as photos, a release form may be requested. To view if a topic or surname has been written about, use our Ansearchin’ News search box.
If interested, email Tina at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her about your idea. She can send you the specifics such as font, etc. There is no limit on word count – if the article is too long she can divide it into parts.
We hope you have enjoyed this series and learned a little more about researching your Tennessee ancestor. There are so many more topics and resources available than we have touched on here. Some of the topics are explored in more detail in the “Researchin’ Tennessee” series in past issues of Ansearchin’ News; members have access to these articles on-line at the Tennessee Genealogical Society website. These blog entries have sparked ideas for more topics; you’ll see more “Researchin’ Tennessee” posts in the coming months.
Some of the key resources that we lean on, and that were consulted for these blogs include:
Special thanks to Sherri Onorati for posting the blog entries and attaching the graphics; to Carla Maitland and Lisa Junkins for sharing the blogs on the Tennessee Genealogical Society FaceBook page; and especially to my fellow researchers, Debra Kienzle and Barbara Hermann, for helping to research and write these posts.
~ Nancy Walczyk, Director of Research
Nashville, in Davidson County, was originally founded as Fort Nashborough about 1779. It became the permanent capital of Tennessee in 1826.
The Metro Archives of Nashville and Davidson County are a major repository and source of Nashville records. Located on the third floor of the Nashville Public Library at 615 Church Street in Nashville, the Metro Archives hold a wealth of information about Nashville, including the records for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, city directories, vital records, cemetery records, wills, court records and manuscript collections. A future blog will discuss the Metro Archives holdings in more detail.
As one of Tennessee’s major cities and the home to state government offices, Nashville began keeping vital records earlier than some other parts of the state. Nashville began recording births in 1881 and deaths in 1874. Indexes and scanned images of this data are available in two Ancestry.com databases, Tennessee, City Birth Records, 1881-1915 and Tennessee, City Death Records, 1872-1923. These databases are available to Tennessee residents through TEL.
Marriage records in Davidson County date back to 1789. Many of these can be found at the Metro Archives.
Nashville first published a City Directory in 1853. City directories from 1860-1960 are available at Ancestry.com. Hardcopies of the directories from 1853-1997 are available at Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA). The Metro Archives have directories from 1853-1929 on microfilm, and hardcopies from 1929 to 2002.
More information about Nashville/Davidson County genealogy research can be found through the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society, the Davidson County TSLA Fact Sheet and the FamilySearch wiki.
Memphis, in Shelby County, was founded in 1819, and is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.
As one of Tennessee’s major cities, Memphis began keeping vital records earlier than some other parts of the state. Memphis began recording births in 1874, deaths in 1848, and marriages as early as 1820.
One of the best resources for early vital records for Shelby County is the Shelby County Register of Deeds website. This site contains indexes and/or images for births 1874-1917, deaths 1848-1967, and marriages 1820-2014. The site also contains a state-wide index to Tennessee death records for the years 1949-2014 and many other databases of interest to a genealogist.
The Memphis and Shelby County Room on the fourth floor of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library has many valuable resources for genealogists, including microfilmed copies of local newspapers, a surname index, and funeral home books.
Memphis published the first City Directory in Tennessee in 1849. City directories from 1855-1960 are available at Ancestry.com. City directories from 1849-1943 are available on the Register of Deeds site. Hardcopies of the directories from 1850-2017 are available at Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) and some are also available at the Memphis Public Library.
In addition to the resources listed above, more information about Memphis/Shelby County history and genealogy research can be found through the West Tennessee Historical Society, the Shelby County TSLA Fact Sheet, and the Shelby County FamilySearch wiki.
Knoxville (Knox County) began as James White’s fort in 1786. The fort became the capital of the Southwest Territory in 1790. Renamed Knoxville in 1791, the city served as the first capital of Tennessee from 1796 to 1812.
As one of Tennessee’s major cities, Knoxville began keeping vital records earlier than some other parts of the state. Knoxville started recording births and deaths in 1881. Indexes and/or scanned images of this data are available in two Ancestry.com databases, Tennessee, City Birth Records, 1881-1915 and Tennessee, City Death Records, 1872-1923. These databases are available to Tennessee residents through TEL. Marriage records as early as 1792 are available for Knox County. The Knox County Public Library has an excellent set of web pages linking to online vital record databases for Knox County and much of Tennessee.
Knoxville first published a City Directory in 1859. City directories from 1859-1943 are available at Ancestry.com. Hardcopies of the directories from 1859-2018 are available at Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) and the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection located on the 3rd floor of the East Tennessee History Center.
More information about Knoxville/Knox County history and genealogy research can be found through the Knox County Public Library, the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, the Knox County TSLA Fact Sheet, FamilySearch wiki, and the East Tennessee Historical Society.
Chattanooga (Hamilton County), Tennessee’s fourth largest city, was incorporated in 1839. The area was settled as early as 1816, with the establishment of a trading post, Ross’s Landing, by brothers John and Lewis Ross.
As one of Tennessee’s major cities, Chattanooga began keeping vital records earlier than some other parts of the state. Chattanooga began recording births in 1879 and deaths in 1872. Indexes and/or scanned images of this data are available in two Ancestry.com databases, Tennessee, City Birth Records, 1881-1915 and Tennessee, City Death Records, 1872-1923. These databases are available to Tennessee residents through TEL.
Marriage records as early as 1857 are available for Hamilton County. The Hamilton County Clerk’s office has a searchable database of these records.
Chattanooga first published a City Directory in 1871. City directories from 1871-1960 are available at Ancestry.com. Hardcopies of the directories from 1871-2018 are available at Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) and the Chattanooga Public Library holdings contain many years as well.
More information about Chattanooga/Hamilton County history and genealogy research can be found through the Hamilton County Tennessee Genealogy Society, the Chattanooga Area Historical Association, the Hamilton County TSLA Fact Sheet, the FamilySearch wiki, Chattanooga History and the East Tennessee Historical Society.
Tennessee Genealogical Society
Germantown Regional History
and Genealogy Center
7779 Poplar Pike
Germantown, TN 38138