February 2007, V6#2: Genealogy Wednesday, Jan 7 2009 

The following was published in The Arkansas Genealogical Society E-zine, Volume 1, Number 4 (November 2006)

Contributed by Carolyn Earle Billingsley

Tips for Arkansas Researchers

Adding images to your family history should be part of every genealogist’s repertoire. Images like maps, pedigree charts, diagrams, and photos add interest and a personal touch to your research. But how many of you have thought about postcards?

Sometimes you don’t have an image of your grandfather visiting the courthouse, but you can still spice up your family history with a postcard image of that courthouse. In my case, for example, I don’t have a photo of my parents sitting on the steps of the high school where they graduated back in the 1940s, but I was able to find a postcard of the school that dated to that era.

You might be surprised how many post cards there are out there. E-bay is an excellent place for finding them.

And now Ancestry.com has a large collection of postcards online. Here’s their press release about this new collection:

Source Information: Ancestry.com. Historical Postcards Collection, c. 1893-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2006. Original data: Mary Martin Postcards (www.MaryLMartin.com), Perryville, MD, USA.

About Historical Postcards Collection, c. 1893-1963:

This database contains approximately 50,000 postcards dating from about 1893-1963. About three-quarters of the postcards contain pictures from places within the United States, while the remaining fourth contains pictures from abroad. Information provided about each postcard includes:

Place information (city/town, county, state/province, country)
Caption
Postcard era (year range from which the postcard may be dated)

This database is primarily useful for obtaining a photograph or picture of a specific place in time. If you do not already have pictures of the places your ancestors lived, historical postcards are a good alternative to personal photos.

Ancestry’s collection even has an old postcard of the church my great-grandparents belonged to in Little Rock-and over 500 postcards of a variety of Arkansas sites. I especially liked the 1915 card of the old Confederate Soldiers Home, which has long since been torn down. The image includes the back side of the card, with the written message was written, along with the old stamp and the postmark.

So look around your relatives’ houses, poke around flea markets, search the Internet, peruse e-Bay, and check out Ancestry.com for images to fill in those gaps in your family’s pictorial history.

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November 2006, V5#11: Genealogy Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

Check with your local library, even if they don’t have a large genealogy section, to see what online services they offer. Don’t stop with your hometown library! Check other libraries that neighbor your “home” library’s service area. Not all library’s are aware of what other near by library’s offer. It may be worth a trip to get a library card for the services the offer from their website that you can take advantage from your home computer.

September 2006, V5#9: Genealogy Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

Every Genealogist Needs a Will by Frederick E. Moss, J.D., LL.M
Do you have a current will?  We may not all have extensive property or possessions to dispose of but there are other benefits that can be realized by expressing our desires through a last will and testament.  If you have minor children, you may suggest a more appropriate guardian than a court might appoint in the absence of your direction.  If you nominate an executor you can trust, you may reduce the expenses taken out of your estate by waiving bond and accounting.  These and other measures your attorney may suggest can insure that taxes and other charges are minimized that would otherwise reduce the estate available to your intended beneficiaries.
 Genealogists may have come to appreciate the value of wills as a source of information to future generations.  Lawyers will normally include the basic information declaring the testator’s name and domicile and will address the testator’s wishes for the disposition of his property to named beneficiaries.  Our legal training will not always direct our attention to the information-sharing and preservation opportunity that the drafting of a will provides.

Discuss with your lawyer the possibility of including what I have called a three-generation declaration similar to the following:

 
“I, Joseph Abraham Moss, was born the 23d day of January 1853 in Gordon County, Georgia the son of Johnson Moss and the former Sarah Caroline Love.  I married Charlotte Jane Roberson, the daughter of Thomas Howery Roberson and the former Emaline Lewis, on the 5th day of January 1873 in Crawford County, Arkansas.  Our son, Thomas Johnson Moss was born the 8th day of December 1875 in Crawford County, Arkansas.  Our son, James Monroe Moss was born the 26th day of September 1876 in Crawford County, Arkansas. Our daughter, Sarah Emaline Moss was born the 27th day of September 1878 in Crawford County, Arkansas.  Our daughter, Mary Inez Moss was born the 30th day of March 1880 in Crawford County, Arkansas. . . .”
 
There may be circumstances where it may be inappropriate to go into this level of detail and you should do so only with special care for insuring the accuracy of the information provided.  Although wills become public records when admitted to probate upon the death of the testator, triggering our sensitivities about publishing data on living individuals, the limited distribution these papers normally receive minimizes the risk of abuse.  
 
But if you do chose to do so, to paraphrase Proverbs, the genealogists among your great-grandchildren will rise up and call you blessed. 
From Federation of Genealogical Societies “FGS Delegate Digest”  Volume 13, No. 9, July 2006