22 November 2004

tennessee newspaper links that might have roane co news

all of the online newspapers that follow are currently free to access. if a site registration is necessary, i've noted that. the listing is alphabetized (by town or county):

daily post athenian, athens, mcminn co, tn - meigs and mcminn counties, tn: local and regional news; the obituaries are located in the "mcminn online" division's "lifestyle" section - as are birth and birthday listings. NOTE: link updated 5 Apr 2006.

the, chattanooga, hamilton co, tn: a full-service web only newpaper - news and obituaries; frequently local area history articles in a "memories" section.

cleveland daily banner, cleveland, bradley co, tn: free access; obits pages

crossville banner, crossville, cumberland co, tn: local news, obituaries, searchable - many roane county items.

herald citizen, cookeville, tn: free access; obituaries; marriage licenses; searchable archives. (from the knoxville news sentinel), knoxville, knox co, tn: registration required (free); plenty of roane county area news; obituaries.

loudon county online - a service of the news-herald, loudon co, tn: local news; searchable; can purchase full obituaries after viewing abstracts.

the daily times, maryville, blount co, tn: some local area news roundup; court records (blount), and obits

monroe county online - a service of monroe county advocate & democrat, monroe county, tn: local news, police reports, obituaries.

roane county news, kingston, roane co, tn: online news and wonderfully searchable archives.

19 November 2004

grave of robert samuel brashears, the rolling stone, edwards farm, sugar grove valley, roane county, tennessee (photo date 7 aug 2004)

parker cemetery in lookout valley (tennessee) bulldozed

sadly, i'm not too surprised that it's in east tennessee where someone's been caught bulldozing a cemetery. an article in the chattanoogan on 15 november about what is the chattanooga area's parker cemetery being bulldozed has sadly reminded me of the sorry state of nelson cemetery in hamilton county where we had to hack through poison oak and five-foot briars to see the burial site of george washington phillips and his wife lizzie. i'm reminded of bean cemetery in rhea county where pine beetle damage has felled dozens of trees and may be responsible for the destruction to david montgomery's stone. i'm reminded of the now total inaccessibility of william monroe and lucy (bowling) ellis's graves in the ellis family burial ground in what's now meigs county from the double whammy of 2003 tornadic winds and east tennessee's recent ubiquitous pine beetle infestion. and I'm reminded of the tragic chemically-burnt-ground look (not as visible in the photos we took as it was onsite) and apparently concurrent escalation of grave marker deterioration between our september 2003 and august 2004 visits to the brashear family cemetery in sugar grove valley in roane county.

in the chattanoogan article about the bulldozing, the judge is reported to have said that it was "not some cowboy going out and wrecking a cemetery." and that's not what's happening to the cemeteries where my ancestors are buried, either.

hey, i'm not looking to pin blame here. if i were, i'd have to accept a big share of it myself for not using hunks of my research trips home to organinze and clean up the family plots, for my lack of overall due diligence. keeping any cemetery intact is a formidable job requiring energy, access, and funding, and i don't have a lot of any of those on any given day.

still, i can't help but be sad when i consider the precarious state of so many of our historical records and artifacts. the reason that the national archives has had to post a special header notice in its online military records section deflecting the rumor that it will be destroying original miltary records at the national military personnel center once they are digitized is that many of us know how many records have been tragically, if sometimes inadvertently or accidentally, destroyed in just the past few decades. we've learned that we might ignore such rumors at our peril.

nationally, just since the 1960s, we've experience an almost wholesale destruction of the "hard copies" of our newspapers and census records. a fire at the military personnel center has destroyed years and years of military and service dependents' records - including my own transcript from a military high school, for instance. our preferred storage media haven't always lived up to their initial promises and recorded tapes have molded, early cd data fragmented.... the list is endless.

none of this is new, of course, and we're certainly not the first nation to lose much of its recorded history [e.g. an article about bosnia's archives, 1992]. that doesn't make it less sad to me. especially since we're so young a nation, still so idealistic in many ways....

well, i jsut hope we all try to do better. and that's really what genealogy is, anyway, isn't it - the trying?


related items:

18 November 2004

audio blog - me and my name


tn type at two - photo by bill giles

okay, i was champing at the bit to try the audioblogging feature of, and what better time i wondered than my birthday. the post is a bit gooey and the charm in my voice a little affected, but what's here is the first thing out of my mouth and not edited, so i guess i'm in it somewhere. you can click it to listen; it won't bite or contaminate your computer:

this is an audio post - click to play

16 November 2004

harriman, tn 1892 - panoramic map

harriman, tennessee 1892
(panoramic map at the library of congress - courtesy of the geographic & map division)

this wonderful map drawn and published by the george e. norris burleigh lithographic company can be viewed and downloaded via the mr. sid plugin at the library of congress. the image is copyright free and reproductions in various sizes can be ordered from the library. the library's pricing can be researched online.

a poster-sized copy of the map hangs directly above my computer monitor where it transports me to my hometown every day. the copy is dark and murky, but i have an excellent quality one that i have squirreled away. both were made by a friend who worked for a mapping service a few years back, and the dark one was the first one she printed. because light pours in from a window behind me, i can view the murky print murky well as i write, have it where i want it, and not have to worry about its fading.

on the map, the willam morgan and cora pickens (ellis) giles home at 418 clifty street would have been just off the "y" directly above the river and a little off-center near the bottomo the town. they didn't live there at the time the map was made. they moved there sometime between the 1910 and 1920 censuses. their youngest children, charles calvin and margaret abbey giles were born in the small two-story house at 418. their oldest son, william houston "bill" giles and his wife grace (gambill) giles owned the house at 420 clifty, just to the left of bill's parents as you face the front doors from the street. a low hedge separated the two.

rachel (montgomery) majors kurtz and her second husband edwin h. kurtz also lived on clifty street but about four blocks up. in the 1900 census, the address appears to be 529 Clifty and perhaps is an apartment bldg with five or six families there, but on the microfilm i viewed, the numbers are missing or have been lined through and are mostly illegible.

14 November 2004

identity theft, 9/11, and genealogists' call for action

the u.s. house of representatives is wanting a version of its H.R. 10, 9/11 recommendations implementation act folded into the senate's version of similarly proposed legislation.

some background about what the act is and what it has to do with genealogy: it is a restructuring of the us intelligence system, and sections of it specifically designed to thwart identity theft should continue to be of immediate concern to genealogists. that is the also the stated position of the federation of genealogical societies and the national genealogical society who together, in october, issued a formal call for action and published a sample letter for genealogists to send to their congressional representatives. the letter suggested a need for an amendment to some of the wording of the H.R. 10, 9/11 recommendations act. the pertinent section of that sample letter asked to have the following added to an existent paragraph in Section 3063(d)(2) [H.R. 10] :

“However, nothing in this Chapter 2 shall be construed to require a State to change its law with respect to public access to (A) non-certified copies of birth certificates, or to (B) birth certificates or birth records once a period of 100 years has elapsed from the date of creation of the certificate or record.”

(here's a link to thomas [legislative information on the internet at the library of congress - named for thomas jefferson] so you can search for h.r. 10 and then the pertinent section [3063] which concerns vital records access.
on 28 oct, walter pincus of the washington post ran an article here (free access after free registration) the gist of which is summed up in its title and tag lines, "hope fades for intelligence bill compromise soon"...sense of urgency disappears as budget powers of new director continue to be sticking point.

that a similar act is likely to pass the senate is almost a given. as pincus says, "Commission leaders and victims' families favor the Senate bill over the House version, which contains a number of controversial intelligence issues as well as changes to immigration laws."

however the restructuring of the intelligence system shakes down, genealogists need to be vigilant and to follow all versions of the legislation carefully, looking to see that public access to historical records not be curtailed. it seems pretty self-evident that if that happens, we might as well all hang up our keyboards.

there are two versions of bill number h.r.10 for the 108th Congress searchable and readable via the library of congress (thomas) [search links on the thomas site expire and must be searched on an individual basis]:
1 . 9/11 recommendations implementation act (introduced in House) - H.R.10.IH
2 . 9/11 recommendations implementation act (reported in House) - H.R.10.RH

current status in the house of representatives (from thomas, library of congress):

H.R.10 : To provide for reform of the intelligence community, terrorism prevention and prosecution, border security, and international cooperation and coordination, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Hastert, J. Dennis [IL-14] (introduced 9/24/2004) Cosponsors (26)
Committees: House Intelligence (Permanent Select); House Armed Services; House Education and the Workforce; House Energy and Commerce; House Financial Services; House Government Reform; House International Relations; House Judiciary; House Rules; House Science; House Transportation and Infrastructure; House Ways and Means; House Homeland Security (Select)
House Reports: 108-724 Part 1, 108-724 Part 2, 108-724 Part 3, 108-724 Part 4, 108-724 Part 5
Latest Major Action: 10/8/2004 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 282 - 134 (Roll no. 523).
Note: Per H.Res. 827, the House shall be considered to have inserted H.R. 10 - as passed House - in S. 2845, insisted on its amendment to S. 2845, and requested a conference with the Senate. For further action, see S. 2845. The texts of H.R. 10 / S. 2845 as passed House and as passed Senate are not yet available from the Government Printing Office.

current status of the u.s. senate version (also from thomas, library of congress):
Title: A bill to reform the intelligence community and the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] (introduced 9/23/2004) Cosponsors (10)
Related Bills: H.RES.827, H.R.10, H.R.5150, S.2840
Latest Major Action: 10/16/2004 Resolving differences / Conference -- Senate actions. Status: Senate disagreed to House amendment, agreed to request for conference, and appointed conferees. Collins; Lott; DeWine; Roberts; Voinovich; Sununu; Coleman; Lieberman; Levin; Durbin; Rockefeller; Graham FL; Lautenberg. pursuant to the orders of October 10 and 11, 2004.
Note: House conferees appointed: Hoekstra, Dreier, Hyde, Hunter, Sensenbrenner, Harman, Menendez, Skelton. The Government Printing Office has published the text of S. 2845 as passed Senate (the PP - "Public Print" version) and as passed House (the EAH - "Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by House" version). See "Text of Legislation" below.

i'll be watching any and all legislation of a similar nature closely and drafting letters to my senators and house representative stating my concerns in a tone similar to that of the sample letter in the call to action. i know from experience that hand-written letters by postal mail are more likely to get real attention, but i know, too, that email or web form mail doesn't hurt either.

the u.s. house of representatives has a write to your representative form here which also includes links to easily determine exactly your representative is. the clerk of the house keeps addresses and phone numbers of all the house members and committees. individuals may call may also call the u.s. house switchboard at (202)225-312. house member websites can be visited directly for further information.

a handful of senators still accept e-mail but others use a web form. contact information, phone numbers, and links to senators' websites are on a page located here. the most recent phone number listing for senators is a pdf document located here.

13 November 2004

asa newport, 7 oct 1902 - 15 dec 1876, newport cemetery, rhea co, tn (also found in records as the garrison cemetery)

a genealogist worried about google desktop search and security? then don't use it - but miss a wonderful tool has a new article about the google desktop search application and security, (Google Desktop Security Warning Issued: "UPDATED: Two analysts issued independent warnings today suggesting Google's Desktop Search tool -- released in October -- poses security risks for the enterprise.")

google is said to be investigating the issues the article raises. i want to know why google is bothering. it's not them...

google has given us another of their terrific tools - one that sure makes personal productivity much easier for me and my genealogy research. with it, i just located on my own current hard drive, for instance, 10 emails and 180 other mentions of asa, the first name of one of my 3d great-grandfathers, asa newport of rhea county, tn. it took me about two seconds flat to get the results via google. my windows xp search engine grinds away and yet doesn't easily locate the same findings without me filtering and/or using advanced searching - and then it's minutes, not seconds, before i can see the results.

with my google desktop search (gds in techno slang), i can type in asa and presto chango, view hundreds of results as quickly as if i'd used google for a whole "regular" web search. my results show up in a familiar google format list and, when clicked, show the content of the whole cached version of my hard drive files (which doesn't include files, folders, etc that i have excluded via my filtered preferences). for the asa search, for instance, i even get results for photos of his grave marker and can open it in an irfan-view window by clicking on the google listing.

if do a regular google search like asa newport jpg, i get the web search results, yes, but at the top of the page on my home computer, i also see this:

5 results stored on your computer - Hide - About
asa&eliz_newport_marr_poo.. - - Nov 9
newport_asa_b1802_w_roger.. - - Apr 17

and no, these local file results are not going out over the internet for others to see. the same on-the-fly technology that drives google's ad sense may show ads related to local searches in the right-hand column format, but it's not collecting personally identifiable data. and since it's in beta and i want good service, i have, at least temporarily, allowed google to collect information about how i use desktop search and to collect an error report if necessary (which it hasn't had to do yet).

okay, so i'm a private user and am basically the only one to use my computer. granted, i'm not on a virtual private network, the target audience for today's internetnews article warnings. but internetnews isn't the only show in town which seems to be scaring away everyone from this exciting tool. this is evidenced from the continued interest in and commenting on an earlier, misinformed article published in october by pc world.

today's internetnews article revolves around a caveat from whale enterprises for customers of its secure vpn product. the company's warning says basically the same thing google cautions in its user and privacy statements: that if you don't set up your filters on install, the search engine may cache files you don't want cached. here's the spiel quoted by internetnews:

Google Desktop Search asks users at installation what kinds of files should be indexed. They can omit their Web histories and also secure HTTPS pages. They also can change the options at any time after the install.

But Joseph Sternberg, director of technical services for Whale Communications, said that administrators can't rely on their users to do the right thing.

"Security needs to be implemented at the enterprise. IT administrators need to ensure the system is secure."

source: Google Desktop Security Warning Issued: "UPDATED: Two analysts issued independent warnings today suggesting Google's
Desktop Search tool -- released in October -- poses security risks for the enterprise."

i basically come down on the side of pc world comments like marli's:

There is no security issue with GDS here. There is, however, a security issue with computer configurations and people's use habits. Which brings us back to the point, if you don't know what your doing with a computer you either shouldn't be using it for sensitive purposes, get someone who knows something to set it up properly or don't complain about things like this. It is YOUR fault.


look, here's how i see it: anything i download from the internet could put me at risk for a virus, trojan horse, or privacy problems. i'm pretty paranoid, actually, but here's what i try to do:

i use a firewall that monitors outgoing transmissions; keep it and my virus protection religiously updated; use email filters and don't open email from folks i don't know or messages not properly addressed to me that may have slipped through. before i download a program or sign up for a service, i read all the warnings, options, caveats, bug reports, etc. i try to pick providers whose integrity i have learned to trust or one recommended by someone whose integrity i trust. i use the amazing firefox as my default browser and just about any mail program besides microsoft outlook express. i don't save my browsing history or cache between browser loadings.

after all those precautions, i feel a little a better prepared to take my knocks, and so, when i fire up my browser, i think of its immense potential. i throw my shoulders back, keep my eyes wide open, tap a few quick keystrokes, and stride into the virtual world to download away.

and this monitoring stuff? i live in area where red light cameras click away at every major intersection. radio shack throws a conniption fit if i say i don't want to give them my phone number even though i pay them in cash. phone plans have neighborhoods and chips that'll tell you if you're physically near someone on your list.

any genealogist who uses knows that they are monitored on that company's sites. otherwise, how could they send us emails saying they've discovered a new file with our ancestor's name in it? (well, assuming you've allowed to send you e-mail.) family tree legend's smart matching counts on its ability to monitor your data entry in its program. as does gen smarts. you're just not getting your money's worth out of them if you're not using their monitoring and live-updating features. and the alexa toolbar follow you all around the web if you let them, evincing a whole lot more privacy concerns than google ever has with its more anonymous collecting approach. and besides, if google's desktop search really is a game of who do you trust, think about this (also from today's internetnews article): microsoft, ask jeeves, and likely even yahoo are all developing their own desktop search tools and hope to have them out by the end of this year. we all should be over cookie and web beacon shock by now.

a lot of this new technology comes with a steep learning curve. but so much of it is worth it. what i love and cherish about the internet is that is dynamic and ever-changing. so the nay sayers have it right, alas, that the virtual world, like our real one, isn't totally benign. let's face it: if you use a computer and haven't already lost your information age innocence, then you're in big time denial, and i'm not talking about the river in egypt.

12 November 2004

william giles, tn - andersonville survivor

i'd sure like more information about the william giles who survived andersonville prison during the civil war.

william is one of two giles prisoners listed from tennessee. the other is m.c. giles

here are the details on each posted by the macon county, georgia chamber of commerce:

william giles
co a, 4th tn cavalry
ca[tired 31 jul 1864 at newnan, ga
survived andersonville

further remarks about william giles from the website:

m.c. giles
co i, 7th tn cavalry
grave no. 11926
died 8 nov 1864
cause of death listed as "scorbutus"

further remarks on m.c. giles from the website:
Reference*: P 62 [3]; P 512 [13]

note: i have no evidence that i am related to either of these men. it also needs to be noted that for both there is a comment that the chamber of commerce record comes from the national park service and that they have printed all the information they have on each man. search for these giles men and other andersonville prisoners of war from this page on andersonville maintained by the montezuma, georgia chamber of commerce | here |

i wouldn't like to find my relatives here: roane county sheriff's dept. - roane co, tn's most wanted list

sometimes i'm amazed at what following a thread in conjunction with a location will turn up. this morning i somehow wound up at roane county's online most wanted list. there i found myself not only getttin a good look at county sheriff david haggard - with whom i still haven't made a firm family connection though one is likely - but i also got gander of a roane countian with the phillips surname. adam d phillips is on the page with the kind of photos that'd sure spark a little interest in anybody's heritage album.

in case you're wondering, i haven't linked adam phillips directly to our family yet either. maybe if you know where he is, you could drop me a line so i could ask him. well, maybe write sheriff haggard first....

david b haggard for sheriff, 2004

10 November 2004

genealogy and harriman, tennessee's carnegie library building

the main reading room of harriman, tennessee's public library

harriman's public library was established with the support of the carnegie library building program and gets a brief mention in the online tennessee encyclopedia.

i can't say enough nice things about the harriman library and its friendly, helpful staff. though its genealogy "room" is more of a nook off to the right of the main hall, the library is certainly worth setting aside time to visit. not only did we get a great taste of local history by poking around the building itself, we found a couple of items we haven't located elsewhere. we were easily able to set up our laptop on a table in the main reading room and hunker in for several productive hours. the staff does all the photocopying - quickly and at reasonable rates.

harriman, tennessee knitting mill - historic photograph

glen alice, 1881

Glen Alice Community

Glen Alice is 65 miles from Chattanooga, on the Cincinnati Southern Railway. We have a station, a depot agent, but no depot, a postoffice by name Robbsville, a store successfully run by Mrs. Thompson, wife of A.P. Thompson, a commissary, and some goods sold on the sly. We have ore mines and ship four cars of iron per day. The mines are operated by the Robbs Bros. We ship tanbark and walnut logs; in fact we are a growing little place. In addition to the above named enterprises we have a blacksmith shop on Water street.

source: news item from the chattanooga times, saturday, 5 nov 1881. the photo is not historical. it's one from nara that i altered to read glen alice; the original, i believe but am not certain anymore read glen allen.

08 November 2004

bible record in virgina archives includes roane county, tennessee surnames, including haggard

a search in the national union catalog of manuscript collections uncovered the following bible that might be of interest to roane co, tn haggard family descendants:

Kendrick family Bible record, 1810-1893. 4 leaves. Notes: Photocopies. Area covered is Roane County, Tennessee. Bible published in 1851. Other surnames mentioned: Acuff, Dugger, Ervin, Haggard, Hill, Owens, Tarwater, and Wester. Location: Virginia State Library and Archives, Archives Branch, 11th St. at Capitol Sq., Richmond, Va. 23219. Control No.: VASV90-A2143" Other titles: Bible records collection; 29178.