Kinsearching January 17, 2010




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Although it is only January, it is not too early to consider attending a family reunion later in the year. As early as the fall of 2009, plans had already been made for the thirty-third annual ANSLEY family gathering on April 23 - 25. Thomson, GA, will again be the setting for the 2010 meeting. For more details, write to Roger R. Spafford, 1257 Arlene Court SW, Lilburn, GA 30047-1403 or call him at 770-923-6182.

     Early in a new year is also the time to think about attending genealogical conferences. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Virginia Genealogical Society (VGS) will hold its spring conference on April 16-17 at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, VA. The theme for 2010 will be "Burned Virginia Counties: Sifting for Gems in the Ashes." Featured speaker will be Victor S. "Vic" DUNN, who will present lectures on burned county research methodology, newspapers, church and Bible records, manuscripts, and business records. For several hours, experienced researchers will be available at the Library to answer questions and offer research strategies. For costs and more details about the program, go to the website at or write to the society at 1900 Byrd Ave., Suite 104, Richmond, VA 23230-3033.

     Now in its 99th year of publication, the Polish American Journal is a monthly newspaper "dedicated to the promotion and continuance of Polish American culture." In addition to carrying data about past and present aspects of Polish life in the United States, the serial often provides information about residents of Poland and Americans traveling or living in the ancestral country. Headquartered in Boston, New York, the periodical sometimes carries obituaries and material about the history of Polish surnames and genealogy. The publication is available in paper format and online. For more details, go to the website at

     Most Americans are perhaps unaware that the Polish were among the first settlers in what is now the United States. Some Polish craftsmen immigrated to Jamestown in 1608. Betty J. Arnold Guziak tells their story in a two-part article, "Polish Pioneers at Jamestown, Virginia." It appeared in the Spring 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 1) and Summer 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 2) issues of the periodical, Polish Eaglet, the official journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan.

     Because vital statistics information was not usually required by states until the early twentieth century, information about children who died young in earlier times is often hard to find. Sometimes, mention of their deaths may appear in newspapers. The items below serve as examples. (Surnames are capitalized for emphasis.)

     Exeter News-Letter and Rockingham Probate Advertiser, Exeter, NH, 7 Aug 1832 (Vol. II, No. 14), p. 3, c. 4: "Accident--The Gardiner Standard says that a child of Mr. Daniel TIBBETS of that town, was killed last week while in the act of climbing over a rail fence. One of the logs rolled off and struck the child on the head with so much force as to cause its immediate death."

     New York Journal of Commerce, New York, NY, 23 May 1833 (Vol. XII, No. 1763), p. 2, c. 2: "Death by Lightning--During the thunder storm on Tuesday afternoon, the lightning struck a building in Avenue D, where a school was kept by Mr. Abraham K. VAN VLECK. A child about eight years old, by the name of Robert HARMAN, whose father, a ship carpenter, resides in Sixth street, was killed by the shock. Although the room was full of children, none of the others received any injury."

Kinsearching Home Page