Kinsearching September 11, 2005




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


     A new book with which all family tracers should become familiar is CARMACK'S GUIDE TO COPYRIGHT & CONTRACTS: A PRIMER FOR GENEALOGISTS, WRITERS & RESEARCHERS by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. Although the material is geared toward genealogists, the author condenses a maze of data down to the basic facts all types of researchers and writers need to know before they borrow information, publish, or sign on the dotted line. In her easy-to-understand guide, Carmack explains in simple language copyright, publishing agreements, and rights. She also shows how these subjects concern family researchers by answering common questions. For example:

     Do you need permission to use something off the internet or to download GEDCOM files?

     Can you reproduce a newspaper obituary without authorization?

     Do professional photographers own the copyright to family pictures?

     When does a book, illustration, photograph, or map go into the public domain?

     Can web sites be protected by copyright?

     Who owns the copyright to something written for a genealogical society by a volunteer?

     Can you publish your ancestor's diary without seeking anyone's consent?

     Is your lesson or lecture protected by copyright?

     If you are a researcher for hire, who owns the client report?

     At some point anyone who does research, whether professional or amateur, will be faced with one or more of these questions. Since the volume is available at a reasonable cost, it would be wise to have a personal copy of CARMACK'S GUIDE TO COPYRIGHT & CONTRACTS: A PRIMER FOR GENEALOGISTS, WRITERS & RESEARCHERS handy. The 134-page paperback (item order #883) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (toll free phone 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website To the book's price of $15.95, add these handling charges: For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4 for one book and $1.50 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book.

     On October 7-8, 2005, the TEX-ARK Orphan Train Riders Homecoming is scheduled to take place in Springdale, AR, at Flowing Springs Farm, the home of Leroy and Mary Ellen Johnson, founder of the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc. (OTHSA). Charles and Sandra Curtis of Midlothian, TX, will co-host the event. This year's homecoming will also act as a fund-raising function for the Mary Walters Foundation for Research.

     The 2005 Homecoming is hoped to be the first of special annual fall gatherings that will alternate being held in the two states: "odd" years in Arkansas and "even" years in Texas. For more information get in touch with Mary Ellen Johnson, P. O. Box 496, Johnson, AR 72741-0496 (e-mail; phone 479-751-7830) or Charles Curtis, P. O. Box 813, Midlothian, TX 76065-0813.

     Carolyn Ericson is in the 36th year of writing her East Texas genealogical column, "Kissin' Kuzzins." Her interesting column appears weekly in newspapers in the Texas counties of Angelina, Cherokee, and Nacogdoches as well as on the internet at Queries are free, but they must pertain to a Texas ancestor. If you are having trouble locating data about a "lost" ancestor in the Lone Star State, you may want to send in a query in case some of her readers can help. Since the column always contains useful information, check it out online when you have a chance.

     Want to know more about North Carolina history and get a real bargain on books about the state? Over the next few months, the Historical Publications Section of the N. C. Office of Archives and History is having a sale on nearly one third of its inventory of North Carolina materials, including books, maps, posters, and facsimiles of historical documents. Discounts on individual titles are as high as 80 percent off the retail price. For information on specific titles, visit the online store "Clearance Sale" at or call 919-733-7442.

     Paulyne Rutherford Taylor, 7810 Crawford, Amarillo, TX 79108 (e-mail has compiled much material over the years on the family of Comanche chief Quanah Parker, the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and his wife Cynthia Ann Parker. Taylor offers to share this information with individuals who are related or who think they are related. However, the data are available only by e-mail.

     As you do research in records prior to the twentieth century, you should be aware that certain words or terms had different meanings from their present application. If they are interpreted incorrectly, erroneous conclusions will occur. One such term is "in-law." It may denote the same relationship that we associate with it today--the father or mother of one's spouse or the spouse of a daughter or a son. However, in older American records, "father-in-law" may mean stepfather, "mother-in-law" may mean stepmother, and "son-in-law" or "daughter-in-law" may refer to a stepchild.