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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
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Seeking information on KAGEY, FRY, HANSBERGER, LINEWEAVER AND KIBLER, and their descendants in the Shenandoah County, Virginia area. Please contact Kathie Jones, 252 Jones Road, Franklin, GA 30217.

Wisconsin Teddy Bears

Lynn Skinner of Beloit, Wisconsin makes teddy bears out of vintage fur coats. They are really cute, and in addition, are keeping the old coats out of the landfills and recycling them into items with a story.

She uses all kinds of furs. The most exotic was a huge kangaroo coat. Rabbit is the most popular because it is the softest. Lynn has also used fox, raccoon, bear, beaver and mink. It took several years for her to develop a pattern for the bear and to find a "fur sewing" machine that would sew through the hides.

A lot of her material comes from Florida, where women retire and can no longer use the coats. A friend of Lynn’s in Florida buys the coats for her.

Bears are in stock or can be made to order. Contact Lynn Skinner, 9437 S. Walker Road, Beloit, WI 53511 or call 608-676-4784 for more information.

Thanks to Mac-Alasdair Clan, Clan McAlister of America, 825 San Luis Road, Berkeley, CA 94707.

Early Pioneer Certificate Available

Any direct descendant of an early pioneer who settled in the Illinois counties of Winnebago or Boone before 1880 may apply for the Winnebago & Boone Counties Genealogical Society’s Early Pioneer Certificate. These certificates are awarded in either of two categories:

    1. The pioneer settled in Winnebago or Boone County before 1850, with the certificate bearing a gold seal with a blue ribbon.

    2. The pioneer settled in Winnebago or Boone County before 1880, with the certificate bearing a gold seal.

To qualify for an Early Pioneer Certificate, documented evidence must be furnished to confirm the lineage from the pioneer ancestor to the applicant. This evidence could be birth, marriage and death certificates, land records, census records, mentions in city, county, and state histories, etc.

To receive the application for an Early Pioneer Certificate, send your request with a self-addressed stamped envelope to Ken Michel, WBCGS Early Pioneer Chairman, 921 Concordia Ave., Belvidere, IL 61008-4551. The cost is $5.00 per certificate.

The Society of Genealogists in London On-Line

The Society of Genealogists in London has contracted with an Internet "pay-per-view" service to make indexed records available tot he public. For a fee of about $9 US, you get access to up to 150 actual printable documents over a period of 48 hours, and surname indexes to these documents are available for free. You can explore the surname indexes before you pay. The records currently indexed include marriage allegations of the Vicar-General and Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury (1694-1850), London apprenticeships (1568-1850), wills held by the Bank of England (1717-1845) and by the Archdeaconry Court of London (1700-1807), London Consistory Court Depositions (1700-1717) and Boyd’s Marriage Index for Cambridgeshire (1538-1837).

Additional record sources are expected to be available later this year, including wills in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (1750-1800). {Films of these wills are currently available from a LDS Family History Center for a nominal fee.} Take a look at the available records and the indexes on the web site: http://englishorigins.com.

The same company offers a similar service for records held by the Scottish government, but you have to pay before you see anything at all. Expect more "pay-per-view" offerings from the British Isles, including eventually censuses that are not now indexed.

Thanks to Rabbit Tracks, Conejo Valley Genealogical Society, Inc., PO Box 1228, Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0228.

Arts in the Heart of Augusta by Eric Duncan

On the 14th, 15th and 16th of September, I was booked to perform in Augusta, Georgia, at a street festival. This has been going on for 21 years and I never knew it existed.. So since I was here I decided to cover it for the Family Tree.

It is The Greater Augusta Arts Council that is responsible for this event, which is Augusta’s oldest and largest cultural event. The festival was recently awarded "Top 20 Event in the Southeast". It is held at the Scenic Downtown Riverwalk and attracts a collection of all ethnic groups in the area.

Each ethnic group had its own food tent; and some had entertainment. This was so interesting and very colorful. A different country is chosen each year as the main attraction. This year it was Scotland and hence the reason I was there.

I was invited by the Scottish American Society of Augusta. They had setup a Scottish Pub called "The Shaggy Coo", which looked like a typical Scottish cottage including a simulated, thatched roof and a hand painted sign. A Coo is a highland cow; and amazingly they had a real highland cow in a pen in back of the pub. A local farmer had donated it for the day.

Next to the pub was a large food tent where they sold scotch eggs, meat pies, brides, shortbread and whisky cake {for which they won first prize}. This is only a sampling of the items made by hand by the women of the society. What a great job they did! They had been preparing this for weeks, the ladies told me; and they scattered scotch eggs and meat pies all over their neighborhoods because they did not have room enough in their refrigerators. They wanted me to thank everyone who helped them out with this.

By the end of the first day, the pub had sold out of beer, and the food tent was constantly busy with customers buying their wares. The entertainment tent was jammed packed all day both days with people. We had pipers playing, a lovely lady who played the harp, a dancer who was excellent, a band that I have known for sometime called S MATH SINN DRAGON, and yours truly.

There were 17 groups representing 35 countries that lent an ethnic flair to the festival, giving everyone an opportunity to sample the arts and cuisine of the cultural resources in the community. Arts and Crafts were displayed in 60 booths, featuring things such as pottery, lawn art, watercolors, tie-dye and much more. There was street dancing in the evening and a local band, The Vellones, was playing. These guys were great. They played a blues tune and dragged me up on stage, gave me a Fender guitar, and we were off…playing the blues. Thanks a lot guys.

When I asked a committee member the estimated crowd, I was told 40,000 each day and I can believe this as I was there. In the morning of Saturday, it was 65 degrees and windy. Bonita, my wife, stepped out of the hotel and stood there shivering. She’s too used to that Florida weather!

My feelings on this is the festival is a good, positive way to introduce people to other cultures, which will hopefully help them understand and respect each other better. I wish more communities would adopt this idea.

All the proceeds benefited the Greater Arts Council of Augusta, which was founded in 1968 to promote the cultural well being of the central Savannah River area. For more information contact the Greater Augusta Arts Council at 706-826-4702.

My thanks go to Mr. Shane Parris and his wonderful mum, Shari, everyone involved in the event, especially the ladies of the society for their hard work. We need events like this because America is multicultural and we can grow closer in the greatest country in the world – AMERICA.

I may be contacted at bclippership@cs.com.


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