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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - October/November 2003
Wee Snippets (7)

Ligonier Games award scholarships
On Saturday, September 6th some 10,000 enthusiasts for Scottish music, dancing and athletics gathered at Idlewild Park, Ligonier, for the 45th Annual Ligonier Highland Games. At noon over twenty top grade bagpipe bands followed a parade of Scottish clan societies, military re-enactors, heavy athletes, rugby players and Scottish breed dogs around the main field, then joining together to perform as one massed band with some 500 pipers and drummers thrilling the crowd. Activities for all these groups then continued throughout the day until 6 PM.

Following the day-long competitions in solo piping, drumming and Highland Dancing, eight scholarships worth $150 each to be used to attend clinics or workshops were awarded to the following contestants by Games president Gordon M. Reid.

Amateur solo piping in Grades 1-4 respectively were won by Eric Ouellette of Coventry, Connecticut (Grade 1); Daniel Cole of Scotia, New York; Sean Regan, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and John Hasley also of Pittsburgh. Grades 1-2 winners in the solos drumming were won by Alex Wright of Lorain, Ohio, and John Massey of Jackson, New Jersey. In Highland Dancing the winners were Madelyn Shaffer of Level Green, Pennsylvania, and Shelby Makel of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

The Ligonier Highland Games are a cultural activity of the Clan Donald Educational & Charitable Trust of Pittsburgh. The 2004 Ligonier Highland Games are set for the weekend of September 10-12. For information

Do you remember seeing the elephant?
No expression characterized the California gold rush more than the words "seeing the elephant." Those planning to travel west announced they were "going to see the elephant." Those turning back claimed they had seen the "elephant's tracks" or the "elephant's tail," and admitted that view was sufficient.

The expression predated the gold rush, arising from a tale current when circus parades first featured elephants. A farmer, so the story went, hearing that a circus was in town, loaded his wagon with vegetables for the market there. He had never seen an elephant and very much wished to. On the way to town he encountered the circus parade, led by an elephant. The farmer was thrilled, but his horses were not. Terrified, they bolted, overturning the wagon and ruining the vegetables. "I don't give a hang," the farmer said, "for I have seen the elephant."

For gold rushers, the elephant symbolized both the high cost of their endeavor - the myriad possibilities for misfortune on the journey or in California - and like the farmer's circus elephant, an exotic sight, an unequaled experience, the adventure of a lifetime.

Source: Jo Ann Levy in They Saw the Elephant (from the Website, Life Along the Trail). From the Sequoia Genealogical Society, Inc. Newsletter, Volume 30, Number 7, September 2003, Tulare City Library Genealogical Department, 113 North "F" Street, Tulare, California 93274-3803.

Things to be sure to include in your query!
1. Who are you looking for? Burial site, names of children, wife, etc. Be specific.
2. When providing the surname, are there other spellings that may have been used? Example: Calkins/Caulkins.
3. Approximate dates, if available, are helpful in narrowing the search - birth, death, marriage, also, last known to be living in or near. Example: born 1848 NY, married Sarah Webster 1869. Lived in Grant County 1880. Not listed as a survivor in daughters obit in 1892.
4. Occupation - religion if known.
5. Always include a Self-Addressed-Stamped-Envelope (SASE). Don't expect a reply without one. An e-mail address is helpful.
From GEMS of Genealogy newsletter, September/October 2003, Volume 29, Number 3, published by Bay Area Genealogical Society, PO Box 283, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54305-0283.

Let's go site-seeing
Slave narratives from the Federal Writer's Project:
From 1936 through 1938, the Federal Writer's Project of the WPA collected over 2,300 first-person accounts of slave life and 500 black and white photos. These were microfilmed in 1941 and assembled into the seventeen volume, A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. These fascinating autobiographical accounts contain the impressions and reactions to their bondage. The Library of Congress has made the collection available online. More than 200 photographs will be available to the public for the first time. The collection can be found at: .

Kansas sites for the Internet researcher:
Kansas State Historical Society: Kansas Newspaper:  Kansas census reel listing:, Kansas County Histories/bibliographies: Guide to Kansas Research Resources: (requires Acrobat Reader). Researcher's Guide to Local Government Records: (requires Acrobat Reader). For more information contact The Historical Society at 6425 SW Sixth Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66615-1099.

Signers of The Declaration of Independence:
For bios of each of the signers of The Declaration of Independence, check out these sites: Colonial Hall - A look at America's Founders:, Signers of The Declaration of Independence:, and The Political Graveyard at:

What would it be worth in today's dollars?
Here's a neat and easy-to-use site that does the figuring for you (1800-2001), http://www.westegg.coem/inflation.

The United Kingdom Surnames Website... a free facility where you can post and exchange family history data with others. It covers the entire United Kingdom but records are grouped by county and region for easier use. You can search either the entire site or individual counties for surname matches. If you have English ancestry, it's a great place to post family information.
Our thanks for this information goes to the Larimer County Genealogical Society Newsletter, September/October 2003 issue.

Familial or hereditary: is it the same or different?
Familial means something "runs in the family," like a gift for singing, high intelligence, short stature, and, of course, genetic disease.

Hereditary means something is transmitted from parent to child, specifically something genetic. It has the same root word as "inheritance." Something "hereditary" can also be called "familial."

Source of information from Kinfolks, PO Box 5652, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70606-5652.

Archival project underway for Clan Gunn
Abb Gunn, world genealogist of Clan Gunn, has undertaken a project to reconstruct the Old Parish Records in Scotland for clan sept names. The records are gathered from the International Genealogical Index, the Scottish Genealogy Society, and the 1881 British Census. The need is indicated by the lack of records in specific areas for specific names.

The completion of the records will appear in both diskette form and hard copy and will be records of christenings, marriage banns, and death dates where found in a centralized record book format. The records will prove invaluable to researchers who have found sept connection to Clan Gunn in Scotland.

Gunn is concentrating primarily in the north of Scotland, the seat and origin of Clan Gunn - Caithness, Sutherland, Orkney, and Shetland. Records are also being gathered in Inverness (military sites), Edinburgh, Glasgow, England, Wales, and the remainder of Scotland from the 1881 census of those born in the North.

A second project is the gathering of all Federal census records for all states for the sept names. Of first priority is the period 1850-1920. Records before 1850 will follow. These records will, like the Scottish ones, be on diskette and hard copy placed in convenient locations.

A future undertaking will be the archiving of immigration records, naturalization records, draft registration records and others that become available from various sources. The hope is that the Clan Gunn Archives will not only serve as a chronicle of the history of Clan Gunn, but be a research tool of value to clan members.

Clan Shaw Society announces appointments
The Clan Shaw Society recently made the following appointments:
Cynthia G. Shaw was named convener for Alaska.
Sandra M. Shaw was named convener for Nova Scotia.
John Andrew Shaw was named society quartermaster and convener for Virginia.
Information on the Clan Shaw Society may be obtained from William C. Shaw, Secretary, 1121 North Quail Lane, Gilbert, Arizona 85233.

Tax exempt status given for the John Logie Baird Scholarship Fund
Dale F. Baird, Sr., president of Clan Baird Society Worldwide, has just announced that the Internal Revenue Service has given final approval for a tax exempt status for the John Logie Baird Scholarship Fund.

The Fund has been established for the purpose of providing a full scholarship to a qualified student in the United States or Canada, who wishes to pursue one of six postgraduate programs at the John Logie Baird Institute for Vision Technology at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. The individual will be using the new Virtual Environment Laboratory (VAL), which combines the world's most powerful computer visualization technologies to provide a unique reality experience.

The VEL has been established and is managed by the research group ABACUS of the Department of Architecture at the University. ABACUS has over 30 years experience researching issues surrounding computer graphics and visualizing.

The Fund and the Institute, takes their name from John Logie Baird, the pioneer of television who attended the University.

Gloria Teles Pushker writes new book: Toby Belfer Visits Ellis Island
Toby Belfer's great-grandmother's family lived happily in a small town in Poland. When a group of soldiers came into the town and threatened its inhabitants, the family decided to leave. It was hard coming to America in 1904. All of the passengers, including people from all over Europe, were nervous about learning English and adapting to the new laws and customs. As they arrived, all the immigrants had to form lines and answer question after question before they could see a doctor and be on their way. As Toby's grandmother tells her story about their family's history, Toby gets especially excited about visiting Ellis Island on her upcoming vacation.

Gloria Teles Pushker has written this book as part of a series, which includes Toby Belfer Never Had a Christmas Tree, Toby Belfer's Seder: A Passover Story Retold, Toby Belfer and the High Holy Days, and A Belfer Bar Mitzvah.

For more information regarding Gloria Teles Pushker's books, readers may contact the Promotion Department of Pelican Publishing Company, PO Box 3110, Gretna, Louisiana 70054 or telephone (504)-368-1175.

Severe floods often inundated Louisiana, and just recently Hurricane Isabel, have caused flooding up the east coast. In the southwest Louisiana area, the flood of 1953 was the worst in many years. In 1957 flood waters caused by the devastating Hurricane Audrey also wreaked havoc in southwest Louisiana.

Floods also damage property in October and November of 2002, and we can expect the rivers and bayous to rise in the annual spring floods each year. Floods cause damage to property, livestock and homes. Family heirlooms and other valuables are damaged by rain, rising water and the silt deposited by the water.

The following recommendations may help clean, treat or restore water damaged items. However, there are no guarantees that any of these procedures will work in every case.

Photographs and paper items are particularly vulnerable to water, and damage may be permanent. patience and care are the key words for the cleaning process. Wear latex or rubber gloves while treating the water-damaged items; you do not know what germs may be lurking in the dirt or flood water.

1. Try to carefully clean off as much of the silt and water as possible. Rinse photographs with clear water, touching only the borders. Blot other wet items with paper towel, trying to get off as much grime as possible. Do not rub or scrub, as dirt may scratch items. Use a soft, wet rag or paper towel to clean objects, rinsing the cloth often. Blot again.
2. Air dry item face up, if possible, or dry with soft rags or paper towel. Avoid direct sunlight and high heat, which may fade, buckle or warp objects. Use fans, air conditioners and dehumidifiers to reduce humidity and prevent mold and mildew.
3. Do not store wet objects in plastic bags; this will cause mold and mildew. If it is necessary to transport the water-soaked item in a plastic container, do not seal the bag or box.
4. If the wet items begin to fall apart or break, put the pieces in carefully labeled, unsealed plastic bags. Do not try to repair or restore until items are completely dry. In some cases it may be necessary to consult a professional cleaner, restorer or conservator.
5. Documents and works of art should be removed from frames, if possible, and air-dried. If items need to be professionally restored, keep them in a refrigerator or freezer.
6. Except for household surfaces, avoid the use of disinfectants, which may stain or damage object.
Source: Kinfolks, Volume 27, Number 3, September 2003; Southwest Louisiana Genealogical Society, Inc., PO Box 5652, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70606-5652.

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