Who Do You Think You Are? Part 2

This past weekend, my sister, Cindy, and I spent a few hours in De Witt, Nebraska doing research on our ancestors. The local historian graciously shared her time showing us where our family homestead was located, and the cemeteries where our ancestors are buried, and she pulled newspaper and obituary files and books for us to look through at the De Witt Historical Society and Museum. She also took us to her home and fed us a very good lunch!

Both Cindy and I brought cameras, and we utilized them to take pictures of pages from a number of historical books. The books were very old, and one has to be careful with handling them. My sister also took pictures of some items hanging on the walls of the museum.

An option to viewing the actual books is to look and see if they have been digitized and are available for viewing online. Heritage Quest Online, a database which is available free to on-campus users through Forsyth Library’s web page, has over 25,000 books digitized. Heritage Quest is also available free to people who have the Kansas Library Card – see http://www2.kumc.edu/SLK/resource.asp?myses=7497119&cuid=ksuc&cusrvr=muses

Other online sites that offer digitized books include the following:
Google Books – http://books.google.com/
Internet Archive – www.archive.org
BYU Digital Collections – http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/search.php

Two of the books that I used for research at the historical society are available for viewing online in Internet Archive. See the following:

Portrait and biographical album of Gage County, Nebraska: containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1888) at http://www.archive.org/details/portraitbiographgcneb00chap

Joseph Ellis

Joseph Ellis, my great-great grandfather

Biography of Joseph Ellis

History of Gage County, Nebraska; a narrative of the past, with special emphasis upon the pioneer period of the county’s history, its social, commercial, educational, religious, and civic development from the early days to the present time (1918) http://www.archive.org/details/historyofgagecou00dobb

George Grant, my great-great grandfather, was one of the early settlers in Gage County, as seen on this page from the above-mentioned book.

George Grant

Early settler in Gage County, Nebraska

Visiting cemeteries can be a great way to find information on your ancestors, even if you may already have their birth dates and death dates. Many family members are buried in the same plot, and other extended family members can probably be found not far away. Here are some tips for doing cemetery research from About.com – http://genealogy.about.com/od/cemetery_records/a/cemeteries.htm

My sister and I both took cameras to the cemeteries that we visited. We got some really nice pictures of the gravestones, and we can use those pictures later on to look at the inscriptions as we input information into our genealogy software program or onto genealogy forms. See the following web page for tips on using cameras in cemeteries – http://genealogy.about.com/od/cemetery_records/a/pictures.htm

The cemetery signs vary from simple to elaborate as is the case here:

Rose Hill Cemetery

Oak Grove Cemetery

The following picture shows the grave site of my great-great grandparents, Annie and George Grant.

Grant Tombstone

Many thanks to Doris, the local historian who helped Cindy and me throughout the day. Our trip to find out more about our ancestors was rewarding and fun. I am looking forward to doing this again in the future.


A Stroll Through Memory Lane

A couple of weeks ago, two of my library friends and I walked across campus to see the newly renovated Picken Hall.  We went into the east entrance where we saw two touch screen TV’s, three computers, and an elevator.  Walking up the steps to the second floor, we saw some beautiful stained glass windows and offices for Admissions, Admission Counselors, Financial Assistance, and Scholarship Services.  The third floor housed offices for the Registrar, Academic Advising and Career Exploration, Student Fiscal Services, and the Graduate School.  The Kelly Center, Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network, Testing Services and Prometric Testing Center, and Student Study Commons/Computer Lab were some of the services located on the first floor.  There were also spaces reserved for Conference and Seminar Rooms.

Although it was great to see the “new” Picken, it also sparked memories of the “old” Picken.  I had taken a variety of classes that were held in this building when I was a student during the 60’s.  We also had band practice on the third floor on the southwest side of the building where the Registrar’s Office is now located.  The floors no longer creaked, and all appearances of former classrooms had been erased.  Although I was standing in the middle of a newly designed building, I knew in my heart that I would never forget the “old” Picken and the faces of friends who I oftentimes saw in those halls.

As far as history is concerned, Picken Hall was the first building on the campus of the Western Branch of the Kansas State Normal School (now Fort Hays State University).  It was built in 1904 and was known as the “Administration Building.”  In 1909, it was renamed “Picken Hall” in honor of Principal William S. Picken who was the school’s first administrator.  Two wings were added in 1908, a lily pond was constructed on the east side of the building in 1922, and the stately columns on the west were added in 1926.

Picken Hall has been remodeled on several occasions throughout the years in order to accommodate classroom changes, services, and activities.  At one time, the library was located in Picken which also had displays of natural history specimens.  Plays were held in the Picken Hall Gymnasium.  Then when World War II was over, the campus was swamped with servicemen who came back home to continue their education.  Since few classrooms were available and there was a shortage of teachers, classes were oftentimes held in the halls.  During the flood of 1951, the first floor of Picken was completely flooded.  Since the damage was so great, the state architect recommended that it should be temporarily used and then replaced as soon as possible.  However, this did not come to pass, and Picken Hall has continued to be an important landmark for Fort Hays State University.    –J.A.S.

Welcome Back!

All of us at Forsyth Library would like to welcome you and wish you a great summer semester.  Whether you live in the local area or are miles away, you can access library resources and services.  We’re here to help you succeed!   Here are some tips to getting the most out of YOUR library:

Set up Off-Campus Access:  You must complete this process before you can begin accessing our electronic resources such as article databases and e-books.

Research Guides: Consult these guides to find the best databases, websites and citation guides for your topic.

Databases:  To search for journal, magazine and newspaper articles, click “Find Articles & Databases”, then click “Databases” and click on the title of the database you want to search, or click “360 Search” and select a category to search relevant databases .

Books & E-books:  Click “Find Books” and then “Forsyth Library Online Catalog” to search for books, music, dvds, and more.  Click “NetLibrary “ or another option listed under Electronic Books, to access e-books you can read online.

Distance Services:  This page explains library services for Distance Students, including how to request materials, get research help, and more.

Interlibrary Loan:  If you live in the local area, use this page to request materials that Forsyth Library does not own.

Questions? Give us a call at 785-628-5283/1-800-628-3478 and ask for the Reference Desk, or e-mail us at refserv@fhsu.edu.  We’ll be glad to help!


Aunt Sammy

The other day I was reading the Government Book Talk blog and learned of Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes.  According to the blog post, Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes was a big hit.   The 1976 version of Aunt Sammie’s Recipes includes recipes from the twenties and seventies.  The publication tells that many women throughout the country played the part of Uncle Sam’s wife, Aunt Sammy.  Unfortunately, I did not find any issues of Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes in Forsyth Library’s collection.

Aunt Sammy may be out of commission, but government agencies still provide information and recipes designed to improve your health or help your dollar stretch a little further.

deliciously healthy eating

Recipes and Tips for Healthy, Thrifty Meals.

Heart-Healthy Home Cooking African American Style

Delicious Heart Healthy Latino Recipes (Spanish and English)