Nancy Calhoun is the head of the Genealogy and Local History Department at Muskogee Public Library. Her previous work experience includes publishing, newspaper work, teaching, and black and white photography darkroom. Her education includes a B.A. with a double major in English and history, a B.S. in vocational home economics with a minor in photography, and a M.S. in curriculum and instruction. She has also been employed in a city library and in a university library.
Her genealogy quest began with listening to stories told by her paternal grandfather who came to Oklahoma from Virginia in 1909. His ancestors were some of the earliest recorded residents of southwest Virginia when they appear on pre-1750 land records. Her research adventure began when she took a genealogy class at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, in the early 1970’s. She has been expanding her education in genealogy at every opportunity since that time, including attending three Conference in the States sessions held by the National Genealogical Society. She quickly found that her history studies in graduate school, writing skills, and photography interests were a great combination with genealogy.
She believes that timelines are a valuable tool for genealogists. They can take many forms including history of an area, geographical changes, or an individual’s life. Historical knowledge can provide the key to where to find valuable records. Simply putting down the facts and dates can provide insight on where to look for additional information and what is missing.
Researching a common surname is a problem almost all researchers face at some time. This presentation uses my personal experiences in tracing Smiths. The various methods and alternatives and additional needed proof can also be helpful in tracing female ancestors and other “problem family members.
At least half of our family trees consist of female ancestors. Yet these are often clouded or completely lost in the mist of the past. At times, we’re lucky to even have a given name. This presentation presents information on finding these illusive women and even on how to “live with them” and in spite of them.
Lots of topics throughout the weekend!