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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Research State by State : Arkansas

Continuing with research in the States, I have a source for Arkansas.  The Arkansas History Commission, found at,  has many sections to search.

The News and Events tab shows a chronological list of general messages regarding special hours for research on various holidays, but also posts of interesting articles regarding Arkansas history.  There is an article dated from 6 January 2016, which reports a story of the desegregation of Little Rock School.  The Black History Commission of Arkansas will partner with the Arkansas History Commission in this presentation to be held on 6 February 2016.

The Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives has a tab that directs you to their page, which features "One Hundred Fifty Years Ago Today in Arkansas".  This is an on- line exhibit regarding Arkansas in the Civil War.  Selected images and articles are showcased to give a glimpse of the extensive collection held by the Commission. This is a searchable database to allow inquisitive persons to explore various subject matter of the Civil War in the South. There is also a feature entitled "Today in Arkansas History".  I found that on today, 30 January , the southern boundary line was completed in 1831, as well as by the act of the state legislature, the Apple Blossom became the state flower in 1901.

Another tab, entitled CARAT, allows the researcher to browse various collections by title.  Some of the topic collections include:


  County Records


  Military Records, just to name a few.

The most interesting and valuable records about land ownership, Confederate Pensions and WWII discharge papers will probably attract anyone who wishes to research their Arkansas kin.

Looks like the data in  CARAT is worth your time to review.

The Black History tab sends the researcher to the page for The Black History Commission of Arkansas.  Although they have a collection , they are continually seeking donations of letters photos, business records, and other documents of the Black History of Arkansas.  The Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program is available to help fund projects related to Black History of Arkansas.

Lastly, there are databases to help the researcher find more information like these topics:

  African American legislators

  African Americans manuscripts

  African American yearbooks

  African American newspapers,  and several others.

Furthermore, there are resource guides to aid teachers in their classroom plans to study the above listed topics.

Although I have no family connections to Arkansas,,  I will browse this website just because it holds such interesting information.  Just the thing for a ho-hum rainy day.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Research by State : Arizona

Hello again.

I just reviewed two sites that are incredible.  Who knew that Arizona would have such great research guides?  Need some birth and death information?  Arizona has a searchable database that is fantastic.

Let's start with Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates found at

Currently on this site, you can search births to 1939 (at least 75 years ago) and deaths to 1964 (at least 50 years ago

Images are in pdf format for both birth and death certificates.  Fantastic? You betcha!

The Arizona Memory Project found at

I found this site to be really neat for that information that you never learned in school.  There are collections covering a variety of topics and subjects....Architecture, Education, Maps, Military, Native Americans, Photographs, ....just to name a few.

I love to read about people who have a whole different taste of life....usually for the absurd or purely wacky (not to be critical or anything like that). So, I did some browsing in the Crime and Law section.  There was a topic called Murder and Mayhem.  Just what I like to read. Look what I found...

Murder & Mayhem - The Strange Saga of Winnie Ruth Judd

This is the story of Winnie Ruth of Indiana.  At the age of 19, she married Dr. Judd, a man 22 years her senior.  While living in Los Angeles, her husband became a drug addict.  She was diagnosed with TB and decided to move to Arizona for the drier air.

Winnie got a clerical job at a clinic, and soon made friends with two other women.  They became roomies.  She began dating a new man in her life....and yes, she was still married....and, oh, by the way....he was married too.  She moved out of the girls place and got a place of her own.  However the three women still met up each week to socialize.

Well, one day, Winnie went to visit the ladies.  An argument ensued, someone pulled out a gun, and all three were shot.  Winnie was injured in the hand, but, unfortunately, the two other young women were fatally wounded.

The body of one of the young gals was stuffed into a suitcase.  The other was too large to fit into a case, so her body was dismembered, and she was stuffed into multiple suitcases.

Winnie left Arizona with the suitcases, headed back to Los Angeles.The trunks began to smell and leak body fluids while on the train ride through California.  The train inspectors asked Winnie to open a trunk.  She told them that only her husband had the key, and with that, she ran off.
Train inspectors forced the suitcases open and the bodies were found.  

Winnie's trial began in 1932 in  Phoenix.  The "Trunk Murderess" claimed self defense.  That idea didn't work.  She was found guilty and sentenced to death.  However, not long after, she was found to be insane, as was sent to the state mental hospital for 38 years. She escaped seven times from the hospital, and managed to get as far as northern California where she found employment as a nanny.

Police finally caught up with her, and she was extradited back to Arizona. In 1969, she demanded to be reexamined to determine her sanity. Her parole was denied, but in 1971 the governor signed her pardon.  She returned to California, now going by the name of Marian Lane.

Marian died in California in her sleep, at the age of 93, in 1998.

Now, where else can you find a story like this?  Newspapers!!! My favorite research resource....until I reviewed this Arizona Memory Project site...which is running a close second place.

I hope that you take the  time to browse these Arizona sites to help you with your family research, or just to read about the lives of people who do strange things.

Speaking of that, don't forget to visit my other blog...Friday's Fallen Acorns and Other Nuts found at

Friday, January 15, 2016

State by State Research : Alaska

Last week I mentioned the Family Tree Magazine  listing of state archive websites for genealogy and historical research.  The state of Alaska is one of their entries, and I'd like to review it for you.

The Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, found at , is just what one needs when researching historical Alaska.  Databases include newspapers, naturalization and probate records, in addition to a gold rush pioneer index.

How many glaciers are in Alaska?  I don't know for sure, but there is a section in the Alaska State Library tab that shows the location of each glacier, it's common name and it's elevation .  The Library also mentions the newspapers that are featured in full-text, most of which are pre 1923.

Alaska free clip art is also a feature of this library.  Much too many topics to mention here.

In the Genealogy section of this site is Finding Your Gold Rush Relatives.   Links to repositories, societies, resources, books, cemeteries, etc. are plentiful.  Your could sit all day and still never cover every one of these.

Alaska and Yukon Vital Records are in PDF form, and volumes cover 1898 through 1936.

The digital archives include collections of the State Library and the various campuses of the University of Alaska, in addition to several museums.

Researchers can be employed if you don't have the time to do it yourself.  Just ask.

Although I don't have any family members who lived in Alaska, this is a site that I'd like to revisit simply because the history of Alaska is just so different from  the other 49 states.  I hope that you, too, will take some time to see what this site has to offer.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

State By State Research : Alabama

I want to tell you how wonderfully the writers of Family Tree Magazine fill their pages with such useful information.  For those of us who need that extra help with researching the archives of individual states, they have published a listing of websites that can be the portals to helping you with your historical and genealogical research.  I am going to review each of their picks by state.

Let's start with Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Archives and History

This site has a search feature to look for names in the Civil War service cards.  It also has a search feature for the 1867 voter registrations.

Interested in microfilmed newspapers?  Well, they are listed in the catalogs, and some are available through interlibrary loan.

There are also links to find church records, local and county records and maps.

The Alabama History Timeline is quite fascinating.  It has quips of what was in the vicinity of Alabama going back to 10,000-7,000 BC.,,featuring information on Russell Cave in Jackson County which is a fine example of prehistoric geology.  Going forward, several Spanish explorers made their mark in the area, and the development of the Native American Creek Nation, along with other tribes formed from the earlier Mississippian peoples. There is information on schools, cities, forts, legislature, et. al.  Truly a go to spot for Alabama history.

Multi Media is not lacking on this website.  You Tube videos are abundant and cover a wide range of subjects.

This is certainly a website that I will bookmark, and I hope you do, too.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A New Blog By Me : Friday's Fallen Acorns and Other Nuts


I am so sorry to those who anxiously await my new posts.  You see, I have not posted here since August of 2014.  Terrible, just terrible.  I am so embarrassed.

But, since the new year has arrived, it's time to make those resolutions.  Yes, I do plan to lose weight, just like 50 percent of the American population.  I might join Weight Watchers....Oprah says its OK.  I also want to continue writing on this blog, and not skip a month ever again.  We will see if I hold up to that commitment.  News flash : I decided to start a totally new blog entitled Friday's Fallen Acorns and Other Nuts.

In this new blog, I will share stories and research that I find regarding persons from my family, my collateral relatives  connected to me through marriages and friendships, and any other persons that I come into contact with this year.  I chose this subject because I happen to have an overabundance of persons in my research that have made news in the past, but not very pretty stories.

Murder, kidnapping, extortion, firebombing, assault,'s all there.  Some persons are the instigators, and some are victims, and then there are those guilty of associations with these activities.  Sound interesting?  I think so.

Stay tuned for my first posts will be written every Friday....Friday"s Fallen Acorns and Other Nuts will be entertaining, if not just plain useful to others who are afraid to publish their own stories of unsavory and unfortunate characters.

See you on Fridays