Tuesday’s Tip: Local Servers Aren’t Always Computers

Chances are that you, family historian, live within reach of a local genealogical server, an organization that is dedicated to preserving your sanity, as you preserve your family’s stories.  These genealogical societies can host educational events, house regional history archives, and provide encouraging words during even the most discouraging of times.

My local server, The Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, includes an amazing team of photographers who have rigged up a splendid system of cameras, lights and reflectors.  These digitizing fiends capture a myriad of local documents, from baptismal records to century-old newspapers, AND, as I discovered, members’ family treasures.

I recently acquired a set of deeds for my husband’s childhood home in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  The series begins in 1883, with a wonderful document from the Diamond Coal Land Company conveying title to a parcel in Square #6 of the Diamond Addition.   Measuring 16¾ inches by 27¼ inches, the yellowed paper proved impossible to scan and challenging to clearly photograph at home.  After explaining my predicament to these local genealogists, the guys offered to make digital copies for me! While the cameras worked their magic, I read the Hazleton (PA) Sentinel’s  1884 account of the coal trade on an in-house computer, another product of their preservationist zeal.

Local genealogical societies are wonderful groups to support, with your membership fees and your company.  We all have so much to gain from the camaraderie and sharing.

The Diamond Coal Land Company was a piece of the Ario and Calvin Pardee coal conglomerate, which also owned the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company and many anthracite collieries in the area.

The Diamond Coal Land Company was a piece of the Ario and Calvin Pardee coal conglomerate, which also owned the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company and many anthracite collieries in the area.

Leading Me On

This gate set out to conspire with the sun this morning, I swear, leading me on to believe that a warm front had moved in overnight.  Just beyond the shadows spring melt was sweetening the air.   Liar.  Fooler.  Twenty degrees still leaves my cheeks cold and my hands numb.  And the snow banks still smell like winter.

This gate set out to conspire with the sun this morning, I swear, leading me on to believe that a warm front had moved in overnight. “Just beyond the shadows, spring melt is sweetening the air!”  Liar. Fooler. Even sun kissed, twenty degree air leaves my cheeks cold, my hands numb. And the snow banks still smell like winter.

sun kissed

Let It Go…Away

Winter, your beautiful crystals have been appreciated in all their varied shapes.  It is time to just let. it. go.  The cold.  It DOES bother me, anyway.

Winter, your beautiful crystals have been appreciated in all their varied shapes. It is time to just let. it. go.

Amanuensis Monday: We Are Off To The Races

The branch of the Minor family from which I spring left New Jersey in the late 1790s and settled along Big Whitely Creek, Greene County, Pennsylvania.  Abia and Margaret (Pearson) did not homestead in isolation, and may well have lived within the fortified structures that uncles John and William Minor had built in the area.  By 1803, Abia and Margaret aspired to their own farm along the waters of Big Whitely, and on 2 February Uncle William Minor and his wife, Hannah, conveyed title to 150 acres of  “Race Ground”, for the sum of $1,700 “of lawful money of the United States”.  The oak studded hills had been conveyed or patented to William from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1789.  In 1803 the creek-side land  became the childhood home of my patriarch–John Pearson (Pierson) Minor.

Map_Greene Township_Greene County_Pennsylvania. Caldwell Atlas. 1876. edited.zip

You can read the text of the deed below:

Continue reading

Robert Minor of Greene County, Pennsylvania

On this anniversary of Robert Minor’s death, I am seeking cousin-ly review.  Robert is shown here in front of his home on Ceylon Lane.  With confidence I can identify his wife, May, and his two children, Helen and Donald.  But who are the rest of the folks?  What say you, descendants of John P. and Isabella Minor?

Minor Family Group Shot circa 1915. Back row (l-r): unknown, Robert Minor, May Minor, unknown. Middle: unknown. Front row: Helen Minor, Donald Minor, unknown, unknown.

Minor Family Group Shot circa 1915. Back row (l-r): unknown, Robert Minor, May Minor, unknown. Middle: unknown. Front row: Helen Minor, Donald Minor, unknown, unknown.