Building on the disappointing results of this poll and the number of people who subscribe to TAG, I decided to do some more unscientific research for this journal. I don't know why, but it's my favorite genealogical journal. I would argue that this journal and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly are the only true-national genealogical journals. What kind of state coverage does TAG have? I looked at the last ten years' worth of issues and noted all the states in the titles of articles. I just looked at the titles only.
Over those ten years these states have been represented: MA, CT, RI, VA, PA, NY, DE, NY, MD, VT, NJ, OH, ME, GA, IL, NH, NC, KY, MO, FL, SC, and IN. That's 22 in total. All are eastern with a few midwestern states. Naturally, the 13 original states are represented the most. That's no surprise, since the type of article that helps the most people are the ones further back in time, and therefore have the most descendants now.
2000: Mass. 17 articles; CT 9 articles, with RI, VA, PA, NY, and DE.
2001: Mass. and CT, 12 each, with NY, MD, VT, DEL, NJ, PA, OH, ME, VA, and RI.
2002: Mass.: 13, with 14 other states.
2003: Mass.: 15, RI with 7, with VA, NY, CT, MO, KY, VT, and NH.
2004: Mass.: 14, CT with 6, and 9 other states.
2005: Mass.: 14, with 8 other states.
2006: Mass.: 14, CT: 9, and 11 other states.
2007: Mass.: 10, CT: 9, and 6 other states.
2008: Mass: 4, CT: 3, NJ: 2, and 7 other states.
2009: Mass.: 9, CT and VA with 4 each and NJ with 2.
The last two years the journal was in a publication deficit and issued double issues to catch up, so the diversity of articles has been less than in the beginning of the decade. However, there is a strong Mass./CT presence. NY is not as strong, but New York has an extremely strong state journal, The New York Genealogical & Biographical Record. The next strongest presence is Penn. and Virginia.
In any case, I strongly recommend subscribing to this journal. You will not be disappointed.
We've all heard the family story of the three brothers. They immigrated together; they moved west together, whatever it was it was three brothers. These stories are seldom true. Here's my version from a letter from a cousin in 1979:
The NEHGS newsletter conducted an unscientific poll last week:
Last week we brought back our popular question feature with a survey on journal readership. Many of you responded, with some interesting results. As expected, almost everyone (98%) receives the Register. In addition, 25% receive NGSQ and 17% get TAG. About 20-25% of TAG and NGSQ readers fully read the journal. 70% of respondents read only select articles from the Register, with 20% doing so for TAG and NGSQ. The percentage of individuals not reading the journal, but only searching it as an electronic database, are as follows: Register, 54%; TAG, 45%; Record 20%.
This is not surprising news based on my own unscientific work of last fall on scholarly articles penetrating the web. Of those that responded it seems only l7% get TAG. And that's just the membership of NEHGS who responded. So, counting the rest of the so-called genealogists out there, probably only 1-2% know of this excellent source. So, it's no surprise that people are not finding the best and most current information on their own ancestry.
From the great people at the Westbrook Historical Society. This page in the 1906 yearbook shows my great-grandmother, Lila Mae Quigley. The statistic isn't available for 1906 but in 1909 only 8.8% of 17 year olds graduated high school in this country. I'm guessing the stat for women is even lower, making this quite special for its time.
This is another statistic showing 1910 and please note that no separate stats were kept for women until the late 1940s. You've come a long way baby.
I was reflecting on this blog posting. It's amazing to me that some genealogists are lucky enough to have letters from 1848 (or earlier). My oldest family letter in my possession is from 1920 and is in Slovak, so I can't even read it. Then it occurred to me that although I didn't inherit any old letters, I possessed dozens of letters from my older relatives in my files. I may not be the recipient of old letters, but I could be the one who compiled such letters, many of which describe events that happened in the 19th century, for future generations.
So I have my three-ring binder and mylar sheet protectors ready. I'm slowly but surely preserving all letters from family members to me regarding genealogy. For better or worse, I'm also tossing out letters from strangers requesting genealogical help for families not related to me. I don't want others to get confused.
This seems to be the first of many preservation projects I will start doing. I need to preserve all my original documents including newspaper obituaries, vital records, and miscellanea. I'll probably keep it all in three-ring binders in sheet protectors (archival quality, of course), in alphabetical order by the person's name. I'm sure there are thousands of ways to preserve this stuff. I could do family by family, but that seems so overwhelming. Who needs to trade in file cabinets for 500 binders? or more? However, if you have any useful suggestions, I'm all ears.
The next two documents are identical affidavits written by Abiah's two living Hurd daughters: Sarah Hurd Grant (1853-1925) and Olive Hurd Pinkham (1851-1934). Abiah third Hurd daughter Mary had died in 1907.
In the matter of claim for Abiah Sargent, Remar. Widow of Benjamin W. Hurd a 6th Kansas Cav. W.O. 1,157,421, personally came before me, a notary public in and for [Sullivan Co., N.H.], Sarah Hurd Grant, aged 69 years residing at Charlestown, county of Sullivan, state of New Hampshire who being duly sworn, declare in relation to the aforesaid case as follows: That she is the daughter of Abiah Sargent, former widow of Benjamin W. Hurd and knows that after her father, Benjamin W. Hurd disappeared that her mother did not keep company or did not remarry until her marriage to Samuel Sargent August 8, 1869. The affiant, her mother and her sister, Olive all believe that Benjamin W. Hurd was dead when their mother married Mr. Sargent and as he has never been heard from she is satisfied that he died before her mother remarried.
She further states that she knows that Samuel Sargent and her mother, Abiah Sargent were never separated nor divorced from each other but lived together continuously to the death of Samuel Sargent August 8, 1 913. The affiant further states that to the best of her knowledge and belief Samuel Sargent was never in the Army or Navy in any capacity and had he been she is sure she should have known it. She further declares that she has no interest in said case and is not concerned in it prosecution.
Dated: 9 February 1923