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N E W S

Volume 3, Number 1
March 2006


Notes From the NC - Thank You
Linda Haas Davenport - NC
I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the time and effort you spend on your web pages. During these past six months as NC I've had various reasons to visit many of the sites within the Project and I've been constantly amazed and delighted at the wealth of information offered to the researchers that visit sites within the Project. While it is true there are some old dusty websites setting stagnant, they are in the minority. You all should be proud of what you have accomplished and what you continue to accomplish. Thank you so much for being a part of the USGenWeb Project.

Spotlight Web Site of the Month:
The Newsletter team is interested in spotlighting a Project web site each month. If you'd like to have your site considered, please contact one of the Newsletter committee members (names and e-mail address found elsewhere in the Newsletter).

Replacement of RAL and SWSC LC Regional Rep.
It was with regret that the Advisory Board accepted the resignation of Mike St. Clair, the Representative-at-Large and David Morgan, one of the SWSC LC Regional Representatives. Mike and David were active and valuable members of the Advisory Board and will certainly be missed.

The AB has to replace Mike and David and elsewhere in the Newsletter you will find a call for volunteers who are interested in serving as RAL or SWSC LC Regional Rep until the next annual election and a notice of an upcoming Preference Poll. Traditionally only a tiny number of members vote in any election or poll. I hope you help to change this by taking the time to vote in the poll.

Updating Local Coordinator Guidelines:
Since I was seated September 1, 2005 I have received questions, comments and suggestions about the Local Coordinator Guidelines found on the National site at: http://www.usgenweb.com/volunteers/CCguidelines.shtml . It has been several years since these guidelines have been updated so I have been working on an update. A rough draft was posted and comments were solicited from the members. A second rough draft based on the comments received is now posted at http://www.usgenweb.org/volunteers/CCguidelines.html, and I'm asking for everyone's comments before a final draft is presented to the Advisory Board. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please let me know. lhaasdav@cox.net . Once the LC guidelines are complete I will be putting up a rough draft of an update of the SC guidelines for discussion. http://www.usgenweb.com/volunteers/SCguidelines.shtml

Grievance Procedure Committee:
A group of volunteers is busy finalizing the Grievance Procedures. In a project with a membership as large as ours there are times when disagreements arise. You may read about the work of the committee by visiting the list archives. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com - Mailing Lists - Threaded Archives for USGW-GC.

Friends of the USGenWeb Project Logo:
Several years ago the Project offered three logos called "Friends of the USGenWeb Project" that could be used on a website that was not a part of the Project. These old logos may be found in the archives of the Wayback Machine
http://web.archive.org/web/20000817025049/www.USGenWeb.com/friends/friendslogo.html .. The Advisory Board would like to offer new updated logos. If you are interested in designing a new logo please contact me lhaasdav@cox.net.

Dear Myrtle Radio Show:
"Dear Myrtle" http://www.DearMYRTLE.com has a weekly web radio show, and she is interested in featuring the USGenWeb Project. She would like to spotlight a different USGenWeb state off and on each week. To get an idea of what the show is like you can listen to prior radio shows at http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/listen.htm

The spotlight will consist of a ten-minute pre-recorded telephone conversation which will subsequently air on the web at http://www.DearMYRTLE.com as a podcast.

If you would like to represent your state please write to Myrtle at Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

Please copy this notice, and include it and the following in your e-mail to Dear Myrtle: your name, state, preferred official email address, web address, bio, and telephone number, which will be kept private unless you specify otherwise.

Until next time.
Linda Haas Davenport NC USGenWeb Project

Upcoming Preference Poll
Linda Haas Davenport - NC

The Advisory Board needs to fill the currently vacant Representative-at-Large and the Southwest South Central Local Coordinator
Representative seats on the Advisory Board. The National Coordinator has asked for volunteers who are interested in serving as RAL or SWSC LC Rep. The Project's bylaws require the AB to appoint someone to fill the seat until the next annual election in August 2006 but the AB is interested in knowing which of the volunteers the membership prefers. To determine the preference of the membership, the AB has asked the Election Committee to hold a Preference Poll.

You will be receiving a notice from the EC soon asking you to register to vote, if you are not already registered, informing you of the dates and times of the Poll and notifying you to watch for your password. A 2-weeks registration period is required before a poll can be held.

Call For Advisory Board Volunteers
Representative-at-Large
Southwest South Central Regional Local Coordinator Representative

Linda Haas Davenport - NC
There have been two resignations on the Advisory Board. The first, Mike St. Clair has resigned his seat as Representative-at-Large and the second, David Morgan resigned his Southwest South Central Local Coordinator Representative seat. The bylaws call for the AB to appoint a replacement to serve until the next scheduled election (August 31, 2006). The AB is therefore issuing a call for anyone interested in volunteering for the Representative-at-Large and SWSC LC Representative seats. Volunteers will be accepted for RAL from March 5th through March 14th and for SWSC LC Rep from March 9th through March 17th.

The names of the volunteers for both seats will be submitted to the membership via a Preference Poll to be held by the EC. At the conclusion of the Poll the AB will appoint one of the volunteers for each seat to serve until August 31, 2006. All members may vote for the RAL volunteer and all members in the SWSC Region may vote for the SWSC LC Representative volunteer.

A member from any region or special project may volunteer for the RAL seat. Only Local Coordinators in the SWSC Region may volunteer for the SWSC Local Coordinator Regional Representative seat. If you are interested in volunteering for either seat please send me a private e-mail lhaasdav@cox.net that includes the volunteer position, your name, primary e-mail address and the position(s) you hold within the Project. The seat for which you are volunteering, your name and the position(s) you hold will be
posted on Board-L.

If you wish to nominate someone for either position please send me a private e-mail lhaasdav@cox.net with the person's name, e-mail address and position(s) within the Project. Your nomination will be kept confidential unless you specify otherwise.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

USGenWeb at FGS 2006 - Call for Donations
USGenWeb at FGS 2006 Committee, D. Joshua Taylor, Chair
We need your help! Visit http://usgwatfgs.googlepages.com/ to donate today!

The USGenWeb at FGS 2006 Committee is requesting donations to help fund events at the FGS 2006 Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Participating in national conferences not only gives legitimacy to the USGenWeb Project, but it also allows genealogists (both amateur and professional) across the country to learn about the project. In addition to the lectures and luncheon sponsored by the USGenWeb Project at the FGS 2006 Conference in Boston, Massachusetts the project will also be coordinating a booth in the exhibit hall.  As has been done on prior occasions, your donations are greatly appreciated to help cover expenses. We have some remaining funds from last year's collections, and they will be used to help FGS 2006 expenses.

To facilitate all of our financial details, the committee has appointed USGenWeb member Betsy Mills to serve as the treasurer for this event. The committee, under Betsy's guidance, has prepared a budget that can be found online at http://usgwatfgs.googlepages.com/. As you can see from the budget, we need to raise over $2,000 for the various events.

An anonymous USGenWeb member has donated an extra booth so the USGenWeb Project will have a larger booth at the conference. The committee has purchased booths 916 and 1015. (To see a map of the exhibit hall, visit http://www.fgs.org/2006conf/conf-layout-map.htm.) This means we have double the space as previous years and hope to offer our visitors a compelling experience with the USGenWeb Project.  

Please note that your donations will [not] be used to cover expenses of private individuals assisting with USGenWeb at FGS 2006. All speakers and other participants are donating their own travel, lodging, and speaking expenses. A full report of all financial transactions will be posted online each month. Donators may be listed on the USGenWeb at FGS 2006 page and recognized at the conference or remain anonymous.  Please direct all comments or questions to usgwatfgs@gmail.com.   

Donations may be sent via PayPal to usgwatfgs@gmail.com or mailed to: D. Joshua Taylor, USGenWeb at FGS 2006, 203 East 2nd South, Rexburg, ID 83440.

As always the committee appreciates your support and willingness to help promote the USGenWeb Project!

USGenWeb Family Group Sheet Project
Gina Heffernan
In 2003, Bettie Wood was the manager for the Georgia Family Group Sheet Project with hundreds of sheets online. Gina Heffernan was the manager for the Texas project which also had hundreds of sheets. Bettie approached Gina about setting up a national project because the interest was so high. Gina agreed to help with the forms, and Bettie requested and received web space for the project. After setting up 51 pages for the states and Washington, DC, they recruited volunteers and went live on July 3, 2003. With a handful of temporary helpers, the project took off and it was a challenge to put the sheets online as fast as they were received.

A few other states had family group sheet pages and many counties had such pages. They have tried to combine all these sites where possible and to link to the others. Each state has links to the counties which maintain their own projects, and more are being added as they become available. The group belatedly added a page for submitting family records from other countries and is hoping that the international pages will receive as much interest as the national pages. On December 17, 2003, The USGenWeb Family Group Sheet Project became official.

Elaine Martin is the official statistics recorder and reports, "Since starting in 2003 we have put over 22,000 family group sheets online.  In the beginning the volunteers were swamped with submissions, and now we receive a steady stream of 225-300 per month. The email I receive about the project is very positive with people thanking me for doing this for them."

The submission form sends a copy of the sheet to the state manager, a copy to Elaine for record keeping, and a copy goes back to the submitter for offering to county home pages. One form is used for all the states. IAGenWeb retained the management of their project and Texas stayed as part of TXGenWeb. The remaining states are all located on one site, and all the sheets are searchable from one convenient location.

The project page is located at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~usfgs/.

Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records
Denise Wells - Assistant Editor
Many of our newsletter readers subscribe to more than just the USGenWeb Newsletter, and I'm sure you've seen many of the articles regarding this wonderful source of information. I'm sure you are thinking, "Do we really need another article about this?" Probably not, but I wanted to provide a list of the great articles already available on this subject.

The main web address for the BLM is http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/.  >From this site you can search land records for the Public Land States. The Public Land States, as stated on BLM site on the FAQ page http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/FAQ.asp#24, are defined as: "Those states created out of the public domain are the lands now embraced in the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska,  Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah,  Washington, Wisconsin, and
Wyoming."

While surfing through this site I found answers to many of my own questions regarding the history of land ownership, sale and transfer, assisting in the search for my ancestors. It's a source that every genealogist should investigate. Here are several articles that discuss this site more extensively.

About.com - http://genealogy.about.com/b/a/075912.
Cyndi's List - http://www.cyndislist.com/land.htm
Dick Eastman's Newsletter - http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2005/12/general_land_of.html
Ancestry Article - http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=5468
Genealogy Blog - http://genealogyblog.com/american-indian/glo-records-again-online-a-christmas-present-from-the-blm-4663
GeoCommunicator - http://www.geocommunicator.gov/GeoComm/index.shtm
Homestead National Monument of America - http://www.nps.gov/home/geneology.html
NARA - http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/land/
North Suburban Library System - (scroll down about midway) - http://blogs.nsls.info/heritage/archives/genealogy/
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_of_Land_Management

Some of the State's own BLM sites are:
Alaska's BLM - http://www.ak.blm.gov/
Arizona's BLM - http://www.blm.gov/az/
California's BLM - http://www.blm.gov/ca/
Colorado's BLM - http://www.co.blm.gov/
Idaho's BLM - http://www.id.blm.gov/
Montana, North & South Dakota's BLM - http://www.wy.blm.gov/
Nevada's BLM - http://www.nv.blm.gov/
New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas & Kansas' BLM - http://www.nm.blm.gov/
Oregon and Washington BLM - http://www.blm.gov/or
Wyoming's BLM - http://www.wy.blm.gov/

You might also find the following sites interesting:
Public Lands Information Center's Map Center is very interesting - http://plicmapcenter.org/
Legal Land Descriptions - http://www.outfitters.com/genealogy/land/twprange.html

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The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors, including newsletter staff, and are not necessarily those of the USGenWeb Project.
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You are receiving this newsletter because you are a member of The USGenWeb Project. For address changes, or to be added to or removed from the mailing list visit the EC WebSite http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~usgwelections/ and contact your EC Rep. To submit articles, letters and ideas, write to sharon@marshallnet.com The USGenWeb NEWS is archived at http://www.usgenweb.org/newsletter/
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NEWSLETTER STAFF
Editor: Sharon Rhodes
Acting Copy Editor: Morgan Johnson
Assistant Editor: Denise Wells
Assistant Copy Editor: Morgan Johnson
Annette Bame Peebles: Site Spotlights
Anne J. Mitchell: Records Reporter
Daryl Lytton: Poetry and Prose Section
Contributors: Linda Haas Davenport, Gina Heffernan, D. Joshua Taylor
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2006, The USGenWeb Project. Permission to reprint articles from this newsletter is granted when the author and The USGenWeb Project News are credited.

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