Sidney Henson Schell will be the featured speaker Saturday, May 11, when the Mobile Genealogical Society meets at 10:30 a.m.
Schell’s topic will be “Fort Powell and The Civil War: Western Approaches To Mobile Bay.” The speaker will share information from his book with the same name.
Fort Powell was a small Civil War fort built on an oyster reef on the north side of Grant’s Pass in Alabama.
MGS meetings are held in the Vitale Room at Holy Family Church, 1400 Joyce Road in Mobile.
The Smithsonian Institution, Preserve Virginia and Colonial Williamsburg announced Wednesday that scientists have verified early Jamestown colonists resorted to eating fellow settlers during a brutal winter dubbed “the starving time,” according to a story in USA Today.
Why mention this grisly find? Many of our English and early American ancestors came to Alabama from Virginia and through the colonies and states hugging the Eastern Seaboard.
The article by Jayne Clark says that the discovery of a partial human skull and tibia is the first forensic evidence that cannibalism was practiced at Jamestown during the winter of 1609-10.
Forensic testing shows the bones belonged to a young girl who was about 14 years old and had European ancestry. Clark’s article is interesting and well worth checking out. It also has a picture of what the girl looked like and a video featuring the archaeologists and forensic experts who worked on the remains.
Alabama’s first state capital, Cahawba, is featured on a Bankrate.com list of 8 Eeriest Ghost Towns.
Cahawba was a thriving frontier community on the Alabama River near Selma in Dallas County. Yellow fever and flooding were among the reasons Legislators moved the capital to Tuscaloosa in 1826. Later, Cahawba was the site of Castle Morgan, a notorious Confederate prison.
Today the site is a state archaeological park administered by the Alabama Historical Commission and well worth a visit.
On Saturday the park will host Civil War Walking Tour from 10-11 a.m. No battles were fought there, but you’ll learn about the Castle Morgan prison and how the Civil War touched the area. Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union Gen. James H. Wilson met here in 1865 following the Battle of Selma.
The grounds are open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and the visitor center from noon-5 p.m. Old Cahawba is at 9518 Cahaba Road in Orrville. The phone and fax number is 334-872-8058.
Congratulations to historian Robert S. Davis of Wallace State Community College in Hanceville and genealogist Ted O. Brooke, who received the Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society for their book, “Georgia Research.”
The book, subtitled “A Handbook for Genealogists, Historians, Archivists, Lawyers, Librarians, and Other Researchers,” offers readers a comprehensive review of Georgia genealogical resources. It’s a valuable addition to your genealogical library.
Georgia was home to many of our Alabama ancestors before they migrated here, while others passed through the state on their way to new settlements in the deep South.
Monica Hopkins edited the book, which was published by the Georgia Genealogical Society. It’s available on Amazon and other websites.
The Birmingham Public Library in April is launching a series of Saturday workshops, “Beyond the Basics of Genealogy,” at the downtown Southern History Department.
The one to two-hour classes cover various genealogical research topics and will be conducted by the department’s staff. Classes are held at 10 a.m. in the Board Room of the downtown Central Library.
Registration is $5 and is limited to the first 18 respondents. To register, contact the Southern History Department at 205-226-3665, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the workshop schedule:
April 13 – “Whats Up Doc?: Government Documents in Genealogical Research.”
May 18 – “The Bases Are Loaded: Birmingham Public Library’s Catalog, Worldcat, and Other Databases.”
June 15 – “Loving the LDS: An In-Depth Guide to Using Familysearch.org.”
July 27 – “Getting the Good Dirt: Using Land Records in Genealogical Research.”
Aug. 17 – “Bring Out Your Dead: Cemeteries in Genealogical Research.”
An updated version of FamilySearch.org will roll out soon, with several enchancements, such as better ways to collaborate on your genealogy, live help and the ability to add photos to your family tree.
The changes were announced on FamilySearch.org, which posted examples of the improvements for preview. A specific launch date wasn’t named.
Users will notice an overall fresher, more modern look to FamilySearch, the free genealogy service connected to the LDS, or Mormon church. Found in the collection’s millions of records are 2.5 billion names – many are accessible online.