Welcome to The Yocum Library of Reading Area Community College's Blog!

For many years we have published a print newsletter for the RACC community that provided information on the library's staff, resources, and services. In order to provide information on a more timely basis, we decided to switch to the blog format. We hope that you enjoy learning more about The Yocum Library of RACC.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

7 Reasons You May Not Be Finding Your Ancestor

7 Reasons You May Not Be Finding Your Ancestor
Genealogy research can be quite challenging when you are not able to find records on your ancestor. Before you get too stressed or throw in the towel, go through the following 7 reasons that could be standing in your way.

1. You have not thoroughly researched the descendants of your ancestor.

Too often, researchers are bond and determined to get as far back on a line as they can, and they do not concern themselves with researching as much as they can on one person. They miss records that could give important details and even mention the names of parents or birth places.

You should start with yourself, as Jan Edwards suggests in "Why Me?" In the post, Jan explains, “You start with yourself; work each generation including direct line siblings and spouses.” You should research everything you can about parents, siblings and spouses for each ancestor. Following a paper trail will help keep you verify that each person is related to you, and the next generation will be mentioned on records. There is no place for assumptions when you are researching your ancestor.

2. You are looking in the wrong location.

Some ancestors moved around and did not stay in one place. When you research them, start with the most recent place that you knew them to be. If you get to the point that you run out of records for them, be sure you research their place of death and the birth places of their children. Look for marriage records, probate records, and land records for clues.

Sometimes ancestors never moved, but they are not found among the records in the area where they used to live. The boundaries where they were living changed. They were in one county, but they became part of another county or parish. That means you have to search the parent county or parish that they were a part of before being redistricted.

A great place to learn about boundary changes is at the Wiki. Search for an article on the county or parish where you know your ancestor was living. Then read the section on the parent county or parish to learn about resources in that area.

3. You are using some else's findings.

If you are using information that another researcher shared and they did not share the sources they used, the research could be flawed. If they made mistakes with names, dates, or places, you will not be able to check the original records they used. So what good is the information they put together? Not much. It could be a pure waste of time for you to build your tree from their assumptions.

Every once in a while a tree can be helpful in providing clues or identifying details that you are having trouble finding elsewhere, but be sure to check original sources to confirm or learn more. If sources, are missing then you will need to prove their work, or start fresh yourself.

4. You are searching a database that does not cover the years your ancestor lived or the area where your ancestor lived.

Have you ever searched and searched a database and wondered why you could not find your ancestor who you knew should have been there? One explanation for this is that the collections you are searching may have a cut off point and only cover certain years. Also, sometimes collections are missing records for a particular area, and it just so happens the county or parish that your ancestor was in has not been included.

For example, if you were searching FamilySearch for Alabama Births and Christenings, 1881-1930 for an ancestor born in Jefferson County, you would not find that ancestor today because no records have been added for that county yet. See the coverage table for that collection. Always study the contents of a collection that you are searching.

5. You need to vary your search criteria.

Putting too much information in the search field of a database could keep you from getting results for records that do exist. For example, if you ancestor's name is Josiah James Anderson, do not start searching the census on both his first name and his middle name. Chances are a census taker did not even record his middle name. You will be lucky if it was not recorded as J. J. Anderson,

Do nor search using the name of the local area if you are not absolutely sure that is where your ancestor is and that is what the area was called at the time. If your ancestor lived near the city of Lafayette, Parish, search using the area Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Do not search using Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana because you will not find your ancestor if they lived in a town near the city of Lafayette.

6. You are only searching for records online.

If you limit your research to online databases, you may have difficulty finding records as you move further back in time. Many resources are not indexed or even online yet. You must research the records that were generated locally in an are in repositories to be sure that you are not missing records that could fill in the missing details that you are seeking.

There is a collection for Illinois Probate Records, 1819-1970 at FamilySearch, however, an ancestor born in Iroquois County, Illinois would not be found in this collection today because that county is not covered. Probate records do exist for Iroquois County in offline resources. One place that you can find probate records for Iroquois would be in the Family History Library Catalog among microfilm that would need to be ordered. You could also check with the Iroquois County Courthouse to see if they have additional probate records:
Iroquois County Courthouse
550 S. 10th Street
Watseka, IL 60970
Phone: 815/432-6950

7. Your family is withholding details from you.

Sometimes family members may choose to withhold information that would help you document an ancestor. They may do this for selfish reasons or they may do it to avoid discussing a painful experience that happened in the past. Either way, exercise caution and patience. Do not push them. It is more difficult to start your search this way, however, it is not impossible.

Interview extended family, neighbors and friends to see what they know. Search records in the local history section at the library. Research newspapers from the time and place that your ancestor lived to learn about schools, events, and organizations. Be certain that your research starts with you so that you can identify more people who can possibly share what they know.


The Academic Testing Center Rules

The Academic Testing Center
(College @ Home and make-up tests)
is Located Within The Yocum Library
New, computer testing, more information to follow.

Students must register for these tests at the Service Desk on the 2nd floor of The Yocum Library at least ONE HOUR prior to the closing of the Testing Center. Students must present a picture ID when registering.

1.Picture ID must be presented when registering for tests in the Academic Testing Center. 2.Children are not allowed in the Academic Testing Center
3.Children under 18 must be with an adult at all times in The Yocum Library
4.No foods or drinks allowed in the Academic Testing Center.
5.No cellular phones allowed in the Academic Testing Center.
6.Students must use scrap paper provided by Academic Testing Center.
7.Calculators, dictionaries, notes, etc. are allowed only when specified by teachers on Academic Testing Center forms.
8.Students cannot leave Academic Testing Center during tests.
9.Students cannot return to the Academic Testing Center to finish tests at a later time unless their instructors have made such arrangements.
10.Students must contact their instructors directly to enquire if their tests have been placed in the Academic Testing Center.

Word of the Day

pilar  \ PAHY-ler \, adjective;  
1.of, pertaining to, or covered with hair.

Their bodies are remarkably smooth, and devoid of pilar  hair…
-- James Cowles Prichard, Researches Into the Physical History of Mankind , 1826

Most of the men, and almost all the women, remove the eyelashes, and pilar  hair rarely appears to grow.
-- Sir Richard Francis Burton, The Lake Regions of Central Africa , 1860

Pilar  came to English in the mid-1800s from the New Latin pilāris  meaning "of hair."


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Meet the Yocum Staff - John A. Zukowski

Name: John A. Zukowski
Position in library: Library Assistant
Educational background: B.A. English Rutgers University, Master's Journalism Temple University
Favorite book: I like classic novels, spiritual books and creative nonfiction.
Favorite movie: City Lights
Favorite area of library: Reference Department
Special interest: Classic American movies, liberation theology, New England culture, social realism
Hobby: Photography, vegetarian and vegan cooking, genealogy, conversation

English Language

*Grande, Venti & Trenta: What Do the Starbucks Names Literally Mean?

When you reflect on all the symbols, gestures, and phrases that bombard your everyday existence, you may find a panoply of simple words that are missing a definition. Case in point: how many times have you or a friend said “I’d like a venti latte” without pausing to consider what venti actually means?

First of all, here are the size options: tall (12 ounces), grande (16), venti (24), and trenta (31).

Let’s briefly address tall. This designation by the coffee company is considered by many to be a classic instance of corporate language manipulation. Tall sounds like small but means something close to the opposite. The result arguably encourages a consumer to think a little less about the size of his or her beverage as well as the size of the bill.

Grande is Italian for “large,” venti means “twenty,” and trenta is “thirty.” Why isn’t the 16-ounce size sedici (Italian for sixteen) instead? Perhaps because grande conjures associations with the English “grand.” Why not follow this logic and apply names that are evocative of English terms to the remaining two sizes? The less-familiar venti and trenta may help consumers forget the cost or calorie count of what they are about to drink.

* http://blog.dictionary.com/starbucks-trenta/

Word of the Day

 \ ab-LAK-teyt \, verb;  
1.to wean.

His style, however, has found imitators; especially of late years, since the rage commenced of disfiguring and debasing our language by innovation. Such writers, instead of brittle, would say fragile; instead of fruitfulness, feracity; and humectate, steril, desiderate, ablactate , indigitate, etc. instead of moisten, barren, desire (or wish for), wean, point out, etc.
-- James Beattie, The Works of James Beattie, LL.D. , Vol. IV, 1809

Ablactate , with propriety, might not be adopted, because Wean is equally expressive and shorter; and, for the same reason Appropinquate, as we have already Approach.
-- John MacLaurin, "Of Dr. Johnson’s Style," The Works of the Late John MacLaurin, Esq. , Vol. III, 1798

Ablactate  entered English in the 1700s and combines the Latin prefix ab-  meaning "from" or "away," and lac  meaning "milk."


Friday, September 19, 2014

Word Fact

*Word Fact: What Is the Difference Between i.e. and e.g.?

They may be small, but their power to befuddle writers and speakers of the English language is mighty: what’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.? And what are the correct uses of these commonly confused abbreviations?

The term i.e. is a shortening of the Latin expression id est, which translates to “that is.” It is used to introduce a rephrasing or elaboration on something that has already been stated: “I like citrus fruits, i.e., the juicy, edible fruits with leathery, aromatic rinds of any of numerous tropical, usually thorny shrubs or trees of the genus Citrus.” In this example, i.e. introduces an elaboration on citrus fruits.

The term e.g. is an abbreviation of the Latin expression exempli gratia, meaning “for the sake of example” or more colloquially, “for example.” It follows that this term is used to introduce examples of something that has already been stated: “I like citrus fruits, e.g., oranges, lemons, and limes.”

One easy way to remember the difference between these two is by employing a simple mnemonic device: think of the i at the beginning of i.e. as standing for the first word in the phrase “in other words,” indicating that the clause that follows will rephrase or explain what precedes the term.  E.g. is a little more straightforward since e stands for exempli meaning “example.” To ensure your mastery over these terms is not tarnished by misplaced punctuation, remember that in formal writing, e.g. and i.e. are often set off in parentheses and followed by a comma; in less formal writing, it is standard to place a comma before and after these terms.

* http://blog.dictionary.com/whats-the-difference-between-ie-and-eg/

Hispanic Heritage Month - Alexis Jardine Collection

Alexis Jardine Collection of artifacts from Hispanic cultures.

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Word of the Day

 \ KWOH-thuh \, interjection;  
1.Archaic . indeed! (used ironically or contemptuously in quoting another).

Lady H. H: A tar barrel, quotha ! A thorn tree— quotha ! You that were harping on galaxies and milky ways! You that were swearing I outshone 'em all!
-- Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts , 1941

...Ashamed to walk with me, quotha ! marry, as good as yourself, I hope.
-- Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling , 1749

Quotha  entered English in the early 1500s from quoth a  meaning "quoth he." Quoth , an archaic verb meaning "said," has been used since Middle English was spoken.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scheduled Classes for Computers

9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Reserved - Ms Bean-Ritter
Where: Yocum Instruction Area
Description: Ms Carol Bean-Ritter ORl102 (30) Introduction to the Yocum Library presented by Ms. Kim Stahler

Word of the Day

 \ HIG-uhl-dee-PIG-uhl-dee \,
1.in a jumbled, confused, or disorderly manner; helter-skelter.
1.confused; jumbled.

Within six hours, Kesselring had ordered all or parts of eleven divisions to converge around the Colli Laziali in what he would later term a " higgledy-piggledy  jumble."
-- Rick Atkinson, The Day of the Battle , 2007

It didn't have the higgledy-piggledy  colors of a fire or a foul smoke to choke off your breath and set your eyes weeping.
-- Frederick Buechner, Brendan , 1987

Higgledy-piggledy  came to English in the late 1500s and is a rhyming compound of uncertain origin.


Library Humor

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scheduled Classes for Computers

6 p.m. - 7:20 p.m. Reserved - Ms   Jodi   Greene
Where : Yocum Instruction Area
Description: Ms Jodi Greene HIS110 (15) Finding Books in the Library presented by Ms. Patricia Nouhra.

Word of the Day

 \ FLAP-dood-l \  , noun;  
1.Informal . nonsense; bosh.

Well, by-and-by the king he gets up and comes forward a little, and works himself up and slobbers out a speech, all full of tears and flapdoodle  about its being a sore trial for him and his poor brother…
-- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , 1884

Could you tell anybody who's interested that I've been under severe strain recently, or some such flap-doodle ? Everyone'll think I was as tight as a tick anyway, but I suppose we might as well preserve the outward forms if we can.
-- Kingsley Amis, The Green Man , 1969

Flapdoodle  came to English in the 1800s and is of uncertain origin.


Why Immigrants Change their Names?

There were a variety of reasons, almost as many as there are names. Often, they wanted to be Americanized. A man named Ferraro, which means blacksmith in Italian, might translate his name and go by Smith, in order to "fit in" to an American community. That would be "on purpose"

An illiterate man would get a job, and tell his employer his surname was Alessi (pronounced "uh-LAY-see". The boss hears "Uh, Lacey". The man's name on the payroll and his paycheck then is listed as Lacey, and Lacey it becomes.

Young Biagio La Duca lives in a neighborhood where his contemporaries can't pronounce Biagio, so they arbitrarily call him Billy, because that starts with a "B" as well. On his first day at school, the boy tells his teacher his name is Billy", and she says "We go by proper names here," and records his name as William La Duca. Biagio becomes William.

Loreto Giglia (pronounced JEE-lya) gives his petition for naturalization to a judge who reads the suname and pronounces it GIG-lee-uh. Loreto insists, "No, it's JEE-lya, JEE-lya". The judge says "OK, in America we spell that G-E-L-I-A," and the surname of the man and his children becomes Gelia, (which, in Italy would be pronounced "GAY-lya"!!)

Contrary to popular opinion, names normally did NOT get changed at Ellis Island. They were changed by the person's American teachers, employers, neighbors, etc., or by the person himself when he felt it was to his benefit.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Muhlenberg Library Event

Word of the Day

 \ SAM-uh-vahr, sam-uh-VAHR \ , noun;  
1.a metal urn, used especially by Russians for heating water for making tea.

She never used the samovar  except on special occasions, for example during the visits of her sisters-in-law. Then she made tea and set it on the table to flatter them.
-- Tamar Yellin, The Genizah at the House of Shepher , 2005

Nadi is near to the sink preparing the samovar  for later and she calls out in Farsi for Esmail to take off his shoes and then come into the kitchen for washing.
-- Andre Dubus III, House of Sand and Fog , 1999

Samovar  entered English in the 1800s from the Russian samovár , which means "self-boiler."


Library Humor

Monday, September 15, 2014

Legacy Receives Academic Accolades

READING, PA (Sept. 11, 2014)

Reading Area Community College's scholarly journalLegacy recently received the top award in the Eastern Division of the Community College Humanities Association's 2014 Literary Magazine Competition.Legacy XIII Becoming Us was named the first place winner for the annual awards.
In addition to the overall honor, several RACC students received individual recognition in various categories.
2nd Place -- Catherine J. Mahony, Fault Line
Honorable Mention – Nicole Gausch, Crimson
1st Place – Catherine J. Mahony, Conduits of Mourning
3rd Place – Brandy Aulenbach, Listen to Me
1st Place – Roxanne Peters, Older Workers
2nd Place – Janelle M. Zimmerman, A Compassionate Science
3rd Place – Jan Loose, Flesh and Blood
1st Place – Alexandra Terrell, The Universal Language
3rd Place – Desirae Lesher, Fall Harvest
Each year, RACC students submit original creative poems, photography, art and other works for publication inLegacy. The publication is run completely by students, including the editors, and is overseen by Dr. Bahar Diken, an Associate Professor at RACC.
New this year, RACC developed two classroom courses that will cover Legacy's design, editing and production process. The courses are part of the new Creative Writing associate degree program.
Becoming Us can be viewed on RACC's website.

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month

About National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

* http://hispanicheritagemonth.gov/

This Day in History - September 15

September 15, 1963: Four black schoolgirls killed in Birmingham

*On this day in 1963, a bomb explodes during Sunday morning services in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls.

With its large African-American congregation, the 16th Street Baptist Church served as a meeting place for civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., who once called Birmingham a "symbol of hardcore resistance to integration." Alabama's governor, George Wallace, made preserving racial segregation one of the central goals of his administration, and Birmingham had one of the most violent and lawless chapters of the Ku Klux Klan.

The church bombing was the third in Birmingham in 11 days after a federal order came down to integrate Alabama's school system. Fifteen sticks of dynamite were planted in the church basement, underneath what turned out to be the girls' restroom. The bomb detonated at 10:19 a.m., killing Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins--all 14 years old--and 11-year-old Denise McNair. Immediately after the blast, church members wandered dazed and bloodied, covered with white powder and broken stained glass, before starting to dig in the rubble to search for survivors. More than 20 other members of the congregation were injured in the blast.

When thousands of angry black protesters assembled at the crime scene, Wallace sent hundreds of police and state troopers to the area to break up the crowd. Two young black men were killed that night, one by police and another by racist thugs. Meanwhile, public outrage over the bombing continued to grow, drawing international attention to Birmingham. At a funeral for three of the girls (one's family preferred a separate, private service), King addressed more than 8,000 mourners.

A well-known Klan member, Robert Chambliss, was charged with murder and with buying 122 sticks of dynamite. In October 1963, Chambliss was cleared of the murder charge and received a six-month jail sentence and a $100 fine for the dynamite. Although a subsequent FBI investigation identified three other men--Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Cash and Thomas E. Blanton, Jr.--as having helped Chambliss commit the crime, it was later revealed that FBI chairman J. Edgar Hoover blocked their prosecution and shut down the investigation without filing charges in 1968. After Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley reopened the case, Chambliss was convicted in 1977 and sentenced to life in prison.

Efforts to prosecute the other three men believed responsible for the bombing continued for decades. Though Cash died in 1994, Cherry and Blanton were arrested and charged with four counts of murder in 2000. Blanton was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Cherry's trial was delayed after judges ruled he was mentally incompetent to stand trial. This decision was later reversed. On May 22, 2002, Cherry was convicted and sentenced to life, bringing a long-awaited victory to the friends and families of the four young victims.