Friday, January 22, 2010

Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns

It's always good to be reminded of the naming conventions practiced in various countries. For beginning  researchers, the information may be all new, and for experienced researchers, there might be something yet to learn. In her article, "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns," Melissa Slate points out certain conventions and practices that might be new to some. For example, the simple addition of "s" or "es" to indicate the "son of." So rather than the son of Peter being given the surname Peterson or Petersen, as is familiar, the surname might be Peters, instead. So if you've ever wondered how the name Williams or Davis came about, this might be a clue. Naming patterns and practices, the consistencies and inconsistencies, are at once complex, challenging (to say the least), and fascinating. For even more perspective, you may wish to review some the archive links included in this week's newsletter. Other articles on the subject can be found by doing a keyword search at the top left of this page.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

What Are the Confederate Amnesty Papers?

We always  appreciate hearing about those little known and untapped genealogy resources -- this is the way we expand our knowledge and our family tree at the same time. That said, finding an ancestor among these records could be met with mixed emotion. 

In her article, "What Are the Confederate Amnesty Papers?, Melissa Slate explains The Amnesty Proclamation of December 8,1863 and outlines amnesty requirements. Being a United States record, the Confederate Amnesty Papers are housed at the National Archives. Indexes may be available for some states, such as those for Tennessee. In addition, has made these records available online. You may look for hints to amnesty among a soldier's compiled service record. According to the Civil War publication on the National Archives website, "References to oaths of allegiance and paroles from Confederate soldiers can often be found referenced in compiled military service records for captured soldiers/prisoners." Civil War paroles, also noted in that document, might be another resource to consider.

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