23 October 2014

October is Family History Month

As I’ve mentioned before, October is a busy month in the BDC.  It is Archives Month. It is Archaeology Month. And October is Family History Month.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, says: 
Public libraries have a responsibility to serve the needs of patrons interested in genealogical research by providing basic genealogical reference materials and how-to-do-it books in the library and by providing access to additional genealogical research materials through interlibrary loan or referral.

Beaufort County Library goes one step further and supports some genealogical reference services through the Beaufort District Collection, the system's special collections local history library and archives. Approximately 35 – 40% of our Research Room and e-mail customers are interested in exploring their roots – and they want immediate answers.  Led astray by some of the popular television series purportedly unraveling major mysteries in a celebrity’s background in less than 45 minutes, many the genealogical neo-phyte has presented himself in the Research Room or over the telephone with nothing but a name and a family story that the ancestor was in Beaufort district at some point in the past. The lucky ones have a  name and approximate date of residency for the ancestor. 

Here’s the skinny:  BDC staff guide researchers through our materials. We share access to genealogical databases. We provide basic instruction in how to use the databases and resources we have in our Research Room. We provide general advice on how to approach genealogical research. We keep vertical files on particular families resident here for two or more generations when former researchers give us copies of their work. We do not have the staff necessary to perform in depth genealogical research for customers, whether in-house or those who telephone, e-mail, or send questions by mail. We provide very limited services for those who cannot come into the Research Room to perform their own work.  We can send customers photocopies or scans of obituaries from our newspaper files under certain conditions and for a fee. In other words, we provide materials and guidance that facilitate the work of family historians. 

Perhaps this fishing analogy will clarify what we can and cannot do when it comes to family history research: We provide the pond, stock the pond with a few choice species, and teach you to fish but you’ve got to bring the pole, hook, and bait. And, you’ve got to hold that pole, bait that hook, do the fishing, scale any fish caught, and cook it. We try to set things up so that you have a better chance of catching a tasty fish. We hope that you catch a fish.  Indeed, we will celebrate with you should you catch a trophy fish.  But we do not guarantee that the fish will be biting the day you choose to go fishing. 
From the Donner Collection, copyright BCL
Although the BDC appropriately concentrates on genealogical materials relating to our immediate area of Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper Counties, we try to guide anyone interested in pursuing this avocation to appropriate sources of additional information. Because of the nature of the printed materials in this collection, we can help the most with South Carolina ancestors. For those interested in tracking ancestors in other states and countries, the Library system provides access to Ancestry Library Edition (inside all Library facilities) to support genealogical research at each of the branch libraries. To facilitate researchers, BDC staff offer occasional genealogy workshops, set up one-on-one research appointments or telephone reference interviews by prior arrangement throughout the year.  

Bluffton Branch has a genealogy interest group, led by Debbie Dubrucq, that meets weekly on Thursdays at 2 pm.  Contact Bluffton Branch for details: 255 - 6503.

The BDC is piloting a genealogy drop-in Q & A monthly session at Lobeco Branch on the 1st Wednesday of the month beginning on November 5th and extending to at least March 4, 2015. At that point, we will evaluate the community response to the effort.  

If you'd like links to our genealogy packet hand-outs, including the fee structure for helping off-site customers, e-mail us. Questions?  gracec@bcgov.net; 843-255-6468

19 October 2014

Archaeology of Native Americans Lectures Oct. 22

Professor Chris Judge, USC-Lancaster will be in Beaufort County on Wed., Oct. 22nd to deliver two talks at two locations. Be sure to pay attention to the locations and times.  It would be awful to show up at the wrong lecture.

1) Learn about the archaeology of the local Yamassee Indians from 1684 up to the start of the Yamassee War at Noon at the Coastal Discovery Museum. The lecture is free but reservations are required.  Contact: Natalie Hefter, 843-689-6767, ext. 223 nhefter@coastaldiscovery.org.

2) The evening lecture concentrates on the Woodland Period in South Carolina, 1000 BC to 1200 AD.  Recent research is shedding new light on these Native Americans. The lecture will be held in the area just outside the Beaufort District Collection Research Room, 2nd floor, 311 Scott Street beginning at 6 pm.  This lecture is the first talk in a three lecture series to supplement the South Carolina Historical Society's "Shaping of South Carolina" exhibit on display now. Both the lecture and the exhibit are free, but space is limited.  First come, first seated.  Contact: Charmaine Concepcion, 843-255-6468, cseabrook@bcgov.net.

16 October 2014

Calling all Artifacts!

No need to register.  Just drop by the 2nd floor, 311 Scott Street and try to stump the archaeologists! Added dividend: While you're waiting, you can enjoy the "Shaping of South Carolina" exhibit on loan from the South Carolina Historical Society. 

And don't forget that Prof. Chris Judge will be here on Wed., Oct. 22nd at 6 pm to tell us all about "The Woodland Period in South Carolina" following his Noon day talk at Coastal Discovery Museum on the Yamassee Indians.

13 October 2014

Great American Shake-Out

I felt tremors of the Spring earthquake.  Did you?

Although SC isn't exactly known as an earthquake zone, our history says otherwise. South Carolina is an active seismic zone with an average of 10 to 15 earthquakes a year. Back in 1886, the Charleston earthquake caused 60 deaths and rattled most of the east coast of the United States. According to accounts here in the BDC, the earthquake caused a tidal wave in the Beaufort River and the "Naked and Afraid" exposure of one of Beaufort's finest citizens to his neighbors.

For the visually minded, our partner, the Lowcountry Digital Library, hosts images of the devastation caused by the earthquake at http://bit.ly/11eZymv. Also we have no images of the tidal wave or the public exposure to share.

Do you know what to do when the earth moves? 

At 10:16 this Thursday, October 16th, "Drop. Cover. Hold On"! to participate in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, an emergency preparedness earthquake drill. "Drop, Cover, and Hold On!" means to dive under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold onto it for at least 60 seconds.  You have to hold onto the furniture because during an earthquake furniture tends to move.  Don't have any sturdy furniture? Emergency preparedness folks say that in that case, it's best to get on the floor and cover your head, trying to stay away from windows and things that might fall on top of you. For more information visit the Great SouthEast ShakeOut website at http://www.earthquakecountry.info/dropcoverholdon/.

12 October 2014

Got Artifacts? and Other Archaeological matters

Celebrate International Archaeology Day by joining us for "What the Heck Is It?" - Take 2 on Saturday, October 18 beginning at noon. Bring your artifacts for identification by archaeologists Dr. Eric Poplin and Dr. Jon Leader. Session ends at 3 pm. Beaufort District Collection, 2nd floor, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC 29902.  Free. Details: Charmaine Concepcion, 843-255-6468.

Be sure to pencil these Archaeology Month lectures with Prof. Chris Judge on October 22 into your calendar as well.

Learn about the archaeology of the local Yamasee Indians from 1684 up to the start of the Yamasee War, the most significant Native uprising of the early colonial period from Professor Chris Judge, USC- Lancaster.  

Time and Date of Event: Wednesday, October 22 at Noon

Location of Event:  Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Dr, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926  
Price of Event: Free; Reservations are required.

Contact info: Natalie Hefter, 843 689-6767, ext. 223, nhefter@coastaldiscovery.org

Professor Chris Judge shifts gears a bit for the evening lecture. Between 1000 BC and AD 1200 Native American societies in South Carolina introduced the bow and arrow, expanded recently invented clay pottery traditions, began growing native crops in gardens and buried certain individuals with great fanfare and effort.  Archaeologists call these societies "Woodland" and new research across the Carolinas is shedding new light on these people. This talk, the first lecture in a series of three to supplement the "Shaping of South Carolina" exhibit currently on display, will explore these topics. This lecture is co-sponsored by the South Carolina Historical Society.
Time and Date of Event: Wednesday, October 22 at 6 pm 
Location of Event: Beaufort District Collection, 2nd floor, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC 29902

Price of Event: Free

Contact info: Charmaine Concepcion, 843-255-6468, cseabrook@bcgov.net

Heads up for all you diggers: The Archaeology Fall Field Day is November 15th in Greenville, SC.   

Archaeology Month programs are co-sponsored by the Beaufort District Collection, Beaufort County Planning, Coastal Discovery Museum, and the Beaufort and Hilton Head Chapters, ASSC. (Please excuse the cattywompus formatting.)