"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
6 November 2003

Free NARA Photographs On-Line

Today, I am going to tell you about a little known cache of thousands of free photographs available on-line at the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) at: http://www.archives.gov/publications/audiovisual_records.html. All of the photographs are in .jpg format and can be downloaded free and do not carry any copyright restrictions.

These photos will add flavor to your family history by giving your family an impressions of how their ancestors lived and can be used on your websites.

Students in your family can use these pictures when they are working on a school/college project. It would be a classy way to dress up the contents of a report or include on a title page.

Free Civil War photographs include 203 pictures related to: War Activities; Places; Portraits; and, Lincoln's Assassination.

Free photographs of the American West (1861-1923) include 196 pictures related to the following topics: the Western Experience; Surveys & Expeditions; Paths of Persistence; Soldiering in the West; The Law of the West; Life from the Land; Life by the Sea; The Scramble for Newly Opened Land; Towns Out of the Dust and Rocks; Celebration of the American Spirit; and, an Index of these photographs by state.

There are 202 free World War II photographs illustrating: Aid & Comfort; Aviation; Battle of Britain; Death & Destruction; France; German Aggression; Germany; The Holocaust; The Home Front; Island Campaigns; Iwo Jima & Okinawa; Japan; Japan Attacks; Leaders; The Low Countries; Navy & Naval Battles; North Africa, Sicily & Italy; Philippine Islands; Prisoners; Rest & Relaxation; Supply & Support; and, Victory & Peace

Pictures of Indians of the United States include 186 photographs depicting: Agency Buildings; Agriculture; Army Scouts; Burial Customs; Camps; Children; Councils; Crafts; Dances; Male & Female Customs; Homes; Hunting & Fishing; Villages; and, many more topics of interest. There is also an index of the photographs by tribe.

Pictures of the American Revolution include 140 photographs showing the: Prelude to War; Beginnings in New England; A Declaration of Determination; Campaigns in the Northeast; Activities in the Central Colonies; Campaign in the West; victory in the South; War at Sea; War from the British Viewpoint; After the Revolution; Portraits of Colonial Patriots; Portraits of British Leaders & Allies; and, portraits of Colonial Traitors & Tories.

Other topics include: African Americans in World War II (260 photographs); Pictures of U.S. Navy Ships from 1775 to 1941 (185 photographs); American Cities (170 photographs); and many more subjects of interest!

-- Posting Good Queries

Whenever you post a query on a Message Board or submit one to a genealogy society for publication, you need to be brief, thorough, direct, to the point and most importantly, specific!

Recently, there have been a rash of posting on RootsWeb Message Boards that go something like: "I'm looking for the Smith Family who moved to Texas." This query would then be posted on the Message Board for every county in Texas. Bad idea!

Not only does this violate the RootsWeb Message Board Guidelines, but also more importantly, "fishing expedition queries" are often ignored! For the best results, post queries only on the county Message Boards where you know or think the family may have lived and on the surname Message Board or for related surnames.

Another error is to lump two or more unrelated queries into one message posting. If you are requesting look-ups for three different families, make it three postings. Remember the best query is concise and specific. When lumping the kitchen sink into a query, the reader gets lost and goes on to the next query; thereby loosing your audience!

For guidelines on how to post queries on RootsWeb Message Boards, first look at the LINKS & ANNOUNCEMENTS feature located on every Message Board.

The following is an easy to follow query ...

SMITH, John Wm. - Born: ca 1823, Bartow Co., GA - Died: 1 Jan 1900, Milam Co., TX. Parents: SMITH, John Washington & Martha (maiden name unknown).

Known siblings: Mathew, Mark and Mary.

Married: 4 July Aug 1850 to Maude WILLIAMS in Williamson Co., TX.

Children: Jasper, James, Paul, Elizabeth and Ralph.

Seeking Information on Martha's parents.

Contact me at: < your@email.com > - mailing address: P. O. Box 1234, Anytown, TX 77001.


In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 15 Mar 2005 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604