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

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
13 February 2004

Upcoming Genealogy Events

Saturday, February 21st, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Brazosport Genealogical Society's Annual Seminar at the Lake Jackson Civic Center, 333 Hwy 332 (the 2nd light after getting into Lake Jackson is Oak Drive; make a U-turn and com back about 100 yards). Speaker: Trevia Wooster Beverly. Topics: 1) Tarheels and the Palmetto: Researching the Carolinas 2) On the Field of Honor: Military Records 3) The Bathtub Count: Censuses & Schedules 4) Information Is Everywhere, Knowing Where to Look. Registration is $25. For information, contact: Linda Barney P. O. Box 813, Lake Jackson, 77566 or e-mail Gary Gantt < ggantt@brazosport.cc.tx.us >.

Thursday, March 4th, 7 p.m. - Greater Houston Jewish Genealogical Society will meet Seven Acres at 6200 N. Braeswood, Houston. Speaker: Rabbi Joseph Prass, who will discuss the published and heralded autobiography of Rachel Calof, his great-grandmother. He will discuss how Rachel traveled from a difficult life in a small Jewish community in Eastern European to the greater challenges in this country's turn of the Century northwest prairie. She handwrote her life's story in Yiddish and was found in an attic trunk.

Sunday, March 14th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Alexander Hodge SAR Genealogy Fair at the Sugar Land Community Center, 226 Matlage Way, Sugar Land, Texas. Speakers: Marjorie Lowe, Cherokee National Historical Soc., on "Researching the 5 Tribes at Clayton Library" and Dr. Danny Sessums, Curator of the Museum of Southern History, on "Cleburne's Guard: History of Granbury's Infantry Brigade". http://www.sarhodgetx.org/ or e-mail < Salge@texas.net >.

Saturday, May 1st, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Saturday Lock-in at the Milam County Clerk's Office, Courthouse Annex, Cameron, Texas. Event will allow genealogists and researchers the opportunity to use the resources of this office on a Saturday when it is not generally open to the public. Registration by April 24th, $15 donation. Registration after April 24th or at the door, $20 donation. For more information write: MCGS, c/o Lucy Hill Patterson Memorial Library 201 Ackerman St., Rockdale, Texas 76567 or visit: http://www.geocities.com/milamco/.

WWII Aerial Reconnaissance Archives

Evidenceincamera.co.uk has been created by The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives (TARA), at Keele University as the official place of deposit for The National Archives and is found on-line at: http://www.evidenceincamera.co.uk/

The goal of this project is to make the aerial reconnaissance photographs, deposited by the UK Ministry of Defence at TARA, accessible via the internet. You can now access 5.5 million photographs taken over occupied Western Europe, by the Allies during World War II. The archives at TARA, chart the development of photographic reconnaissance and intelligence from a position of virtual insignificance during the early part of World War II, to an integral part of Military Intelligence.

During World War II, the Allied Central Interpretation Unit (ACIU), based at Medmenham, was the headquarters of photographic intelligence. In a similar way to the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, the ACIU had a high priority in the recruitment of all staff. Like the code-breakers, the photographic-interpreters played a key role in winning the war. No attack, whether a bombing raid, the landing of a few men on a beach or a massive landing of an army, was possible without the preparation of target material at the ACIU.

By 1945, millions of aerial reconnaissance images of the world had been accumulated at Medmenham. The vast archive contained a visual record of the world at war. After the war, interest in the aerial imagery grew amongst University geographers and archaeologists, many of whom had been photographic interpreters. In 1962, 5.5 million reconnaissance photographs in 40,000 boxes were transferred over a 14 month period. The fact many pilots never returned from reconnaissance sorties requires that their loss should not be forgotten. The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives is a memorial of a most practical and living kind.

For decades, the ACIU Archive has been mainly used by the European bomb-disposal industry, as a means of locating unexploded bombs. The time-consuming and complicated process of searching the Archive, meant few others used the resource. That said, in 2000 imagery was sourced from the Archive for the Steven Spielberg production "Band of Brothers". Over the last two years, the card-index-systems have been digitized, and mapping used to search the Archive. Through evidenceincamera.co.uk you can now make a search in minutes that previously took many hours. If you want to look at a photograph of where your parents and grandparents campaigned, lived, fought in Western Europe you can. In the light of what we know today about past events and ourselves, looking down on where we, or our families once lived can be a profoundly moving experience.


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 5 March 2004 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604