FGS Conferences Continues Today in Birmingham

Please come by and see us in the Exhibit Hall (East Exhibit Hall at the BJCC).  You do not have to be a registered conference participant to access the Exhibit Hall.  The vendors and societies participating are numerous… and LOTS of special “conference only” deals from the vendors (book vendors, software vendors, genealogical websites).  This is the last day of FGS 2012 and the Exhibit Hall will be open until 3pm.

Hope to see you there!


In Memoriam ~ Billy Thomas Gamble ~ Update

Billy Gamble (center) greeting Birmingham’s final Honor Flight, June 2012
Photo from the Birmingham News, al.com

Article accompanying above photo can be found online here.

Mr. Billy Thomas Gamble passed away Friday, August 24, 2012. His obituary is in the Sunday edition (26 August 2012) of the Birmingham News.   Mr. Gamble and his wife, Stella, have been long-time active members of BGS.  Mr. Gamble was a veteran of World War II and had the opportunity to participate in an “Honor Flight” to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2008.  Services will be held Monday the 27th at Currie-Jefferson Funeral Home in Hoover with burial in the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo following.


Share Remembrances & Sign Guestbook

BGS Meeting — August 25, 2012 — Baseball and Steel: Industrial League Baseball

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, August 25th at 2 p.m.; Board Meeting at 1:15 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker:  Joe Holley,  Industrial League Baseball enthusiast and historian

Program Topic: Baseball and Steel:  Industrial League Baseball

Joe Holley is a native of Walker County and retired after a lengthy career with the Alabama Department of Transportation. While in college, Mr. Holley took a history course on techniques of research including conducting oral histories.  Because of longtime family involvement, he chose local industrial league baseball as the subject of his research project.  He initially interviewed old timers who dated back to the turn of the 20th Century.  In the intervening years, he has continued his research and has become an “expert”  on the local industrial league teams and players.

Sloss Furnance National Landmark (original)

Stockham Baseball Team, Late 1930’s

1940 U.S. Census Community Project Complete!!

Our friends at FamilySearch announced last night that the indexing and arbitration of the 1940 U.S. Census is now complete!  It will take a few weeks for all the remaining states to come online, but when it is done we will have (2) independent indexes for the 1940 Census– Ancestry.com and the Familysearch.org (shared by many other sites).  (Maybe when the all states come online from the FamilySearch indexing project  I will finally find my grandfather’s brothers!)

Don’t despair if you are sad that there are no records to index.  Familysearch.org is starting another “Community Project” — the US Immigration & Naturalization Community Project. This project will index passenger lists from all the major US ports, so there will be something in this project for everyone. Just look for the “US (Community Project)” label on all record sets belonging to this new project.

Read the full news release here from FamilySearch.org.

I would personally like to say “THANK YOU” to all the contributors who supported the Birmingham Genealogical Society in the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project.  I hope we can continue to index as a group supporting the other “Community Projects.”  I will post the “final” statistics of the records indexed and arbitrated for the group during the 1940 Census project later on the BGS Facebook page.  If you would like to join the group and index other Community Projects, you can find details on how to join and get started here.

BAAGSG Class — August 12, 2012 — Using FamilySearch

The Birmingham African-American Genealogy Study Group (BAAGSG), a special interest group of the Birmingham Genealogical Society, meets the second Sunday of each month (ex. May and November) in the Arrington Auditorium at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are welcome!

Next meeting:  Sunday, August 12th at 3 p.m.

Meeting Place: LDS Family History Center

Topic:  Using FamilySearch

Speaker:  Pat Coleman

Note:  This month’s meeting will be held at the LDS Family History Center on Altadena Road.  Click the link above for the full address and directions.

1940 Census Indexing Status Update

From our friends at familysearch.org:

The 1940 US census index is now 99% complete! It’s hard to believe that we began just 4 months ago. Thank you for your help!

Keep reading to celebrate the “end” of the project and find out what that means, learn why it will take three to four weeks to publish all of the remaining state indexes, and find out how you can continue to make historical records searchable online as part of this amazing volunteer community.

July 28, 2012 Program Summary

Our speaker for the July 28th meeting was Karen Utz, Curator/Historian at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark.  Mrs. Utz presentation was titled “A Sense of Place: The African-American Women of Sloss Quarters.” (Note:  Ms. Utz updated the title.)  If you missed out on a monograph of the topic at the meeting, you will be happy to know that you can read the full research paper on which the program by downloading the document here from the Sloss Furnaces website.

If you were unable to attend, you missed a great presentation.  We are still confirming the August speaker.  We will update the blog as soon as it is confirmed.

BPL Southern History — Beyond the Basics of Genealogy – Land Records Class

From our friends at BPL Southern History:

We just wanted to let you know that there are still spots available in our
upcoming class:

8/4/12: Getting the Good Dirt: Land Records in Genealogical Research

The class will start at 10am in the east room of the Southern History
Dept. and there is a $5 fee to attend. Call 226-3665 or email us back to

Southern History Department
Birmingham Public Library

BGS Meeting — July 28, 2012 — Goin’ North, the African-American Women of Sloss Quarters

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, July 28th at 2 p.m.; Board Meeting at 1:15 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker:  Karen Utz,  Curator/Historian at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

Program Topic: Goin’ North, the African-American Women of Sloss Quarters

Karen Utz is the Curator/Historian at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark.    Goin’ North: The African American Women of Sloss Quarters will focus on the traditions
and customs the mothers, wives and daughters of ex-sharecroppers brought with them to the urban industrial landscape of Sloss Furnaces and its company housing, Sloss Quarters.   A 30 page monograph (plus 10 pages of citations) will be provided to those in attendance.