On this page are listed present and past projects that MTGS members have undertaken.
2016 update: MTGS is again sponsoring a TSLA intern to continue this outstanding restoration project.
In the summer of 2015, MTGS sponsored the hiring of a summer intern at the Tennessee State Library and Archives to accelerate the restoration of some of Tennessee's earliest land records. We proudly provide here the press release from the Office of Secretary of State Tre Hargett:
Genealogical Society Funding Helps Unlock Land Record Secrets
Land records dating back to the Revolutionary War era can tell researchers much about Tennessee's early history - as a part of North Carolina, later as a territory and finally as the country's 16th state. The trouble is that time hasn't treated those important documents particularly well, and many require extensive restoration work before they are ready to be made available to the public.
Thanks to funding from the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society,
the pace of that work has been accelerated this summer. The society
has provided money to pay the salary of a summer intern at the
Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) who is assisting the
full-time staff there with efforts to restore those records
"Some of the records are from the colonial and territorial period, and those are especially fragile," said State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill. "To make them accessible requires quite a bit of work in the conservation lab."
Carol Roberts, head conservationist at TSLA,
said the work includes dusting documents with sponges, applying a
magnesium bicarbonate solution to de-acidify the paper and ink and
using Japanese tissue paper and wheat paste to mend and patch tears
Roberts said the goal isn't to return
documents to their original condition, but to stabilize them and
prevent further deterioration.
A single page of a document in very poor
condition might require several hours of lab work.
"You do have to have pretty decent
patience," Roberts said. "Some (documents) are puzzles that have to
be pieced together. Each one is unique."
Kat Trammell, the intern hired to help with
the restoration work, said the experience has been very rewarding.
"I've always been interested in conservation work," Trammell said. " I really enjoy the physical process, getting to handle something with so much history behind it."
As a recent college graduate with a major in
studio art, Trammell said she's fascinated by the surveyors'
diagrams found on the documents. Also, she enjoys it "when you
recognize a famous name and say, 'hey, there's a county named after
Media contact: Blake Fontenay, Tri-Star Chronicles Coordinator, (615) 253-8759 or C.Blake.Fontenay@tn.gov
Family Bible DVD
MTGS began a project in 2006 to digitally
photograph family Bible records, or copies thereof, from all
counties in Middle Tennessee. We established an outreach program of
visiting outlying county archives/libraries to make it easier for
people to bring their Bibles to us. An every-name index was prepared
for the nearly 250 Bibles listed, and a DVD was created in 2008.
Click here to open an index of the over 11,400 names contained on the DVD.
Click the PayPal button below to purchase this DVD via PayPal ($28.50 price includes shipping)
To purchase by personal check, click here to open the Order Form for this DVD.
All-Day Genealogy Seminars for the Past 28 Years
MTGS has been hosting all-day genealogy seminars annually since 1988. Take a look at some of our recent speakers and topics, and consider joining us at our seminar, held in late November each year.
Our 2015 Annual Seminar featured Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, and attracted 200 attendees.
Our 2014 Annual Seminar featured Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, presenting topics on WPA, school and railroad records, as well as methods for organizing your genealogical materials.
Our 2013 Annual Seminar featured four speakers:
- Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist, discussing Civil War Newspaper Research in the Digital Age
- Darla Brock, TSLA Manuscript Archivist, discussing Direct Federal Taxes and the Rebate Ledgers
- J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, discussing Government Claims and Other Unusual Requests
- Jim Long, presenting a genealogical case study focusing on a Civil War regiment
In 2012, MTGS members participated in the nation-wide indexing of Immigration and Naturalization records, and also of the 1940 Census, through the FamilySearch.org web site. The complete census index, as well as the census itself, can be accessed free of charge on FamilySearch's 1940 census page.
Our 2012 Annual Seminar featured Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, and Rick Sayre, CG, M. A., presenting topics on
- Google Earth for Genealogists
- Using Topographic and Other Maps
- Newspapers and Periodicals at the Library of Congress
Our 2011 Annual Seminar featured three speakers:
- Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASC, FNGS, FUGA, discussing Problem Solving in the Problem-Riddled Carolina Backcountry
- J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, discussing Inheritance Laws and Estate Settlements in the Carolinas
- Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist, discussing Civil War records at the Tennessee State Library and Archives