Smithsonian Magazine has posted an article, “Twenty Years After 9/11,” with stories of first responders and others as well as reports told by present-day individuals and how that event continues to shape their lives. Read this heart-breaking article at

Such an article should serve as a reminder to all family historians to write down one’s personal memories of that terrible event. Surely everyone alive that day remembers where they were and how they were affected. Such memories need to be recorded — and remembered. Others in the family should also share such recollections; later generations are sure to appreciate such remembrances.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has hundreds of photographs taken at that time. Many of them are available for viewing at

Also, the website of the National Archives Foundation, “How We Remember: Recognizing the 20th Anniversary of 9-11,” provides information on live programming as well as featured documents and educational resources at

Death Indexes & Records updated

Joe Beine’s Genealogy Roots Blog has posted recent additions to its Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records website at The Illinois records that have been updated are in these counties: Bond, Brown, Greene, Henderson, Kankakee, Macon, Perry, St. Claire, and Tazewell. Genealogical researchers should regularly view the frequently updated Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records website at

Documents of free & enslaved found in attic

A 200-year-old house in Maryland was being demolished when about 2,000 pages of historical documents relating to free and enslaved Black Americans from the 1600s to the 1800s were discovered in the attic. Read of this historic find at

The collection has been named The Commodore Collection in honor of Washington College alumnus Norris Commodore ’73 and his family who were instrumental in helping rescue the documents. Read more of this collection at

Slaveholders listed on 1860 Census

Tom Blake has posted a list of large slaveholders identified on the 1860 Slave Schedules and surname matches for African Americans on the 1870 censuses at The alphabetical list of slaveholders identifies state and county in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North & South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Also, Blake’s list of the 16 largest American slaveholders from the 1860 census (in descending order from 1,130 slaves down to 491). Is posted at

Blake has also compiled data from the 1860 slave schedules listing 1860 slaves that were age 100 and older. Although very few slaves were named, this list provides the slaveholder’s first and last name and state and county. Visit

Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing

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