My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rice University Helped Me

Just two years ago, I had a haphazard email correspondence with somebody who wasn't the least interested in my genealogy, but she was interested in Sam Houston of Texas. As I reread our emails, I was amazed that I continued writing for several weeks, because none of what she said made sense, and she mentioned a Grace Spaulding. But, it was a good thing, because, during that time, I decided to google the name Grace Spaulding, who had a connection to Sam Houston, the surname "John," and the name "ADAMS," since that was the line I was working on with. To clarify, I googled "Grace Spaulding", "John" and "Adams". I almost fell off my chair with all the hits. Grace's 2nd husband, Alfred John was a great-grandson of Gen. Sam Houston. What else did I discover from my Google search with the Spaulding and Adams names?

The Guide to the Grace Spaulding John Papers, 1890-1977 appeared as a google hit, it is a collection at Rice University. What? Why? I was confused until I scrolled down and saw all the Adams information. It was one of those times you could almost cry.  Box 12, folders 8-12 looked very interesting.  I had to get my hands on this information, so a quick email, a mailed check to Rice and some waiting. Within 10 days I had copies of the contents of folder 8. There were 18 pages all for $7.50! Now I had all sorts of documents from my 2nd cousin once removed, Don Hugo Adams Jr. and he was into genealogy! Don was the grandson of John Anderson Adams of the Vanilla Story movie

That was the only time I had ever contacted a University to inquire about their holding. Actually, I didn't even have to call, it was now all online! I soon found out about the Houston connection, Grace Spaulding's husband was a direct descendant of Sam Houston. The majority of the papers, however, appear to be related to her impressive art career.

What did I receive? For starters, a fan chart, a 13 page typed genealogy manuscript of the Adams family, including information about my Anderson line and Spaulding / Spalding family, and a two-page Bibliography and References list. Two weeks ago, I contacted them again about some of the other folders, a day later a reply came. But with the statement, "If you wish to have the staff make copies for you, there is a flat $25.00 fee for staff time, plus an additional fee of $0.25 per page for photocopies, which can be mailed to you for an additional fee. Alternatively, we can create pdfs for $0.50 per page and email the files to you upon completion." I wanted way over 50 copies, just because I was curious of the stuff. However, because of the much higher fees, I decided that the genealogy information was all I really needed.

This method of requesting the information is yet another way of adding sources to your genealogy. It also was one of the simplest ways, because I didn't have to go to a library or historical society or subscribe to a database. Finding the information was free and the cost minimal.