Monday, October 20, 2008

State Archives

I spent my lunch hour, (hour and a half really. Don't tell my boss)at the Tennessee State Archives. Really I was quite surprized. I'm not sure what I expected. But it was basically a library without all the homeless people pretending to read the paper while really looking for a place to keep warm. (btw, I do not want to imply that I want to kick them out, just making an observation)

The big difference is that while the library near my office is a county service, and since I am not a county resident I can not join unless I pay a large annual fee. The Archives are a State service, for which I am fully entitled. The small difference is that the Archives do not allow you to check out books, but since most of the stuff I want can't be checked out anyway, that is no big deal.

I used my interest in Cane Creek and a jumping off point. I was asked by a commenter if I knew what happened to the two daughters who survived the massacre; Rachel and Lavicia Condor. Their brothers were killed and the parents moved the family to another county. Later they returned to Lewis county. Without going to the archives I have found some references to the two girls staying in Lewis county after the death of their father (1911) and mother (1916). Much of what I have found is like everything else you find on the internet; be thankful someone put it on there for you and then go verify it. This is what I hoped to do at the archives. So far, no luck. I ended up spending the time going through a vertical file on Cane Creek. The archive puts these together for subjects of common interest. The file is filled with newspaper clippings and photocopies of journal articles and the like. None of it helped me out for this particular topic, since it was all on the massacre itself, but there is much more at which to look.

I still have the census to look at; the Archives has a subscription to Ancestry. And unlike the Family History Library, the Archives are open when I can get there. Unfortunately the 1890 census, the one I want, was destroyed by fire. I still have to check to Social Security death index. And there are marriages to find. So much more to do.

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