Tuesday, January 28, 2014

TSLA Workshop Series: Researcher Chronicles Love and War in Sumner County Town of Gallatin

It started with a love letter, more than 100 years old, that Judith Morgan found tucked in the pages of a book recovered from a Gallatin mansion that had been demolished decades earlier.

Morgan began doing some research and discovered that the woman who received the letter and the man who had sent it eventually married – but only after a courtship that lasted more than 20 years.

Morgan, a retired state employee, kept digging until she had discovered details about the lives of the mysterious couple, their families and their town's place in some of the country's most significant historical events.

Those details emerged in Morgan's book, "The Lost World of Langley Hall," which is the subject of an upcoming free workshop sponsored by the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA).

Langley Hall on Coles Ferry Road, circa 1960. Looking Back at Tennessee, TSLA

At the workshop, Morgan will discuss how her chance discovery of the letter launched a research project chronicling the lives of the Trousdale and Allen families from 1853 through 1952. While delving into the lives of those two prominent Gallatin families, Morgan learned details about other town residents who played prominent roles in the wars and other major national events of the era.

At the workshop, titled "Researching and Writing 'The Lost World of Langley Hall,'" Morgan will also discuss how she used resources at the State Library and Archives to assist in her research.

The workshop will be held Feb. 15 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the auditorium at the State Library and Archives building. The building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville.

Although the workshop is free and open to the public, reservations are required due to limited seating availability in the auditorium. To make a reservation, call: (615) 741-2764 or e-mail: workshop.tsla@tn.gov.

Parking is available in front, beside and behind the State Library and Archives building.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

TSLA Launches Federal Civil War Burial Sheets Project

Following years of effort, and through the support of TSLAFriends and the vision and drive of one of TSLA's most passionate supporters, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is pleased to offer online access to its Federal Civil War Burial Sheets.

This online portal provides access to information contained in the burial sheets for the Federal soldiers disinterred shortly after the war at gravesites in Tennessee and Kentucky and then reburied at Nashville National Cemetery.

Sample Burial Sheet
This is one of many pages of the record of reinterment of United States soldiers in Tennessee.

Of special interest to researchers and genealogists was the identification of 3,021 soldiers disinterred from the Nashville City Cemetery as well as of 8,593 soldiers disinterred from U.S. Burial Grounds Due West City Cemetery, Nashville, and U.S. Burials Grounds Southwest City Cemetery, Nashville.

A researcher combing files in the National Archives discovered these long-lost Tennessee records, and the TSLA contracted with the National Archives to create a copy on microfilm. The next step was a transcription and database project for the “burial sheets.” TSLAFriends offered to seek funds. The first donation came from Nashville City Cemetery Association and later other individual donors to underwrite the project.

Transcription work was conducted under the auspices of TSLAFriends, employing transcriptionists who used digital images created from the microfilm. This position was funded by donations from individuals and the Nashville City Cemetery Association as well as through grant funding from the Tennessee Wars Commission.

Entries were transcribed as accurately and thoroughly as possible, including handwritten changes to names and other information. Crossed-out text is noted as such. All columns in the original ledger books were included in the transcriptions. Names were cross-checked with those listed in the Roll of Honor to help verify identity and names were also checked by a supervisor to ensure accuracy. Capitalization, punctuation and spelling were kept as found in the original ledgers.

We gratefully acknowledge the leadership of Fletch Coke, who first suggested this project and assisted in many ways to bring it to completion.

We encourage you to explore this unique collection. Visit the Federal Civil War Burial Sheets Project website at http://www.tnsos.net/TSLA/BurialSheetsProject/index.php for more information.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tennessee Blue Book to Honor Pat Summitt

The Tennessee Blue Book is a valuable source of information about Tennessee government and Tennessee history. One of the history-making figures in our state is former University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball coach, Pat Summitt.

In her 38 years coaching, Summitt received hundreds of honors. Her teams won more than 1,000 games, 32 Southeastern Conference championships and eight national championships. Her players who completed their playing eligibility at UT had a 100 percent graduation rate. And since being diagnosed with early onset dementia a little over two years ago, she has led a foundation that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund Alzheimer's research.

For all of those reasons and more, the next edition of the Tennessee Blue Book is being dedicated to Coach Summitt.

The Tennessee Blue Book, published every two years, is the definitive manual on Tennessee state government, with detailed information about all three branches of government, including biographies of all members of the Tennessee General Assembly. It also contains information on the federal government, Tennessee history, election statistics and much more.

The Tennessee Blue Book is published by Secretary of State's office and is available in print and online. The 2013-2014 edition of the Blue Book will be available for distribution soon, and the Tennessee State Library and Archives is proud to have a role in its production, especially in this year of dedication to a Tennessee legend, Pat Summitt. Congratulations, Coach Summitt!

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.