Category Archives: TN News

TSLA: “Save Our Past, Build Our Future” Campaign

The Tennessee State Library & Archives plays a crucial role for all of us that do research in the state.  It truly is a state treasure! I know I’ve personally benefitted from their services, collections, and staff expertise and I am sure many of our TNGenWeb site visitors feel the same.

With this in mind, yours truly was honored when asked by TSLA to contribute a statement of support for their “Save Our Past, Build our Future” campaign to get a new building.  In my statement, I wanted to convey how vital TSLA is for all that we do at TNGenWeb and all that you do as family historians and genealogy researchers. I’ve also personally benefitted and am so proud to be a loyal supporter of the library!  I was truly tickled pink when for the photos, they brought out copies of the Koonce to Koonce newsletters. As my family surname, when I discovered these newsletters at the library years ago, they were the start of my passion for beginning my Koonce Surname Research Project.

If you agree that TSLA is truly invaluable, won’t you consider helping TSLA and reaching out to offer your support for the new building as well? Learn more in this recent story featuring State Librarian & Archivist Chuck Sherrill.  Also, visit the TSLA Facebook page!

Tennessee Bodes Well in Recent NEH Awards



To all of you Tennessee history enthusiasts, you’ll be so pleased to hear the news of the funding received throughout the state from the National Endowment for Humanities. 

Yesterday, NEH announced the recipients of their recent funding cycle. Awards were made for 177 projects around the country and totaled $34 million dollars. 

In Tennessee, projects awarded include:

  • Chattanooga History Center — award provided to fund the implementation of a permanent, multimedia exhibit to tell the story of the history of Chattanooga, TN.  I would love to go see this when it’s completed!
  • TN Digital Newspaper Program – oh yes! Another 100,000 pages of historical newspapers from around the state will be added to the Chronicling America website (hosted by the Library of Congress).  You can check the current list available here, but be sure to follow the program website for updates! (Disclaimer: yours truly is a member of the Advisory Board for this initiative)
  • Blount County — the Blount County government will receive funds to better preserve their archival records.  Their records date back to the late 1700s and includes a wealth of information on the history and culture of eastern Tennessee. I am personally also glad to hear this news as I coordinate the Blount County TNGenWeb site. 

Congratulations to the award recipients. This is great news for the state and we are all looking forward to the great work that will happen as a result. 

You can learn more about all the funded projects by reading the news release on the NEH website

July is TN Genealogy Month

Image courtesy of the Tennessee Virtual Archive

Last year, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation that designated the month of July as Tennessee Genealogy Month.  Various organizations and groups around the state are planning events to further promote genealogy.  Our very own Mike Boniol, co-coordinator for the Cumberland County TNGenWeb site, will be aiding in the effort.

The Cumberland County Archives and Family Heritage Center is hosting an event on July 20th called Coming Home to Tennessee.  Mike will be confirming documentation for early families of the county and explaining techniques to locate documentation.  More details on the event can be found in the Crossville Chronicle newspaper.

Keep an eye out for similar events throughout the state!


Washington County Is On the Move

I am delighted to announce that we have a couple of Washington County updates to share today.  First of all, the Washington County TNGenWeb site has been completely revamped by coordinators Margaret & Betty Jane.  As with most of our sites using WordPress, you are able to sign up to the RSS feed to keep up with new additions and/or subscribe to receive them via email.  Great job to Margaret & Betty for undertaking the redesign – it took several months to complete.   They will continue to add information resources for you and please do let them know if you have contributions to make.


Those of you familiar with Washington County likely already know about the Washington County Obituary Project.  Started  as a partnership between the Cemetery Survey Team of Northeast Tennessee and the Washington County TNGenWeb approximately two years ago, the project aims to provide as many obituaries for individuals of Washington County as possible. Currently, they have more than 1700 obituaries (out of 10,000 already collected!) posted on their old site, but are now in the process of moving to a new website.  You can visit the new site at


 Enjoy visiting the new sites and exploring what is available.

Tennessee State Library Gets Social

Looks like the TN State Library is starting off 2013 in a most fabulous way — by launching their social media presence. Kudos to the TSLA! 


The TSLA Blog can be found at and you will definitely want to check it out.   The first post features a calling card from First Lady Sarah Childress Polk.  They have also created a Facebook page for your engagement and are planning to release a Flickr site soon also.  

How to keep up with blog posts? You can subscribe to the RSS feed, sign up to get updates by email, or visit occasionally.  Additionally, the TSLA shares news via their main website RSS feed also.  

We have added TSLA to our TNGenWeb Social Media Directory pageremember, you can consult this page for a list of social media accounts of significance for TN genealogy & family history research.   

Gordon Belt, TSLA’s Director of Public Services, and one very socially-savvy information professional, shared the news on his Posterity Project blog yesterday.

Hat tip to Wanda Hunter Day with the Tennessee Genealogical Society for sharing this news in the TNGenWeb Facebook page. Thanks Wanda!