Inmates Indexing Genealogy Records | Megan Smolenyak
Featured at the beginning of Megan's article, is a scrap of an original record that came from the Freedman's Bureau records.
Several years ago, these records (microfilmed representation) became available for indexing through the auspices of the genealogy department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other interested groups partnered with them to prepare the records for prime time on the Internet. I'm not absolutely sure whether more help is needed or not. I have to do some research on that!
At some point, someone had the golden inspiration to utilize the prison population in Utah prisons to help index these records. It was quite a project!
Megan Smolenyak shares the personal story of one prisoner who participated. It is a must read! You cannot deal with records of genealogical worth without becoming personally involved, at some point. If you believe in redemption then this story will warm your heart.
When you stop to think about it, there are different types of slavery and much of humankind are or were in prisons of one type or another. I recently discovered a relative, a cousin of my dad's, whose family migrated from Utah to the West Coast in the early 1900's. I found Cousin "Fred" in the 1930 Census of Folsom Prison in California.