My latest grant has been awarded to Donna J. Weathers.
Donna is creating a digitized record of the men who served as Surfmen in the U.S. Lifesaving Service. In her own words:
“About a year ago, I stumbled upon the records of the U.S. Lifesaving Service (NARA RG 26). As I explored the Cape Lookout National Seashore logbooks, I realized what a true genealogical treasure they are. Spanning the years 1780-1915, with over 30 stations in North Carolina alone, each station employed an average of 40 men during the active service years. The logbooks themselves, held at regional NARA locations, reveal information about illness and deaths of the men and sometimes their immediate family. The employment records, held at NARA DC provide vital information on the men who served including original primary evidence of birthdates and family relationships as well as physical traits.
“My goal is to produce and publish an index of RG 26 as it relates to the men who served as Surfmen in the U.S. Lifesaving Service. Though they are publicly available, the records are not digitized. To peruse the logbooks for genealogical nuggets is tedious but the reward is priceless. I feel very strongly that folks researching Coastal U.S. Families, especially in the South, should be aware of these records which can fill in significant gaps in vital records and the missing 1890 census.
“I am working with the U.S. Lifesaving Service Heritage Association to provide a list of men’s names to each station, but my goal is to produce an index or reference which would provide researchers with more specific information.”
You can apply for a Seton Shields grant here. Don’t miss checking out the cool projects I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to over the years, plus an article that will give you a behind-the-scenes peek into my grants program (and might help you increase your odds of being selected when you apply)!