Wednesday, April 19, 2017

American Ancestors Opens Probate Databases April 18-25

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering free access to thirty-two probate databases for one week, April 18-25. The databases contain some of the earliest records in the New England colonies.

Anyone can sign in as a guest member to gain access on AmericanAncestors.org. There is a free webinar on how to use probate  records.

Monday, April 10, 2017

WWI at the National Archives

First, I would like to express my thanks for a reader Vicki Root/Carpenter-Runk/Patton Evans for pointing out that some of the links from the April 6th post were not working.  They are fixed now.

Second, I failed to mention the best source for U.S. records related to World War One are at the National Archives.  In commemorating the war, the National Archives has created a special portal for the WWI holdings. This page provides a breadth of information on current programs, photographs, genealogical records and a mobile app that allows the user to build your own collection of memorabilia.

Gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, firing 37 mm gun during an advance on German entrenched positions. Courtesy of the National Archives.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Today is 100th Anniversary of the U.S. Entry into World War I - Links Repaired

Today is the 100 anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.  I share some of the most profound coverage here.
The Washington Post has never before published photos here.
The Associated Press shares their coverage here.
Family Tree Magazine has a time line for other countries entry into the conflict here.
Watch the ceremony at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO on YouTube

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Fold3 Offering Free Access to Civil War Records Through April 15, 2017

Fold3 is opening its Civil War records collection through mid-April including the popular collections:  

  • Civil War “Widows’ Pensions” Files
  • Civil War Pensions Index
  • Soldier Service Records
  • Southern Claims Commission

Gen. Edwin V. Sumner and staff in Warrenton, Virginia, 
main eastern theater of the Civil War, Nov. 13, 1862
Photograph courtesy of Library of Congress, 
Prints & Photographs Division, [cwp 4a40037] 


I have found several of my Missouri ancestors' records on Fold3 and have added a memory page for some of my favorites.  Fold3 allows members to create a memorial page where records can be saved and a picture may be uploaded. For example, see my Great-Grandfather (x3) Carl C. Raiffeisen's page here.  He immigrated to mid-Missouri in 1849, married and lived in Morgan County for the rest of his life.  He served in the Benton County Home Guards during the Civil War.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

MoSGA Website Receives Mention on FamilyHistoryDaily.com

Family History Daily is a great source of information for genealogists providing articles on every aspect of the industry.   One of today's articles, "Absolutely Free Genealogy Research Sites for Every Single U.S. State." MoSGA is one of the two Missouri websites recognized. Specifically noted were the access to surname lists, digitized newsletters and the many valuable links provided. Happy hunting!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March is Women's History Month

The first International Women's Day was celebrated on March 8, 1911.  In 1980, President Carter extended the event into National Women's History Week; by 1987 the popularity had grown to the extent that both houses of Congress passed a law to extend the event further into a month-long celebration of women.



Numerous online sources have offered tips in researching your female ancestors.  Here are are a few of my favorite:

1.  In first place is Maureen Taylor, the "Photo Detective."  In her blog for Family Tree Magazine, Taylor gives great advice especially regarding dating photographs by women's hairstyles, accessories (hats and jewelry) and clothing.  Beyond the individuals themselves, Taylor suggests you consider possible events (weddings, anniversaries, holidays) and the other elements of the picture such as backdrop and furniture.  Recently she blogged about clues regarding women's occupations.

2. Several news outlets have had articles on women's efforts in World War One including the New York Times, FirstWorldWar.com, the Imperial War Museum (UK), the BBC and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

3. Family Tree Magazine is highlighting a Woman of the Day each day during the month on their Facebook page.

4. Finally the National Archives has a series of patented items marketed to women.  Several of them are really funny!


Registration is Open for the 2017 MoSGA Conference





We are excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2017 MoSGA Conference to be held on 4-5 August 2017.  The event will be held at the Stoney Creek Conference Center in Columbia, MO.  Our keynote speaker will be Kathleen Brandt of A3Genealogy.com




Kathleen has been featured on television shows including NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? Seasons (2010-2011), PBS's Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates (2012) and she appeared on the History Channel's How the States Got Their Shape (2012). 
Register today!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Did You Know Meyers Gazetteer Can Be Searched Online?

For those of you with German ancestors you are likely familiar with Gazetteers, the most common being Meyers.  What is a Gazetteer, you ask? 

FamilySearch Wiki explains: 
A gazetteer is a dictionary of place names. Gazetteers may describe towns and villages, parishes and counties, states and provinces, rivers and mountains, and other geographical features. They usually include only the names of places that existed at the time the gazetteer was published, but may reference name changes. The place names are usually listed in alphabetical order, similar to a dictionary. Common German words for gazetteers include "Ortsverzeichnis" (listing of places) and "Topographie" (usually more descriptive; may also contain historical information).
Meyer's Gazetteer (often referred to as Meyers Orts) lists the names of places as they existed in Germany from 1871 to 1912. It gives the name of the state or province where each town was located at that time. The gazetteer is written in Gothic print, which can be hard to read. 

This website allows for full search options of the Meyers Gazetteer.  Try it!

Ancestry.com Announces Family Tree Maker Transition Deadlines - Backup by MARCH 29!

Here is the latest update from Ancestry about the Family Tree Maker support: 

Last year, we announced the purchase of Family Tree Maker desktop software by Software MacKiev and because we wanted to make the transition to a new owner as smooth as possible, we committed at least a year of customer and product support.  The goal has always been to maintain the capability to share your family tree data between files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees. We’ve been hard at work co-developing a new Ancestry gateway with Software MacKiev to use in their Family Tree Maker 2017, which will be available soon We believe Software MacKiev continues to deliver the best value to users of Family Tree Maker with their focus and expertise in software solutions.   

What you should know:

·         TreeSync will be replaced by Software MacKiev’s FamilySync™.  In the new FamilySync, Ancestry’s search, merge, and Ancestry hints will all work as they do now for users who sync with their Ancestry trees and you can also look forward to more exciting new improvements.

·         FamilySync will be available only in Software MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker 2017 edition, which will be released on March 31, 2017.

The upgrade is free for all users who purchased a copy of a MacKiev Family Tree Maker edition since March 1, 2016. Those with previous Ancestry editions, or who got a free copy of Family Tree Maker 2014.1 or Mac 3.1, are eligible for discounted upgrades. The pre-order upgrade is $29.95 for those who sign up for Software MacKiev’s mailing list before March 29 and the upgrade will continue to be a discounted price ($39.95) for a limited time after March 29.

·         Between Wednesday, March 29 and Friday, March 31, there will be a short period where syncing functionality may be interrupted as Software MacKiev rolls out their new syncing technology.  

·         As of March 29, 2017, Ancestry will no longer be supporting TreeSync, given the introduction of Software MacKiev’s FamilySync™.  Software MacKiev will continue to handle all related customer questions for Family Tree Maker.  Visit Software MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker Support Center at support.familytreemaker.com if you have questions.


For additional information, news and discounted upgrade offers for Family Tree Maker, visit www.familytreemaker.com.

Finding Revolutionary War Soldiers Who Lived in Missouri

The organization called the Missouri Commandery of MOLLUS (Descendants of Federal Officers from the Civil War) has an online index of soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War and lived in Missouri.  In addition, the website provides links for a similar database for the Civil War and organizations with additional online information including Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Children of the American Revolution.

MOLLUS encourages corrections or additions to the list.

Genealogy Events - Conferences

I must apologize for my long absence. I have had a few road blocks arise personally and professionally in the last month that have gotten me off the path.

There is much to report beginning with upcoming conferences and events.

1. First and foremost is the MoSGA conference "Show Me the Way Around the Brick Wall," scheduled for August 4-5. We are very excited about this year's line up featuring Kathleen Brandt. Registration is now open!




2. Topeka Genealogical Society's 4th Annual Conference 
"Beyond Belief: The Wealth of Genealogy" co-hosted by the Kansas Historical Society on April 7-8, at KHS - 6425 SW 6th St., Topeka, KS, will feature Dr. Joshua Taylor.  Go here for additional information and to register.

3.  The 2017 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference is May 10-13 in Raleigh, NC.  Check the conference website for details.



4. The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), has two week-long course offerings this year: June 25-30 and July 16-21. Conference information can be found here.

5. 2017 Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research to be held at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, Athens, GA, July 23-28. Details here.

6. 2017 International Germanic Genealogy Conference to convene at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest Hotel in Brooklyn Park, MN on July 28-30. Register or find out more information here.




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Newspapers Online - New Additions


Newspapers.com announced this month that they had added the Guardian (UK) to the expansive list of newspapers the website has digitized. The basic subscription includes the papers between 1821 to 1900; while the Publisher Extra adds 1901 to 2003.  The Guardian's sister publication, the Observer is also available.  

FindMyPast.com has added thirteen new British papers to its newspaper database, including the Haddingtonshire Courier, Linlithgowshire Gazette, Ross-shire Journal, Rothesay Chronicle, Kinross-shire Advertiser, Peeblesshire Advertiser and the Scottish Referee.

The Library of Congress's Chronicling America database is adding 70,000 new pages from Delaware newspapers printed between 1690 and 1922.

The State Historical Society of Iowa announced they are partnering with a Cedar Rapids firm, Advantage Companies, to preserve more than 12 million pages of newspapers in its collection. The company plans to photograph the pages onto microfilm and then digitally scan the microfilm; making them accessible to the public. There are no current plans to put them online but they are available at the Historical Society's Research Centers in Des Moines and Iowa City.

GRIP Conference Registration Opens Today







Here is another stellar genealogical learning opportunity!  The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is offering TWO week-long sessions in Pittsburgh in 2017.  Attendees may choose to attend one week, or the other, or both!  For the list of courses offered visit the conference website.  

Registration opens Noon (Eastern) on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, for courses held June 25-30, 2017.
Noon (Eastern) Wednesday, March 8, 2017, for courses held July 16-21, 2017.

TLC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" Returns March 5





March 5, 2017 will mark the beginning of season nine of The Learning Channel's "Who Do You Think You Are?"  Celebrities include film and TV stars Jessica Biel, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Grey, John Stamos, Liv Tyler, Noah Wyle, Julie Bowen and music icon Smokey Robinson.  The show will are at 9 p.m. CST on TLC.  The show can be viewed after it airs on the TLC website.

IGHR Conference (July 23-27, 2017) Registration Available




Registration for the 2017 Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) to be held on 23-27 July 2017, is now open!  IGHR provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through a week of intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators. Students choose one course that lasts throughout the week. Topics range from a course for beginners to a variety of courses on specialized topics. 

I attended last year's conference and found it a great way to expand genealogical knowledge and network.  The 2017 event has moved from its home in Birmingham, AL to Athens, GA and promises to be another great genealogical opportunity.  For more information check out the Georgia Genealogical Society website and register here.