Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Harry S. Truman Photo Archive Highlighted by National Archives

The US National Archives is a great treasure including a well-maintained and ease-to-use website.  Sometimes I will roam around on the site to find interesting historical data, even if it is not specific to my genealogical research.  However, with such an expansive resource sometimes it can be difficult to find the specific data you seek.  One of the ways I try to deal with this issue is to bookmark a great find, although sometimes the link becomes inactive over time.

Thus, I follow my favorite resources by signing up for their newsletters or following them on Facebook.  This allows me to keep up to date when Archives or other large databases update their materials.  Yesterday, the Archives "Today's Document" posted on Facebook was a link to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, MO as well as a link to Truman's presidential photo archive. The National Archives digital catalog is a great resource.  Bookmark it today.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Great Series on Early Photo Retouching

The magazine Mental Floss is doing a series of articles on early photo retouching, long before the likes of modern options.  The author Jocelyn Sears explains how early photos including tin-types were re-touched to favor the subjects.  Check out the series here.

2016 Ozarks Genealogical Society’s (OGS) Fall Conference, September 9-10 in Springfield, MO

The 2016 Ozarks Genealogical Society’s (OGS) Fall Conference will be held on September 9 &10th.  This year's theme, “Colonial New England and Its Migrations,” will feature Michael J. Leclerc, CG, an internationally renowned genealogist. He has been a contributing editor for American Ancestors magazine and a consulting editor for the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

Conference topics will include “New England's Records, how they differ from the other areas of the United States;” “Town Records;” “Finding and Utilizing Key Research Repositories and Collections” plus “Migration Patterns.”
            Additional mini-session selections will be: “Fundamentals of Genealogy;” “Finding Your Ancestors in Military Records;” “Migration to Missouri;” and “Do your Wurst! Then Push Aside Your Plate and Discover Your German Family.”
The conference will be held at the University Plaza Hotel, 333 S John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield, Missouri. Early registration and OGS member discounts are available through August 26 and a Friday evening only is available for a smaller registration fee.
 There will be vendor exhibits, white elephant table, door prizes and more. Registration fee includes an electronic syllabus.  Register here or e-mail:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Missouri Creates Bicentennial Website

The State of Missouri has created a website to celebrate the pending bicentennial of Missouri in 2021.  You can sign up for updates to keep abreast of the planning and festivities here.  You can make suggestions for celebrations on the website.

Mark Your Calendars! The 2017 MoSGA Conference Will Be August 4-5, 2017

The 2017 MoSGA Conference will be August 4-5, 2017 at Stoney Creek Conference Center in Columbia, MO.  The keynote speaker will be Kathleen Brandt, noted professional genealogist, who publishes a3Geneaology blog and has been featured at numerous workshops and lectures.  Ms. Brandt has participated in television shows including Who Do You Think You Are? and the Travel Channel's Dead Files.

MoSGA will offer pre-conference workshops, supporting speakers and many intriguing vendors and exhibitors.  Watch this blog and other MoSGA publications for updates.  We look forward to seeing you in 2017!

Successful 2016 MoSGA Conference Comes to a Close

The 35th Annual MoSGA Conference held on August 5-6 at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Columbia, MO, was hailed as a success by all those who attended. Conference Keynote Speaker John Philip Colletta entertained and informed participants with his presentations on immigration that focused on passenger arrival records and using unusual source repositories to trace your ancestors.

MoSGA awarded several individuals and organizations for their contributions to genealogical research and advancement in the past year.  Award recipients are listed below.

Award Recipients, 2016 Luncheon

    ·   Black Archives Museum Committee, St Joseph Museums, Inc. 
    ·   Mary Helen Catlett Allen, Genealogical Society of Boone County & Central Missouri 
    ·   Betty Chillington, Osage County Historical Society
    ·  Neoma (Alexander) Foreman, Cedar & Vernon County, MO Genealogy Society 
    ·  Sharon Hackworth, Iron County Genealogy Society 
    ·   Melba All ison Rector, Ozarks Genealogy Society 
    ·   Ted & Iva Roller, Barry County Genealogical & Historical Society 
    ·  Roberta Schinke, Osage County Historical Society 


·   Kelly Draper, St. Louis County Library
·   Michael O’Laughlin, Irish Roots CafĂ© 

Estella Morrison 


Jenna Mills


    Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc - $496.80 for archival supplies to preserve the “Muhammad Speaks” Collection of over 100 newspapers dating from 1968-1985.

         St. Charles County Historical Society - $990 to buy a scanner to digitize records acquired when the Society merged with the Genealogical Society of St. Charles County in 2009.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

MoSGA Announces 2016 Award Recipients

The Missouri State Genealogical Association  (MoSGA) recognizes individuals, groups and organizations that have put forth that extra effort to support genealogical research,  activities, and publications in the Show-Me State.

Join us in recognizing the 2016 Award winners at the August 6th  Awards Luncheon at our Annual Conference at Stoney Creek Conference Center, Columbia, MO.

Monday, August 01, 2016

TIP: Understanding Historical Context

A recent post by Genealogist Amy Johnson Crow offered an option for historical currency conversion that would assist a researcher in determining,  "How Much Was That Back Then?"  Amy suggests the site Wolfram Alpha. It got me thinking about other facts in our ancestors lives and how we can truly understand what their lives were like. I have used the site a few times and have found it useful. The site is located in Sweden which means it has some great European resources, but it lists North American sources as well.

This site includes conversions such as measurements, calendar,  clock, birthday, world population, foreign exchange rates and many more.

Sometimes understanding more about how our ancestors lived is only a matter of converting present day statistics and concepts back to a specific time or place.

Happy hunting.

Annual Conference This Week, Aug 5-6

We are really excited about this year's conference with our guest speaker John Philip Colletta. I saw Dr. Colletta in June at the IGHR in Birmingham and he said he was looking forward to coming back to Missouri.

Dr. Colletta is an excellent speaker and will assuredly provide insights into genealogy that beginners and experts will find useful and interesting.

We hope to see you Friday and Saturday, August 5-6 in Columbia! There is still time to register online at

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Missouri History Encyclopedia

Many Missouri researchers may be aware of the great resource the six volume set of the Missouri History Encyclopedia.  Published 1901, the set is organized alphabetically with vol 1 (A-Ci), vol 2 (Ci-Ga), vol 3 (Ga-La), vol 4 (La-Nu), vol 5 (O-Sl), and vol 6 (Sm-Z).

There are a various websites that have the books digitized and I find it useful to go between the sources for maximum search options, especially with older books that do not have an index.  Ancestry has it here.  Ancestry is focused on people so if you know a specific name you can look it up with the search function.  That said, I don't find it easy to browse on Ancestry, instead I use Google books or  Google is great because you can type in any search query and may find page numbers for town, maps or other details you seek.  This set is on Google Books, but if  you do not find a book there, you can go to and download the full book via pdf, save it to your own computer and go directly to the pages you seek.

If you want a hard copy of one or all of these volumes reprints can be purchased on

Canada, Oh Canada!

My husband and I returned this week from a 2000+ mile trek to visit family in Ontario, Canada, where most of his family resides.  We spent last week helping to prepare his mother for a move into a new apartment and discovered a few genealogical gems along the way.  

I thought I would share some of the great Canadian resources I have found useful.  As in the United States, the Canadian Archives, divided by provinces, is an excellent place to begin or continue your research.  The Ontario website is informative and gives access to numerous free online databases. From the English homepage you are given the option to explore several viable avenues listed under "Family History" and "What We Have." Both of these subheadings lead to the many databases and research guides the province has to offer, which includes, birth, death, immigration and marriage records, maps and photos, as well as detailed collections for World War I, the War of 1812, Patents and Black History records.

Some of the other provinces are not quite as easily accessible online as Ontario, however; each has a genealogy or archive website where you can learn the best avenues for your research.
 British Columbia 
 New Brunswick
 Newfoundland & Labrador
 Nova Scotia
 Prince Edward Island

Happy Hunting!

Friday, July 08, 2016

Papers of the War Department 1784-1800

This past weekend I found a great new historical reference - well, new to me anyway.  George Mason University has yet another great source for American History. is a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media that has digitized documents from the U.S. War Department long-considered lost since November 8, 1800 when a fire nearly destroyed all records of the department.

The project and the results open a window to historians that shed light on numerous aspects of U.S. policy for which the War Department was responsible including Indian Affairs, Naval Affairs, Veterans Affairs, militia and regular Army.  You can follow the progress of the project by reading the blog here.

FindMyPast is Offering a 50% Off Special through July 15th

Genealogy website FindMyPast is offering 50% off their 1-month World Subscription through July 15, 2016.  The site is known for its United Kingdom offerings, but after acquiring Mocavo earlier this year has expanded its U.S. portfolio as well.  Check it out here.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Las Vegas Man Finds Copy of the Declaration of Independence

Here is another great story of why we shouldn't throw away old papers and photos! The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that a man discovered a rare piece of American history.  The story can be found here.

Missouri State Genealogical Association Announces Two 21st Century Fund Awards

MoSGA announces the granting of two 21st Century Fund Awards.  The 2016 award winners are:

Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc. will receive a grant of $496.80 for archival supplies to preserve the “Muhammad Speaks” Collection of over 100 newspapers dating from 1969 to 1985. “Muhammad Speaks” was one of the most widely circulated African American newspaper publications in the United States.  A finding aid will be placed on the Black Archives of Mid-America’s website.

St. Charles County Historical Society will receive a grant of $990.00 to purchase a scanner to digitize the many genealogical records acquired by the society when the Genealogical Society of St. Charles County merged with the St. Charles County Historical Society in 2009. The merger resulted in a large collection of genealogical materials. The Historical Society intends to organize, scan and place these records on the society’s website for researchers worldwide.

The awards will be presented at the MoSGA Annual Luncheon, Saturday, August 6th, during the Association’s Annual Conference, August 5-6, Columbia MO. Conference information is available on the MoSGA website. 

The 21st Century Fund was established in 2005 during MoSGA’s 25th Anniversary. Grants of up to $1,000 are offered to Missouri societies, libraries and/or archives to promote the preservation and publication of Missouri genealogical data. 

The 2017 grant cycle begins July 1, 2016. Grant application and guidelines are available here.

The 21st Century Fund is supported by generous donations from the genealogical community.  If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution, please send it to MoSGA, 21st Century Fund, PO Box 833, Columbia MO 65205-0833.  Thank You!

Martha L. Henderson, Chair

21st Century Fund Committee