Monday, December 04, 2017

The Ancestor Hunt Updates its List of Free Digital Missouri Newspapers

The Ancestor Hunt, a great genealogy blog, has updated its ongoing list of Missouri newspapers that can be found online.  While many of the newspapers can be found on the Library of Congress (LOC) site Chronicling America, the Ancestor Hunt provides quick and easy access to the LOC and other online databases.  Happy Hunting!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Illinois State Genealogical Society Announces 2018 FREE Webinar Lineup

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is happy to announce the continuation of its popular FREE monthly webinar program in 2018. The 2018 ISGS Webinar Series would not be possible without the generous contributions received throughout 2017 and the generous sponsorship provided by FamilySearch.

Registration for the 2018 webinars is now open! You’ll find a fantastic lineup of presentations and speakers and we hope you will join us for a wonderful educational experience.
The ISGS webinars, which are live lectures/presentations that you can attend via a computer with an internet connection, are held as a live broadcast on  the second Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM Central. The live broadcast of each webinar is FREE to the public. ISGS members who are unable to attend the live broadcast are able to access recordings of all past webinars through the Members Section of the ISGS website, to watch at their convenience.

ISGS 2018 Webinar ScheduleSo what does 2018 have in store? Here is our amazing lineup!
January 9 – Finding Scottish Ancestors OnlinePresenter: Nancy Loe
Registration 13 – Illinois Digital ResourcesPresenter: Tina Beaird
Registration 14 – Finding Clues for Your Immigrant Ancestors in Ethnic Newspapers and Publications
Presenter: Lisa Alzo
April 10 – Friedrich Eiler in Illinois: Fragments Fuse to Identify One IndividualPresenter: Jill Morelli
Registration 8 – Want to Honor Your Revolutionary Roots?: Resources for Applying to a Revolutionary War Lineage SocietyPresenter: Bryna O’Sullivan
Registration 12 – Ohio and the Early Gathering of the LDS ChurchPresenter: Peggy Clemens Lauritzen AG
Registration 10 – Museums Have Records, Too! Locating Your Ancestor Behind Closed DoorsPresenter: Melissa Barker
Registration 14 – National Archives Resources at the Chicago BranchPresenter: Jane Haldeman
September 11 –Researching Pre-fire ChicagoPresenter: Ginger Frere
October 9 – Chicago Rises from the Ashes: The Columbian Exposition Gives Perspective to the Family HistorianPresenter: Jean Wilcox Hibben
Registration 13 – 1918: The Prairie State “Over There”Presenter: Lisa Oberg
Registration: Stay tuned!**
** GoToWebinar only allows scheduling less than one year in advance. Check back after December 1, 2017, for the registration link.December 11 –Some Followed the River, Some Took the Train: Finding Ancestors of the Great MigrationPresenter: Angela Walton-Raji
Registration: Stay tuned!**
** GoToWebinar only allows scheduling less than one year in advance. Check back after December 1, 2017 for the registration link.Additional Webinar Information·       All webinars take place at 8:00 PM Central time.
·       For additional information on our webinar series, visit our ISGS Webinars page at
·       You may also want to review our Webinar FAQs at
·       Don't forget to spread the word! Forward this email onto your friends and colleagues, post the information to social media sites and/or your blog/website, or print out a few copies of our webinar flyer to hand out at your local society meetings. The flyer for the 2018 series can be accessed at, a big thank-you to all of the webinar donation fund contributors and to FamilySearch for sponsoring the entire 2018 webinar series! We couldn't do it without you!!
The 2018 ISGS Webinar Series is sponsored by FamilySearch (

Excellent Source for Researching your First Family: St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records

We have a tip for all First Families Applicants – don’t overlook the St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records Project.  They have the following records.  This repository has court case records about many early Missouri residents and may have records that will help you prove your ancestor’s Missouri residency for
  • Territorial Certificate – prior to 10 August 1821
  • Pioneer Certificate – between 11 August 1821 and 31 December 1860
  • Civil War Certificate – served in Missouri Military Unit (either side) during Civil War, served from another state who saw service in Missouri during the Civil War or was a Civil War soldier who was buried in Missouri

The following is a description of what records are included in this project.
Since the official transfer of the Louisiana Purchase and the inception of the United States court system in 1804, the St. Louis Circuit Court has produced many different series of records including minutes, dockets, attorneys' rolls, journals, registers and case files. All records from the 1804-1875 period in the custody of the Circuit Court are housed at the Missouri State Archives-St. Louis.
The primary focus of archival work thus far has been concentrated on the case files, where much of the detail about cases filed in the courts is contained. Other related records have been microfilmed.
See the following for more information:

Monday, November 27, 2017

RootsTech 2018 - Cyber Monday Special

Register today for a 4-day RootsTech pass for only $169! Regularly priced at $279, that’s a savings of over $100. Use promotional code CYBER18. This promotion ends at 11:59 p.m. MST tonight.
Register Today

Promotional discount cannot be applied to prior registrations.

View the Full Schedule
With over 300 breakout sessions for all skill levels, there’s something for YOU at RootsTech. See the full schedule.

NGS 2018 Conference Registration Opens December 1st

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) annual conference will be held on 2-5 May 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Registration for the NGS 2018 Family History Conference, including tours and events, will begin 1 December 2017. Sign up for the NGS conference blog so you receive notification of new information as it is posted.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Genealogy Deals Good Through Monday

Several companies are offering great deals on genealogy products. Here are a few of the best:

1. MyHeritage offering DNA tests for $49 through Cyber Monday.
2. offering their DNA test for a record low $59 through Monday.  If you're not a current subscriber, or are looking to buy gift memberships or DNA kits, you could save a lot - including a way to get an Ancestry DNA kit and 6 month access to all of their records for $133.
3. Family Tree Magazine is offering 50% Off Storewide. No coupon code necessary. 
4. Family Roots Publishing is offering census substitutes at 40% off the normal price.
5. 23andMe DNA is running a $69 special, with their Health + Ancestry profile at $149
6. Legacy Tree Genealogists are offering $100 discount on their research packages through Nov 29th.

Happy (bargain) Hunting!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Amy Johnson Crow to Be 2018 MoSGA Conference Keynote Speaker

MoSGA announced today that Amy Johnson Crow will be the Keynote Speaker for its 2018 Conference on August 3-4, 2018 in Columbia, MO.  Check our website for future details on the conference supporting speakers and themes.

Amy Johnson Crow

Amy Johnson Crow is a Certified Genealogist and an active lecturer and author. Her roots run deep in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states.

Amy has been involved with several genealogy organizations including serving on the boards of the Ohio Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society. She has also served as the series editor of the NGS Research Guides and has been recognized with an Award of Merit from the Federation of Genealogical Societies for her work on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors program.

She earned her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science at Kent State University. Amy loves to help people discover the joys of learning about their ancestors and she thinks that there are few things better than a day in a cemetery.

Her blog can be found at

We look forward to seeing her and you in Columbia! 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Family Tree Magazine Offers 50% Off All Genealogy Books Through the End of Family History Month

Family Tree Magazine is offering 50% off all genealogy books listed on its website.  

The list includes guides to resources such as and as well as heritage-specific resources including German, Irish and Italian.


The deal is good through October 31st so take a look.

OCLC and Internet Archive collaborate to expand library access to digital collections

OCLC, the organization that has given us WorldCat, has announced a new collaboration that will make access to digital books easier.  From Internet Archive's Blog:

We are pleased to announce that the Internet Archive and OCLC have agreed to synchronize the metadata describing our digital books with OCLC’s WorldCat. WorldCat is a union catalog that itemizes the collections of thousands of libraries in more than 120 countries that participate in the OCLC global cooperative.

What does this mean for readers?When the synchronization work is complete, library patrons will be able to discover the Internet Archive’s collection of 2.5 million digitized monographs through the libraries around the world that use OCLC’s bibliographic services. Readers searching for a particular volume will know that a digital version of the book exists in our collection. With just one click, readers will be taken to to examine and possibly borrow the digital version of that book. In turn, readers who find a digital book at will be able, with one click, to discover the nearest library where they can borrow the hard copy.
There are additional benefits: in the process of the synchronization, OCLC databases will be enriched with records describing books that may not yet be represented in WorldCat.
“This work strengthens the Archive’s connection to the library community around the world. It advances our goal of universal access by making our collections much more widely discoverable. It will benefit library users around the globe by giving them the opportunity to borrow digital books that might not otherwise be available to them,” said Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “We’re glad to partner with OCLC to make this possible and look forward to other opportunities this synchronization will present.”
If you haven't yet used WorldCat or Internet Archive, check them out.  Both are great resources I use regularly!

New Genealogical Resource: ArchiveGrid

A recent post on Family History Daily detailed a resource I haven't tried, but now ArchiveGrid is at the top of my list.

According to Alexandra Mendez-Diez: 

What Is ArchiveGrid?
ArchiveGrid does not provide direct access to records online, but rather it is a catalog of catalogs, documenting the primary sources being held at over 1,000 archival institutions. Institutions choose to upload their catalog of items to ArchiveGrid or their parent organization, WorldCat (which includes all kinds of library catalogs, not just those for primary sources).

The 5 million records held in ArchiveGrid’s catalog represents primary source material, such as photographs, family histories and personal papers, being held in historical societies, libraries, archives and museums around the world.

If you’re looking for a specific family history book or collection of records, ArchiveGrid will help you find it. You can also use ArchiveGrid to search out primary sources that are most relevant to what you are looking for. These searches will help you determine which archives are worth planning a visit to and help you make a plan of attack for your on-site research before you have even arrived.

How Do You Use ArchiveGrid?
There are several different ways to use ArchiveGrid. At its core it’s an in-depth library catalog so it can feel a little bit intimidating at first. However, with this guide, you’ll find that the resource is actually extremely simple to use.

If you know the title or topic of the resource you need (such as vital records for Jefferson County, KY or the Oral History Interviews of the Rondo Oral History Project) you can enter it into the search in the upper right hand corner and findthe offline genealogy resource you are looking for in less than a minute. It’s very convenient.

You can easily locate family papers and pedigrees. birth, death, marriage, and burial record collections, oral and local histories and much more.

For more details see more of the article here.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Free NARA 2017 Virtual Genealogy Fair 25 October 2017

From our friends at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)!  An always great opportunity to learn about federal records and just how valuable they can be to your genealogy research.

WHAT: The National Archives will host a live, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast on YouTube. Participate in our biggest genealogy event of the year! Sessions offer advice on family history research for all skill levels. Topics include Federal government documents on birth, childhood, and death; recently recovered military personnel files; Japanese Americans during World War II; 19th century tax assessments; and a “how to” on preserving family heirlooms. For the schedule, videos, handouts, and participation instructions, visit the Virtual Genealogy Fair online.

WHEN: October 25, starting at 10 a.m. EDT

WHO: Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and records experts from National Archives’ facilities nationwide.

WHERE: Anywhere! Participate during the Fair while it is live streamed on the US National Archives’ YouTube channel.

Captioning: Live captioning will be available online. If you require an alternative or additional accommodation for the event, please send an email to: or call 202-357-5260 in advance.

Background: The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census, and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. See “Resources for Genealogists and Family Historians” online.

Follow the National Archives on Twitter @USNatArchives and join the Genealogy Fair conversation using #genfair2017.

Thousands of U.K.Catholic records available in new database

Who Do You Think You Are Magazine reports that a new database listing over a quarter of a million English Roman Catholics has been created by the Catholic Family History Society (CFHS).

The Margaret Higgins Database is compiled by an Australian monk, Brother Rory Higgins FSC, and named after his mother. It holds indexed records of 275,000 people living between 1607 and 1840.

The database brings together original, printed and published material for the first time, and was launched at a CFHS seminar in London on 7 October.

After Anglicanism became the official religion of Britain during the Reformation, Catholics faced surveillance and persecution.

At various times they were forbidden from voting, joining the army or standing for Parliament, and their rights to own property were severely limited. However, between 1778 and 1829 a series of Roman Catholic Relief Acts introduced greater civil rights.

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the submission of the most complete records of Catholics in England, which were created because of these religious divisions and are now published in the Margaret Higgins Database.

In 1767 the House of Lords began an enquiry because the Anglican bishops were accused of not doing enough to stop the spread of Catholicism.

On 22 May the House voted an address to the king asking that the bishops of England and Wales direct their parish clergy to “correct and complete lists as can be obtained of the papists or reputed papists, distinguishing their parishes, sexes, ages and occupations and how long they have been there resident”.

The clergy took the instructions to mean that they were also required to include the names of Catholics and suspected Catholics in the subsequent records.

Over half of the Catholics resident in England at the time are thought to be included in the Returns of Papists which were submitted to Parliament.

The returns from the dioceses of Oxford, Norfolk, Salisbury and Worcester, which were not sent to Parliament, are also included in the Margaret Higgins Database.

Previously, in 1745, the government compiled a list of Catholics and non-jurors (those who refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the Protestant monarchy) to identify those who might support the Jacobite Uprising.

They are also in the database, as are suspected Catholics for 1705–6, 1711, 1735 and 1780, and those who took and refused to take Oaths of Supremacy, Allegiance and Abjuration.

There are also baptism, confirmation and marriage records, which are particularly useful because they often contain names of parents, siblings, godparents, aunts and uncles, and lists of Easter communicants and the Rosary Confraternity.

As well as English Catholics, the records cover French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Catholics who were living in England. Non-Catholics also appear on the records, for instance as witnesses to marriages or wills.

The database is searchable by surname, first name, occupation, age and other details. It will be available to purchase for £10+P&P later this year, and will eventually be published online.

Ceremonial Groundbreaking for National World War 1 Memorial To Be Held Nov 9th

Centennial Commission to Host Ceremonial Groundbreaking for National World War I Memorial

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission will host a ceremonial groundbreaking for the National World War I Memorial on Thursday, November 9, 2017, 11:00 am, at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C.  

Guests of honor will include senior military & veteran leaders, as well as Centennial Commission members, members of the historical/cultural community, U.S. and city officials, and major donors.  

U.S. Military Academy Cadets, the Pershing Rifles Group, and the US Army Band's "Pershing's Own" Brass Quintet are also expected to attend.

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission is a Congressional Commission created in 2013 to provide public outreach, education programs, and commemoration events for the American involvement in the war. The Commission operates through private donation, and their founding sponsor is the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago, IL. 

About the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission  

Found on Ancestry Blog: Tips on Researching World War One Ancestors on Fold3

Photo courtesy of the National Library of Scotland

I’ve found one of the best ways to search what is available on Fold3 is to search within the records of a particular conflict. I wrote a little about this concept in my WWII article, Combining World War II Research on Fold3 With Your Ancestry Family Tree on this blog in April 2016. The same idea applies whether we look at WWII or WWI or any other conflict on Fold3.
Looking at the available World War I records on Fold3, we see a lot of British records, which include the Canadians and Aussies. There are not as many American records. We were however, only in the war a brief time.
Using the concept of searching within, I discovered resources I didn’t know existed. Rather than searching for a specific name, I look at the various publications available within World War I records. When we explore this way, we may find resources created for other states or soldiers that may apply to our soldier. For example, you will find a publication called Connecticut WWI Service Rosters which are sorted by town. The link here takes you to Avon county which pulls up a sheet of information on men from the town.
What kind of information do we find here that is useful for our research?
  • Service number
  • Ethnicity
  • Home town
  • Induction location
  • Units in which served
  • Discharge (and whether or not it was honorable)
  • Wounds or death
  • Campaigns in which they participated
This information is an incredible starting point for anyone with a soldier from Connecticut who had little to no prior information. Have you checked to see if your state created a registry similar to this? If nothing is published online, check with your state archives, state historical society, and state library to start.
Did your family member serve in the Armed Guard? There are Rendezvous Reports Index Cards. You can view the one for Dan Jackson Babb which provides ship and station information with dates.
I wrote an article called U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939, that discusses Ancestry’s passenger lists for both living and dead service members. Fold3 has a publication called U.S., Army WWI Transport Service, Passenger Lists, which do not seem to contain actual lists, but do contain a lot of information about the transports.  You can choose incoming or outgoing ships and review their numerous documents. Looking at the USAT Wheaton, the ship my great grand uncle Michael Kokoska was repatriated on after the war, I found some interesting documents. You can combine both document sets and learn a lot about the ship(s) your soldier was on board.
There are many other American World War I Publications on Fold3. Take a look at what’s there. But before I end this article, you might pay particular attention to the publication, WWI Panoramic Photographs. While Michael Kokoska’s 32nd Infantry Division 127th Infantry Regiment photograph was not part of this collection, the 126th Infantry Regiment photo is. Take a look and then search for your soldier’s unit within this collection to see what you can discover.
 As with any website, check back often as updates and additions are always being made. You never know what you’ll discover!

Posted by Jennifer Holik on October 11, 2017 in Guest Bloggers on

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October is Family History Month

October is Family History Month, which means that there are many bargains out there!  Here are a few: 

1. Amy Johnson Crow: Family History Month 2017 Giveaway: Week 3

To celebrate Family History Month, Amy teamed up with several top family historians for a series of giveaways. Prizes have been donated by Maureen Taylor (the Photo Detective), Denise Levenick (the Family Curator), Lisa Lisson (Are You My Ancestor?), Elizabeth O'Neal (My Descendant's Ancestors), Melissa Barker (A Genealogist in the Archives), Melissa Dickerson (Genealogy Girl Talks), and me.

Each Friday in October, we draw for a prize pack from two of us. On October 31, we'll award the Grand Prize with seven different family history items!

This Friday (October 20), the prize will be:
How to Research in a Burned County, by Lisa Lisson
- $10 gift certificate for Legacy Republic digitization services, by Elizabeth O'Neal

Enter here to win! Good luck!

2. Family Tree Magazine Week 3 Deals

Celebrate Family History Month each week with deals from Family Tree! The deal changes each week, so check back to see the new sale. This week save 50% on all downloads $5 or less with code DOWNLOAD.

3. Free Live Q&A with Experts on Southern U.S. Genealogy

Have a question regarding genealogy research in the Southern U.S.? Legacy Tree Genealogists will be hosting a special "Legacy Tree Live" broadcast, where their expert genealogists will be answering YOUR questions on Southern U.S genealogy research. Tune in to the scheduled LIVE broadcast on their Facebook page for answers on Wednesday, October 25th at 9 a.m. MST