Friday, March 15, 2019

SAVE THE DATE!!! MoSGA Conference will be August 3-4, 2019

Missouri Gold: Digging Deep into the Past with Modern Tools
2019 MoSGA Conference, August 3-4, Columbia, MO

We are very excited about our annual conference that will be held at Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia, MO on August 3-4, 2019.  We are offering a different format this year that will focus on how to best utilize the ever changing technology tools, access Missouri’s rich state resources, and get a refresher on where to find those pesky relatives that prefer to hide behind brick walls.  We have invited some of the top genealogical experts Missouri has to offer from St. Louis, Kansas City, Cape Girardeau and all points in between.  

Included this year:
  • Updates to and FamilySearch – they have some great new tools!
  • Missouri Resources such as the amazing new Center for Missouri Studies that opens in August
  • Tips for Missouri First Families and Lineage Societies
  • Finding Records for Migration to Missouri from Germany, Virginia and Kentucky
  • How to Find our Female Ancestors
  • How to find our family members in land records, manuscripts and online newspapers
  • A fresh look at immigration and census records
  • A great book sale with many hard-to-find treasures
  • And much more!!!

We will have some fun, too.  On Friday evening join us for dinner and stay for Networking Desserts where we will display some old items to jog memories and invite stories to be told.  Bring your best ideas and prepare to share!  We want everyone to leave the conference will new ideas for their research, new friends and a renewed feeling she AND he can break down any brick wall or get one step closer to the cherished past.  Watch for updates on the MoSGA website, our Facebook page and this blog.  We will announce the full agenda and let you know when registration is open.  

See Y’all in August!
Michelle Spencer
2019 Conference Chair

Monday, January 28, 2019

Library of Congress Virtual Card Catalog for Copyrights

Library of Congress Card Catalog

Last week the Library of Congress blogged about the U.S. Copyright Card Catalog. Check it out here.
It provides an index to copyright registrations and other public records pertaining to ownership of copyrighted works. The catalog enables users to identify original copyright registration records and other U.S. Copyright Office records from 1870 through 1977. The information in these records typically includes: author(s), title of work, copyright registration number, and effective date of registration. These records do not include the full registration records or copies of deposited works registered with the Copyright Office. The card catalog also contains entries for transfers of ownership, generally one card for each title, assignee, and assignor.
Over the decades, with changes in the rules of cataloging copyright registrations, the U.S. Copyright Office has organized these records into several chronological periods or indexes. The indexes available in this Proof of Concept are the latest sections of the card catalog, interfiled alphabetically, covering registrations from 1955 through December 31, 1977, the last day on which works were registered under the 1909 copyright law.

The Proof of Concept card catalog represents a small sample set of card records, displayed in JPEG images, from the U.S. Copyright Card Catalog collection. It is not a final version of the planned Virtual Card Catalog (VCC). The images are presented in a similar filing order as found in the physical card catalog and may contain filing errors and corrupt images. In addition, the enhanced browse capabilities are limited due to the use of raw OCR data. We are working to update and improve the overall functionality.
The purpose of this Proof of Concept is to provide the public with a glimpse of the digitized card catalog and to solicit feedback that will provide valuable information for the future digital transformation of the U.S. Copyright Office physical historical records.
Browse through it today!  

Friday, November 09, 2018

NEHGS Offers FREE Access on American Ancestors Thru Tues!

NEHGS Offers FREE Access to All Databases
on from November 6–13

On November 7, 2018 NEHGS announced the following: 

To assist family historians of all levels with a great reason to fall back into research, American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) are granting FREE access to more than 1.4 billion names within its data-rich online records. For a limited time only—from Tuesday, November 6, 2018, through Tuesday, November 13, 2018—anyone can access the many research databases within the award-winning website of NEHGS by registering as a FREE Guest Member at

The website of NEHGS at contains some of the most important online databases for researching American ancestry, with more than 1.4 billion names in records covering 18 countries. Many databases include original content created by the experts and scholars at NEHGS, and all are open for eight days of FREE research to anyone who registers as a Guest Member. Access to all databases is free from November 6 at 12:00 AM EST through November 13 at 11:59 PM EST.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

News You Can Use #2: Who You Do Think You Are? Debuts New Episodes in December

New Episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC

Here is the schedule for the upcoming season of Who Do You Think You Are?
  • Mandy Moore (December 3): Mandy Moore is shocked to discover ancestors who lived in Australia and travels far, determined to unlock the mystery of how they got there. Moore is touched by the courage of those who made the journey and the sacrifice of those who were left behind.
  • Josh Duhamel (December 10): Josh Duhamel travels to England to investigate the extraordinary life of his 12 times great-grandfather and uncovers an astonishing, dark twist of interrogation and torture that rocks his belief system to the core.
  • Matthew Morrison (December 17): Matthew Morrison explores his American roots for the first time and is surprised to discover his family’s ties to the Revolutionary War. He learns of the bold lengths that his ancestor went through to protect his allegiances and the brutality he faced on the battlefield.
  • Regina King  (December 17): Regina King investigates her maternal family tree and uncovers an ancestor who was a passionate civil rights activist in Alabama; a man who came out of slavery, endured horrific violence, but never stopped fighting for his people.

News You Can Use #1: Updates DNA Estimates, Offers Free Military Records

Sorry for the long absence!  Life got a little crazy for a while.  Here are a few genealogy-related stories to catch you up.  There are a few things happening at Ancestry.  
First, they are offering FREE access to military records from November 2-12 in honor of Veterans.  You can access the more than 250 million records at

Second, if you haven't heard, Ancestry has added millions of results to their DNA database and unveiled new ethnicity estimates for everyone who has taken an Ancestry DNA test. So if you haven't checked your DNA lately, it is worth a look.  According to the Ancestry Blog

Ancestry will deliver ethnicity estimates with increased precision to its customers, through a new algorithm that analyzes longer segments of genetic information, marking an important evolution in the way we interpret DNA data. Having built and expanded our DNA reference panel, we have a better understanding of genetic signatures globally, can break down geographic ethnicity estimates with greater specificity and give you a more detailed picture of your origins.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

AncestryDNA Updates Estimates

If you have had your DNA tested by AncestryDNA you may or may not have found the results useful or seemingly accurate.  Ancestry has updated individual results this week, matching them against thousands of new results they have obtained during the last year.  Its worth your time to check.  My estimates changed dramatically!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Three $1,000 21st Century Fund Grants Awarded

Jenna Mills, Awards Committee chair, presented $1,000 grants to the following groups:

Bill Sheehy accepts the grant on behalf of Iron County Historical Society. 

 Rhonda Simpleman accepts the grant on behalf of the Carrollton Public Library.
Linda Brink & Estella Morrison accept the grant on behalf of the Excelsior Springs Genealogical Society.

Congratulations to all our grant recipients!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

2018 MoSGA Award Recipients

AWARDS presented at the 2018 Conference

MoSGA Awards Committee Chairman Jenna Mills with Harold Kerr.

  • Harold Kerr II received the Award of Merit. He was nominated by the Howard County Genealogical Society. 
  • A Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Mike Bridwell of the St. Louis County Public Library.  
  • Debbie Furnell received the President's Award.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Prize Winners from the 2018 Conference

Did you know that our vendors offer door prizes at the annual conference?  This year prizes included an DNA test, 1 year membership in a county genealogical association, books, and lots of other goodies!

2018 MoSGA Conference Award Winners

Sunday, August 19, 2018

In Case You Missed It...

We had a great MoSGA conference last weekend! Everyone enjoyed hearing Amy Johnson Crow. She was informative and a lot of fun. Stay tuned here for more pictures of this year's event as well as details for things to come in 2019!

Thanks Amy and all our presenters!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Think You Know Someone Who Died During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic? (Hint: We all do!)

Beginning in the spring of 1918 influenza crawled across the globe. In three waves the virus touched every continent and virtually every family on earth between early 1918 and the summer of 1920. Scientists now believe that at least 50 million people died, including 675,000 Americans. 

The question for genealogists is aside from death certificates, how do we know if our family was affected?

I have a personal interest in the pandemic and have studied it for more than ten years. In a session on Friday, August 10 at the MoSGA conference in Columbia, MO, I will talk about influenza and how to search a wide range of records available to researchers.  Influenza killed more people than WWI, WWII, Korea and the Vietnam Wars combined.  It is an important part of our history that is often overlooked.  

Don't miss out! Register for the conference at

Friday, July 27, 2018

Need Help Finding Your Ancestors? Come to the MoSGA Conference to Learn New Strategies!

We all have those ancestors that frustrate us, tease us with a little bit of a trail, then seemingly disappearing in front of our eyes.  Sound familiar?

Join us 10-11 August in Columbia, MO with our keynote speaker Amy Johnson Crow. She will be sharing several "alternate routes" to finding those who came before us in sessions that might just spark a light to a new avenue through timelines, local websites, occupational records as well as how to take a second (third or fourth) look at the sources you have found for additional clues. 

Its not too late to register at so do it today and join us in the fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Have You Researched Online Newspaper Databases Lately?

If you haven't already, be sure to add Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers at the Library of Congress to the research list.

With the ever-growing options to search digitized newspapers from home, the Library of Congress (LC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) have joined efforts to digitize and preserve newspaper history through their National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Courtesy of Library of Congress

The Chronicling America collection is an ongoing database of American newspapers digitized primarily from microfilm by NDNP participating institutions. Spanning from 1690 to the present, the collection currently comprises nearly 154,800 digitized newspapers across the United States, American Samoa, Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The Missouri database currently encompasses 88 newspapers within a date range of 1839 through 1922.

The online search engine offers several options to browse newspapers by title, state, date range, keyword, ethnicity, or by language. An advanced search further allows for searches of keywords and phrases.

No subscription or login is required to access ChroniclingAmerica.

Thanks to LaDonna Gardner for this blog post!

Don't forget to register for the MoSGA Conference at our homepage!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

NEHGS Offers FREE Access to All Online Databases on July 10–17

For One Week, Family Historians May Search NEHGS’s Early New England Collections—Including the World’s LargestMayflower Database, 
As Well As the Archdiocese of Boston’s Historic Catholic Records—FREE
July 10, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts—American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) are offering FREE access to some of the most popular, new online databases in the world of family history and genealogy during a one-week, summer promotion now underway. FREE Access is being granted to all databases on—the award-winning website of NEHGS—from 12:01 a.m. EDST on Tuesday, July 10, through 11:59 p.m. EDST on Tuesday, July 17. This free access is granted to anyone registering as a FREE Guest Member of NEHGS at
Included in this limited-time promotion is free access to NEHGS’s new, recently-released database “Mayflower Families Fifth Generation Descendants, 1700-1880”—created through a partnership with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD), with meticulous documentation on the Mayflower passengers who arrived in 1620 and left descendants. It is the largest online database of authenticated Pilgrim genealogies, with more than half a million searchable names.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

International Institute of St. Louis Festival of Nations August 25 – 26, 2018

Embrace cultural heritage at the upcoming Festival of Nations sponsored by the International Institute of St. Louis. The two-day free event will entertain the public with dance, music, informative displays, and activities focused on world cultures. The festival will also host 40-plus ethnic food booths and a 30-booth bazaar for ethnic related shopping.

Festival of Nations will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25th, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 26th, at Tower Grove Park. Parking shuttle service by bus will be provided.

Visit Festival of Nations for the festival schedule, participating businesses, organizations, and supporters.

Thanks to LaDonna Gardner for this blog post!

Don't forget to register for the MoSGA Conference at our homepage!