Friday, January 13, 2017

Find My Past Offers Free Records Weekend is offering free access to all birth, marriage, census and death records on the site through January 15, 2017.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Mark Your Calendars!

There are several state and national events on the horizon.  Here are a few to add to your schedule.  Please feel free to submit your event to add to the calendar by emailing

RootsTech is February 8–11, 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT.  Register for the live or web events here.

National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2017 Family History Conference will be held 10-13 May 2017 in Raleigh, NC.  Registration is now open!

NGS 2018 Conference  - Call for Proposals for call for proposals for the 2018 Family History Conference, Paths to Your Past to be held 2-5 May 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  All proposals must be submitted electronically by 1 April 2017.

Ozarks Genealogical Society is hosting an event called, "Genetic Genealogy: Identifying and Confirming Ancestors with DNA Testing," on 11 March 2017.  Register or get more details here.

Useful Genealogy Advice

There are so many genealogy experts out there dispensing advice it is often hard to keep up.  In the coming months I will highlight a few of the ones I find consistently excellent.  

Amy Johnson Crow, a certified genealogist, has an excellent blog providing advice on many current genealogical issues we all face.  Her recent post "The Truth About Ancestry's Hints," provided useful information about how Ancestry hints should be approached with caution and understanding of the underlying resources. For example, not all databases are included in hints; instead hints tend to come from federal and state records including census, birth, death and marriage.  Additionally,  hints are intended to drive interest and provide possible clues.  Amy reminds her readers that often the hints are not the correct individual.

Amy's recent round-up of her 2016 best blogs reminded me how useful I have found her advice.  I highly recommend reading "Top 10 Genealogy Tips" to discover an excellent resource that is worth your time.  My favorites were "How FindAGrave Could - And Should - Be Made Better" and "5 Things You Can Do in Genealogy When You are Short on Time."

Amy also provides a free program called "31 Days to Better Genealogy" accessible on her website.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a warm and joyous Christmas with family and friends.  2016 was a bit rough for my family and many friends so we were quite happy to close that chapter and have a chance to begin anew.

When a new year begins we often make resolutions to organize our genealogy, start new projects or finally break down that brick wall.  In the spirit of new beginnings here are a couple of great FREE resources to help you in your quest.

Family History Daily has created a genealogy-specific search engine that looks through free sites. Called doGenealogy, the website offers the ability to search by location, subject or record type.  The project is new so check in regularly for new resources.

The other new resource for organizing your research is to follow the blog Do As I Am Doing, which describes in detail a method for organizing into binders.

Most importantly, mark your calendars for the 2017 MoSGA Annual Conference on Aug 4-5, 2017 in Columbia, MO.  See you there!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas From MoSGA

Merry Christmas to all MoSGA members and friends!

Silver Dollar City December 2014

Ozark City Park, Christmas 2014

May you have a safe and happy holiday season.

Making the Most of Holiday Gatherings

As families gather to celebrate Christmas we are provided with many opportunities to gather and share stories, pictures and documents of the past.  Here are a few ideas and tools you can use to make the most of the holiday season. 

Flip-Pal mobile scanner is a handy little tool.  The small hand-held scanner has software that allows you to "stitch" together scans, which gives one the option of scanning a large picture or document.  It is very easy to use!  On the website Flip-Pal gives useful advice.  It also has a program called StoryScans with which you can make a video mixing pictures and audio to put the story behind the picture together.

If you are unsure of what to ask your forebears, here is a list of 50 questions to ask your family member to garner the details of their lives.  If 50 seems a bit daunting, Family Tree Magazine has this list of 20 questions.  Lastly, if you are a died in the wool genealogist and your family expects you to interrupt Christmas dinner with questions about relatives past lives, here is a list of 150 questions!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mapping Website Unites Historic & Modern Maps

Last week I attended a seminar on land records and learned of a great tool for mapping your ancestors lives. uses plat maps, land records and other sources to provide a historic perspective overlaying a modern map. 

The website is run by genealogy publishing company Arphax, that specializes in original land ownership maps based upon land patents and plat books.  Most notable on the website is the First Landowners Project, which provides a searchable database of over 12.3 million landowners in 29 states, including Missouri. To gain full access a subscription is required.  I did subscribe and found the maps clear and useful.  Users may print or download maps including those magnified to show intricate detail.

The site was named as one of Family Tree Magazine's 2016 101 Best Websites.

Chronicling America Expands Dates & States

Chronicling America, the Library of Congress (LOC) database of American newspapers offering millions of digitized newspaper pages published 1789-1924, will be expanding in 2017, according to a LOC press release.  The current 11.4 million page database will grow with the addition of early American papers (from 1690) and modern era (through 1963) papers without copyright protection. According to the press release, anything published before 1923 is in the public domain, while from 1923 to 1963, materials fall into the public domain if their publishers have not renewed their copyrights. Lack of copyright protection must be proven for materials to be added.  Additionally, four new state partners were added: Alaska, Colorado, Maine and New Jersey.

I have had some success locating some smaller and limited run Missouri newspapers at Chronicling America.  The Sedalia Bazoo was the most exciting find.  The paper ran as a daily 1886-1881, and a weekly thereafter through 1904.  The October 22, 1889 Sedalia Weekly Bazoo carried the story of my great great uncle's death with details I had yet to find anywhere else. 

Chronicling America is a great resource, not only of digitized pages but also of determining where current copies of newspapers might be found on microfilm and original hard copy.  Here is the Sedalia Bazoo page that shows locations and the approximate date ranges for the paper.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Latest MoSGA Quarterly Newsletter Available

MoSGA's Winter 2016 newsletter is now available on the website here.

Catch up on all the latest happenings with the organization and Missouri genealogical interests!

NGS Has Released 2017 Conference Agenda

The 2017 National Genealogical Society has released details for the upcoming 2017 conference to be held in Raleigh, NC 10-13 May 2017. Check it out here.

Registration opens on December 1, 2016.

Great Genealogy Bargains on Cyber Monday

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I think I am still full from all the eating and fellowship.

Today there are some great bargains being offered for cyber Monday. Here are a few of my favorites"

Ancestry is offering 30% off their DNA testing. You can get it here.

Legacy Family Tree is offering 30% off on a year-long subscription to their webinars here. This is a great deal on over 400 different presentations on all aspects of genealogical research.

Family Tree Magazine has a deal offering 50% off plus an extra 10% off today site wide.

Flip-Pal mobile scanner also has a sale here.

Family Roots Publishing has a 20% off sale on all in stock items here.

Happy Hunting!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Veterans Day!

Photo is titled: Group of Unidentified Military Personnel, no date, #59-1105,
courtesy of the Truman Library, Independence, MO

There are many great resources for those searching for the details of their family member's military service to our country. Missouri Digital Heritage has numerous electronic resources as well as guides for those databases not yet digitized and links to other Missouri sources such as the Truman Library in Independence. You can browse the collections as I did to find this picture or you can search with specific terms.

This picture is a great example of the treasures to be found.  It is an unidentified and undated photo from the Truman Library.  Yet there are many clues to its location and precise date.  First is the attire of the women in the picture.  The shoes speak volumes!  They are very likely from the 1940s.  The dresses echo that observation.

Most importantly however; is the flag in the naval officer's hand.  It says, "Welcome to Fulton, Truman and Churchill, March 5, 1946," thus signifying the photo was taken on the day of Winston S. Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech at Westminster College in Fulton, MO.  How often does one get that lucky that a date and monumental event is printed neatly on the front of a photo?

Happy Veterans Day, may you have good luck in all your genealogical searches!

Add Your Events to MoSGA's 2017 Calendar!

Is your society, town, or county planning an event or having a significant anniversary next year? Share the details with MoSGA publications readers!  MoSGA is constantly updating its calendar of events and will share calls for publications, notices of planning meetings as well as the actual events.  If you need to get the word out, let us help!  We want to keep our readers informed about events in Missouri and neighboring states.

Send your information to  We look forward to hearing from you!

Have You Hit Your Ancestral Brick Wall? Do You Have a Great Story to Share? MoSGA Can Help!

Missouri State Genealogical Association

The Missouri State Genealogical Association was founded in 1979 with the goal of  supporting genealogical research and sharing knowledge of and with Missouri's richest resource - its citizens. Since that time the association has grown substantially as methods for finding your ancestors have advanced exponentially.  MoSGA assists those interested in Missouri genealogical research through the association's website and publications including this blog, the newsletter and journal.

How does all this help?  Anyone interested can submit articles, requests for information or details of an upcoming event for publication. Share with the wide readership of these sources your brick wall OR even the story of how you succeeded in breaking it down.  Do you have an ancestor you cannot seem to track who lived in a Missouri county where a courthouse was burned, or records lost? By sharing your story, you may find an answer or a new information source from a MoSGA member who has a similar experience.

Send your requests, stories, brick walls or favorite Missouri family photo to  Please include your contact information and name so we can share it with our readers.  Thanks!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

FindMyPast Offering Free Access to Military Records Nov 10-13 is opening it's vast collection of military records for four days in honor of Veterans Day.  The collection includes over 70 million spanning the globe from 1760 through the 20th century.

You can enter as little information as you ancestor's last name into the search engine on the front page. Don't miss access to this great collection today (November 10th) through Sunday (November  13).