Monday, December 30, 2019


SHARE YOUR OPPOSITION TO THE FEE INCREASE FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION RECORDS - it will only require 5 minutes of your time, but could make the difference!

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service is proposing a dramatic rate hike to access our ancestor’s immigration records. This is not about border security or stemming illegal immigration. It is about limiting AMERICAN CITIZENS’ access to their own family history. The fees for immigration records rose 300% in 2016. If the proposed change takes effect, the cost will rise an additional 492%.

I have accessed our family files in the past. One of our grandparent’s files had his naturalization certificate, marriage certificate and ship arrival record. Now USCIS plans to raise access to as little as five pages of records to $625. This increase will put access to our history beyond the reach of most of us. Don’t let the USCIS make this unnecessary and unfair fee hike!

Please consider commenting on this proposed hike. Go to the government website at and click on the “comment” box in the upper right hand corner. Write a few sentences about why you are against this fee increase. Sample text is provided below. For more details check this site:

Sample text:
I would like to express my opposition to the proposed rate hike in the Genealogy Program under DHS Docket No. USCIS-2019-0010. This rate increase would limit the ability of AMERICAN CITIZENS the ability to access their family's immigration history. A 492% hike, following a 300% hike in 2016 is unnecessary and calls into question the motives of the USCIS.

Friday, July 26, 2019

You Won't Want to Miss This Panel Session Next Week!

Want to hear about our great state resources?  Join us next weekend at the MoSGA conference! Register at  Friday July 26 is the last day to register with meals!

New SHSMO Center for Missouri Studies 

Missouri History Museum, St. Louis
Jefferson City

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Tips for Researching in Manuscript Collections

Hidden Treasures: Tips and Rewards for Researching in Manuscript Collections. 

photo courtesy of

Many family historians fail to use manuscript collections in their research, either because they are unaware of them or think they are difficult to find. This session will summarize the types of documents one can locate in manuscript collections and how that information can help in your research. Discussion will include a method for locating your family in archival collections, and how to access the collections. The donation process and tips for donating your own materials to an archives will be included. Examples will emphasize Missouri families and archival collections. 

Come here Bill Eddleman, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Cape Girardeau Research Center, The State Historical Society of Missouri.   Bill is a trained wildlife biologist/ornithologist, he retired from Southeast Missouri State University in 2016. He has conducted genealogical research for over 25 years, produced over 20 books of abstracted records, presented to many local historical/genealogist groups, and specializes in Southeast Missouri research, land records, and military records. Bill is the past president of the Cape Girardeau County Genealogical Society, and is the current President of MoSGA.

If you haven't registered for the MoSGA conference, you can do it by July 26th at  See you in Columbia, August 2!

Deadline for MoSGA Conference Registration is this Friday!

If you are planning to attend the MoSGA Annual Conference August 2-3 in Columbia and have NOT registered, please know that registrations that will include meals must be received by this Friday, July 26.  We are required to give a meal count to the hotel on that date.
This includes the FULL registration for two days with 3 meals. Also, individually purchased meals for guests or those not buying the "FULL package" must be made by this Friday.  If you postal mail your registration in, the postmark date should be no later than Thursday, July 25.
Those who have already registered have received confirmation emails from MoSGA.  If not, please reply to this message so we can check our records.
See you in 10 days!!    Here is a link to our website home page.  Registration instructions and link to online registration can be found at 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Kin In the Ozarks? Hear Their Rich History Here

Who Were the Settlers of the Old Ozarks? Come hear about your Ozark relatives at the MoSGA conference on August 2-3, 2019.

Using his new book, A History of the Ozarks, Volume 1: The Old Ozarks, as the launching point, Blevins will discuss settlement patterns in different parts of the Ozark region. Among the topics covered will be the ethnic and national origins of those who immigrated to the area between the 1790s and the beginning of the Civil War and the social institutions and lifeways they brought with them.

Brooks Blevins is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University in Springfield. He is the author or editor of nine books, including the first two volumes in the trilogy, A History of the Ozarks, covering the period up through the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Register for the MoSGA conference at

Sunday, July 21, 2019

“This Indenture Made This…” Finding Ancestors in Deeds

Have you tried to find your Ancestor in Deed records?  Join us in Columbia on August 2-3 to learn the best ways to focus your search and get the most out of land records.

Picture courtesy of Roger Arrick; taken Wayne Co TN, April 2008.

MoSGA President Bill Eddleman. Ph.D. will discuss deed records as a source that beginning and intermediate-level researchers sometimes access sparingly, if at all. Often this is because the records require a deeper level of understanding in order to locate and use them effectively. An estimated 80% of men owned land during the 19th century, and deeds disposing of this land often document relationships.

Join us in Columbia!  To register and get more information go to

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Do You Have Germans in Your Family Tree?

In the 1990 Federal Census, 58 million Americans claimed to be solely or partially of German descent. That means a sizable proportion of Americans have a German or two hanging out in their family tree. 

figure from

Germans began emigrating to Missouri in the 1830s after the publication of Godfried Duden's book Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America in 1829.  According to the 2010 Federal Census twenty Missouri Counties still speak German as their second language.  

Would you like to know more about your German ancestors who settled in Missouri?  Join us on Friday August 2 at 2:15 pm to hear Dorris Keeven-Franke, the Executive Director of  the Missouri Germans Consortium & President of the German-American Committee of St. Louis. Dorris helped to create the German Heritage Corridor, blogs on, teaches genealogy, and has been a professional genealogist for over 40 years. She recently completed a chapter of an upcoming book on German Abolitionists (State Historical Society of Missouri).

Register for the Missouri State Genealogical Association Conference at  See you in Columbia on August 2-3!

Friday, July 05, 2019

Want to Get the Best Advice for Using Online Genealogy Sites?

Most genealogists have used, and maybe even in their family history research.  But have you kept up with all the changes these sites are making?  Do you experience frustration when you go back to the site you knew and can't find the features you used to use regularly?

Do you wish you had a refresher course or just someone to explain all the new features?

Join us August 3 at 8:30 AM at Stoney Creek Inn & Conference Center when Jacob Eubanks and Daniel Lillienkamp, two genealogical experts from St. Louis County Library show us the latest features of these sites - and most importantly how to get the most out of them.

Register today for the 2019 MoSGA Conference at  See You in August in Columbia, MO!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

What's Your Lineage?

Have you joined a lineage society?  Did you ancestor meet the requirements by arriving on the Mayflower, participating in the Revolutionary or Civil War? If you have ever wondered about it, you won't want to miss this!

Mary Celeste, a MoSGA Board Member and long-time Kansas City resident, will be presenting Hats Off to Our Ancestors: A Lighthearted Look at Lineage Societies, at the 2019 MoSGA Conference in Columbia, Missouri.

If you think of the Mayflower Society, the Jamestown Society, and the DAR when you hear the words “lineage society,” be forewarned. This program, which will be anything but serious, may lead you to a lineage society that perfectly fits. But please be kind, Mary is putting her dignity on the line to help you zero in on this rare find!

Join us on August 2-3, 2019 at Stoney Creek Inn & Conference Center.  For details and to register go to  

See you there!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Did Your Ancestor Walk the Golden Lane?

On April 5, 1919, women in Missouri were guaranteed the right to vote...for the President of the United States.  Two months before the U.S. Congress passed the women's suffrage bill, the Missouri legislature passed the "Presidential Suffrage Bill" clearing the path for the women of Missouri to vote in the presidential election.  The Missouri Women's Suffrage Association (later known as the League of Women Voters) had worked tirelessly to gain the vote since its founding in 1867.  

One of the hallmarks of the movement in Missouri was the Golden Lane that occurred during the 1916 Democratic National Convention in St. Louis.  Nearly 2,000 women lined St. Louis streets wearing white dresses with yellow sashes and carrying yellow parasols.  The men attending  the convention couldn’t help but notice the women as they walked from their hotel to the Coliseum.

One of the speakers at this year's MoSGA conference is Margot McMillen, author of The Golden Lane.  Ms. McMillen will discuss the "walkless, talkless parade" that showed  delegates that after 75 years of argument, women had made their point and carried the burdens of modern society just as men did. They deserved to vote. Women from every state and many foreign countries participated in suffrage demonstrations. 

Did you have an ancestor who came to St. Louis for the event? Or someone who worked for or against women's suffrage? Bring your stories to the August conference, or e-mail them to and Margot will try to work them into her talk.  

The MoSGA Conference will be 2-3 August.  Don't forget to register at  See you there!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Missouri Gold...a Preview of the Conference

Missouri Gold: Digging Deep 
into our Sources & Culture

2019 MoSGA Conference, August 3-4, Columbia, MO

This year the conference format will be different than past years - we will have two full days of events beginning at 10 AM on Friday, August 2 and running through mid-afternoon on Saturday.  We thought it was time to change things up!  We will still have great speakers with fresh ideas along with a few twists.  Stay tuned to this blog and our Facebook page for details.  We will have some exciting surprises in store for participants so join us in Columbia on August 2nd and 3rd! Register on MoSGA's website.  

One new event will be our Networking Desserts on Friday night after the buffet.  This fun networking opportunity will be held in a Salon filled with ephemera that is sure to spark conversation, memories and perhaps plant ideas for new avenues of discovery in your family tree.  We hope you will join us for the conference and especially this chance to network with like-minded ancestry-seekers.  For all the conference details and to register go to

Monday, May 20, 2019

Registration for 2019 MoSGA Conference is OPEN!

Missouri Gold: Digging Deep into Our Sources and Culture 

   2019 MoSGA Conference, August 2-3, Columbia, MO

 We are excited to announce that registration is open for our annual conference that will be held at Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia, MO on August 2-3, 2019.   This year we are focusing on honing our skills and getting up-to-date advice on online and technology-based tools.  We have invited some of the top genealogical experts Missouri has to offer from St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Cape Girardeau and all points in between.  
Join us in August to hear about…
  • The NEW Center for Missouri Studies that opens one week after our conference
  • New collections at the State Archives and Missouri History Museum
  • Tips for Missouri First Families and Lineage Societies
  • How to get the most out of,  FamilySearch and FindMyPast
  • 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 they can break down any brick wall or get one step closer to the cherished past.  See the full agenda and REGISTER online on our website.  You can also print the brochure and mail in your registration.

For hotel registration, contact Stoney Creek directly.  See brochure for more details.  Stay tuned for more announcements on this blog and MoSGA's Facebook page.

See You in August!

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.