Friday, July 21, 2017

Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Launches New Society Management Webinar Series


The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced the launch of their Society Management webinar series. This series of free events will bring a much-needed aspect to the array of learning opportunities currently provided in the genealogical community; focusing solely on the leadership and management of non-profit societies.



The August session will feature David Rencher, CG, presenting on the best practices – and challenges – surrounding The Nominating Committee.

Each month thereafter will feature a new and interesting topic, ranging from recruitment and volunteer management to technology, publications, and working with your local tourism board. Registration will be necessary, and regular updates will be shared via the FGS Voice blog, FGS Voice Newsletter, and social media. Webinars will occur every 3rd Thursday of the month.

Speakers interested in presenting topics should contact Jen Baldwin, Education Chair, at education@fgs.org.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Vita Brevis

Once in a while I like to recommend  a blog or website. I have been reading Vita Brevis, the blog associated with AmericanAncestors.org, the website for the New England Genealogical Society for the last few months.  The blog is informative and tells some great stories. Part of the reason for the success is that several people contribute to the blog, which keeps it fresh and entertaining. Even if you don't have ancestors from New England you will enjoy this blog as the stories are rich in American history and the examples given often have a wide application. Try it out today!

MoSGS Conference Only Two Weeks Away!

We are very excited about the 2017 annual MoSGA conference to be held in Columbia,  MO at the Stoney Creek Conference Center on August 4-5. 




The lineup this year is stellar with our Keynote Speaker Kathleen Brandt offering several not to be missed lectures. Kathleen will be joined by some of the best speakers Missouri has to offer.

If you haven't had a chance to register you can do it here.  We will see you two weeks from today in Columbia!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pictures of Ellis Island Immigrants

While many of us have accessed an ancestor's records from his or her entry into the United States, few have ever had more than imagination to consider what our relatives were wearing when they arrived.

These photos from Ellis Island are truly amazing, adding rich detail to our imagination.  Check it out today!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

MoSGA Announces 2017 21st Century Grant

The Missouri State Genealogical Society (MoSGA) is pleased to announce a $1,000 grant to the Sullivan County Genealogy Library in Milan MO. The library will purchase microfilm of the Milan Standard newspaper for the years 1890-1899.



The check will be presented at MoSGA’s annual meeting during the MoSGA Conference, August 4-5, 2017 at Stoney Creek Conference Center, Columbia MO.

Since 2009, MoSGA has awarded a yearly 21st Century Fund Grant to Missouri genealogy societies, libraries and archives. The grants are awarded to help identify, compile and preserve Missouri’s non-public (non-governmental) records.  For more information on the grant program visit the MoSGA website.

Independence Day Genealogy Deals

Here are two great deals if you want to spend part of your weekend conducting research.

1.  Ancestry.com is offering free access until midnight July 4.

2.  The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering free access to their records from Thursday to Thursday,  June 29-July 6, 2017.

Authors: Send Us Your New Family History or Genealogy Book!

The Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) is dedicated to enhancing the study of family history and the principles of sound genealogical research for its members and the general public. We have an active library program seeking books of value for review and placement in the circulating library collection of the Midwest Genealogy Center located in Independence, Missouri.

We invite your members to donate copies of recently published family histories or historical works for review in the MoSGA Journal. Once books are reviewed, they are donated to the Midwest Genealogy Center of the Mid-Continent Public Library for placement in the circulating collection. This collection is available for public use in the library and nationwide through the interlibrary loan program. Look here for a link to the card catalog.   

Books may be mailed fourth-class book rate to: 

MoSGA Library Director
P.O. Box 833 
Columbia, MO 65205-0833

For each book please include the following information: price, postage and handling charges, any applicable sales tax, and contact information for the author or publisher.

Association of Professional Genealogists Hit By Scam - Lessons Learned

Last week the Association of Professional Genealogists announced it had been targeted by scam artists. The villains were able to impersonate the secretary's email and offered to pay APG members an hourly fee to lobby state legislatures regarding forensic genealogy.  In a further attempt, members received requests to "Support Diane's Brain Cancer Battle."  APG quickly quashed the scam by alerting members and asking them to report any such attempt at fundraising and asking that those affected to notify the organization.  

I have some professional knowledge of cyber security and I have been the target of email cloning and twice had my credit card accounts hacked.  I, therefore, would like to offer a few cautions of my own.  

1. Source. Be cautious of any solicitation via email or social media, especially Facebook. We have all heard about fake news on social media, yet it is hard not to click on that story about the baby with cancer.  Look carefully - is it a story supposedly about someone in a small Missouri town but the link takes you to a website that is not linked to any local, regional or state news source?  Don't be taken in just because it is a sad story or even a happy one!

2. Context.  Does the email read like a normal / regular communication you receive from an organization? Often databases are hacked by groups in foreign countries then they are sold to individual criminals or organizations.  If you closely read the fake email there will be grammatical mistakes or colloquialisms that don't fit.  For example, did a New England genealogical society end their request with "see y'all in the spring!" when you know their annual conference is in the fall and no self-respecting Bostonian would say y'all like we do in the south?  Sometimes it isn't that simple, but if you look you will often see things that just do not fit the norm.  

3. Legitimacy. If any legitimate organization is soliciting funding, take a minute to think about the source and what they are asking.  Would an organization such as APG solicit funding through their work emails for an individual?  The answer is never.  Most companies and non-profit organizations have rules about using their official communication sources for private funding. 

4. Check it out. At the national level any non-profit must register and are held accountable by federal law.  You can check out charity ratings at Charity Watch. For an organization such as a genealogical society, go to their website for information about events and solicitations.  If an organization is undertaking a fundraising campaign, you bet it will be front and center on their website.  Also, you can contact them via phone or mail, but use only phone numbers that you find officially linked to the organization not one provided in the suspect email.

5. Be familiar with the typical scam.  You can check  this US government website that lists common fraud types: https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds#item-35157.

According to an IBM report, the global cost of cybercrime will reach $2 trillion by 2019, a threefold increase from the 2015 estimate of $500 billion. Small, regional and even local organizations are not immune. The IBM report explains, "a staggering 50 percent of small and mid-sized organizations reported suffering at least one cyberattack in the last 12 months."

Your best bet is to be aware, be vigilant of your own finances and social media presence and most importantly when and if you are ready to give to a worthy cause, take the time to do the research and get your hard-earned dollars in needy hands, not those of criminal organizations.











Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG

Executive Director

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Genealogy Resources in Kansas City

I had the great fortune to spend last week researching in Kansas City, Missouri.  I had such a great experience I thought I would share some of the sources I found so helpful. My week was filled with trips to 2 libraries, 2 city halls and 3 county courthouses!  I was researching the history of two buildings on Troost Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri.  I spent two full days in the Missouri Valley Special Collections Room at the Kansas City Public Library.  Melissa was a great help and a cheerful voice when I got bogged down.  If you have never been to the KC Library, GO NOW.  It is beautiful and a wondrous resource. Keep in mind the Special Collections have different hours from the rest of the library so check the links above before you visit. Also, there are many online resources found on the websites so check them out.



I also made a trip to the Midwest Genealogy Center.  No longer living in Missouri, this is a real treat for me.  As usual I found what I needed with the expert assistance of the staff - even on a Sunday.

I also was amazed at the courteous and helpful staff at the Jackson County Courthouses (Independence and Kansas City) where I conducted deed and property research.  Before I left for the airport I squeezed in a final and most personal search - I was able to locate my maternal grandparents marriage certificate at the Wyndotte County, KS courthouse. It couldn't have been a more perfect end to a great research trip!

I hope everyone gets to spend some quality family time this weekend!




Happy Father's Day! Here are a Few Genealogy Sales

Here are a few of the specials running through this weekend for genealogy.  If you are ready to test your DNA: 

  • Ancestry DNA is $79 through Sunday, June 18, 2017.
  • 23andMe is $79 for Ancestry service and $179 for Health + Ancestry Service through Sunday, June 18th. 
  • Family Tree DNA is $69 for the Family Finder Test and $139 for the YDNA Test.
  • MyHeritage is $69 for the DNA test through June 19, 2017.
  • To make sure you are getting the best deal for you, check out Genealogy Bargains. They maintain a running list of coupon codes and discounts.
DNA Image from the University of Michigan Medical School 



If you need a little help navigating all the genealogy options out there:
  • FamilyTree is offering 50% off their on demand Webinars through June 20, 2017.
As always, happy hunting!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Friends of the Missouri State Archives To Hold Annual Meeting: June 10, 2017

The 2017 Friends of the Missouri State Archives annual meeting will be held Saturday, June 10, at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center (600 W. Main St.) in Jefferson City. The business portion will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a noon luncheon and program entitled, Route 66: The Highway and Its People, by nationally recognized author Susan Croce Kelly.

This event is open to the public, but there is a cost of $25 per person. Contact Brian Rogers by Friday, June 2, at (573) 526-1981 or brian.rogers@sos.mo.gov to reserve your place. Payment should be mailed to the Friends of the Missouri State Archives at P.O. Box 242, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

MyHeritage Launches New Comprehensive DNA Ethnicity Analysis

My Heritage  today announced the launch of its new and improved Ethnicity Estimate. The new analysis, developed by the company’s science team, provides MyHeritage DNA customers with a percentage-based estimate of their ethnic origins covering 42 ethnic regions, many available only on MyHeritage, representing the most comprehensive report of its type available on the market.

The best part is that you can either order a DNA kit from MyHeritage or upload your own data from other site.



MyHeritage Announces New Collection Catalog

Earlier this month MyHeritage announced a new section on their website called the Collection Catalog, a listing the historical record collections indexed and available on MyHeritage SuperSearch™. The catalog is useful for beginners as well as professional users. It lists next to the name of each collection the number of records in it and the date in which it was added or last updated, and indicates with a special icon which collections are new or recently updated. Some people call this a “card catalog” in reference to the way libraries used to index their inventory on cards in the old days, but our Collection Catalog is digital; It is available online and includes many useful functions.



Try it out soon!

Sanborn Maps Now Available at the Library of Congress

This is one of the most exciting announcements from the Library of Congress (LOC) maps collection in several years! The LOC has digitized more than 25,000 pages of Sanborn maps.  I use these maps regularly for my preservation and historical research.  According to the LOC
The Sanborn map collection consists of a uniform series of large-scale maps, dating from 1867 to the present and depicting the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of some twelve thousand cities and towns in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property and therefore show the size, shape, and construction of dwellings, commercial buildings, and factories as well as fire walls, locations of windows and doors, sprinkler systems, and types of roofs. The maps also indicate widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers.
The maps are easy to use, once you understand the key.  It is explained here.  

If you know where your ancestor lived you might just find his house on a Sanborn map.  There are limitations - not every city was mapped and like census takers some maps provide more detail than others.  Currently over 3,000 cities across the US are online with more being added monthly through 2020. Missouri is in the first release so go check! 


Springfield, MO map, April 1884, p 1,
Library of Congress, Sanborn Map Collection


Other areas in the first release include: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, OH, OK, PA, SD, TX, VA, VT, WY and Canada, Mexico, Cuba sugar warehouses, and U.S. whiskey warehouses.

But as Missourians we are doubly blessed because the University of Missouri Library has an extensive Sanborn Map collection.  The University of Missouri--Columbia MU Libraries have documented 390 Missouri towns totaling 6,798 of the maps from 1880 to 1922. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society Records Offering

Today i would like to highlight one of Missouri's regional societies and some of the historical records available there. The Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society has many records available online. Volunteers are indexing and adding digital copies of cemetery records, obituaries, death notices from local newspapers- just to name a few. For example, deaths are recorded from 1890-1909, when death certificates became legally required by the state.  More years are being added so check now and check again later if you have ancestors in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan,  Clinton,  DeKalb, Gentry,  Holt, Nowaday and Worth counties.