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.

NGS Releases Two Newly Revised Guide Books for Tennessee and North Carolina

NGS Releases Two Newly Revised Guide Books for Tennessee and North Carolina

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced this week the publication of two newly revised books in its Research in the States series. These guides are two of 26 books that provide information about genealogical repositories and resources in specific states to aid individuals who are researching their family histories. The latest editions are Research in Tennessee, 3rd Edition and Research in North Carolina, 2nd Edition.  The books are available in pdf and hard copy from the NGS online store.


Spring Sales for DNA and Genealogical Research

With the spring holidays (Mother's Day, Father's Day and graduations) several companies are offering discounts for genealogists.  


MyHeritage is offering their best deal ever.  The Mother’s Day promo on their DNA tests – is just $69 thru May 15. 


  • Ancestry.com is offering 25% off memberships for Mother's Day.  


  •  Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems is offering 25% of annual membership using the code SAVE25NGS

  • Genealogy Bank is offering 2 months free with an annual subscription.




Excitement Builds as Ground is Broken on the New Center for Missouri Studies

As the Spring semester ends at Mizzou, construction is slated to begin on the new Center for Missouri Studies at Sixth and Elm on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. The State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO) celebrated the culmination of its 10-year effort to create its Center for Missouri Studies in a ceremony on April 19, 2017.  
Ground Breaking Ceremony April 19, 2017
As well as acting as headquarters for SHSMO the new state-of-the-art facility will offer a lecture hall, art gallery, historical research center, conservation lab and meeting rooms.  SHSMO President Bob Priddy said, "This building reminds us that our history is not a bunch of papers and books to be stored in an attic. This building reminds us that our history is alive and it can guide us."  The new Center for Missouri Studies new Center for Missouri Studies will open in April 2019.  We can't wait!
Artist Rendering of the New Center for Missouri Studies


Thursday, May 04, 2017

New York Public Library Has Digitized 5,000 NYC Historical Maps

"An article in Hyperallergic caught my eye when I read, "The New York Public Library Has a 'Digital Time-Travel Service' for Its Historical Maps."  I had to check it out.  It seems the New York Public Library has a two year project to plot 5,000 digitized street maps across the five boroughs, organized by decade from 1850 to 1950.  

The article states that the "New York Public Library’s new NYC Space/Time Directory is imagined as a 'digital time-travel service,' a two-year project engaging the library’s collections of maps and geospatial data through interactive tools." The first tool, Maps by Decade, was launched this month.




“The goal of the Space/Time project is to connect the library’s collections through space and time,” Bert Spaan, NYPL’s Space/Time Directory engineer, told Hyperallergic. Now that is pretty cool.  If your ancestor came through Ellis Island they may have lived in NYC for a time.  If you are really lucky, you might just be able to view the exact location "real time." Happy hunting!


NGS 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, NC, 10-13 May: Livestream & On Demand

Many genealogists soon will be flocking to North Carolina to attend the 2017 National Genealogical Society annual conference.  For those of us who cannot attend in person, still have an opportunity to see some of the many interesting lectures by premier American genealogists.




You can now live stream select sessions from the Conference—and watch them again and again for three months from the end of the Conference (until 13 August). You can watch one track (5-sessions on DNA and/or BCG Skillbuilding) or both tracks (10-sessions) as they happen live, and then replay them anytime.

Personally, I think I will listen to the DNA sessions.  I have tested my DNA along with several family members but I have yet utilize the information to its fullest.  I look forward to hearing some great lectures on the subject!

Happy Hunting.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 25th Is National DNA Day

National DNA Day, organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, is Tuesday, April 25, 2017.  The event commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953.  The website lists numerous events from Tuesday's Twitter Chat with  NASA Astronaut Kathleen Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space, to discussions at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Several organizations are offering deals on DNA-related products to celebrate the occasion. Here are a few of the bargains: 

1. Lisa Louise Cook is offering 27% off a Genetic Genealogy Bundle.  Additionally, Lisa's website is offering a coupon code DNADAY to save 15% on all single DNA guides, print or digital. 
2. Ancestry.com is offering 20% off AncestryDNA kits.
3. Family Tree DNA has several options on sale.
4. Two DNA workshops will be offered at the 2017 FGS National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 30-September 2. Both DNA workshops are sponsored by Ancestry ProGenealogists and require pre-registration in order to attend.  Check here for more details.
5. The MoSGA conference will offer two DNA-related from Eric Wells, the first will be a DNA introduction for beginners while the second will detail a case study that offers insights into how to use DNA results with your other genealogical research.  Join us on August 4-5 in Columbia!


Google Earth's New Release Offers Genealogists Updated Tools

Google Earth released an update that offers several great tools for genealogists.  The new search function has been updated with "knowledge cards" that provide encyclopedic details of locations. Users can orbit the world in 3D and utilize the new "Voyager" that incorporates BBC Earth and NASA.  There is a "wildcard" function that allows you to view random locations.  While some of these functions such as street view may not be available for small towns and villages, I was able to pinpoint the church where my 3x great-grandfather was baptized in a small town in Germany.  Happy hunting!


Halifax, Nova Scotia Releases Photographs of the Harbor as the Centennial of Halifax Explosion Nears

On December 6, 1917, a French cargo ship, the SS Mont-Blanc, fully loaded with wartime explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the Halifax harbor. A resulting fire on board the French ship ignited the cargo and caused an explosion that devastated the Richmond District of Halifax. It was the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Approximately 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and an estimated 9,000 others were injured.




As Halifax prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, the Municipal Archives is highlighting historical sources on how the communities of Halifax and Dartmouth responded to the tragedy, and how the city worked with the Halifax Relief Commission to rebuild. Visit 100years100stories.ca for information on commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

American Ancestors Opens Probate Databases April 18-25

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering free access to thirty-two probate databases for one week, April 18-25. The databases contain some of the earliest records in the New England colonies.

Anyone can sign in as a guest member to gain access on AmericanAncestors.org. There is a free webinar on how to use probate  records.

Monday, April 10, 2017

WWI at the National Archives

First, I would like to express my thanks for a reader Vicki Root/Carpenter-Runk/Patton Evans for pointing out that some of the links from the April 6th post were not working.  They are fixed now.

Second, I failed to mention the best source for U.S. records related to World War One are at the National Archives.  In commemorating the war, the National Archives has created a special portal for the WWI holdings. This page provides a breadth of information on current programs, photographs, genealogical records and a mobile app that allows the user to build your own collection of memorabilia.

Gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, firing 37 mm gun during an advance on German entrenched positions. Courtesy of the National Archives.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Today is 100th Anniversary of the U.S. Entry into World War I - Links Repaired

Today is the 100 anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.  I share some of the most profound coverage here.
The Washington Post has never before published photos here.
The Associated Press shares their coverage here.
Family Tree Magazine has a time line for other countries entry into the conflict here.
Watch the ceremony at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO on YouTube

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Fold3 Offering Free Access to Civil War Records Through April 15, 2017

Fold3 is opening its Civil War records collection through mid-April including the popular collections:  

  • Civil War “Widows’ Pensions” Files
  • Civil War Pensions Index
  • Soldier Service Records
  • Southern Claims Commission

Gen. Edwin V. Sumner and staff in Warrenton, Virginia, 
main eastern theater of the Civil War, Nov. 13, 1862
Photograph courtesy of Library of Congress, 
Prints & Photographs Division, [cwp 4a40037] 


I have found several of my Missouri ancestors' records on Fold3 and have added a memory page for some of my favorites.  Fold3 allows members to create a memorial page where records can be saved and a picture may be uploaded. For example, see my Great-Grandfather (x3) Carl C. Raiffeisen's page here.  He immigrated to mid-Missouri in 1849, married and lived in Morgan County for the rest of his life.  He served in the Benton County Home Guards during the Civil War.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

MoSGA Website Receives Mention on FamilyHistoryDaily.com

Family History Daily is a great source of information for genealogists providing articles on every aspect of the industry.   One of today's articles, "Absolutely Free Genealogy Research Sites for Every Single U.S. State." MoSGA is one of the two Missouri websites recognized. Specifically noted were the access to surname lists, digitized newsletters and the many valuable links provided. Happy hunting!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March is Women's History Month

The first International Women's Day was celebrated on March 8, 1911.  In 1980, President Carter extended the event into National Women's History Week; by 1987 the popularity had grown to the extent that both houses of Congress passed a law to extend the event further into a month-long celebration of women.



Numerous online sources have offered tips in researching your female ancestors.  Here are are a few of my favorite:

1.  In first place is Maureen Taylor, the "Photo Detective."  In her blog for Family Tree Magazine, Taylor gives great advice especially regarding dating photographs by women's hairstyles, accessories (hats and jewelry) and clothing.  Beyond the individuals themselves, Taylor suggests you consider possible events (weddings, anniversaries, holidays) and the other elements of the picture such as backdrop and furniture.  Recently she blogged about clues regarding women's occupations.

2. Several news outlets have had articles on women's efforts in World War One including the New York Times, FirstWorldWar.com, the Imperial War Museum (UK), the BBC and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

3. Family Tree Magazine is highlighting a Woman of the Day each day during the month on their Facebook page.

4. Finally the National Archives has a series of patented items marketed to women.  Several of them are really funny!