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Friday, November 30, 2007

LINCOLN AND THE TODD FAMILY

A possible Christmas gift that could please the genealogist or the Civil War buff in your life:

House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, a Family Divided by War
By Berry, Stephen

Publisher's blurb:

"A groundbreaking look at the fortunes of a family shattered by the Civil War -- Mary Todd Lincoln's family -- and their surprising impact on how Lincoln fought that war. For all the talk of the Civil War's pitting brother against brother, no single book has told fully the story of one family ravaged by that conflict. And no family better illustrates the personal toll the war took than Lincoln's own.

Mary Todd Lincoln was one of fourteen siblings who were split between the Confederacy and the Union. Three of her brothers fought, and two died, for the South. Several Todds -- including Mary herself -- bedeviled Lincoln's administration with their scandalous behavior.

With the narrative intricacy and emotional intensity of a novelist, the award-winning historian Stephen Berry tells the Todd family saga. Their struggles haunted the president and moved him to avoid tactics or rhetoric that would dehumanize or scapegoat the Confederates. By drawing on his own familial experience, Lincoln was able to articulate a humanistic, even charitable view of the enemy that seems surpassingly wise in our time, let alone his.

With brio and rigor, Berry fills a gap in Civil War history, showing how the war changed one family and how that family changed the course of the war. As they debate each other about the issues of the day and comfort each other in the wake of shared tragedy, the Todds become a singular microcosm and metaphor for the country as a whole.

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Worldcat.org

ST. LOUIS GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY BOOKSALE!

Just in time for Christmas gift shopping for the genealogists in your life:

Do your early Christmas shopping with St. Louis Genealogical Society!

3rd Annual Genealogy Book Jamboree
Sunday, 2 December 2007
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at the StLGS office

#4 Sunnen Drive St. Louis, MO 63143
314-647-8547

STLGS website

BTW, I must apologize to STLGS- I've known about this sale for some time now, but it just occurred to me that this would be a great post for MoSGA Messenger! Duh!

OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ROOTSWEB.COM

The Official Guide to Rootsweb.com
By Gormley, Myra Vanderpool & Lord, Tana Pederson

Ancestry.com
ISBN 9781593313098

You could literally spend hours (days, actually) searching the various Rootsweb sites and never find that bit of info you know is tucked away in there somewhere. A good printed guide can save you hours of grief, and reveal secrets you never would have guessed about Rootsweb.com:

Publisher's blurb:


"From the former editor of the RootsWeb Review and the author of The Official Guide to Family Tree Maker 2006 comes the insider's tour of RootsWeb.com. In it, you will learn how to put your family tree online, locate valuable research resources, create successful message board posts, search effectively, connect with other users, and much more. The guide also features success stories from members of the RootsWeb community just like you. Unlock the full potential of the world's largest free genealogy website using the tips and tricks found only in this book."

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Rootsweb.com

Link to Worldcat.org

OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ANCESTRY.COM

The Official Guide to Ancestry.com
By Morgan, George G.

Ancestry.com
9781593313043

Yes, Ancestry.com is pay genealogy's 800-pound gorilla, but in some cases it's the only game in town. To make sure you're getting your money's worth when you use it, you really do need a good printed guide:

Publisher's blurb:

"Whether you are coming to Ancestry.com for the first time or have used it for years, you need The Official Guide to Ancestry.com. Written by noted genealogist and lecturer George G. Morgan, this official guide takes you inside the #1 website for family history research for an unprecedented tour. Become more proficient with searching the site. Explore obscure databases you didn't know existed. Create and develop your own family tree. You will learn to do all of these things and more in The Official Guide to Ancestry.com. You've always known Ancestry.com was a valuable resource. Now you can learn to use it like never before."

Link to Amazon.com

Link to Ancestry.com

Link to Worldcat.org

GOOGLE GOES GREEN TO SAVE SOME GREEN (AND MAYBE PLANET EARTH)

Google on 27 November 2007 announced a plan to invest hundred of millions of dollars in an effort to greatly increase its own use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. What’s Google’s angle? They’d like to save money on their own enormous energy costs, of course, and wouldn’t mind being able to sell excess power to other commercial users. But it appears to be something more than just a case of corporate belt-tightening-- head Googlers Page and Brin appear to be as sincerely interested in helping Mother Earth as they are in helping themselves…

Link

Thursday, November 29, 2007

ANGELS IN ST. LOUIS, PT. 4

This photo (a personal favorite of mine) was taken in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Calvary is a Catholic cemetery- I'm not Catholic, yet I love this cemetery enough that the prospect of being able to lie in peaceful repose there is almost enough to make me convert!



Photo by Tom Pearson, MoSGA Newsletter Editor

ANGELS IN ST. LOUIS, PT. 3

We received several favorable comments on previous cemetery angel photos posted here, so we're posting a few more for you! This one is another view of the angel in our previous "Angels in St. Louis, Pt. 1" post. This photo shows her to be guarding the John Ringen monument at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri:



Photo by Tom Pearson, MoSGA Newsletter Editor

WAS OLD ABE ALREADY DYING WHEN JWB DID HIM IN?

John G. Sotos, a cardiologist, thinks so. In his opinion, Old Abe had at most a year to live when Booth murdered him in April 1865. Sotos believes that Lincoln is the earliest known case of MEN 2B syndrome, an extremely rare cancer-causing genetic syndrome, to be identified. He’s put together a catalog of known Lincoln ailments, nearly all of which bolster his case for Lincoln being a carrier of MEN 2B. It appears that at least one of Lincoln’s four sons—three of whom were dead by age 20—also showed earmarks of the syndrome. What’s more, a simple DNA test can prove if Sotos is right or not. The problem—getting a person or institution in possession of a known organic Lincoln relic to part with enough genetic material to enable the test. The whole story is here:

Link

FOR THE GENEALOGIST ON YOUR LIST, PT. 2…

Yup, I'm still talking Christmas list… A column in the Lebanon (PA) Daily News has some great suggestions that may include the gift that would be perfect for the genealogist in your life:

Link

FOR THE GENEALOGIST ON YOUR LIST, PT. 1…

No, not THAT list-- I'm talking about your Christmas list! Genealogy Insider Blog has some suggestions in its November 2007 posts:

Link

PERSI TURNS 2 (MILLION, THAT IS)

If you haven't been utilizing PERSI (Periodical Source Index) in your genealogical research, now you've got 2,000,000 reasons why you should:

"ANN ARBOR, Mich., November 27, 2007 -- ProQuest and Allen County Public Library (Ft. Wayne, IN) add another milestone in their longstanding alliance with the release of the newest data in the Periodical Source Index (PERSI). With this update, PERSI now contains more than 2 million citations from over 6,600 periodicals published in the United States, Canada, and abroad. The new release includes indexing for over 132,000 articles from 2006 and 2007. No other index covers periodical research in local history and genealogy as extensively as PERSI."

Read the entire press release here:

Link

OUR FIRST CHOICE WAS COWS, BUT THEY CAN'T FLY WORTH SPIT…

Yellville, Arkansas has a curious claim to fame- once a year they like to drop wild turkeys from high places. When the local tradition began in 1946, they dropped them from the county courthouse (thus giving this post a genealogical tie-in of sorts). Sometime in the 1960s, it occurred to them that airplanes can fly at heights greater than the roof of their courthouse, so "Turkey Drop" guests of honor since then have been given the old heave-ho from airplane doors. Naturally, this annual celebration doesn't sit well with animal rights activists, since turkeys aren't the best flyers in the bird world- sometimes they don't hit the ground running, they just hit the ground…

Link

NEW GENEALOGY BOOKS OF INTEREST

MoSGA Webmaster Carolyn Branch has just self-published a book likely to be of interest to many MoSGA members called Primary Sources Online:

“Many archival and library collections are now preserving, digitizing, and providing online access to significant primary historical resources. These non-profit sites do not have the advertising or public relations budgets available to commercial sites and are not easily located by search engines. This book brings together the best of these sites, hundreds of educational and governmental sites all over the world, offering thousands of FREE high quality scanned images. Every state in the United States is covered. Multiple sites offering death certificates, marriage records, historic newspapers, diaries, county histories, and more are described for each state and arranged in an easy to use geographic format. The book also covers Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Italy, France, and other European nations. Available in a 125 page lay-flat spiral bound edition or a PDF download with clickable links to all sites.”

You heard it right, folks- clickable links! BTW, if you happen to be interested in the Branch family, another of Carolyn’s books, Branch Family History, may also prove of interest:

“More than 500 years of history covering the Branch family from 1430 in Abingdon, England, 1621 in Jamestown, Virginia, through the descendants of James Daniel Branch of Callaway County, MO. Transcribed wills, maps, photos and family stories are included.”

If interested, click the following link and type “Carolyn Branch” in the Search box (quotation marks not necessary):

Link

If you’ve got a family history, genealogy research handbook, photo book, or calendar you’d like to self-publish, you should also take the tour of Lulu.com- it may be the self-publishing venue you’ve been searching for:

Link

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ONE-STOP ST. LOUIS ANCESTOR RESEARCH THE DAVE LOSSOS WAY!

Dave Lossos has done so much for persons researching ancestors from St. Louis that I felt I should mention his wonderful website, Genealogy in St. Louis. If you’ve got St. Louis ancestors and haven’t seen his site yet, go there right now- we’ll wait till you get back…

Link

If you happen to be interested in the Losos / Lossos family, Dave's got that covered:

Link

I should also mention -ahem!- that Dave was nice enough to put a one-act play I wrote about World War I casualties from East St. Louis, Illinois on his website:

The Boys of Illinoistown: East St. Louis in the War to End All Wars

HOWDY FROM BOB DOERR IN THE BEAUTIFUL MISSOURI OZARKS!

Bob says that you will likely find the following web pages to be of interest:

Tables of Contents, Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal, 1981-2006

St. Louis 1860 City Directory

St. Louis Post-Dispatch death data, 1975 thru June 1977

Bob Doerr in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks
Editor, MoSGA Journal (since 1992)

BTW, your portal to acres and acres of virtual MoSGA goodness is here:

Link

DISCOVERING WHICH TREE YOU’RE A LEAF ON

Are you a Missouri adoptee, or are you researching a family member who is? State Historical Society of Missouri has posted a well-done intro to Missouri adoption records and research:

Link

ONLINE DEATH RECORDS AND INDEXES

You’ll like this: a great list of links to death records and indexes, put together by one of genealogy’s workhorses, Joe Beine. Joe’s guide provides coverage for statewide records and indexes, big city records and indexes, and the Social Security Master Death Index. Take a look:

Link

You’ll also want to check out Joe’s Genealogy Roots Blog- it’s a veritable potpourri of genealogical tips and links:

Link

ANGELS IN ST. LOUIS, PT. 2

Bellefontaine Cemetery isn't the only cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri with fascinating angel statuary: Calvary Cemetery also has its share of celestial visitations:



Photo by Tom Pearson, MoSGA Newsletter Editor

ARE WE AS FREE AS OUR FOUNDING FATHERS?

Law professor Hannibal Travis says, “Heck, no!’ Well, not in so many words- but he does see our freedoms slipping away. The reason- he says that the Supreme Court and lesser courts lately too often rule in favor of the haves: broadband companies, copyright holders, and trademark owners. Is he right? Are corporate greed and paranoia curtailing freedom of speech and freedom of the press?

Link

KANSAS- THE FINAL FRONTIER?

Who knew? The largest collection of Russian space program and cosmonaut artifacts outside of Moscow isn’t in Paris, London, New York, or Washington, DC- it’s in Hutchison, Kansas. Why in the name of Gus Grissom’s ghost should that be, you ask? Because when the Smithsonian Institution was divesting itself of part of its space artifacts collection in the mid-1970’s, the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center snapped up everything it could get its paws on. Interested?

Link

Monday, November 26, 2007

ANGELS IN ST. LOUIS, PT. 1

Interesting statuary in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.



Photo by Tom Pearson, MoSGA Newsletter Editor.

NATIONAL SERVICE: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME?

Do you have memories of the CCC or the WPA? There's some interest in reviving that "public works" ethic of the 1930s. One proposal Congress is currently considering: we’ve got great U.S. military academies- maybe it’s time we had a similar institution for young people interested in public service of a non-military character:

“The U.S. Public Service Academy will be America’s first national civilian university, a flagship institution designed to build a 'more perfect union' by developing leaders of character dedicated to service in the public sector.

Modeled on the military service academies, the Public Service Academy will provide a rigorous undergraduate education followed by five years of civilian service to the country. It will develop young leaders with the character, intellect, and experience necessary to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Join us as we build our generation’s defining public institution.”

Link

LIVE DOCUMENTS

Live Documents is an online application that is similar in many ways to Microsoft Office. The company behind it, in fact, is promoting it as a free alternative to Microsoft Office. Live Documents is free for individuals and low-cost for businesses and non-profits. You need to sign up (simple process) and get invited to use Live Documents- they’re wisely trying to avoid the usual server crush/crash that often cripples hot new Web sites. Interested? Take a look!

Link

BTW, there’s a lengthy post on Live Documents on Dick Eastman’s blog.

IS THERE A MAFIOSO IN THE FAMILY?

If there's a Mafia kingpin (or triggerman) on a branch of your family tree, the FBI is going to be on your most wanted list. They’ve put together a website that provides info on organized crime in the U.S. in all its various incarnations. Whether you’re just an inquiring mind, are researching a gangster ancestor, or are planning to rat on various members of your current “family,” this site will be your one-stop “Mobsters R Us” shopping center:

Link

Sunday, November 25, 2007

THEY HAD A DIFFERENT NAME FOR IT, BUT IT KILLED THEM JUST AS DEAD…

At some point every genealogist runs across a cause of death listed on a death certificate or in a newspaper obit that doesn’t make sense. That’s because our forbears had different names for many diseases (and because modern medicine has made some diseases much less common than they once were). Lucky for you, a guy named Rudy is working hard to compile a dictionary of archaic disease terms. Think of Rudy as a past to present translator who’s on duty 24/7. Need to know what killed your heroic forbear? Go to Antiquus Morbus and ask Rudy- the archaic disease name you need a modern name for is probably there, and if it's not, Rudy will try to find the answer for you!

Link

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A TSAR

It seems obvious that SOMEBODY out there is still interested in the Romanov family and the last home they lived in prior to their short but extremely eventful stay at the Bolshevik Hilton: this site’s main page notes that it gets 1,000,000 hits per month. That’s a WHOLE lot of wishing upon a tsar, don’t you think?

Link

DETROIT FIREFIGHTERS

Do you happen to be researching a Detroit firefighter who worked during the period 1865-2005? Yes? Your ship just came in, my friend! A book is currently available that’s chock-full of photos of Detroit firemen from that time period:

“My purpose was to leave a record that would surprise and intrigue people in 100 years. After several years of collecting, I have been able to find and identify about 4200 of the possible 9200 pictures dating back to 1865 up to 2005. The sources include personal photographs, Department composites from 1963 and 1977, Detroit newspapers, The Firemen’s Fund Newsletter, and The Detroit Firefighter Magazine.”

Order info:

Link

Interesting article about how this project came about is here:

Link

KIBBLE'S IN BITS

If your genealogy research happens to take you near Milan, Missouri you may wish to pay a visit to the grave of Pete Kibble’s foot. Pete lost the foot in a railroad accident near Milan in 1917, and had it buried there thinking he would inter his remaining bits with it at some future date. He apparently changed his mind later and moved on, however, leaving his foot all alone in Milan, MO.

Link

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA WEB ARCHIVE

Interesting news from our hockey-loving neighbors to the north:

“The Library and Archives of Canada Act received Royal Assent on April 22, 2004. For the purposes of preservation it allows Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to collect a representative sample of Canadian websites. To meet its new mandate, LAC began to harvest the web domain of the Federal Government of Canada starting in December 2005. As resources permit, this harvesting activity will be undertaken on a semi-annual basis. The website data which is harvested is stored in the Government of Canada Web Archive (GC WA). Client access to the content of the GC WA is provided through searching by keyword, by department name, and by URL. It is also possible to search by specific format type, e.g. .pdf. At the time of its launch in Fall 2007, approximately 100 million digital objects (over 4 terabytes) of archived Federal Government website data was made accessible via the LAC website.”

It would appear this news could well prove a boon to genealogists and others interested in historic preservation.

Link

Saturday, November 24, 2007

TRI-COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

The website of the Tri-County Genealogical Society (Vernon, Cedar, and St. Clair counties, Missouri) has lots of material of interest on these counties, including links to recent newsletters (nicely done PDFs) of this society:

Link

Does your Missouri genealogical or historical society have upcoming publications / events of interest to Missouri genealogists? Send notice to us here, and we'll post all we can on this blog!

GENEALOGY BLOG FINDER

The genealogy world is starting to take notice of this blog: MoSGA Messenger is a featured blog on the What's New? page of the Genealogy Blog Finder:

Link

NEWBERRY LIBRARY GENEALOGY NEWS

E-Zine of the Newberry Library (Chicago, IL). They appear to be adding posts on a regular basis, so take a look!

Link

A GRAVE UNDERTAKING, INDEED!

Cemeteries and Cemetery Symbols is a blog that covers a subject dear to the hearts of genealogists everywhere: the cemetery, its residents, and their places of residence (for us, a visit to the cemetery isn't just a stroll through the local boneyard- it's a family reunion!). Lots of photos make an already interesting blog even more fascinating:

Link

GUESS WHO'S ENTERED THE BLOGOSPHERE?

Yup, it's Cyndi (Cyndi Howells of Cyndi's List fame). You can stop by and find out what's on her mind here:

Link

Friday, November 23, 2007

EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK

If you’re getting ready to upgrade your word processing, spreadsheet, database, paint, or presentation software at home or at work, you may want to take a look at OpenOffice.org, because it gives all the above to you at no cost:

“OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute.”

Need more convincing?

“What's so great about OpenOffice.org?
• no commercial licences or software compliance issues to worry about
• no language barriers - if it's not yet available in your language, the chances are it will be soon
• available on all major computing platforms
• the roots of OpenOffice.org go back twenty years, creating a huge wealth of experience
• hundreds of thousands of users have participated in the beta testing of version 2
with a fully open development process, OpenOffice.org has nothing to hide - the
product stands or falls on its reputation
• the software looks and feels familiar and is instantly usable by anyone who has used a competitive product
• it is easy to change to OpenOffice.org - the software reads all major competitors' files
• OpenOffice.org is supported by a global community of friendly volunteers, only too happy to provide assistance to newcomers and advanced users alike”

More good news: available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and UNIX users. For further specs, plus download instructions:

Link

THEY'RE ALL ABOUT THE BOOKS, AND WE COULD BE, TOO!

I don’t care where you live in the U.S.- this little UK town on the English-Welsh border has you beat when it comes to books per capita. Hay-on-Wye is a book town, created expressly as a place where UK book lovers can go to feed their frenzy. How many books does the town have on average? Four million, that’s how many! This town of 1,500 persons has 41 bookstores- one bookstore for every 37 residents. That’s not nearly enough locals to keep these bookstores going, of course, but not to worry- 500,000 visitors per year are enough to keep all 41 bookstores in business.

I’ve said before in other forums that the Show-Me State Tourism Bureau might do well to try to create a booktown in the hinterlands of our state: centrally located, so that visitors need to pass numerous other cities/towns in MIssouri on the way there; but not far from a big interstate so that it’s easily accessible year-round, preferably with wineries/other attractions nearby to help attract visitors/share the wealth. How to attract booksellers: no state income taxes the first three years in operation (but no incentives for Big Box Booksellers).

Official website for Hay-on-Wye:

Link

MoSGA NEWSLETTER IS NOW ONLINE!

The MoSGA Board of Directors at our 3 November 2007 meeting approved the placement of our newsletter on the MoSGA website, and the latest issue (Winter 2007) is now available there for your reading enjoyment:

Link

Our webmaster, Carolyn Branch, deserves a round of applause for her hard work on our website, and a pat on the back for adding links on the website main page to MoSGA's newsletter and to this blog. Thanks, Carolyn!

MoSGA JOURNAL (2007, no. 4)

Bob Doerr writes to report that the latest MoSGA Journal is hot off the presses:

TABLE OF CONTENTS, MoSGA JOURNAL, 2007, no. 4

Officers and Directors Inside Front Cover
President's Message, Going Virtual to Survive--194
Battle At Springfield--195
Missouri State News From The Craig Leader (4/4)--197
Elizabeth And Joseph Wood--202
Hilderbrand--206
Death Of Mrs. Mosby--208
Allied Families In Smith Jackson's Ancestry And Marriage (4/4)--209
More Chasing The Ever-Changing Chaneys--213
Attended His Own Funeral And Lives--215
Missouri White Caps--215
The Reality Of Sarah's Realty--216
Fatal Accident In The Woods - Henson--217
Democratic Standard, Fredericktown, Mo., Jun 1882 - 08 Aug 1885 (4/4)--218
Sudden Death Of Sam Bounds 221
St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, Washington, Franklin County, Missouri,
Births & Baptisms 1896--222
Sudden Death Of Jas. E. Dickey - 1898--225
Presbyterian Church, Price's Branch, Montgomery County, Mo. 1867-1907--226
One Cent Reward - Silvers--228
Births And Baptisms, Lippstadt Evangelical Church, Warren County, 1849-1863 (4/4)--229
Ernst Winter - Auguste Therese Sprenger Wedding--230
Aldrich Post 536, GAR, Polk County, Mo.--231
Officers Who Have Filed Oaths--232
Some Missouri Deaths, 1897, The Kansas City Journal (4/4)--233
She (Mrs. Woodsworth) Came Here First In 1833--235
Brookfield Gazette, Brookfield, Linn County, Mo., 1867-70 (4/4)--236
Horror! Horror! (Spencer Family Murdered)--239
Officers, Missouri National Guard, 1890--240
Infant Baptisms, Brush Creek Presbyterian Church, Montgomery County--244
Is Genealogy Bunk?--245
Update re Allied Families In Smith Jackson's Ancestry--246
Book Reviews, by Angela McComas--247
Annual Indexes--249

Congrats to Bob on the award he received this summer at the MoSGA annual conference!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

FIND A GRAVE SHOW-ME STATE LISTINGS

Find a Grave includes a geographic locations page that sorts covered locations by state or country. Missouri has a very respectable 1,506 locations, more than our neighbor, Illinois (1,220)… There are locations for every state, and for most any country you care to name, including countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Link

KNOW THYSELF (ERR, GENETICALLY SPEAKING…)

23andme.com wants to help you know yourself a whole lot better. They offer very comprehensive DNA testing. The bad news- it’s gonna cost you ($999, to be exact). The good news- their site has lots of background info, including a Genetics 101 section, that can be used by anybody with a computer, Internet connection, and time on his or her hands. Interested? Take a look:

Link

HELPING UNCLE SAMMY SEE DAYLIGHT

You’ve got to love government watchdogs. While we sleep snug in our beds, they’re filing FOI and “Sunshine Law” requests in an ongoing effort to keep federal, state, and local governments accountable. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a website that showcased the efforts of these crusaders? Well, now there is! From the GoernmentDocs.org site:

“GovernmentDocs.org was created to advance the values of open and accountable government. This site gives the public an unprecedented level of access to government documents by allowing users to browse, search, and review hundreds of thousands of pages acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other public disclosure, or “sunshine,” laws.


With the GovernmentDocs.org system, citizen reviewers can engage in the government accountability process like never before. Registered users can review and comment on documents, adding their insights and expertise to the work of the national nonprofit organizations which are partnering on this project.”

Link

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT VETERANS (BUT DIDN’T KNOW WHO TO ASK)

Need statistics on American veterans for a school paper or project at work (or just because you’re an inquiring mind)? You’ve come to the right place! The U.S. Census Bureau put together a special page crammed with statistics about U.S. veterans in celebration of Veterans’ Day, and it’s still available! For example: how many vets were living in the U.S. in 2006? 23.7 million, that’s how many. How many surviving WWI vets do we still have? Just 3 documented American vets of that war still around as of 2 October 2007. What percentage of vets voted in 2004? 74%, compared to 63% of non-veterans (I guess knowing the real price of freedom does make us better voters!). Want to know more?

Link

GETTING LATER FOR SOONERS

Oklahoma sent 268,000 men and women off to help defeat Germany and Japan. This web site, a companion site to the recent Ken Burns PBS series, is racing to capture some of their stories for posterity, since we are losing 1,500 American WWII vets daily and time is running short…

Link

100 MOST COMMON ENGLISH SURNAMES

I had thought I might find my surname on this list (Pearson), but it’s not there, confirming my long-held opinion that I am a most uncommon individual… I do find Ellis on the list (no. 68), and I think I can probably count no. 85, Owen (I have ancestors who were named Owens). If your line includes one or more English surnames, you will probably also wish to check the list:

Link

CREATE YOUR OWN AT FOOTNOTE.COM (FOR FREE!)

My own what, you ask? Dick Eastman on his entertaining blog reports on an interesting feature of Footnote.com: individuals/societies can apparently create their own pages on personal / town /county history for free! More info? Check Dick’s post here.

Interested in subscribing to Footnote.com? Now you can do so via a link on the MoSGA home page.

Monday, November 19, 2007

REPORT URGES ADOPTION OF NEW ADOPTION POLICY

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute spent some time recently carefully researching the question of whether adoptees, once they attain legal maturity, should be able to access their original birth information.

The report’s conclusion is a resounding "yes." The Donaldson Institute is therefore urging all states to follow the lead of the enlightened ones (Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee) that already allow adults who were adopted to access their original birth records. The institute found that in states that permit adoptees to examine their original birth records, “most birthparents and adoptees handle any contact with maturity and respect.”

Link

BACK TO AFRICA, THE DNA WAY!

Have you traced your African roots about as far back as you can go with U.S. ancestors? Are you interested in finding out the ultimate African country/tribe of origin? AfricanDNA.com, a company started by a Harvard professor, specializes in just that type of testing- you can get details, including some scientific background materials and order info, here.

OMAHA OBITS INDEX

Looking for an obit for someone who died in or near Omaha during the time period 1907-1977? Then you’ll want to check out the Omaha Obits Index, a project of the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society. The site manager notes that the Omaha papers were checked for obits of persons “who lived within an hour-and-a-half of Omaha,” and that obits are being added to the index on a weekly basis (“usually on Saturday”). Remember, it’s only an index- there are instructions for requesting a copy of the obit. More info:

Link

Friday, November 16, 2007

FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE 8:5 (November 2007)

Family Tree Magazine 8:5 (November 2007) has several articles of possible interest to Missouri genealogists. Historians for years have been puzzled by the complete disappearance of European settlers from an early settlement at Roanoke Island, NC. What happened? Were they wiped out by Spanish explorers? Did they try to make an unsuccessful attempt to return to England? Were they captured and assimilated by an area Indian tribe? Alien abductees? Nobody knows. But there’s a new effort to find out through genetic testing. Researchers plan to test persons in NC thought to be possible descendents of Roanoke colonists, and compare the results to the DNA of persons in modern-day Britain known to be relatives of Roanoke colonists.

Another article discusses several projects that will interest persons searching for slave roots in SC, GA, and FL. One project involves scouring the plantation records of properties owned by the Drayton family in an effort to construct slave family trees. These trees will be posted for free online at WeRelate. Another project, Lowcountry Africana, is doing much the same for slaves in the rice-growing regions of SC, GA, and FL. The associated website will feature plantation records, various other primary documents, name indexes, and other related materials, all of which are being added to the website as quickly as possible. A second article also in this publication provides a more general discussion about beginning to trace your African-American roots.

A third article concerns persons searching for records of relatives who served in the military during World War I. The article also covers WWI draft records, so it may even be helpful to researchers whose male ancestors didn’t serve in that war, but were 18-45 years of age in 1917-1918. There’s also a section for researchers whose Canadian ancestors served in WWI.

RECORDS OF THE OIL, CHEMICAL, AND ATOMIC WORKERS INTERNATIONAL

Missouri Historical Review 102:1 (October 2007) includes an article on the collection held by WHMC-St. Louis of the records of the local Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International. Records held cover the period 1928-1982, and include contracts, correspondence, financial records, grievances filed, meeting minutes, pamphlets and publications, photographs, reports, and miscellaneous other materials.

LET'S TALK ABOUT SECTS

National Genealogical Society Quarterly 95:3 (September 2007) includes an article about "Protestant Church Law and Records in America: Some Denominations and Archives." Denominations included are Amish and Mennonites; Assemblies of God; Baptists; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Congregationalists; Disciples of Christ; Episcopalians; Evangelical Association; Evangelical Synod; Evangelical United Brethren; Lutherans; Methodists; Moravians; Presbyterians; Quakers; Reformed Church; Salvation Army; Seventh-Day Adventists; Shakers; Unitarians & Universalists; United Brethren; and United Church of Christ.

MISSOURI -RELATED SITES HOSTED BY ROOTSWEB.COM

You can go here for a list of individual, county, society, and miscellaneous Missouri-related web pages hosted by Rootsweb.com. Don't see one for your county, society, or other Missouri-related area of interest? Start your own at Rootsweb.com for free!

NEW CANADIAN MAILING LISTS AT ROOTSWEB

Persons with Canadian ancestors/relatives will want to take note:

CAN-AB-CEMETERIES -- This is a cemetery list for the province of
Alberta, to be used by family researchers to locate burial information on their ancestors.
CAN-MB-CEMETERIES -- This is a cemetery list for the province of
Manitoba, to be used by family researchers looking for burialinformation on their ancestors.
CAN-NUNAVUT-CEMETERIES -- This is a cemetery list for the Nunavut Territory to provide burial information on family researchers'ancestors.
CAN-NWT-CEMETERIES -- This is a cemetery list for the Northwest
Territory to provide burial information on family researchers' ancestors.

More information, an index to the more than 30,000 RootsWeb-hosted genealogy Mailing Lists, plus easy subscribing options can be found here.

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 14 November 2007, Vol. 10, No. 46.

HAPPY 200TH TO HONEST ABE!

Led by the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, many organizations are working on events and lectures to commemorate the birth of Abraham Lincoln in 2009. Events will take place beginning in February 2008 and continue through February 2010. Visit the bicentennial website to access details about these events.

Link

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 14 November 2007, Vol. 10, No. 46.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

VIRGINIA HERITAGE PROJECT

Virginia Heritage Project: a Guide to Manuscript and Archival Collections in Virginia is a union database of finding aids to archival and manuscripts collections in twenty-seven Virginia repositories. It currently contains 1,600 finding aids, with more being added all the time- the project director estimates that there are at least 25,000 finding aids that should be in the database. If you have questions about Virginia history and/or genealogy, or are charged with answering questions from folks who do, you’ll want to take a look:

Link

GREAT ORMOND STREET GOES PUBLIC

Small and Special is a collection of resources relating to the early years of The Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street in London, England’s first in-patient children’s hospital. On this site you can search for patient records, learn about childhood diseases, or get information about a member of the medical staff.

Small and Special includes a database of patient admission records from the Hospital’s first in-patient in 1852 to the last admission in 1914; a collection of articles about the early history of the Hospital, and pen-portraits of the Hospital’s personalities; plus a gallery of images.

Link

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

WATCH YE SKIES!

National Genealogical Society Quarterly 95:2 (June 2007) mentions that a note by the rector of Langtree Parish in Devon, England in the parish register for 19 March 1718 states that, “About 8 in ye evening a great amazing meteor light was seen in ye air: an uncommon Thunder was heard and ye light separating about ye middle soon disappeared.”

National Genealogical Society

THE GOOD OLD DAYS?

Ozarks Genealogical Society Newsletter 30:6 (August 2007) reports on a June 2007 meeting of the Society at which Samantha Hammons discussed research she had done into Depression-era tuberculosis sanitariums. There was no cure for TB until 1943, when streptomycin became available. TB was therefore a leading cause of death prior to that time, killing on average 110,000 persons per year. Virginia had the highest TB death rate, and was the first state to build a sanitarium. It eventually had six such institutions- three white only and three for black VA residents. Samantha read from some letters sent by a TB sufferer in a sanitarium to her sister, in which the patient described her feeling of helplessness (and occasional happiness when she could get some fresh air and sunshine).

Link

IRAD AND PLATS FROM THE ARCHIVES, OH MY!

Illinois State Archives offers several publications of possible interest to Missouri genealogists. They are offering the Federal Township Plats, 1804-1891, for any Illinois county on CD-ROM for $20 per county postpaid. They are also selling A Summary Guide to Local Governmental Records in the Illinois Regional Archives, a 265 page book, for $6.00 postpaid. Interested? Send your check to Illinois State Archives, Norton Bldg, Publications Unit, Springfield, IL 62756 (payable to Secretary of State).

Link

Monday, November 12, 2007

MISSOURI FIRST FAMILY CERTIFICATES

Missouri First Family Certificates awarded for October 2007:

Name on certificate: Arla Gean WALLS FELTS of Memphis, TX

Pioneer Certificate: Ezekiel BUTCHER and Sarah M. EVANS BUTCHER
Ezekiel: b. 1800 in TN
d. probably 1859 in probably Wright Co., MO
Sarah: b 1898 in TN
d. after 1860 in Wright Co., MO
m. 21 January 1826 in Grainger Co., TN

Pioneer Certificate: David BUTCHER and Elizabeth CODAY BUTCHER
David: b. 20 March 1842 in TN
d. 11 April 1911 in Aquilla, Hill Co., TX
Elizabeth b. 1844/45 in Hartville, Wright Co., MO
d. 20 January 1915 in Tyson, Hill Co., TX

Pioneer Certificate: William CODAY, Sr. and Dorcas MOODY CODAY
William: b. 1810/11 in KY
d. before 13 May 1871 in Hartville, Wright Co. MO
Elizabeth: b. 1814/15 in TN
d. after 1871 in Hartville, Wright Co., MO
m. unknown

Pioneer Certificate: John CODAY and Elizabeth SUMMERS CODAY
John: b. c. 1775 in VA
d. before 1850
Elizabeth: b. 1783 in VA
d. after 1860 in Hartville, Wright Co., MO
m. 14 March 1809 in Clay Co., Kentucky

Pioneer Certificate: William Thomas Jefferson POTEET
William: b. 27 April 1856 in MO
d. 12 December 1897 in Bosque Co., TX
m. Dorcus Dethulia BUTCHER, 27 July 1882 in
McLennan Co., TX

Civil War Certificate/Missouri Unit: David BUTCHER; saw service in Co. G, 16th
Regt., Missouri Volunteers as a Private

Missouri First Families Certificate Program

FINDING YOUR FATHER'S WAR

If you have difficulty finding information about your father or grandfather's World War II Army service, a book published last year will help – Finding Your Father's War, A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II US Army by Jonathan Gawne, 2006, Casemate Publishing, ISBN 1-932033-14-9.

The author started searching for his father's war record after his father’s death. Earlier questions about the war had always resulted in his father saying he didn't remember. The author's journey resulted in this excellent reference work on individual and organizational records. Although the book lacks an index, the author's extensive use of appendices provides access to needed information. In his introduction, the author writes: "As a final piece of advice on how to try to learn more about World War II, my father once told me that all you have to do is read Ernie Pyle's stories and look at Bill Mauldin's cartoons." I would add to that advice, check out this excellent resource on the Army in WWII.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

MUDD FAMILY

The striking Mudd family monument in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis.



(Photo by Tom Pearson, MoSGA Newsletter Editor)

MOB JUSTICE IN MADISON COUNTY (IL)

The Stalker 27:2 (Summer 2007) features an interesting article on a tragic event that occurred in Collinsville, Illinois during World War I. A German-born bakery employee, Robert Paul Prager, had tried to enlist in the Navy and to get a job as a miner, but failed in both instances. The Navy turned him down because he was very near-sighted, the miners’ union because he was not an experienced miner. He apparently got into a shouting match with the miners’ union president that caused a fair amount of “bad blood.” During the altercation the union president called Prager (who had a noticeable German accent) a German spy and a liar. Prager responded with a written proclamation in which he denied being disloyal, and said that the miners’ union was “out to get” him because of his altercation with its president. For whatever reasons, on 5 April 1918 a mob (many of whom were miners, and many of whom had been imbibing at local taverns) grabbed Prager and marched him down the streets of Collinsville. The police and mayor made an attempt to shield him at City Hall, but armed officers failed to intervene when the mob came into the building and seized Prager yet again. After marching him outside city limits, and giving him time to write a brief farewell note, ten to twenty mob members hanged him while approximately 200 crowd members cheered their approval. The lengthy article by Elsie Wasser also includes information about the subsequent trial of alleged participants in the lynching.

TROUBLE IN TOMBSTONE?

If you are having trouble reading digital photos of tombstone inscriptions, get a photo editor program that allows you to convert color photos to black and white photos. You may then be able to read the inscriptions. It is even better if the photo editor allows you to adjust contrast, highlights, etc. FreewareGuide.com is a source of numerous free programs in many categories, including some photo editors. Programs are guaranteed to be virus, adware, spyware, and malware free, and in my experience have been, but I still check them with Norton Security Suite after downloading, just to be sure, and so should you (with whatever virus protection software you trust).

ANCESTRY.COM'S MILITARY RECORDS COLLECTION

If you haven’t heard about the recent updates to Ancestry.com’s U.S. Military Records Collection, you are in for quite a surprise! The collection now includes 700 record sets encompassing more than 90 million names! Record sets include at least some coverage for all states (and several foreign countries, including Canada), and there is at least some coverage for all of America’s wars through Vietnam. Accessing most record sets requires a subscription to Ancestry.com; a few can be accessed for free by anyone. If you don’t have a subscription, ask your local public library if it offers its cardholders free access to Ancestry.com. Some record sets of particular note that cover 20th century wars include:

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (38,387,110 records)
U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1893-1940 (10,320,171 records)
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 (8,369,212 records)
U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 (6,402,239 records)
U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (6,127,549 records)
WWI Civilian Draft Registrations (1,231,099 records)
WWII U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Muster Rolls, 1939-1949 (1,041,701)
Canadian Soldiers of World War I, 1914-1918 (598,682 records)
U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945 (357,086 records)
U.S. Army Personnel and Dependent Casualties, 1961-1981 (293,856 records)
Ohio Soldiers in WWI, 1917-1918 (248,539 records)
World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas (159,582 records)
World War II Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Casualties, 1941-1945 (150,715 records)
Korean War Casualties, 1950-1957 (143,603 records)

Link

Saturday, November 10, 2007

WWF, HANDLES GRIEF WELL...

Smoke Signals (June 2007) notes the unusual epitaph seen on a Vermont funeral card: “Sacred to the memory of my husband, John Barnes, who died January 3, 1880. His comely young widow, age 23, has many qualifications of a good wife, and yearns to be comforted.”

"HORRIBLE DEATH" OF A RAILROAD FIREMAN

Howard County Genealogical Society Newsletter 15:4 (December 2007) reprints an article from the Fayette Democrat-Leader about the "horrible death" of Wabash Railroad fireman Robert W. Thompson in September 1909. Thompson was a fireman on a Wabash freight train that had a head-on, full-speed collision with a passenger train. Both engine crews managed to jump ship and escape injury, but a passenger was killed and Fireman Thompson was trapped under the wrecked train. He remained conscious although badly injured, and carried on a conversation with his would-be rescuers, although he succumbed to his injuries before they could manage to free him from the wreckage. He left behind a wife and three-year-old daughter, and was buried at Big Springs Cemetery.

WINNING THE WAR AT HOME

Friends of the Missouri State Archives (Fall 2007) notes that Jay Antle, assistant professor of History at Johnson County (KS) Community College, will speak at the Archives on the use of posters to mobilize public support of the war effort during World War II. Date is December 13, 2007; time is 7 PM.

EUROPEAN AID TO THE CSA- A NEW ANGLE

It's one of those things that seem so obvious once you hear about it- the trick, of course, is being the first one to figure it out.

For many years, historians have attempted to figure out just what the European powers felt about the two sides in the American Civil War, and just how close various European countries came to providing military aid or diplomatic recogition to the Confederate States of America. The focus for years has been on writings of American and European diplomats, books by European military observers of both armies, and editorial comments in American and European newspapers.

Consider this, however- during the war, Confederate bonds (backed by gold) were traded in European bond markets such as Amsterdam. The future worth of CSA bonds would be determined, of course, by whether or not the South achieved independence. Bond traders are by nature a studious, skittish lot who carefully follow news about national and world politics, and national and world economies. If the "commodity" you study is the likelihood of Confederate independence, then you follow the war news closely, and buy or sell according to how likely or unlikely you feel the South's chances of gaining independence are at any given moment.

Some economists are now studying Confederate bond sales in Europe, with the goal of using this data to help form a more definitive consensus on the likelihood at various times during the war of European intervention.

Thanks to my friend, Cathy Tierney, for making me aware of this story!

Link

Friday, November 09, 2007

OSAGE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Folks with an interest in Osage County will want to visit the Osage County Historical Society website. Lots of great info, including listings of events, publications, and Osage County links of interest.

Link

GENIE BLOG FINDING MADE SIMPLE

You're reading this blog, so you've obviously got an interest in both genealogy and blogs. Is there an easy way to find other blogs that deal with genealogical topics?

Yes, there are actually several great ways to find other genealogy blogs. One of the easiest, however, is to visit The Genealogy Blog Finder. This site features 30 or so blog categories to help make it simple to find genie blogs of interest. One category is for Associations & Societies, but you're sure to find many blogs of interest in a number of categories.

Link

GOT GERMANS?

If you have German ancestry, you’ll want to take a look at German ORIGINality, a website for persons trying to track down German immigrant ancestors. It includes an interactive German Heritage Map that I think you’ll like:

Link

Thanks to Diane Walsh of St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society for this tip!

GOOD NEWS FROM THE WINDY CITY!

Hello, Genealogists-

I just wanted to spread the word about our new Chicago genealogy website, ChicagoAncestors.org.

It's an interactive map of Chicago on which we've plotted information of interest to genealogists and local historians. We first launched it in August at the FGS conference, but we've just added some new interactive features this week. Users can now add their own map points and add comments to others.

The software that we created for the map is open-source, so if other organizations are interested in creating a similar project for another locality, there is no licensing fee. Let me know if you have comments or questions.

Thanks-

Jack Simpson
Curator of Local and Family History
The Newberry Library
(312) 255-3671
email

THE SOUTH MAY RISE AGAIN, BUT SHERMAN'S NOT GOING ANYWHERE

General William Tecumseh Sherman is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis (his wife, Ellen, was a devout Catholic, and one of his sons was a Catholic priest). The General Sherman SUVCW Camp in St. Louis holds a graveside memorial there every February (General Sherman was born and died in February).



Sherman's little son, Willie, who died in 1863 of yellow fever contracted while visiting his father at Vicksburg, is also buried at Calvary, as are Sherman's wife, Ellen, and several other family members.



(Photos by Tom Pearson, MoSGA Newsletter Editor)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

OUR TOWN- KIRKSVILLE STYLE!

The Adair Historian 4:3 (Summer 2007) includes an article on “2007 Cemetery Theatre.” This event was held on the evenings of July 2nd and 3rd, 2007, at Kirksville. This cooperative effort of the Adair County Historical Society, Kirksville Chamber of Commerce, and the Curtain Call Theatre Group used actors to portray important persons buried in a Kirksville cemetery. The interesting twist- they did this while standing beside the grave in which that person is buried! Persons being portrayed included the first Union soldier killed in Adair County during the Civil War (Cpl. Harvey Dix), and a Confederate soldier executed the day after the Battle of Kirksville for parole violation (Pvt. John Kent). 200 persons paid $5.00 each to witness an evening’s performance.

DON'T BLAME SATAN: THERE'S A FUNGUS AMONG US!

Christian County (IL) Genealogical Society Quarterly 24:2 (Summer 2007) has an article on the Salem witch trials of 1692. The articles notes that several researchers are convinced that the troubles in Salem didn’t stem from witchcraft and devil worship, but rather from rye bread infected with the ergot fungus. Ergot poisoning, it seems, manifests symptoms much like those of the possessed girls at Salem: spastic movements without fainting; temporary blindness, deafness, and speechlessness; the sensation of being bitten or scratched; the sensation of flying through the air; and hallucinations. An examination of climactic, geographic, and agricultural conditions in Salem in the witch trials year and the year previous show conditions perfect for the development and spread of the ergot fungus.

WALLACE BEERY'S VISIT TO MAYSVILLE; CHICKEN RUSTLERS

DeKalb County Heritage 38:3 (September 2007) has an article on actor Wallace Beery’s visit to Maysville in 1936. There’s also an article about the two-year quest of Prosecutor C.R. Hewitt and Sheriff Vernon Campbell to recapture an escapee from the county jail. The convict, Roy Carney, had been doing hard time for chicken rustling when he and an accomplice managed to tunnel out of their cell and escape in a pouring rain. Hewitt and Campbell finally did nab the fugitive; he was found working on his sister’s farm in Oklahoma, and was apprehended and extradited back to DeKalb County to serve out his sentence (with some extra jail time tacked on because of the escape).

GENERAL JOSEPH O. SHELBY

Bushwhacker Musings 39:4 (1 October 2007) includes a story on efforts to erect a life-size statue of Missouri Confederate General Joseph O. Shelby in Waverly, Missouri. The organizers are trying to raise $120,000, a price that will pay for the equestrian statue, moving, site preparation, and landscaping. If you’d like to contribute, send your check to Waverly Citizens For Progress, P.O. Box 338, Waverly, MO 64096-0338. Organizers note that contributions are tax-deductible.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

GENEALOGY DATA-MINING MADE SIMPLE

Westward Into Nebraska 32:1 (August 2007) has an article called, “The Best Darn Genealogy Data Mining and Storage Method on the Planet.” The basic idea is that of Robert Ragan, who runs the AmberSkyline.com website. His idea: if you’ve got a word processor with a “Find” function on your computer, plus access to the Internet, you’re in business. What do you do? Simple- first make a “Surnames” folder in your “My Documents” area. Then create one file in “Surnames” for each of the major surnames you research- but keep it simple, since you’ll actually want as few surname files as possible.

What next? Go to a search engine and type in “Smith genealogy”- assuming Smith is the surname of interest (and use the quotes). Then, start checking sites and cut and paste pages of interest into your Smith file. Don’t forget to cut and paste the URL for that site immediately after that material in your file- you’ll probably also want to add the date that site was consulted. Do this again and again, since this file can continue to grow as long as your computer has unused memory available. Two hundred pages? No problem! One thousand pages? No problem! Copyright issues? None- this is your work file, strictly for research purposes and only available on your home computer!

How do you find stuff you’ve cut and pasted into this gi-normous file? With “Find”, of course. It’s under “Edit” in your top menu in WORD. How fast is “Find”? Really fast! Now, all the material you find in this way won’t pertain to your Smiths, of course- but some will. And the part that does pertain will always be easy to find!

Westward Into Nebraska is the very fine publication of the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society.

RECORDS OF THE FRISCO RAILROAD

Missouri Times 3:2 (August 2007) includes a story about the collection of records of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company (Frisco RR) that became the sole property of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Rolla on 17 March 2007. At that time, several restrictions on use of the records in the original agreement with the Frisco RR expired. The records include mainly top-level corporate records, for example minutes of the Board of Directors. A guide to the collection is available on the WHMC-Rolla website. Persons interested in Frisco RR employment records should check the Springfield-Greene County Library website. They have digitized Frisco employee magazines, employee registration cards, plus photos of engines, depots, and rolling stock.

Frisco RR
WHMC-Rolla

ANCESTRY PRESS

Kimberly Powell offers a look at Ancestry.com's new online publishing service, Ancestry Press, on her blog. She's impressed, but the advice offered includes an admonition: you'd better have a fast connection- dial-up just won't cut it with this new online service.

Link

GenDISASTERS.COM

Ever wonder if that "fire" the courthouse clerks claim destroyed that record of Grandma's birth you desperately need is just their way of getting to Happy Hour an hour earlier? Now you can check it out at GenDisasters.com, a web site that has a lengthy list of fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, meteorite strikes, marauding Yankees, rampaging Rebels, enraged Redcoats, etc., etc., that did damage to genealogical record repositories including county courthouses:

Link

VERY NICE LIST OF FAMILY HISTORY WEBSITES

Very nice list of frequently used genealogy web sites, organized alphabetically. Thanks to Kip Sperry for assembling this list I'm betting you will bookmark...

Link

NEW MAPS ONLINE AT NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND

The National Library of Scotland recently added more than 100 maps to its online collection--one of the ten largest library map collections in the world.

Visit the website to see the available maps.

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 7 November 2007, Vol. 10, No. 45.

SALT LAKE INSTITUTE OF GENEALOGY

Husband or wife still not sure what to get you for Christmas? At the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy you can learn in one week what would normally take years.

From 7-11 January 2008, expert genealogists will teach courses in American, Western U.S., Welsh, French, or Scandinavian research, plus Multimedia Publishing and Producing a Quality Family Narrative. There will also be a course especially for librarians who serve genealogists.

The institute is at the Radisson Hotel, just two blocks from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The early-bird registration discount ends 17 November.

For more information or to enroll online: Link

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 7 November 2007, Vol. 10, No. 45.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

4-GENERATION CHART SURNAME INDEX

Recently MoSGA has added an extensive surname index to its website. It is an index of all the surnames submitted on 4-generation charts by members since MoSGA was founded in 1979. Previously, these charts were published in nine volumes (200 charts per volume) and the volumes were available for sale. In order to make these charts available to a wider population, the collection was indexed and “put-up” on the MoSGA website. Each chart can be purchased for $5 by sending your order and check to:

Missouri State Genealogical Association
Attn: Publication Sales
P. O. Box 833
Columbia, MO 65205-0833

Monies received from sales of requested 4-generation charts are used to defray minor handling and mailing costs, with any balance used for preparing and uploading future databases.

The 4-Generation Chart Submission Program is currently a “member-only” privilege. Copies of blank 4-generation charts can be obtained by requesting them via email from the MoSGA Membership Chairman. Standard 4-generation pedigree charts can be used provided the submitter gives a short written permission statement that allows MoSGA to publish the contents of the chart. The submission can be from any contiguous 4-generation section of the member’s pedigree. If available, each named individual on the chart will have an accompanying birth date and place, marriage date, and death date and place. Submitters should also include their name, mailing and/or email address on the chart so that interested persons can contact them. We encourage all members, especially new ones, to submit their 4-generation charts for inclusion in the database.

Members need to check the index to verify that their charts are included in the database. A few charts have been lost over the 28 years since MoSGA’s inception, due in part to turnover of volunteer personnel. Should this be the case, we encourage you to resubmit your 4-generation chart, and it will be given indexing and uploading priority.

Currently there are over 28,000 names in the 4-generation chart database. We encourage non-members to join MoSGA so their 4-generation charts can be indexed and added to the database.

Where can members send their filled-in 4-generation charts? They can mail them to: Missouri State Genealogical Association, P.O. Box 833, Columbia, MO 65205-0833, or email scans of the charts here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

WILLETT FAMILY OF IRON COUNTY

Member Betty Willett Kalk of St. Louis sends us the following photo of Willett family members taken at Marble Creek in Iron County, Missouri (ca. 1925). We print it here because it's an interesting visual record of a Missouri rural family of that time period.

SHOW ME MISSOURI WINES

A Wine and Cheese Reception sponsored by the Missouri State Genealogical Association will take place on Tuesday evening, May 13, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Please join us as we welcome NGS Conference attendees to our great state and introduce them to award-winning Missouri wines.

Registration details will be forthcoming on the National Genealogical Society's web site.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

SUSAN E. BLOW (1843-1916)



(photo by Tom Pearson, MoSGA Newsletter Editor)


Susan Elizabeth Blow (1843-1916) is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis. She started the first public kindergarten in St. Louis, and ran it without pay for 16 years.

SHOW ME THE NATION'S RECORDS

National Genealogical Society Conference in the States and Family History Fair
14-17 May 2008
Hyatt Regency Crown Center
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Missouri is the place to be May 12-17, 2008 when the nation's genealogists gather for a week of special events and an outstanding conference. Lectures feature a wide variety of topics including homestead records, migration patterns, land records and DNA research.

The newly renovated Hyatt Regency Crown Center is the conference hotel. It is just minutes from downtown, the Country Club Plaza, and nearby theaters and dining. The room rate is $129 per night plus tax, up to four people in a room and is good from Sunday to Sunday. Make your room reservations now by calling 1-800-233-1234 or fax: 1-816-435-4190.

Mark your calendar for these very special events that will be associated with this most extraordinary conference:

Monday, May 12th – Research day at Mid-Continent's new Midwest Genealogy Center

Tuesday, May 13th – Research day at the National Archives – Kansas City Branch

Tuesday, May 13th – MoSGA's "Show Me Missouri Wines" evening reception at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center

Tuesday, May 13th – Historic sites tour in Independence and Kansas City

Wednesday, May 14th – Evening reception at Mid-Continent's new Midwest Genealogy Center

Thursday May, 15th – Evening reception at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City

Updates and registration information

The Missouri State Genealogical Association is a proud co-sponsor of the NGS Conference in the States.

FREE SALEM WITCHES DATABASE ON ANCESTRY.COM

Is there witch blood flowing in your veins (accused witch’s blood, to be more specific)? Ancestry.com has a database of New England’s accused witches. This a free access database, although you will need to register as a guest to make use of it.

“This historical database lists over 200 individuals accused of witchcraft in New England between 1647 and 1697. The scope of the list is limited to individuals who were formally accused and underwent a trial process in a town court proceeding. Be aware that many "accusations" took place on an informal basis or did not actually reach trial, hence these individuals would not be listed in the database. Though the database is entitled "Salem Witches" database, many of those listed in this collection were accused before or after the Salem trial in 1692 and resided in areas outside Salem, most notably Andover, Gloucester, Rowley, and other towns in Massachusetts, as well as towns in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine. The database lists the year the accused stood trial, first and last name, town or village where the trial took place, and the outcome of the trial (confession, acquittal, execution, escape, etc.).”

Link

Click Search, then under Search Resources in right-hand nav bar click Card Catalog. Type Salem Witches into the Title search box.

MAC ATTACK

This is for all the Mac users who’ve sneered at me for continuing to use Windows all these years. Your “rock-solid, totally secure” Mac may not be if you’ve been running the Leopard OS. Turns out a security firm is reporting that Leopard has a bad habit or resetting your firewall to “allow all incoming communications.” Yes, I know security firms like to sell their own “fixes” to computer “problems,” but do check your firewall settings to be certain that you and your Mac are not surfing “naked.” More at Digital Trends: Link

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT FROM NPRC!

This exciting announcement was made on October 22, 2007 by the National Personnel Records Center.

"The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) will open for the first time all of the individual Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) of Army, Army Air Corps, Army Air Forces, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard military personnel who served and were discharged, retired or died while in the service, prior to 1946. Contained in a typical OMPF are documents outlining all elements of military service, including assignments, evaluations, awards and decorations, education and training, demographic information, some medical information and documented disciplinary actions. Some records also contain photographs of the individual and official correspondence concerning military service. To view an original record, individuals may visit the NPRC Archival Research Room in St. Louis, MO. Telephone is 314-801-0850. Research room hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time Tuesday through Friday. Visitors are strongly encouraged to call ahead to make reservations. To obtain copies of records, customers may write to NPRC at 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132, fax a request to 314-801-9195, or submit a request here or on a Standard Form 180."

Link

UPCOMING EVENTS OF INTEREST

APRIL 2008

5 April 2008
Oklahoma City, OK - Reserve the date for the Spring Seminar of the Oklahoma Genealogical Society. The event will be a special all-day seminar devoted to Military Research, conducted by Craig R. Scott, CG., a leading expert in the field. and will be held at the Oklahoma History Center, 2401 N. Laird Ave, across from the state capitol, Oklahoma City. Pre-registration strongly advised.  Link

11-12 April 2008
Eau Claire WI - The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society's 2008 Gene-A-Rama will be held Friday and Saturday, 11-12 April 2008, at the Plaza Hotel Suites & Conference Center in Eau Claire. The featured speaker will be Maureen A. Taylor.  Link

26 April 2008
Topeka KS - The Topeka Genealogical Society Conference featuring speaker Megan Smolenyak will take place at the Kansas History Center in Topeka from 7:45 AM to 4:00 PM. For details, contact Nora Patton Taylor or call 785-286-1606 after 6 p.m. CTS.

MAY 2008

14 - 17 May 2008
Kansas City MO - NGS Conference and Family History Fair.  MoSGA is a co-sponsor of this fantastic event.  Link

"Originally published in UpFront with NGS, The Online Newsletter of the National Genealogical Society." 

NARA DIGITIZATION PLAN

-- Draft NARA Digitizing Plan: Comments of Missouri Genealogists Needed Urgently!

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is inviting Missouri genealogists to suggest documents that should be digitized. Everyone who would like to see wider access to NARA's records should email their suggestions to Vision@nara.gov. The deadline for public comment is November 9. This is your chance to make your wishes known. Decisions made in the planning stage will impact our access to key records for years to come. You can read the draft plan here.

Here is the text of NARA's invitation to you.

Dear Genealogist:

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is seeking public comment on its draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. This draft plan outlines our planned strategies to digitize and make more accessible the historic holdings from the National Archives of the United States. A copy of the draft is available here.

The document is divided into several sections. The first section, INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND, provides information on NARA's mission, our archival holdings, and our past experience with digitization, to give you the context of the draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. Section II, PLAN OVERVIEW, describes our planned goals, activities, and priorities for digitization. Sections III through V provide listings of current digitization activities being carried out by NARA and through partnerships to digitize and make available archival materials. Appendix A contains draft operating principles that we are using as we enter into partnerships and Appendix B references relevant NARA guidance that applies to handling of archival materials being digitized and the technical guidelines for image creation and description. NARA in particularly wants your comments on Sections II, III, V, and Appendix A.

It is important that we receive as much public input on this plan as possible so that our plans adequately reflect the needs of the public.

Comments are due to NARA by: November 9, 2007. Send comments here or by fax to 301-837-0319

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Please forward this e-mail to any other genealogist that you may know.

Harold McClendon
Mount Vernon Genealogical Society
Publicity Chairman

"Originally published in UpFront with NGS, The Online Newsletter of the National Genealogical Society.”

MoSGA HAS A BLOG!

On November 3rd, 2007, the MoSGA Board of Directors authorized the creation of an official weblog for the association.  Our reasons for doing so include but are not limited to the following:

1. Ability to quickly post timely items that should immediately be brought to the attention of Board members/general members/the public.

2. Ability to post items of interest that can't be squeezed into the newsletter due to lack of space.

3. Promote MoSGA events/publications in one more (free) forum.

4. Serve as one more way the public can discover MoSGA and possibly become members of our association.

5. Get feedback quickly from members/general public about issues of interest to genealogists generally and MoSGA members in particular.

We welcome your comments about posts on this weblog, and also welcome your news about Missouri genealogical societies, genealogical talks and programs, family history books, family reunions, and other news items about genealogical topics that may be of interest to Missouri genealogists (just click Contact Us in the left-hand column of this blog).  You can help make this blog a success, and we thank you for reading and subscribing to our blog!