Thursday, January 31, 2008


You can do a search of federal land patents on the Bureau of Land Management GLO website:

The Official Federal Land Records Site

From their website:

"Welcome to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site. We provide live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States. We also provide image access to more than three million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908. Images of Serial patents (land titles issued between 1908 and the mid-1960's) have been added to this web site. Images related to survey plats and field notes, dating back to 1810, are added to the site state-by-state as each state's documents are completed. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States.

Federal Land Patents

This site offers researchers a source of information on the initial transfer of land titles from the Federal government to individuals. In addition to verifying title transfer, this information will allow the researcher to associate an individual (Patentee, Assignee, Warrantee, Widow, or Heir) with a specific location (Legal Land Description) and time (Issue Date). For the beginner genealogist, we offer these additional resources.

Obtain certified copies of land patents

With our on-line shopping cart, users may request certified copies of land patents electronically or through the mail. To search for land patents, click on Search Land Patents on the menu near the top of the page. A series of pages will guide you through viewing and ordering land patents.

Federal Survey Plats and Field Notes

Survey plats, a recent addition to this web site, were the official survey documentation used when land title was transferred (via a land patent) from the Federal government to individuals. The survey plats are the graphic drawing of the boundaries created by each survey and contain the official acreage used in the legal description of the public lands. Plats are critical historic documents that can help researchers locate the land referenced in a land patent's legal land description (i.e. Meridian, Township, Range, and Section/Block).

New! Field notes are now being added to the web site. Field notes describe the survey performed by the surveyors and in some instances include the names of settlers living in the area surveyed, and a variety of descriptions of land information found at the time of survey.

For more information about surveys, plats, and field notes, start with our overview."


Did you know that the federal government (the Bureau of Land Management, to be exact) runs an Adopt a Wild Burro program (wild horses are also included in the program)? The government has been so successful at managing herds of wild burros / horses that size of herds in some areas exceeds the foraging capacity of that management area. In that case, the BLM captures excess animals and makes them available for adoption or sale to good, humane homes. Interested? If you've got room to roam on your farm or ranch, and think you can make room in your heart for a wild ass (or wild horse), you can get more information here:



Steve Morse has created a one-step search of the records of Dachau Concentration Camp:



Mascoutah City Cemetery is hot off the presses!

This book contains 168 pages, 143 of which inventory the Mascoutah (IL) City Cemetery. A 4-page plat map of the cemetery is included. There are over 6,600 city cemetery burials listed in this publication, which also includes the inventories of the Brisacker, Perrin/Home and Schnebelin family Cemeteries.

This inventory was begun many years ago by then St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society Research Chair and Mascoutah resident, the late Mary Sauerhage. Over the past four years, Martha Mae Schmidt and Teri Bromley have not only surveyed the city records and inventoried each tombstone, but have also researched other records to compile (and verify) the most accurate accumulation of burials in the city cemetery ever assembled.

This long-awaited, highly anticipated book is now available from the St. Clair County Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 431, Belleville, IL 62222-0431 for $12.00 postpaid. Order yours while they last (cash or check or money order payable to SCCGS accepted)!


If you're not seeing news about meetings, events, and publications of your Missouri, western Illinois, northern Arkansas, eastern Kansas and Nebraska, or southern Iowa genealogical society posted on this blog, it's only because you are not sending your news to us! We would be glad to post it, but we can't post news about events and publications we never hear about.

Contact us here

BTW, if you are hosting a family reunion in any of the above areas, or have published a family history that deals in some way with Missouri families, we would be glad to post that news, too! Just send it to us at the email address above. Thanks, and thanks for reading MoSGA Messenger!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


William Roger Holman is an orphan who made good: after living in three orphanages, numerous foster homes, and answering to at least six different names, he received an education and became a librarian, director of the Center for the Humanities at the University of Texas-Austin, and a publisher of prize-winning books. Oh, and he’s an accomplished sailor who has sailed solo to Bermuda.

Now, at age 82, he’s published an autobiography in which he tells his admittedly complicated life story, although he’s still working out some of the details even now:



If your family history starts in any of these ways, maybe you need another hobby, like lion taming or gator wrestling:

Chris Dunham of offers up the ten worst ways to begin a family history:



News from the LDS Church:

“SALT LAKE CITY-- 28 January 2008. Funeral services for President Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who died Sunday evening, will be held this Saturday, February 2, in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

The proceedings will be broadcast via satellite in 69 languages to over 6,000 Church buildings globally. Brigham Young University's BYU Television will also broadcast the funeral internationally.”


KENTUCKY SOLDIERS & GEORGIA SLAVES has temporarily reduced the price on this book:

Revolutionary Soldiers in Kentucky

"In addition to a roll of the officers of the Virginia Line who received land bounties in Kentucky, this work includes a roll of the Revolutionary pensioners in Kentucky, a list of the Illinois Regiment that served under George Rogers Clark in the Northwest Campaign, and a roster of the Virginia Navy--amounting to about 6,500 individuals. The important roll of pensioners, alphabetically arranged under each county, contains about 3,000 names, with rank or grade, state they served from, character of service, act under which they were beneficiaries, date they were placed on the rolls, and their ages."
Was $22.50 Now $16.50

LINK has also temporarily reduced the price on this book:

1850 Census of Slave Owners for the State of Georgia

"This census of slave owners is arranged alphabetically by the surname of the slave owner. The census gives his/her full name, number of slaves owned, and county of residence. It is one of the great disappointments of the ante-bellum U.S. population census that the slaves themselves are not identified by name--rather, merely as property owned. Nevertheless, now that Mr. Cox has made the names of these Georgia slave owners with their aggregations of slaves more widely available, it just might be possible that more persons with slave ancestors will be able to trace them via other records (property records, for example) pertaining to the 37,000 slave owners enumerated here."
Was $31.50 Now $23.50



Genealogy Pointers is a free weekly e-newsletter from It contains new product alerts, special offers, and tips. If you sign up for the newsletter now, you can subtract 20% from your first order from their online catalog of more than 2,000 books and CDs. There's also an archive of past weekly newsletters (tips only) that dates back to 4 July 2006.


The following item is available now from

Format: Paper; Pages: xx + 246 pp.
Published: 2003; Reprinted: 2008
Price: $19.95; ISBN: 9780806317830
Item #: GPC886

"Write the family history? Sure. Sounds like a good idea. Maybe you've started, but for some reason your enthusiasm to keep going wanes. You keep getting writer's block, or you can't figure out how you're going to cover all those generations in one book and make it interesting.

Most family historians agree that research is the fun part. But to actually sit down and write a family history is-- OK-- scary. And hard. And overwhelming at times. Besides, you're sure your family will be enthralled with all those names, dates, and places you've gathered, right? Unfortunately, I doubt it...

Unless, that is, you creatively write your family's history as a story. You know: one that grabs the reader's attention from the opening paragraph; one that has a beginning, a middle, and an end; one that has suspense, humor, and maybe even some romance; one with real "characters" that readers love and hate; but one that is completely nonfiction, with every fact cited and supported by what you've found in your research. A family history your family can't put down. A page turner. Yep. That's the kind of family history narrative I'm talking about. And you can write one just like that.

It's time to get started. Don't be nervous. You can make this family history happen. You have the enthusiasm, the motivation, the research, and, once you've read this book, the know-how and guidance to write your family history. So what are you waiting for? Let's get going!

Sharon Carmack shows you how to produce a genealogy you'll be proud of in YOU CAN WRITE YOUR FAMILY HISTORY. To view sample pages or to purchase a copy, please click here."

It's also vailable from via the MoSGA Online Book Store.


Diane Walsh of St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society offered some good advice on the IL-ST. CLAIR COUNTY list serve recently on finding burial information in St. Clair County for non-residents and residents alike. It’s pretty good advice (if you change library / genealogical society info to reflect the appropriate county) for finding burial info for ancestors in other places as well.

“A good rule of thumb for ancestors who moved away from an area is to check for an obituary in that area (hoping of course that relatives remained there and a notice was published). It helps to know who an ancestor's siblings were and where they lived during the ensuing years (gather possibilities from census and marriage index). The closer a death is to the 20th century, the more likely you'll find info.

For Germans, page through the German-language newspapers anytime you have a solid date or short time-span for death-- these are 'newsier', and therefore more likely to give the German town of birth. In the early 1880s, either the deceased's name, or the German words for death/died (Todesfall or 'starb' for example) is the headline, so death notices are easier to pick out. All microfilmed Illinois newspapers can be loaned from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library (Springfield, IL) to a library near you through your library's interlibrary loan (free within Illinois; inquire for elsewhere).

The Belleville (IL) Public Library has many newspaper obituary indexes in 3x5 card files; CD-ROM indexes to Belleville obits; and various book publications county-wide (a few of which are on the SCCGS website).

The SCCGS website also hosts a surname index to county burials in over 140 cemeteries-- excluding Walnut Hill, Belleville's city cemetery; Green Mount [non-sectarian]; and Catholic cemeteries.

SCCGS members are currently transcribing Green Mount [non-sectarian] cemetery - watch the website for publication release date.

For those interested in many more St. Clair resources for all types of record groups, consider purchasing the book guide."

Diane Walsh

To subscribe to the IL-ST. CLAIR COUNTY list, please send an email to with the word 'subscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message.


A Lake Family Reunion will be held in conjunction with the sesquicentennial celebration of the Ralls County (MO) Courthouse this summer. The reunion will focus primarily on descendants of Daniel Lake, b. ca 1771 (New London area), however, all Lake lines are welcome.

The reunion will be held 25-27 July 2008. Please contact Jack Lake Revare for further details. PO Box 11453, Shawnee Mission, KS. 66207.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


A recent Christian Science Monitor article profiles an accounting professor at Cornell University, Robert Bloomfield, who is taking a close look at virtual worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft to see if real-world laws of supply and demand appear to hold sway there just like in the real world:



A distinguished professor of archaeology at Cambridge University warns that looting of ancient cemeteries and burial grounds in Iraq and elsewhere to satisfy the demands of museums and private collectors is robbing geneticists and anthropologists (and the rest of us) of the chance to learn more about human origins:



An exhibit at the Barbados Museum enumerates the horrors of the slave trade throughout 2008, the bicentennial anniversary of the abolition of the international trade in human beings:


GETTING SPECIFIC WITH VIRTUAL BLOODHOUNDS shows you how to narrow search results with genealogy-specific search engines:


Monday, January 28, 2008


Most library users have little notion of the quantity and variety of maps owned by large public and academic libraries, because sheet maps are so often not included in the institution's public catalog. Here for your edification is a list of the many types of map owned by St. Louis Public Library:

Maps in the Collection of St. Louis Public Library

Note: Some maps can be copied; others are so large / so fragile that copying is not possible. Some of these maps can be checked out by SLPL cardholders; others must be used in the Library. Need more information? Contact Joseph Winkler, our maps expert!

Listings note types of map available, and location within the Library.

1:100,000 scale USGS [U.S. Geologic Survey] Maps- Map Room

1:125,000 scale USGS Maps (ca. 1890s- incomplete)- Map Room

1:24,000 scale USGS Maps- Map Room

1:250,000 scale USGS Maps- Map Room

1:500,000 scale USGS Maps (covers entire state of Missouri)- Map Room

1:62,500 scale USGS Maps (ca. 1930s- incomplete) - Map Room

1:63,360 scale USGS Maps (Alaska only)- Map Room

Atlases in book form- HG Dept.

Atlases in book form- Stacks

CIA Base Maps, most major countries- HG Dept.

Country Maps (current), most countries- HG Dept.

FEMA Flood Insurance Maps (metro-area)- Map Room

Foreign Cities (major)- HG Dept.

Foreign topos of genealogically significant places- HG Dept.

Geologic Maps (some coverage)- Map Room

Illinois (current) 7.5 minute USGS Maps (metro-area)- HG Dept.

Illinois metro-area topos (older)- Map Room

Missouri (current) 7.5 minute USGS Maps- HG Dept.

Missouri County Highway Maps (current)- HG Dept.

Missouri metro-area topos (older)- Map Room

National Park Service Maps of NPS Lands- HG Dept.

NIMA Special Series Maps (JOGs, ONCs, TPCs, etc.)- Map Room

Older maps (miscellaneous)- Map Room

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps (microfilm)- HG Dept.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps (paper)- Special Collections Dept.

Street Maps (current), larger US cities- HG Dept.

Topographic Maps (indexes)- HG Dept.

USDA Forest Service Maps- Map Room


From the website:

This guide is intended to describe to potential researchers both the archival holdings of the South Dakota State Archives, and other information sources regarding the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota. It was initially a guide only to the collections of the South Dakota State Archives. However, it became apparent that a guide to primary sources for Indian research in the state should include tribal organizations and federal repositories. Thus the guide includes tribal enrollment offices, BIA realty offices, tribal colleges and universities, other South Dakota resource facilities, and some non-South Dakota facilities.



From their website:

For Genealogists

The South Dakota State Archives features three main indexes for genealogists including: Naturalization Index, Newspaper Index, and Newspaper Vital Records Index. These sites will help researchers looking to complete their family tree.

For Researchers

Links found at our site will connect you with other resources available through the State Archives website. The State Archives has several links to help amateur and professional researchers in their scholarly endeavors.

For Teachers

This site will provide teachers with information on History Day, scheduling class research at the archives, ideas for creating lesson plans, working with primary documents in the classroom, and topics for projects.

About The Archives

The archives staff will assist you with research needs. The archives collects government and manuscript materials, along with photographs, maps, and other historic materials. Preservation supplies can also be purchased on our website.

Archive News

Read the latest news from the State Archives. The archives staff do several projects that are highlighted throughout the state. You can also find more information concerning Archives Week, Staff Presentations, and Press Releases.

SD State Archives
900 Governors Dr.
Pierre, SD 57501-2217
phone: 605-773-3804
fax: 605-773-6041


At least one author thinks so, and he offers compelling reasons why you should agree with him. What are they, in a nutshell?

1. Spammers and phishers have made the use of email annoying and time-consuming, and it’s only going to get worse.
2. Email user attempts to avoid getting spam mean that many emails that users would actually like to see don’t get through because of spam blockers.
3. Phishing attempts get more sophisticated and harder to see through as consumers learn to recognize the traditional hallmarks of a phishing email.
4. Email users will sometime soon be limited in the number of emails they can send / receive for free, in the same way that cell phone use is monitored and billed by the supplier.
5. RSS [Real Simple Syndication] (which only 20% of Internet users currently avail themselves of) offers an easy way for companies / societies to send content they want, and for users to get only content they request.
6. RSS will kill email, because it’s easy to use, free, easier for companies / societies to embed content they want in an RSS feed than in an email, and users can select the content they wish to receive.

Want the whole story?


Sunday, January 27, 2008


End of Watch: Chicago Police Killed in the Line of Duty, 1853-2006
by Edward M. Burke & Thomas J. O'Gorman
Chicago's Neighborhoods, Inc., 2006. $50.00

From the publisher's blurb:

"This book examines the remarkable sacrifice of 526 sworn officers of the Chicago Police Department. Throughout the book's 300+ pages and more than 600 photographs, there are detailed narratives of each officer and the circumstances involved in their deaths. The book traces the heroic history of Chicago's finest with accounts of each episode drawn from municipal records, police files, contemporaneous newspapers, court documents and ground breaking research."

Buy a copy at

Find it in a library at


Would-be thieves in the Solomon Islands sawed a Japanese war memorial from its base, carted it off a short distance, then simply left it when they realized it was too heavy to steal. Authorities think the thieves had planned to carve it up to sell as scrap metal. They've had cases before where thieves try to sell unexploded bombs and shells as scrap metal, but never anything on as massive a scale as this incident. You can find the full story in the Sydney Morning Herald:



What are the FamilySearch Indexing people up to? See a list of their current projects here:


Ready to volunteer your services? Go here:



The website of the St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society provides a listing of the Table of Contents for every Quarterly ever published by the Society (Volume I, 1978, through Volume 30, 2007):



They're located in the old PX Building on the grounds of Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. They're already doing good work. I helped them this past May with Civil War Days, a four-day living history extravaganza during which we gave presentations on Civil War infantry & artillery weapons, flags, medicine, and the history of Jefferson Barracks to 2,000 middle-schoolers from Rockwood School District.

From their website:

"The Missouri Civil War Museum Needs You!

If you are, or consider yourself to be; a Civil War buff, a Civil War enthusiast, a Civil War historian, a Civil War re-enactor, or if you are a descendant of a Missouri Civil War veteran, you owe it to them and yourself to get involved now and support this initiative. We are striving to build what will become Missouri's largest and finest Civil War museum, library and educational center that is dedicated and devoted exclusively to the memory of our fallen Missouri Civil War ancestors. Get involved today and become a member of The Missouri Civil War Museum and help build this lasting tribute to them.

View our Membership Page"

Saturday, January 26, 2008


It’s probably fair to say that few people want to live in a police state like the former East Germany or the former Soviet Union-- on the other hand, the East German Secret Police kept records like nobody’s business:

“It was discovered that the Stasi had generated enough paper to fill 100 miles of shelves, and it indexed and cross-referenced 5.6 million names in its central card catalog.”

When the East German state collapsed, Stasi agents managed to destroy about five percent of their handiwork, some with machine shredders and some by hand, before they were stopped by ordinary East Germans. Five percent probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you realize that the Stasi were busy little Commie beavers who created close to a BILLION pages of records: NOW are you impressed? The agency now in charge of Stasi records has figured out a way to reconstruct hand-torn records using scanners. They’ve also opened up their records to requests from curious former East Germans; in 15 years of operations, 1.7 million have asked what dirt Grosse Deutsche Bruder had on them:



We've all got to-do lists; what better time to start adding some of those tasks to the ACCOMPLISHED pile than the first month of a New Year?



Yes, they've started a blog-- it's being written by Carolyn Barkley, a retired librarian, genealogical researcher, and indexer. First post is called "Small World of the 17th Century."



Bevin Alexander thinks it was:

How the South Could Have Won the Civil War: The Fatal Errors That Led to Confederate Defeat
by Bevin Alexander
Crown Publishing Group (NY), 2007. $25.95
ISBN 9780307345998

From the publisher's blurb:

“Could the South have won the Civil War?

To many, the very question seems absurd. After all, the Confederacy had only a third of the population and one-eleventh of the industry of the North. Wasn't the South's defeat inevitable?

Not at all, as acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander reveals in this provocative and counterintuitive new look at the Civil War. In fact, the South most definitely could have won the war, and Alexander documents exactly how a Confederate victory could have come about--and how close it came to happening.

Moving beyond fanciful theoretical conjectures to explore actual plans that Confederate generals proposed and the tactics ultimately adopted in the war's key battles, "How the South Could Have Won the Civil War" offers surprising analysis on topics such as:

-How the Confederacy had its greatest chance to win the war just three months into the fighting--but blew it
-How the Confederacy's three most important leaders--President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson--clashed over how to fight the war
-How the Civil War's decisive turning point came in a battle that the Rebel army never needed to fight
-How the Confederate army devised--but never fully exploited--a way to negate the Union's huge advantages in manpower and weaponry
-How Abraham Lincoln and other Northern leaders understood the Union's true vulnerability better than the Confederacy's top leaders did
-How it is a myth that the Union army's accidental discovery of Lee's order of battle doomed the South's 1862 Maryland campaign
-How the South failed to heed the important lessons of its 1863 victory at Chancellorsville

"How the South Could Have Won the Civil War" shows why there is nothing inevitable about military victory, even for a state with overwhelming strength. Alexander provides a startling account of how a relatively small number of tactical and strategic mistakes cost the South the war--and changed the course of history.”

$17.13 on

Or see if a library near you has a copy:


BBC News Online is reporting that one thousand people have volunteered to have their genomes mapped in a major effort to understand how genes influence disease and heredity. Thus far, only a handful of humans have had their genomes mapped (distinguished scientists Craig Venter and DNA co-discoverer James Watson are notable examples).

Teams here, in the UK, and in China say the project will create the most extensive and potentially useful catalog ever of genetic variation. Since any two humans are genetically more than 99 percent identical, the slight variations may be the key to understanding why some people get certain diseases while others don’t.

Current limited catalogs of human genetic variation have provided scientists and doctors with knowledge of more than 100 regions of the genome (sum total of genetic material within a particular living thing). Increased knowledge of these regions of the genome may help researchers explain susceptibilities to diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly provide vaccines / gene therapies that prevent or cure these ailments.



The latest MIT Open Courseware newsletter (January 2008) is available on their website. It announces their new Highlights for High School, which may interest high schoolers, parents of said students, and teachers of the same:


“Highlights for High School is a resource for both high school students and teachers, designed to help students study STEM topics, and to get them excited about science, math, and technology. The site features multimedia resources to help students and teachers with AP Calculus, Physics, and Biology, as well as demonstrations, labs, and an introduction to the college curriculum at MIT. Just one example of how Highlights is already making a difference: A teacher in Miami is using Biology materials to reach underachieving youth using video and other rich media to reach students who haven’t been responding to more traditional classroom pedagogy.

How are you using the site?

We would love to hear from teachers, students and administrators how they are using the Highlights for High School website to enrich their teaching and learning. Please send us your feedback.”


Annals of Methodism in Missouri
Adela Riek Scharr Collection

The Biographical Directory of Railway Officials Index
Boo's Directory of St. Louis County, MO. (1909)
The Book of Missourians
Bounty and Public Land Claims, 1788-1855: a Selected Bibliography of Books in the Collection of St. Louis Public Library

A Century of Enterprise: St. Louis, 1894--1994
City of St. Louis Collector of Revenue
City of St. Louis License Collector's Information
City of St. Louis Personnel Resources
The Civil War in Missouri: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography
Celebrating the Louisiana Purchase: The 1904 World's Fair
Confederate Veteran- Regimental Index (1893-1932)

The Days and Nights of the Central West End
Divided State: Missouri Military Organizations in the Civil War
* 1st - 5th Regiments
* 6th - 25th Regiments
* 26th - 60th Regiments
* 60th - 89th Regiments
* A - L Regiments
* M - Z Regiments

Edwards' Great West
Employees at Black St. Louis Public Schools, 1925-1955

The Forest City
Forgotten Missourians Who Made History
Four Wheels, No Brakes
Fraternal & Benevolent Societies in St. Louis
* A - K
* L - W
Free Men and Women of Color in St. Louis City Directories, 1821-1860
Funeral Homes/Parlours/Chapels/Undertakers

Genealogical Records of the War of 1812: an Introduction and Selected Bibliography of Materials in the Collection of St. Louis Public Library
A Grand Heritage: A History of Southside Neighborhoods
The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis (1896)
Greatest of Expositions: the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair (1975 ed.)

History of Carondelet
A History of St. Louis City and County
History of St. Louis County
History of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
* A-I
* J-Q
* R-Z
History of the St. Louis Fire Department, with a review of great fires and sidelights upon the methods of fire-fighting from ancient to modern times, from which the lesson of the vast importance of having efficient firemen may be drawn
Hyde's Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis
* Surnames A-L
* Surnames M-Z

Index to Names in the Annual Reports of the Coroner of Saint Louis, Missouri, For the Years 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1897
Inventions and Patents of African-Americans - 19th Century
Inventions and Patents of African-Americans - 20th Century
IRAD (Illinois Regional Archives Depository) County Record Files Which Pertain Specifically to Civil War Soldiers

J. C. Strauss Portrait Collection
The Jewish Almanac Community Register 1924-1925

Kinloch: Yesterday, Today,& Tomorrow
Kirkwood, Missouri: The Greentree City

Landlocked Sailors: U.S. Navy Civil War Volunteer Officers From Midwestern States
Lasting Impressions: German-Americans in St. Louis
Laws of the City of St. Louis Government

Maps of Missouri
Materials on the Media in St. Louis Area Library and Archive Collections
Men of Affairs in Saint Louis
Missouri Civil War Skirmishes, Battles & Engagements
Missouri Civil War Union Militia Organizations
Missouri Men and Women of Science: a Biographical Directory
Missouri Men Who Served in Illinois Civil War Regiments
* Surnames A-L
* Surnames M-Z
Missouri Men Who Served in Kansas Civil War Regiments
Missouri Women in Political Life, 1972-1993
The Modern View: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (1925)
Mound City Chronicles

Negro Leagues Ballplayers Who Played for the St. Louis Stars or the St. Louis Giants, 1910-1943
Notable Women of St. Louis
Noted Guerrillas, or the Warfare of the Border

Official Catalogue of Louisiana Purchase Exposition Exhibitors: Libral Arts & Industrial Catagories (1904)
Old and New St. Louis

Portraits of Missouri and Illinois Civil War Union Officers
Press Club Courier (1994-1999)
Profiles in Silhouette: Contributions of Black Women of Missouri

Reports to the St. Louis Medical Society on Yellow Fever
Riverfront Times (1996-1998)
Roster of Men Who Served in Missouri Civil War Union Regiments Living in Nebraska in 1915
Roster of War of 1812 Missouri Militia Officers

The Saint Louis Irish
The Sidewalks of St. Louis: Places, People, and Politics of an American City
Slavery, Rebellion, and Reconstruction: a Selected, Annotated Bibliography
Soldiers of the Great War: St. Louis' WWI Army Dead
The Spanish-American War: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography
St. Louis African-American Biography Master Index
St. Louis American (1996-1998 newspaper)
St. Louis Area Cemeteries
St. Louis Argus Obituary Index
St. Louis and Missouri Authors
St. Louis Artists
* A-I
* J-R
* S-Z
St. Louis Businesses, 1890s
St. Louis by the Numbers
St. Louis Cemetery Lists and Death Registers, 1764-1999: a Selected, Annotated Bibliography of Materials
in the Collection of St. Louis Public Library
St. Louis City and St. Louis County Physicians Directory (1894)
St. Louis City and St. Louis County Vietnam War Dead
St. Louis Civil War Era Newspapers, 1861-1865
St. Louis Coffinmakers and Undertakers, 1859-1879
St. Louis: Its Neighborhoods And Neighbors, Landmarks And Milestones
St. Louis Mayors
St. Louis Mayors (1823-2001)
St. Louis Media Archives: Guide to Collections
St. Louis Memories and the '50's in St. Louis
St. Louis Newspapers on Microfilm in the Collection of St. Louis Public Library, 1808-2000
St. Louis Obituary Index
St. Louis Public Library Salutes Adela Riek Scharr
St. Louis Public Library's Photographic Collections
St. Louis Public Library's Resources for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
St. Louis Street Index
St. Louis: The Fourth City, 1764-1909
St. Louis: The Future Great City Of The World
St. Louis Woman's Biography: A Master Index
State and Federal Benefit Payments to and Land Grant Programs for U. S. Military Veterans, 1775-1966: a Chronology
State Archives Confederate Civil War Military Records Not in the Holdings of the National Archives

This is Our Saint Louis
A Tour of St. Louis
Two Hundred Years of St. Louis Places of Worship- 1770 - 1970

The Universal Exposition of 1904

Valley Trust Magazine (1926-1931)

Weapons Issued to Missouri Union Militia Organizations by the Missouri Quartermaster General, 1862-1865
Who's Who Biographical Record: School District Officials
Who's Who in North St. Louis
Who's Who in Railroading and Rail Transit
Who's Who in the Central States, 1929
Who's Who of American Women
Woman's Who's Who of America
World's Fair Bulletin, 1899-1905


Following is a list I put together of finding aids (some are card indexes, some are book guides) available at various Missouri archives and other record repositories. It is not a complete list of all finding aids available at these institutions: check their respective websites for a more thorough inventory of available materials. If you have a question about a finding aid, or would like someone to check a finding aid for you, please contact the institution in question.

MSA- Missouri State Archives
SHSM- State Historical Society of Missouri (
SLPL- St. Louis Public Library
WHMC- Western Historical Manuscripts Collections


GENEALOGY CARD FILE: Thousands of cards with references to families and other genealogical subjects mentioned in books and periodicals (SLPL).

GENEALOGY VERTICAL FILE: Various family group sheets, pedigree charts, and family histories of less than book-length in manuscript format (SLPL).


HERALDRY CARD INDEX: Index to crests shown in various books and periodicals (SLPL).

INDEX TO ABSTRACTS OF ENTRIES OF U.S. LAND SALES, vols. 1-25: Alpha by name for each volume (MSA).

INDEX TO THE MINUTES OF THE 1st AND 2nd BOARDS OF LAND COMMISSIONERS, 1805-1812, 1832-1835: Alpha by name (MSA).

INDEX TO MISCELLANEOUS MISSOURI LAND SALES: French and Spanish land grants; bounty lands; savannah land grants; alpha by name (MSA).

INDEX TO MISSOURI COUNTY MATERIALS: Card catalog lists typed, mimeographed, and printed county records (SHSM) .

INDEX TO MISSOURI MILITIA, 1865-1866, vols. 1-21: Alpha by name for each volume (MSA).






INVENTORY OF MISCELLANEOUS MILITARY RECORDS: Includes Confederate Home and pensions; muster rolls; hospital registers; Union descriptive rolls; exemptions; hospital deaths, 1861-1866; militia enrollment lists, 1865-1866; and World War I claims (MSA).



LOUSIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION EPHEMERA FILES: Various fliers, guidebooks, tickets, and other paper items collected for the most part at the time of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair (SLPL).


MISSOURI CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS CARD FILE: About 2,500 Confederates referenced in a variety of historical sources (SHSM) .

MISSOURI COUNTY RECORDS ON MICROFILM: By county, then by type of record (MSA).

MISSOURI DAR COLLECTION INDEXES: Card catalog references appr. 1,000 DAR record books (SHSM).


MISSOURI PERIODICAL CARD INDEXES: Indexes for Missouri Historical Review; Missouri Life; and SHSM Bulletin (SHSM) .




MISSOURI STATE ARCHIVES INDEX: On 13 rolls of microfilm (SHSM).

MISSOURI SURNAME INDEX: Card catalog with 350,000+ references to persons in county histories, biographies, periodicals, newspapers, etc (SHSM) .

NEWSPAPER INDEXES: Search by city/town; county; date; or topic (SHSM).

REEDY’S MIRROR INDEX: Card index to the noted periodical edited by St. Lousian William Marion Reedy during the period 1894-1920 (SLPL).

SPANISH AMERICAN WAR INDEXES: By regiment, then alpha (MSA).

ST. LOUIS ARTIST BIOGRAPHICAL FILES: Clipping files containing biographical materials relating to various St. Louis artists [born in, lived in, or were educated in St. Louis metro area] (SLPL).

ST. LOUIS AUTHOR BIOGRAPHICAL FILES: Clipping files containing biographical materials relating to various St. Louis authors [born in, lived in, or were educated in St. Louis metro area] (SLPL).

ST. LOUIS HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY CARD FILE: Card file with thousands of references to St. Louis persons, places, and things profiled in books, newspapers, and magazine articles (SLPL).

ST. LOUIS MEDIA ARCHIVES BIOGRAPHICAL & HISTORICAL FILES: Clipping files with materials on St. Louis newspapers and radio and TV stations, and St. Louis radio and TV personalities (SLPL).

ST. LOUIS STREET PHOTOGRAPHS: Collection of photographs of St. Louis street scenes, most dating from the period 1890-1930, and most featuring streets in the downtown area, where most of the photographers were headquartered at that time (SLPL).


STEAMBOAT PHOTOGRAPHS COLLECTION INDEX: An index to photographs of riverboats in the Fred W. Bill collection, ca. 1860-1920 (5 vol.) and in other collections in the Special Collections department. It is arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the boat, followed by collection name, and location (SLPL).

SURNAME INDEX TO VERTICAL FILES: Refers to numerous file folders in the Reference Library (SHSM) .

WHMC MANUSCRIPT CARD CATALOG: Search by name; location; subject; event; compiler; author; or title (SHSM).

Friday, January 25, 2008



The History Channel TV Listings
Programming Schedule


Browse our complete schedule:

All times are Eastern Time. Please check your book / onscreen guide for showtimes in your area. Also, please note that History Channel shows are often shown twice on the listed airdate, so there may be a showtime more convenient for you.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

7-8pm -- Ancient Discoveries - 15 - Machines of The East
While the ancient Greeks had amazing engineers like Heron and Ctesibius, the Islamic world had Al-Jazari--a prolific writer and a talented craftsman. Working in what is now modern Turkey, he produced books which featured fifty mechanical devices in six different categories; including water clocks, hand washing devices, machines for raising water and geared mechanisms. In 1976 The Science Museum in London, reconstructed one of Al-Jazari's water clocks. It would take the shape of an elephant with an intricate clock mechanism which would chime automatically. For the first time watch as some of Al-Jarazi's most important inventions are recreated and see how sophisticated the inventors of the ancient Islamic world had become.

8-10pm -- Nostradamus: 500 Years Later -
The life story of Nostradamus unfolds in medieval Europe at the time of the Great Plague and the Inquisition. He lived in an age of superstition and magic and believed that he could foretell the future. For this he was labeled both a prophet and a heretic, and his cryptic journals continue to inspire controversy just as they did in the 16th century. In this two-hour examination of his life, we visit his birthplace in France and trace his career as doctor, astrologer, father, and seer.

10-12am -- Countdown to Armageddon -
Asteroids on a collision course with Earth, super volcanoes, global warming, killer viruses--all are potential catastrophes that threaten to wipe out life on our planet. Are these simply natural disasters that have been occurring since time immemorial? Or are these threats terrifying prophesies from the Bible that are at last coming true? Are our fears overblown? Or are the infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding among us in a countdown to Armageddon?


Sunday, January 27, 2008

7-8pm -- Mega Disasters - Oil Apocalypse
The oil that our world runs on won't last forever. The gap between supply and demand is ever increasing. Will alternative energy save us or is it already too late? What would happen to the world as we know it when our oil dependent industries come to a grinding halt? A worldwide depression is a certainty but a power struggle for the basic necessities of life would be complete chaos.

8-10pm -- Crude -
Go on a sweeping adventure into the mystery of the history of oil. Where does it come from? When will it run out? Where is it driving us? This amazing fluid that powers our lives has made a 160 million year journey to reach our gas tanks and plastic bags. Learn about Earth's extraordinary Carbon Cycle, and the role of oil in current concerns regarding the environment. The Oil Age we now take for granted began less than a century and a half ago, and it could be over in our lifetime.

Monday, January 28, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Axes, Swords and Knives.
Blade implements have been a part of civilized man's arsenal since the Paleolithic Age, when sharp tools were chipped off of flint or obsidian. But with the discovery of metallurgy, people were able to forge stronger, more versatile blade implements. We visit an axe-throwing contest in Wisconsin for an introduction to the least subtle of the blade tools. Then we visit a swordsmith and an experienced swordfighter who work in traditional methods from ancient sources, and review the history of knives.

8-9pm -- Cities of the Underworld - 08 - New York
The underworld of New York City is a living, breathing complex of engineering, history and secrets that could only exist in America's largest city. From a classified World War II site where death awaited unfortunate trespassers to the original rivers and aqueducts that led to this great city's ascent, New York City may just have more stories below ground than it does above. Join host Eric Geller as he braves this massive urban labyrinth where the past, present and future collide.

9-10pm -- Cities of the Underworld - Underground Apocalypse
For billions of people across the globe, Jerusalem is considered ground zero for Armageddon. And while most of the world's population considers it a holy land, it's also one of the bloodiest cities the world has ever known. From a hidden occult city built by the Knights Templar to the hiding place for the Dead Sea Scrolls, the evidence of the apocalypse is buried all over the holy city. Host Don Wildman has special access to a sacred stone said to keep the world from ultimate chaos, and finds evidence of John the Baptist's apocalyptic sermons... he's heading into a vast underground that ignited the violent visions of the end of the world.

10-11pm -- Ancient Discoveries - Mega-Structures of the Deep
Our modern day landscapes are littered with the remains of ancient superstructures. Now, cutting edge archaeology is beginning to reveal that this century's most exciting discoveries actually lie at the bottom of the ocean.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Traps
Gotcha! Traps are a device designed to capture and kill, but they don't always harm their prey. Often necessary to the survival of a species, watch as Black Bears are trapped by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists for a population study. Feral cats left stranded in New Orleans after Katrina are trapped, neutered, and released. Head underwater to see how giant screw traps count salmon on the Columbia River. Man traps? See high tech versions, straight out of action movies.

10-11pm -- Mega Disasters - Methane Explosion
A controversial scientific theory states that gigantic eruptions of methane gas from deep in the ocean have occurred regularly throughout history. Although a global-scale methane eruption today is highly unlikely, there may be stagnant, oxygen-poor basins in the ocean where methane might accumulate. Even a small explosion could cause a catastrophe. Imagine what would happen if such an event occurred in the mid-Pacific. Tsunamis would be generated in continuous waves, striking Hawaii and the entire West Coast. Coastal areas would be flooded for miles inland. Methane/water clouds would auto-ignite and the massive fires could cause widespread destruction. Consequences could be global. Whatever humanity survives would be thrown into a
Dark Age.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Bedroom Tech
We spend one-third of our lives in the bedroom. Explore the technologies that help to ensure we wake up on the right side of the bed. Check out ancient Chinese fire clocks, today's flying alarm clock, big city napping pods, snore stoppers and sunrise simulators. We'll explore sleeping disorders and delve into the creepy world of those blood-sucking midnight snackers, the bed bugs. Electric blankets step aside as Hugh Hefner's fantasy bedroom in the Playboy Mansion is revealed!

8-9pm -- Modern Marvels - Silver Mines.
It was called the "mother lode", a deposit of silver so massive that it would produce $300-million in its first 25 years of operation, establish Nevada as a state, and bankroll the Union Army in the Civil War. Named after an early investor, we'll see how the Comstock Lode, discovered near Virginia City, proved to be a scientific laboratory from which vast improvements in mining technology and safety were pioneered, including innovations in drilling, ventilation, drainage, and ore processing.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Mountain Roads.
Join our journey along monumental feats of engineering that preserved America's natural wonders while paving the way towards her future. Travel the Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, site of a dark chapter in US history. Today, crews use the latest technology to keep I-80 open during the worst winter storms. Enjoy the view while traveling to the summit of Pike's Peak in Colorado, inspiration for America the Beautiful. The "Going-to-the-Sun-Road" slices through Montana's majestic Glacier National Park, crossing the Continental Divide and allowing motorists unsurpassed views of mountain scenery. Outside Denver, the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel, carved through mountain rock, united eastern and western Colorado. And the Blue Ridge Parkway, which took 52 years to complete, snakes through large, scenic

8-9pm -- Modern Marvels - Gangster Guns.
During the 1920s and '30s in big cities and small towns alike, they earned a fierce reputation in a blaze of bullets. They were the best friends of criminals such as John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Al Capone, and Bonnie and Clyde. Handle their Colt 45s and 38s, Tommy guns, Whippets, and Browning automatic rifles as we uncover the stories of gangster guns.


E-mail Marketing | A&E Television Networks |
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If you’re a Civil War buff (or are burdened with a significantly annoying other who is), you may be interested in, a group that’s part of the Smithsonian Institution. They offer a free newsletter, tours, lectures, and classes:



Err, his genealogy newsletter is, anyway…

A post in his online newsletter talks about the history of his newsletter: what he's done right, where he may have erred somewhat, and his plans for the future:



If you could use a list of online databases available from Missouri state government agencies, someone has done all the grunt work for you:


Or, if you could use such a list for another state, that job has also already been done…


As have lists of online government agency databases by subject:



Along those same lines, MoSGA President Martha Henderson has an article in the current MoSGA Journal (vol. XXVII, No. 4, 2007) called, "Going Virtual to Survive." You should read the entire article, but the message is clear: in a time of declining membership, most genealogical societies still adhere to a business model that involves spending more than half their annual budgets to print and mail their journals and newsletters to members. Attendance at (and income from) annual workshops and conferences declines as people look for research assistance on the Internet.

What's the answer? Going virtual whenever possible, of course. MoSGA has had a website for some time, and we now have a blog (you're reading it right now) that costs us nothing more than the blogmaster's time. Our newsletter as of last issue is now available on the MoSGA website- we're still printing and sending it to members, of course, but it seems unlikely that we will be able to do so indefinitely (and it's available on the website three weeks- more in some cases- before you receive your printed copy anyway).

So read the article, and see what Martha has to say. She also invites you to send us your thoughts on this matter.

BTW, she recommends in her article that you read an article called, "Societies Going Virtual" by David E. Rencher in Federation of Genealogical Societies Forum 19:3 (Fall 2007): 20+.


If you're interested in discovering if web-based genealogy is the wave of the future (yes, almost certainly, but take a look and make up your own mind), you'll want to read an interesting q-and-a with five web-based genealogy services that's been posted on the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society website:



Does your genie research just involve names, dates, and places, and how far back you can trace a line, or are you a genealogist who is willing to dig deeper and really get to know your forebears, both recent and distant?


BTW, there's a very interesting article on this very subject by MoSGA 1st VP Darrell Jackson in the current MoSGA Journal (vol. XXVII, No. 4, 2007, pp. 245-246).

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Are any Danes, great or less-than-great variety, dangling from your family tree? If so, you’ll be interested in the Danish Immigrant Museum:


It’s a great starting point for persons attempting to document their Danish heritage, with photo galleries, links, a timeline of Danish history, and lots of other features designed to help jump-start your Danish ancestor research!


If you're entitled to wear the plaid, you'll also be interested in this article about the Herald Archive, a newspaper's HUGE collection of photos illustrative of Scottish people and places:



No, not that Klan…

I'm talking aboot Scottish clans, laddies and lassies! Were your ancestors Mc Somethings? Aye? Then I ken ye'll be interested in this Clan Map of Scotland:



This website will be of interest if you're the type of guy (or gal) who likes to decide the fate of tiny empires using tiny weapons held by tiny soldiers (plus, of course, a gameboard and dice):

"Field of Glory is a new historical miniature wargaming rules system for anyone interested in recreating the battles of the ancient and medieval worlds on their tabletop. The main rule book is released in February 2008 alongside Rise of Rome: Republican Rome at War and Storm of Arrows: Late Medieval Europe at War."

Visit the new official website:

You can sign up for their free newsletter on the website, and visit a page of related links of interest.

BTW, Tiny Soldiers is in fact the name of yet another wargaming website!


If you have ancestors who lived in Dakota Territory, you may wish to check the database of Civil War veterans living there in 1885 that is being put online by the South Dakota State Archives. It's an ongoing project, so check back later if your veteran's record hasn't yet been digitized:


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's terrible when a family receives the news that a son has died in battle: imagine receiving the news that three of your five sons have died at the same battle, on the same day, despite the fact that they were all serving in different regiments:


BTW, the brothers were all Scotsmen, and it is said it was possible to trace the line of advance of Scottish regiments that day by following a trail of bodies in kilts hanging on the barbed wire in No Man's Land…

The reference in this post's title is to the autobiography of that title by British poet Robert Graves, who was present at the battle in which the three brothers died, and describes it in his book.

Link to

Link to


How horrendous was the American Civil War in terms of casualties? If the Iraq War finally claims the same percentage of American casualties as the Civil War, we will be talking 6,000,000 dead, wounded, and missing Americans…

A review of a recent book by Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust discusses Civil War casualties, and how our ancestors North and South managed to deal with the almost unbearable toll of dead, wounded, and missing…


Find the book on


Or look for it in



Looking for Irish ancestors? Maybe it's TIARA time:



Then you'll want to know about the Minnesota Genealogical Journal:



James L. Sorenson, a pioneer in DNA research has died. A self-made billionaire, he used his wealth in many causes.

Genealogists in particular are aware of his efforts with DNA and genealogy. In 1999 he started the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. The group has collected more than 70,000 DNA samples, together with four-generation pedigree charts, from volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world.

A lengthy obituary article is posted on Genealogy Bank:


BTW, am I mistaken, or does Mr. Sorenson's obit photo bear an uncanny resemblance to Lucky the Leprechaun of Lucky Charms fame?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Genealogy Insider has posted a list of the ten biggest genealogy stories of 2007. Did they get it right, or would your list be different?



If you've got Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket, Fun Stuff for Genealogists is ready to help you spend it:



But you needn't despair. has created a list of the best of the genealogy blogs (plus a generous helping of the best of rest)-- taking a look at every blog on the list should keep you busy for some time to come...


Monday, January 21, 2008


Virginia Heffernan calls her NYT article "Ancestral Allure," but she really doesn't seem quite sure what all the fuss is about:



Moshe Bar-Yuda's father stepped on a train in 1942, and that was the last news Moshe had heard of him... until now. Moshe now knows what happened, however, because of the release of info from the massive Bad Arolsen Archives. Because the Archives contain records of the Nazi concentration camps, however, it's not a happy ending:



In its first year of existence, has created 20 million digital images of National Archives (US) records. That's right, 20,000,000! Now they want your input about what they should digitize next:


BTW, I think the speed with which and the National Archives are digitizing records illustrates beautifully the lightning speed at which records of interest to genealogists are being made available on the Web. If you haven't yet taken the plunge into cyberspace at home, now's the time!

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


Milton Wolff, who led the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, died in California on January 14th at the age of 92. He rose to command after a bomb killed every higher-ranking American officer in the Republican Army (800 American volunteers died during the Spanish Civil War). Wolff led the ALB until the Republican Army was surrounded by Franco's forces in 1938; then it was every man for himself and Wolff barely managed to escape. He served in the American Army in WWII, and was later called before the House Un-American Activities Committee several times (men who'd served in the ALB were on its watch list). He made a visit back to Spain in the 1990s, where he was treated as an honored guest. The full story is here:


Sunday, January 20, 2008


Do you have a British soldier ancestor, or are you simply fascinated with some period of British military history? I've been interested in the 1879 Zulu War since I saw the movie Zulu that starred a very young Michael Caine and the great Stanley Baker. If you have an interest in British military history, whatever the reason, you'll want to visit the website of the Imperial War Museum. The IWM operates in several locations, including one where they keep almost 200 vintage aircraft (and fly many of them at an annual Air Show):



And they're making it worth somebody's while to rat on the thieves. Thieves stole nine Victoria Crosses from a New Zealand museum recently. Now there's a reward of $231,000 (US) being offered for the return of those medals. Why, I would cheerfully turn in thieves who stole medals won by heroes for no reward at all...



It's the caretaker for American military cemeteries in foreign countries:

"We only have the records of those casualties that are buried in our cemeteries or listed on the Walls of the Missing -- a total of 176,399 records (there were 405,399 total American casualties in World War II).

You also may view all of our World War II Army and Air Force casualties from a specific UNIT or by STATE AND CEMETERY. You can also search by what COUNTRY the person entered the service from.

If you are a family member planning to visit a grave or memorial site, we suggest that upon arrival at the cemetery you go directly to the visitor center, where a staff member will be honored to escort you to the grave or Tablet of the Missing."



Was your father (or mother) killed during World War II? The American World War II Orphans Network is still there for you, putting you in touch with other orphans and helping you find out how your parent lived and died:



They say the 200 "concretions" (that's great big sandstone boulders for you non-geologists out there) dumped by a glacier in a Kansas field make it the biggest boulder dump of its kind in the world. In the photos these "concretions" do seem mighty big, but does Rock City Park really put Elephant Rocks to shame?


Saturday, January 19, 2008


If you know what I mean when I talk about spinning 45s and LPs, you will definitely be interested in the LP Cover Lover. The Cover Lover collects old record albums, scans the covers, and puts the scans on the Web for the rest of us to enjoy. He’s got them neatly organized into dozens of categories-- there are sure to be several categories that interest you.


BTW, on his start page he’s highlighting the cover of “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper. The Bopper and Richie Valens died in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly. If you’re not familiar with the Buddy Holly story, you can read the Wikipedia article about Holly and the movie of that name here. You should also watch the movie, The Buddy Holly Story, in which actor Gary Busey positively channels Buddy Holly. Realize as you watch the movie that Busey and the actors playing his bandmates, the Crickets, sang and played their own instruments! Holly’s widow, Maria, is said to have cried at a screening of the movie when Busey sings “True Love Ways.” I watch this amazing movie at least once a year (Paul McCartney is said to do the same).


Could you use a free, no-muss no-fuss utility that converts many Windows files to PDF files? You could? Then take a look at MagicPDF:


BTW, you should check any file downloaded from the Internet or your email (even ones from sources you know) with your anti-virus, anti-malware software before installing it on your computer. Better safe than sorry!


I’ve mentioned my affection for the Opera browser here before. If you’re ready to jump from Microsoft IE to something better and safer, and thought Mozilla Firefox was your only real choice, you may want to read this first:



Young people might be better at using new technology and adapting to technological innovation than their elders, but the young whippersnappers are no better than their elders at evaluating content found on websites (in fact, they aren’t nearly as good at it). The full story is here:


BTW, faster computers and connect speeds have made us all into short-attention span surfers who want our Web content RIGHT NOW, with little or no delay, or we simply move on…


If you love podcasts, are an avid consumer of non-fiction, and would be interested in a virtually unlimited source of free non-fiction podcasts, may be able to help. PediaPhon lets you turn any Wikipedia article into an MP3 file that you can play on your iPod or other portable digital audio storage device:



If you are an avid reader anyway, you might want to take a chance on winning some great prizes just for indulging in one of your favorite activities. and Penguin Books are sponsoring a Great American Novel Writing Contest, and they want members of the public (you, potentially) to tell them which entrant ought to get a publishing contract. They weren’t sure that the sheer joy of reading would be enough to get you to participate, though, so they’re giving their volunteer reviewers the chance to win some really fine schwag:

“Amazon is also dangling a carrot for readers to motivate them to participate in the process: anyone who reviews at least 25 ABNA semifinalists is entered to win a prize package including a Kindle, $2000 Amazon gift card, and an HP photo printer. The book excerpts are available as a free downloads until March 2nd, and with over 800 semifinalists still in the running, there are enough for even the most avid reviewers to keep busy (most excerpts are just a few pages long).”



Since we were talking about anyway…

Are you pleased with the amount of content on, but sometimes wish that it could be tweaked in certain ways so that it was easier to find and make use of that content? Well, Ancestry Insider is all about making better, whether the TGN (parent corporation-- The Generations Network) people are willing to go along quietly or not. From the Ancestry Insider blog:

“The unofficial, unauthorized view of the big genealogy websites. and aren't the best communicators, leaving a need for the Ancestry Insider. The Insider reports on, defends, and constructively criticizes these organizations.”



This just in from Engulf & Devour-- err--

Coming Soon

As always, we’re continuously adding new content and more collections are in the works •

We’ll be adding 200,000 new names and over 20,000 images to our high school yearbooks collection •

Many people funneled through Missouri on their way westward – some stayed awhile - Our Missouri Vital Records will add approximately 13 million names and two and a half million images •

We’re not finished with North Carolina – we’ll add over seven million names to North Carolina Vital Records •

If your ancestors voted in California in the first half of the 20th century, there’s a good chance they’ll be in our California Voter Registration Lists update – over 30 million names and 500,000 images •

We’ll cover the south with Southern Claims & Freedmen’s Bureau Records, over 300,000 names and 30,000 images crucial to research on African American ancestors •

And finally, French-Canadian vital records get a boost with our update of the Drouin Collection – over ten million names and 3 million images.


Friday, January 18, 2008


Another gi-normous links site, this one with links for England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (Northern and the Irish Free State):



Are you researching English ancestors? You are? Then you are REALLY going to like Expert Links: English Family History & Genealogy:


It might be possible to think of an English genealogy research question or topic they don’t provide a link for, but it’s going to take you some time to do so…


What is Public Domain Day, you ask? Why, it’s the somewhat ghoulish celebration of the anniversary of the date of death of certain authors! Why is the date of their passing so important? Because copyright law in many countries specifies that a written work enters the public domain once a given numbers of years after the author’s date of death have passed, that’s why…


The site includes long lists of authors whose works enter the public domain as of 1 January 2008 in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., and features an interesting discussion of how unpublished works are treated by copyright law in those three places.


We’re speaking of the kind used to prospect for gold, of course…

If one or more of your ancestors sought his or her fortune during the California Gold Rush, you’ll be interested in this series of articles appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle:



Are you a published novelist, or can you sense that there's a great American novel inside you yearning to breathe free? In either case, yWriter may well be your new (free) best friend:

"yWriter is a free novel-writing software, it may look simple but, as the author of four books written with this tool, I can guarantee it has everything needed to get a first draft together. Organise your novel using a 'project', add chapters to the project, add scenes, characters, items and locations. Display the word count for every file in the project, along with a total. Tracks your progress: it saves a log file every day, showing words per file and the total. Saves automatic backups at user-specified intervals. Allows multiple scenes within chapters. Viewpoint character, goal, conflict and outcome fields for each scene. Multiple characters per scene. Storyboard view, a visual layout of your work. Re-order scenes within chapters. Drag and drop of chapters, scenes, characters, items and locations. Automatic chapter renumbering."

author: Simon Haynes
required: Windows, Vista
size: 3.0 m
added: 18-Jan-2008


Family histories rarely break even, but a novel featuring your thinly-veiled, one lead-painted chew-toy shy of a Happy Meal relatives (living and dead) could be an NYT best-seller just waiting to happen…


The Vermont legislature is considering a bill that would restrict access to or remove Social Security numbers and cause of death from death certificates. The removal of Social Security numbers has to do with preventing con artists from using a dead person’s info to commit fraud, while removing cause of death has to do with sparing survivors from the stigma still sometimes attached to deaths due to suicide or AIDS.

Want to read the entire article? Go here:



From Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 46, December 31, 2007

Spanish Land Grants in Florida
by Melissa Shimkus

While Florida was under Spanish rule, the Spanish government established procedures to grant land titles to individuals based on whether they were laborers, soldiers, or aristocrats. First, an individual had to petition the governor of the territory for the land. Then the governor would grant the land to the individual with conditions. A surveyor would interview witnesses to verify information and survey the land. Finally, a land title would be awarded once the governor verified that the individual had satisfied the conditions of the grant.

On March 30, 1822, a territorial government was created in Florida under the United States. An agreement was made with Spain which provided individuals who had received land in Florida from the Spanish government prior to 1818 the right to file claims to their land. A Board of Commissioners for West Florida and a Board of Commissioners for East Florida were established to review the validity of claims and evidence provided.

The Historical Records Survey Program was created by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to record state and county archives. In Florida, they deciphered and interpreted the archival papers of these Boards of Commissioners, publishing a five volume set, "Spanish Land Grants in Florida" (975.9 H62sp). The first volume features unconfirmed claims, while the other four volumes document confirmed land claims. The records are listed alphabetically by surname. Information found in the claims varies for each case but can include a petition for the land, names of family members, military service information, a survey or plat of the land, depositions of neighbors and family, deeds, and character testimony. Many individuals supplied the documents from their land title petition under the Spanish government.

The record for Guillermo Craig, who claimed ownership of a section of land along the St. Johns River, offers a wealth of information. Guillermo provided details of how he acquired the land and the former owner signed off on the explanation. Three witnesses testified when he met the conditions required to receive the land title. The names and ages of the witnesses are provided. A dispute with James Hall over the land created another entry.

"Spanish Land Grants in Florida" is an informative resource for Florida researchers, which documents the locations, dates, names, and some ages for land owners in Florida when it was transferred from the Spanish government to the United States.

From Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library No. 46, December 31, 2007, which is published by the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center, and is intended to enlighten readers about genealogical research methods as well as inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public Library. They welcome the wide distribution of their newsletter and encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies.

To subscribe to "Genealogy Gems," use your browser to go to the website: http://www.GenealogyCenter.Info. Scroll down toward the bottom of the first screen where it says, "Enter Your Email Address to Subscribe to "Genealogy Gems." Enter your email address in the yellow box and click on "Subscribe." You will be notified with a confirmation email.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


The St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society is beginning a new project in 2008 to collect, preserve, index, and make available Funeral Cards from years past. Anyone may donate images or original cards for people whose birth or death occurred in St. Clair County.

An index to the cards will eventually appear on the society website. A link appears now to a sister site which includes some St. Clair people whose place of birth or death was Monroe County (IL).

Here is the direct link:

Lisa Doussard Plegge is the Project Coordinator.



The History Channel TV Listings
Programming Schedule


Browse our complete schedule:

All times are Eastern Time. Please check your book / onscreen guide for showtimes in your area. Also, please note that History Channel shows are often shown twice on the listed airdate, so there may be a showtime more convenient for you.


Friday, January 18, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Welding
It was a science first conjured amid the fiery ovens of ancient blacksmiths; today more than 50% of all U.S. products require someform of welding. Whether via electricity, flammable gases, sonic waves, or sometimes just raw explosive power, welding creates powerful bonds between metal unmatched by any other joining process. From high atop emerging 60-story towers on the Las Vegas strip to oil platforms
hundreds of feet below the ocean, discover how welders forge the backbone of civilization. Learn about exciting new applications: how sound waves create bulletproof welds for contemporary body armor; the technologies behind robotic welding systems; and the knee-rattling impact of an explosion weld, the most powerful method of all.

8-9pm -- Modern Marvels - Corn
Why is corn the largest agricultural crop in the world? Corn has fed the masses from ancient times to this day. Corn is not only a vegetable and a cereal grain; it is a commodity as well. Visit Lakeside Foods in Reedsburg, Wisconsin and see how tons of corn are harvested and canned within hours. Then it's off to VeraSun Energy in Charles City, Iowa, to discover how corn is converted into fuel. Take a look to our past and you will understand that without corn we probably wouldn't be here.


Monday, January 21, 2008

8-9pm -- Decoding The Past - Doomsday 2012: The End of Days
There are prophecies and oracles from around the world that all seem to point to December 21, 2012 as doomsday. The ancient Mayan Calendar, the medieval predictions of Merlin, the Book of Revelation and the Chinese oracle of the I Ching all point to this specific date as the end of civilization. A new technology called "The Web-Bot Project" makes massive scans of the internet as a means of forecasting the future... and has turned up the same dreaded date: 2012. Skeptics point to a long history of "Failed Doomsdays", but many oracles of doom throughout history have a disturbingly accurate track record. As the year 2012 ticks ever closer we'll speculate if there are any reasons to believe these doomsayers.

9-11pm -- Life After People -
Explore the tantalizing question of whether all the remnants of mankind will eventually disappear from our planet. What would happen to the earth if humans ceased to exist? Would ocean life flourish, the buffalo return to the Great Plains and our skyscrapers yield to the wear and tear of time. Visit the ghostly villages surrounding Chernobyl, which were abandoned by humans after the nuclear disaster in 1986 and then travel to the remote islands off the coast of Maine to search for traces of abandoned towns that have vanished from view in only a few decades. Learn from experts in the fields of engineering, botany, ecology, biology, geology, climatology and archeology as they provide answers for many thought provoking

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - The Lumberyard.
At the center of the American Dream is the home--and at the center of its creation or renovation is the lumberyard. We'll explore the options lumberyards provide for builders and renovators--from natural to engineered woods. We'll show how plywood and pressed woods are made, trace exotic woods to jungle and desert, visit a special lumberyard that deals in recycled and antique woods, and go on an underwater expedition as divers locate ancient logs buried in the Great Lakes and New Zealand. We'll see how 50,000-year-old ancient Kauri wood is "mined" from a bog and is now all the rage among those who live in mansions and travel on yachts. From the lowly 2-by-4 used to build a tract home, to a reclaimed set of historic planks used to make a million-dollar bar in a 5-star hotel, this eye-opening program hits the nail right on the head.

8-9pm -- Siberian Apocalypse -
At 7:15AM on June 30, 1908, a giant fireball, as bright the Sun, explodes in the Siberian sky with a force a thousand times greater than the Hiroshima bomb. It decimates 1,000 square miles of forest--over half the size of Rhode Island, and was the biggest cosmic disaster in the history of civilization. What caused the apocalyptic fire in the sky? Over a hundred theories surround what is called the Tunguska event, varying from asteroids and comets to black holes and alien spaceships. Most scientists agree the Tunguska event will happen again, and next time, the human toll could be unimaginable. Now, NASA and other organizations race against time to stop the next planet killer before it ignites Armageddon.

10-11pm -- Mega Disasters - Hawaii Apocalypse
Hawaii, 1868. The volcano, Mauna Loa, in its most spectacular eruption, spewed out enough lava to cover 40 percent of the Big Island. A similar eruption occurred in 1950. Now that the island has become developed, the potential for damage and loss from a major eruption is astronomical. Small villages have been replaced by large tourist resorts and luxury homes. Using state-of-the-art computer animation, take a look at how an event similar to 1868 would impact Hawaii. Watch buildings crumble during large earthquakes, see homes and resorts destroyed by speeding lava, and what's left of the island drown under tsunamis and mudflows. Thousands of people could be dead and the economy of this island paradise would be destroyed for years
to come.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - The Butcher.
In a carnivorous world, a butcher is a necessary link in the food chain, carving a carcass of unsavory flesh into mouthwatering cuts. We trace the grisly trade's evolution--from yesteryear's butcher-on-every-corner to today's industrial butcher working on a "disassembly" line. We tour the infamous remains of the Chicago
Stockyards, where Upton Sinclair, Clarence Birdseye, and refrigeration changed butchering forever; witness high-speed butchering; and travel to a non-stop sausage factory. And if you're still squeamish, a USDA inspector offers the lowdown on HACCP--the country's new system of checks and balances on everything from quality grading to E. coli, Salmonella, and Mad Cow Disease. Finally, we visit the last bastion of
old-school butchering--the rural custom butcher, who slaughters, eviscerates, skins, and cuts to his customer's wishes.

8-10pm -- Life After People -
Explore the tantalizing question of whether all the remnants of mankind will eventually disappear from our planet. What would happen to the earth if humans ceased to exist? Would ocean life flourish, the buffalo return to the Great Plains and our skyscrapers yield to the wear and tear of time. Visit the ghostly villages surrounding Chernobyl, which were abandoned by humans after the nuclear disaster in 1986 and then travel to the remote islands off the coast of Maine to search for traces of abandoned towns that have vanished from view in only a few decades. Learn from experts in the fields of engineering, botany, ecology, biology, geology, climatology and archeology as they provide answers for many thought provoking questions.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Dams
They block the force of a river, produce enough electricity to power cities, move water over hundreds of miles and irrigate fertile valleys. Dams prevent floods and produce "green" energy. We'll visit a hydroelectric dam, the most technologically advanced type of dam, and a dam in Brazil that is five times the size of the Hoover Dam. At the Utah State University Water Research Laboratory Hydraulics Lab in Logan, Utah, we watch a model of a dam crumble beneath tons of water and discuss how future dam failures can be averted. We will learn how dams adversely affect river systems and as a result, there are many proponents of dam removal.

8-9pm -- Decoding The Past - Mayan Doomsday Prophecy
The world is coming to an end on December 21, 2012! The ancient Maya made this stunning prediction more than 2,000 years ago. We'll peel back the layers of mystery and examine in detail how the Maya calculated the exact date of doomsday. Journey back to the ancient city of Chichen Itza, the hub of Maya civilization deep in the heart of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, to uncover the truth about this prophecy. The Maya were legendary astronomers and timekeepers--their calendar is more accurate than our own. By tracking the stars and planets they assigned great meaning to astronomical phenomena and made extraordinary predictions based on them--many of which have come true. Could their doomsday prophecy be one of them? In insightful interviews archaeologists, astrologers, and historians speculate on the meaning
of the 2012 prophecy. Their answers are as intriguing as the questions.

Friday, January 25, 2008

7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Saws
Sink your teeth into the razor sharp world of saws. Cut across the centuries to discover how the Egyptians arduously sawed stone as compared to modern saws that slice through limestone like butter. Saws have been used as instruments of torture and tools for surgery. They are imperative for construction, salvage, demolition, and they even make music. Whether they have teeth of steel, carbide or diamond, you
will be on the cutting edge of successful sawing.

10-12am -- Hell: The Devil's Domain -
Our in-depth history of Hades begins with the story of a negative near-death experience, in which a man thinks he went to Hell after being declared clinically dead and before resuscitation. Following Lucifer's trail from cave paintings in France circa 6,000 BC to current portrayals in popular culture, our 2-hour exploration shows how Hell and the Devil remain powerful forces--at a church in Texas, where souls are delivered from Satan's grip; in talks with a survivor of the 1980s recovered memory craze, who "recalled" attending Witches' Sabbaths that practiced cannibalism; and at the modern Church of Satan. We review literary landmarks that expanded our ideas of the Underworld, from Dante's Inferno and Milton's Paradise Lost to Mark Twain's anti-hero, and trace development of Christian, Moslem, Jewish, and Buddhist conceptions of the afterlife.


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Edwardsville (IL) Public Library has received a $6,000 grant from the Illinois State Library to digitize its collection of Madison County genealogical materials. Get the full story here:



New at, week of 13 January 2008

· Washington Births, 1891-1907
· North Carolina Divorce Index, 1958-2004
· Stars and Stripes Newspaper, WWII Pacific Editions, 1945-1963
· Stars and Stripes Newspaper, Europe, Mediterranean, and North Africa
Editions, 1942-1964 (Updated)
· U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907
· View a list of all new and updated databases
· Learn more about what’s new at
· Search the Card Catalog



John A. Jackson, KSGenWeb Civil War Coordinator, writes us to say:

"I have been posting the Civil War veteran tombstone pictures that I have been amassing since 2004 on the following Flickr page:

They are from every state almost that participated in the Civil War including Missouri and my photos are of veterans who were on both sides of the war."

He's not kidding, either. There are hundreds of gravestone photos in his Flickr photo sets. Photo sets for a cemetery can include anywhere from 1 photo (Hosey Hill Cemetery, Cherokee County, KS) to 149 photos (Gerard Cemetery, Crawford County, KS). Most photos do seem to be from Kansas cemeteries, but you may want to take a look regardless. Maybe John's efforts will inspire some of you to start documenting grave sites of CW veterans in your area!


Are you researching St. Louis area Germans who lived on the right bank (St. Clair and Madison counties in IL)? Then you'll be interested to learn that the Belleville (IL) News-Democrat is celebrating its 150th birthday. Part of the celebration is a compilation of headline news stories from years past, such as:

Through the years: Historic front pages
* 1900-1909: A beer named Stag
* 1900-1909: A dark day in Belleville
* 1910-1919: Battling the Spanish Flu
* 1920-1929: The day the taps ran dry
* 1930-1939: Deadly twister hits Belleville
* 1940-1949: Air Corps train at Cahokia College
* 1950-1959: A crackdown on gambling
* 1960-1969: The JFK mystique
* 1970-1979: Old courthouse comes down
* 1980-1989: The rise of Costello
* 1990-1999: The Cueto trial

Want to see more? Go here: