Saturday, June 28, 2008


Then you’ll want to check out these links for researching Revolutionary War ancestors:



What's new, and what the friendly folks at Engulf & Devour have updated recently:



If you need to print lists of folders / files, this free download can help you do it in every way imaginable. Free, as I've said, although program author gratefully accepts donations. Program description says file is for people running Windows XP.


NOTE: I STRONGLY urge you to get in the habit of right-clicking any program you download before left-clicking it-- you can then scan with your security software prior to opening, and delete if necessary! The best advice with all downloaded files-- TRUST NO ONE! Always right-click first, then open!

I also STRONGLY urge you to back up regularly! While daily is best if you’re frequently adding to files on your machine, do it AT LEAST once per week. Buy a jump drive, and back up on that- it's small enough to carry to work with you, so that if flood, fire, tornado, or meteor strike engulfs your house, you haven't lost everything! Also, if you don’t have a System Restore disk or haven’t yet made a set of Recovery disks (depending on your OS), do it NOW! Read your OS manual or check HELP on your computer to figure out what you’re supposed to do, and DO IT!


If you’re researching English kin who lived in Scotland, Sherry Irvine has some research tips for you:


She also provides some Scotrish (Irish kin who lived in Scotland) research tips:



If your father was a World War II Navy pilot (or an aviation metalsmith, like my dad, or served on an aircraft carrier or other vessel that transported aircraft), this site will be of great interest:



If you’re researching kin who died / went missing during the Holocaust, you’ll want to check out the website of Kenneth Waltzer, head of Jewish Studies at Michigan State University. He’s digging deep into the recently opened Bad Arolsen Archives to see what treasures within have yet to see daylight…



Missouri veterans and spouses can be buried in a federal cemetery like Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery here in St. Louis, or they can be buried in one of four Missouri state veterans' cemeteries:

Higginsville Veterans Cemetery
20109 Business Hwy 13
Higginsville, MO 64037

Springfield Veterans Cemetery
5201 South Southwood Rd
Springfield, MO 65804

Bloomfield Veterans Cemetery
17357 Stars & Stripes Way
Bloomfield, MO 63825

Jacksonville Veterans Cemetery
1479 County Rd 1675
Jacksonville, MO 65260

Need more info? Go here.


Missouri residents who meet the following eligibility requirements can request a free Vietnam War Medallion from the Missouri Veterans Commission:

1. Must have been on active duty sometime during the period 28 Feb 1961-7 May 1975; award can be made whether duty station was foreign or domestic.
2. Must have received an honorable discharge; or have been in the service at the time of his or her death; or still be in the armed forces.
3. Must have been a resident of Missouri at time of enlistment or discharge; or have been a Missouri resident on 28 August 2006; or have been a Missouri resident at the time of his or her death.
4. Spouse or eldest living survivor is eligible to receive a medallion based on the service of a deceased veteran.

There are also medallions for service during WWII and the Korean War. For more information, visit the Missouri State Veterans Commission website and click “Veteran Awards”.


If your typical Google search consists of entering a keyword or two into Google’s main (mostly white-space) page, you will definitely benefit from reading this article:



3-6 September 2008

If you’ve got the time and the money (or you happen to live in or near Pennsylvania), you owe it to yourself to experience a national genealogical conference. This one’s in Philadelphia (Marriott Philadelphia Downtown is the official hotel). Here are just a few of the featured programs:

Designing and Publishing a Society Newsletter
Welsh Emigration to North America
German Emigration, Immigration, and Migration
The Exo-Dusters: the Great Black Migration
Introduction to Irish Genealogy
Convicts to the North American Colonies
PowerPoint: Taking the Plunge
Researching Naval Service in the War of 1812
Using DNA to Supplement Your Family Research

And these are just a few of the programs being offered on a very wide range of subjects! Need more info? Go here.

Friday, June 27, 2008


These events aren’t in Missouri, but could be great “staycations” for some Missouri residents:

Brandensburg, Kentucky is the site of a Civil War Re-enactment on 11-13 July 2008. They’ll be recreating John Hunt Morgan’s famous Raid on Brandenburg. Drilling and tactics will be demonstrated on the 12th and 13th. There also be living history demonstrations, a camp dance, and a “Weeping and Dying” contest (so you’ll want to be there if you’re good at either weeping or-- err-- dying). Need more information? Call Jim Mitchell at 270-422-2094, or visit their website.

Wauconda, Illinois is having its Civil War Days that same weekend (12-13 July 2008). Last year it featured 700 re-enactors! There will be drills, tactics demonstrations, skirmishes, and a narrated battle, plus a dance. Need more information? Call 847-968-3400 or email Mike Millette at

Stones River National Battlefield in Tennessee will be the site of two events (both free) on 19-20 July 2008. 19 July features a Guided Lantern Tour of Stones River National Cemetery. Reservations are a must: 615-893-9501. There will be Artillery Battery Programs on 19 July and 20 July. If you want to hear what 4-6 cannon roaring at once sound like, you’ll want to be there! Need more information? Go here.


Battles, timelines, songs of the era- and the O.R. available searchable full-text, with an colorful interactive map to help guide you to pages of interest:



If you’re a student or a teacher, or are related to one, the URL of the National Park Service Civil War History website will be a godsend:



Border State Chronicle is a new blog whose subject is the Civil War in Missouri. The blogger (me, actually) is planning to post two or three times per week. Take a look! (you'll need to paste into browser address bar- Google doesn't recognize it yet!)


You may find some of the links to be useful:



Travel booklists from the Logan Library, just in time for your “staycation” (thanks, Big Oil!):



Dick Eastman’s post on the new Midwest Genealogy Center (includes a link to their website):


Thursday, June 26, 2008


Having a photo album problem of some sort? Maybe Maureen Taylor can help…



Looking for survivors of a deceased person? Dick Eastman discusses The Unclaimed Persons video on and the Unclaimed Persons Group on



A posting by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings describes New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire databases available to NEHGS members (he notes that he finds the databases are not easy to use):



Then this intro to Quaker records should prove of interest:



Need a user’s manual for that computer, printer, scanner, digital camera, etc., but can’t seem to remember what you did with it? The manual you need may be available here (for free) as a PDF file:


You can also share the wealth and upload any manuals they need copies of.


(Washington, D.C., 6/24/2008) – This summer, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) is again teaming up with The History Channel and the Center for Civil War Photography to sponsor a national photography competition to promote appreciation of America’s rich Civil War heritage. For the first time, all entries to this popular, long-running contest will be submitted digitally via an online interface, allowing more people to participate than ever before. The deadline for entries is August 31, 2008.

For more information on the digital photo contest, including official rules and how to enter, go here.

For a copy of the news release, go here.

For the latest news on battlefield preservation, visit CWPT's online newsroom.
==> http://

For more information, please contact Jim Campi or Mary Koik at 202-367-1861.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


You can easily keep up with some of the best genealogy blogs by checking the "Blogs of Note" feature in the left-hand navigation column of this blog. The blog listings update automatically whenever a post is added to a blog in question!


Need to send somebody a long list of Urls, but don’t want to take up a lot of space in an email? Try URLBunch and you’ll only need one link in that email:


Should prove very helpful for genealogists, librarians, etc. who find they are often sending a list of helpful URLS to clients / patrons.


There is a new blog site for genealogy that may be of interest. It's similar to MySpace, but only for genealogy. You can join for free, and then can post your surnames of interest to see if anyone is also researching those families, and / or post your brick walls to see if anyone can help.

The site is still growing, so there aren't tons of people on it right now, but that should change in the very near future.



There’s a video tutorial for the new Footnote search engine available here:



The latest Osprey Publishing (military history and wargaming) catalog is available for downloading for free (PDF file) on their website:


They also have some fascinating military history articles on their website that you can read for free:



The above-named college-level course is available on the MIT OpenCourseWare website. You can take the course online for free-- no college credit granted, but think of all that knowledge you’ll gain!

The Places of Migration in U.S. History:


You could also take Riots, Strikes, and Conspiracies in American History:


The American Revolution:


The Civil War:


or here for a complete list of their History class offerings:


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The National Archives of Australia publishes Memento Magazine two or three times a year- and you can download back issues for free:



Sure, you generally use Google when you need to do a Web search. You may want to test drive SearchMe, though-- it really turned my head, and it may turn yours, too:



Two Colorado robbers decided that the best way to disguise their identities was to put women’s thong bikinis over their faces. Apparently these Dillinger wannabes have never seen a real live woman wearing a thong: if so, they would surely know that thongs are intended to reveal, not conceal…


Note: Here’s hoping that these guys aren’t leaves on your family tree…


List in PDF format of 4,826 Army and Marine Corps casualties in the AEF:



Maybe you’d better read about them now-- sooner or later, you’ll have to:



From their website:

“PrimoOnline provides a super-fast way to create PDF files online, without the need to install any PDF software. Simply upload your file, enter your email address, and our server-based PDF creator will quickly convert it to PDF and deliver it straight to your email inbox.”


Note: Always check downloaded items with your computer security software before installing on your computer: better safe than sorry!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


If you’ve still got VHS tapes and audio cassettes-- even phonograph records-- there are ways you can go digital:



Dick Eastman says that if your genie society needs more space, and it happens to have $33 million parked in checking (and you don't mind relocating your headquarters to New York City), the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society is ready to talk turkey…



Tom Kemp at posted this on a genealogy librarians’ list-serve (and I agree with his blog recommendations, although he should have added MoSGA Messenger to his list, of course...):

A genealogy blog? What's that? Read about it at:

A "blog" is one of those made up words coined by the Internet. Click here to see the Wikipedia definition:

Think of a genealogy blog as a telegram service keeping you up to date on all possible aspects of genealogy.

These could be brief postcard size updates on what the writer has been researching; breaking news in the field; or a mini-lecture – giving you a quick lesson on some genealogical record source.

Blogs are a quick and painless way to stay informed and to upgrade your family history research skills.

I have been posting news stories and tips (blogging) since the 1990s and use my blog to share breaking news and research tips. In many ways I feel like a genealogy news reporter and I really love it when my blog is the first to report on a new resource – which we've done many times.

GenealogyBank – the Official Blog
Usually one posting per day, written by yours truly – the focus is on breaking news in genealogy that you will actually use and rely on; genealogy tips as well as targeted news & insights about new content added to GenealogyBank.

Here are some other blogs that I highly recommend. They are each must read sites.

Ancestry Insider
This well informed blogger's daily posts are focused on and Knowledgeable and on target it is a must read blog written by an Ancestry employee – BUT it is not an "official" corporate blog.

DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog
DearMYRTLE has been working in genealogy for decades. Her blog is essential reading and can be counted on for breaking news and insight. Count on her to make new resources easy to use and understand.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
Dick Eastman's blog is essential reading. Dick is up to date and knows the field. His blog comes in two flavors – free and a paid version. You'll want to pay the nominal fee and subscribe to his blog - it's worth it.

Everton Publisher's Genealogy Blog
Leland Meitzler posts 3-4 times a week and puts his decades of experience to work in reporting what is happening in genealogy. Leland has the pulse of the field and hey, he's a heck of a nice guy too.

The Footnote Blog
This blogger usually posts 2-3 times a month. The articles are usually brief and focus on the latest developments at – you'll want to read it to keep up with what's new on that site.

Genealogy Insider
Diane Haddad, Editor of Family Tree Magazine is a great blogger. Well informed and with an upbeat writing style. Haddad is essential reading. Don't miss this blog – its terrific.

NOTE: I do include posts about items of interest appearing on these blogs, and I do include each of them in the Blogs of Note roll on this blog, so as a MoSGA Messenger reader you are already ahead of the game...


Received from Carolyn Paul Branch, MoSGA Webmaster:

After 25 years of working on my father's ancestry with little success, I've decided to start a research blog to bring all the pieces together in one place. The blog is called Paul Family Research.

Here is a bit from the "About" page:

This blog is an attempt to bring together all I can find about the Paul family. Many of the entries will be documents and old books scanned and converted "on the fly'. My OCR software isn't perfect - there will be typos. I hope I will be able to make sense of the scattered information I have found by putting it all in one place where it can be compared. Possibly I will make connections between families and be able to settle the question of my father's ancestry.

My father, James Gillham Paul, always believed his family came from Scotland. So I will be concentrating on Pauls in the United States and Scotland. So far I have traced the route of the family from Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, to West Virginia. No proof of Scottish ancestry as yet. So there will be German and English Pauls in these pages, as well. I'm looking for ANY PAUL FAMILY - anywhere I find them.

Paul Family Research Blog

Carolyn Branch
Callaway County Public Library
710 Court Street
Fulton, MO 65251


Homecoming Scotland 2009 is a year-long inspirational celebration our culture, heritage and the many great contributions Scotland has given the world, for people of Scottish descent, as well as those who simply love Scotland.

As a Key Event, the University of Strathclyde will be holding the International Genealogy Festival in Glasgow, Scotland, from 21-24 July 2009.

This is an unparalleled opportunity for genealogical bodies, family history societies and anyone interested in the Scots at home and abroad, to visit and make connections.

There is more information on the International Genealogy Festival here.

If you would like more details, please register on the website, or contact us via email.

Please feel free to distribute this information to anyone you think would be interested, by e-mail, in newsletters and on your website.

We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope to see you in 2009!

The Homecoming 2009 official website is

Dr Bruce Durie
Genealogical Studies, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

The University of Strathclyde is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, number SC015263


Newly minted MoSGA member Virginia O'Neal has sent us a query from Alabama:

I recently joined MoSGA and have a query I hope can be published.

Subject's name: Alexander Bradley, b. abt 1795 in KY, according to census. He died ca August 1851 in Livingston Co., MO. I have a copy of the Probate Records. Parents and siblings are unknown.

His wife and Mother of his child, Frances Bradley, b. ca 1825 in MO, is unknown. He married two other wives. They are: Jane Crigler Gillispy, married 26 De 1830. They had John R. b. ca 1835 in Mo; Christopher, b ca 1833 in MO; and James N. Jane died 1840 in Howard Co., MO. The other known wife: Mary Silvey, widow of John Silvey who died 1846. She was Alexander's wife at the time of his death.

Frances Bradley, dau of Alexander, married Rhodes Stanley,13 Jun 1843 in Howard Co., Mo. They had one child. I guess he died and she married Evan Griffith, 2 May 1850 in Howard Co., MO. Frances died Jan 1860 in Ray Co., MO.

Evan Griffith and Frances Bradley had three daughters: Virginia Anne, b. 8 Feb 1851 in Howard Co., MO. d. 6 Sep 1916 in Mt. View, Howell Co., MO. married James Nathaniel Crank 30 Jan 1870 in Ray Co. MO. I descend from Virginia Anne and James Crank.

Their other daughters, Amanda, b. 1856 and Lilliebell b. 1858. I have not been able to find a record of their marriages.

My main search is for Alexander's wife, the mother of Frances, and if Frances had siblings.


Virginia Anne O'Neal
Jasper, AL

Friday, June 20, 2008


Dick Eastman shows you how to maximize your letter size:


JOHN WILKES BOOTH’S ESCAPE ROUTE’s thumbnail tour of John Wilkes Booth’s escape route:


Note: They also offer a thumbnail tour of Fort Delaware and Pea Patch Island, which were just featured on Ghost Hunters, the hit show on Sci-Fi Channel.


Article on this veterans’ home in Togus, Maine is in the latest Civil War online newsletter:



NARA provides a handy list of state archives for all fifty states that includes URLs, mailing addresses, and phone numbers:



Didn’t know they had one-- but certainly looks promising:


You can help them out if you wish by writing articles, editing articles, suggesting new articles, or categorizing articles for the Wiki…


Bob Doerr has pointed out a great illustrated article on old St. Louis at the Cornell Making of America website:

William Henry Bishop, “St. Louis,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine 68:406 (March 1884): 497-517.

The article includes numerous b&w illustrations:

The Levee; Eads Bridge; Merchants’ Building (exterior & interior); Fairgrounds Park; Four Courts; Statues of Humboldt & Benton; Washington Avenue at Grand; Henry Shaw; St. Louis High School; Old Spanish Tower; Wayman Crow; St. Louis Art Museum; a bit of Old St. Louis.


Then select: Harper’s New Monthly Magazine-->1884-->March.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


List of new and recently updated databases at



Dick Eastman’s post on this free aid for persons doing surname searches on the Web:



Need a desktop, laptop, monitor, other computer hardware or software, or a PowerPoint projector? You may want to the check the prices of before you buy:


For example, $15.99 for a 4 GB flash drive…

NOTE: If you click on More Info for a desktop or laptop PC, you get a long page of performance specs, included items, warranty info, plus photos of the PC that clearly show you where various rear / side connecting cables / wires / plug-ins go. If you've ever struggled to connect a new PC / reconnect an older PC, you'll love this feature of their website...


If you or your ancestors ever had to ride out a hurricane, you’ll be interested in the U.S. Census Bureau’s list of hurricane statistics:



Sure, you just got back from NGS, but you can already book a room in Raleigh for next year's conference:

Mark your calendars for the 2009 NGS Conference in the States, Raleigh, NC from 13-16 May 2009.

Hotel information along with rooms rates and parking information is now available online at the NGS website. Direct URL is

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Long list of programs sponsored, co-sponsored, or presented by St. Louis County Library or its staff members.



Advice from the National Archives on rescuing (and salvaging) threatened and damaged family treasures:



But let her ride shotgun, not in the back in a big closed box…



Hear all about it:


Note: The podcaster covers a wide variety of military subjects, so there’s something here for just about anyone…


PC Magazine says there’s a lot to like about the latest incarnation of the Opera browser (Opera 9.5):



From a PR notice:

“Social Security has redesigned its homepage to make it more welcoming and user- friendly. The new page is cleaner, easier to navigate and makes better use of graphics.

While the look of our homepage has changed, the web addresses have not. Favorite sites that you and other frequent users ha ve bookmarked will not change.

See for yourself how easy it is to use at"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


There's two pages of newspaper articles on Fort Beecher from the Wichita Eagle reprinted in the Midwest Historical & Genealogical Register 43:1 (Apr/May/Jun 2008). Articles include illustrations from the newspaper.

Midwest Historical & Genealogical Society
1203 N. Main Street
Wichita, KS 67203


No-- your ancestors aren't there in the museum (they are hopefully resting peacefully in their graves), but you may find that you can use museums to help reconstruct the details of the day-to-day lives of your ancestors. The author of this article uses several museums as examples of how to do so, including the Arabia Steamboat Museum (the Arabia sank with a full load of passengers and cargo after hitting a submerged walnut tree, which pierced her hull). She sank on the Missouri River, about an hour upriver from Kansas City, on 5 September 1856. She was raised in 1988; researchers found that mud and cold water had beautifully preserved most of her cargo. There are tips about making use of museum collections, and tips on how to locate museums of interest.

See NGS NewsMagazine 34:2 (Apr/Jun 2008), 18-22 for the complete story.


St. Charles County Genealogical Society will hold a Family History Workshop on 1 November 2008 at St. Charles Community College. Featured speaker will be Ann Carter Fleming. Workshop begins at 8:30 AM and lasts until 4 PM. Interested? More info here:



CSS MAILING LIST: For genealogists creating websites using cascading style sheets (if the terms mean nothing to you, you can safely ignore this post):



A free online toolkit for persons researching French ancestors, from your friends at Family Tree Magazine:


Sunday, June 15, 2008


At the University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign:

Courses that may be applied to the Certificate in Special Collections

LIS 581 Administration and Use of Archival Materials (On campus and LEEP sections)
LIS 582 Preserving Information Resources (Full semester on campus)
LIS 490BA Book Arts (8-weeks on campus)
LIS 590HB History of the Book (Full semester on campus)
LIS 590PC Preservation and Conservation for Collections Care (Full semester on campus)
LIS 590RBL Rare Book and Special Collections Librarianship (8-week LEEP section)

Detailed course descriptions here.

Book Arts Workshops

History and Identification of Historic Photographic and Illustrative Materials
July 14, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Instructor: Jennifer Hain Teper

Working with Leather: Exposed Sewn Binding
August 2 and 3, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Instructor: Bea Nettles

Basic Stitching
October 4, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Instructor: Bea Nettles

For more information and to register, please go here.

Second Life/Virtual World Courses

Several Second Life courses will be offered this summer. Course offerings and schedule TBD. Please check this link for information.


At the bookstore's kiosk—- but only in selected Borders bookstores, at least for now:



From their website:

“SSFOA is dedicated to supporting and assisting the wounded and their families of ALL Branches of Service and ALL Wars. Our goal is to recognize the blood sacrifice of our wounded and injuries or illness that originated in a war zone, including, Purple Heart recipients, victims of friendly fire, those who suffer from PTSD, Agent Orange effects and Gulf War syndrome. We are also advocates for the Wounded and assist in educating the public concerning their plight. SSFOA is a member of America Supports You and is working together with other ASY organizations to support our wounded service members in the way they deserve. SSFOA is a VA Volunteer Service Advisory Board member. Membership is FREE and includes the Bi-monthly Newsletter, and access to the Yahoo Boards.”



Programs offered this summer and fall by New England Historic Genealogical Society:

Come Home to New England
#1 Monday, June 23–Saturday, June 28, 2008
#2 Monday, August 11–Saturday, August 16, 2008

The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society invites you to participate in our classic intensive week-long program, Come Home to New England. Research your roots with expert assistance at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the premier facilities for genealogical records in the world. Whether you are a first-time participant or have enjoyed this program in the past, you are sure to benefit from a visit to our library and extended time with our staff of professional genealogists as they welcome you “home” to New England. Throughout the week of guided research, you will have the opportunity for one-on-one consultations, daily lectures and special extended library hours. Registration fee $750, $125 for non-participating guest.

For more information, go here.

Salt Lake City Research Tour
Sunday, November 2–Sunday, November 9, 2008

Join NEHGS for our thirtieth annual research tour to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Along with more than 70 other participants you are invited to take part in an intensive week of research where you will be aided by expert staff. Daily programming also includes computer tutorials for accessing the library card catalog, research tips and techniques lectures, personalized consultations and group dinning events.
For more information, go here.

For more information about NEHGS programs, go here or email

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Anna M. Henson of Bowling Green, Missouri announces the pending publication (Spring 2009) of Yesterday and Today: a Pictorial History of Pike County. This book will include over 400 pages of photos, with some photos of every community in Pike County. This hardbound book will sell for $50 plus $6 postage ($60 plus $6 postage if you order after 1 November 2008). Need a copy? Send orders with check payable to:

Anna Henson
12432 Pike 403
Bowling Green, MO 63334

Questions? Call her at 573-324-2531.


The Kansas State Historical Society was established by the state's newspaper editors in 1875. A virtually complete collection of all Kansas newspapers published from 1875 to the present is available on microfilm or in original form. The Society also acquired copies of Kansas newspapers published before 1875. The Historical Society has a limited collection of out-of-state newspapers that are included in the newspaper database. Only Kansas newspaper microfilm circulates through interlibrary loan, and some microfilm may be purchased from the society.

They also have specialized guides to the following types of newspapers on their website:

· Black
· Kansas Civilian Conservation Corps
· Labor
· Populist
· Socialist
· Territorial period



Just received from my pal Anastasia at additional info on the Historical Newspapers Collection: has doubled the size of its newspaper collection - adding a billion names and 20 million images. Culled from a cross section of American newspapers, from large and small towns alike, this collection has newspapers beginning in the early 1800s and some extending into the 2000s. (Available years vary by newspaper.)

As an example, the collection includes newspaper titles such as:
· The Anniston Star (Anniston, AL)
· Modesto Bee and Herald News (Modesto, CA)
· Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC)
· Odessa American (Odessa, TX)
· Xenia Daily Gazette (Xenia, OH)
· Panama City Herald (Panama City, FL)
· Chicago Daily News (Chicago, IL)
· Delta Democrat Times (Greenville, MS)
· Reno Gazette (Reno, NV)
· Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, PA)
· Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR)
· And many more...

Now through June 19th, the newspaper collection is open to the public for free. Search the newspaper collection here. (Please note: Users will need to register as members of to access the free newspapers. This free registration does NOT require a credit card. Those registering for a free membership account will be asked to provide an email address.)


I thought some of you might be interested in brand-new WWII books at rock-bottom prices- many less than $5!


The last copies of 75 books on World War II from Osprey, Naval Institute, Spellmount, Presidio, as well as Texas A&M, Yale, Missouri, Oklahoma and Cambridge are now available at Special Low Prices.

Very few copies of these titles remain-- go here and click on the banner: “World War II Closeouts.”


Jean Allen
The Scholar’s Bookshelf
110 Melrich Road Cranbury, NJ 08512
(p)609-395-6933 (f)609-395-0755

Friday, June 13, 2008


Thanks to Ozarks Genealogical Society Blog for including us in their list of blogs to keep an eye on:

NOTE: Check the right-hand navigation column. There we are with Eastman’s Genealogy Newsletter and Family History Circle-- distinguished company, indeed…


MoSGA Messenger is getting noticed by other genie bloggers. Randy Seaver in his Genea-Musings blog lists my posts on the NGS Conference in Kansas City in his "Best of the Blogs" post for May 18-24, 2008.

As he says (ahem!):

“Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week.”

Just scroll down to Sunday, May 25, 2008 to read his "Best of" post (you can also use “Find on this page” if you’re a Windows user-- search for “Best of” without the quotes) . You'll also enjoy many of Randy's other posts for May, and can access his archive of previous posts, too:

NOTE: You’ll need to paste this URL into your browser’s address bar to find the page-- it doesn't appear to work in search engine search boxes.


The 24/7 Family History Circle blog notes that they've nearly doubled the size of their historical newspapers database in the past week, and access to that collection is free-- but only until June 19th:



There's a three-page account of this battle in the Seminole War in GSCM Reporter 27:3 (May/June 2008). The force of 9,000 US volunteers under Col. Zachary Taylor included 600 mounted Missouri men under Col. Richard Gentry. Yellow fever and a hurricane reduced the Missouri numbers to 227 men and 150 horses by the time the force reassembled in Florida.

When the force finally found the Seminoles (25 December 1837), the Indians had done a tremendous job of preparing a open field of fire that would make a frontal assault a suicidal undertaking. Col. Gentry and several other officers advised a flanking approach, but future President Taylor would have none of it. The frontal assault proceeded, and the US volunteers in fact defeated the Seminoles and caused the retreat of the survivors into the swamps. But the assault was quite costly; 40 of the 132 Missouri volunteers directly involved were killed or wounded, including Col. Gentry, who was gutshot and later died from the agonizing wound.

Note: MoSGA's own Membership Chair, Rob Taylor, edits the GSCM Reporter. There's an online list of articles printed in previous issues of the Reporter here, with instructions on how to order back issues of this outstanding publication.


There's still time to order your copy of the Texas County (MO) Rural Schools book. They've found additional information and photos, so the book has expanded from a proposed 224 pages to 304 pages. The price has also expanded, to $54 plus $6 postage. Need a copy?

Texas County Genealogical & Historical Society
P.O. Box 12
Houston, MO 65483

Note: The Ozark Happenings Newsletter 25:2 (Apr/May/Jun 2008) has 19 pages of info on Texas County schools, 1881-1931.


An interesting post on the Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore’s blog:

A surname can tell you a lot about someone's ancestry. Some names derive from specific places or regions of a country. Others are actually modifications or shortenings of entirely different names. Still others derive from the names of animals, plants, insects, and so forth. In genealogy, knowing where surnames come from and how they have been changed over time can make the difference in finding a sought-after ancestor. Want to know more about surname research? Check out the latest article posted on our blog,


My dad was born in a small town (De Pue) in Bureau County, Illinois. He graduated from De Pue High School in 1941, at age 17. A few months later, he decided to join the Navy. He enlisted in November 1941. Less than one month later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the fates of millions of American men and women were sealed in one way or another.

My father survived the war, lucky for my siblings and me (and for him, come to think of it). He didn't talk about it much, so I've always suspected that one or more buddies were killed or very badly injured. He did mention several times that he wished he'd stayed in the service, since he could have retired with full pay in 1961, at age 37. Since he lived until 1999, that would have been a good deal, indeed.

Here are some pictures of my dad in uniform. He cut a dashing figure, don't you agree?

My dad's name was Lester George Pearson. He loved the beach (he was stationed for some time in Hawaii during the war), and I assume that he's presently walking along a celestial beach, where it's always sunny and warm, you never need sunscreen, and there's always a waiter or waitress at hand with a cool libation of choice.

Here's to you, Dad!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Genealogy librarians who need a few days away from the public, here's your chance to really get away from it all:

An update on “Genealogy and Local History for All: Services to Multicultural Communities”. Early registration will close in less than two weeks (June 20). Register now!

The conference is for librarians and archivists and will take place in Ottawa, Ontario on August 6 and 7 at Library and Archives Canada. For full details, please see the conference website at

The programme will feature presentations on a wide variety of topics including DNA and genealogy, resources and services for specific ethnic groups, and global initiatives being undertaken by FamilySearch. It will also provide an excellent opportunity to make new contacts with librarians and archivists working in the area of genealogy and local history. There will also be tours of the Canadian Genealogy Centre, Library and Archives Canada and the Gatineau Preservation Centre.

For further information, please contact:

Janet Tomkins, Information Coordinator
Standing Committee
Section 37 - Genealogy and Local History
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions


The Genealogy Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library will be closed the week of June 9, 2008 to move into its new facility - the Midwest Genealogy Center. We anticipate being open for business on June 16, 2008 but please check our website, for updates. The dedication of the building will take place on June 21, 2008 at 10am, with classes, tours, and musical entertainment lasting until 5pm. The location of the Midwest Genealogy Center is 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road in Independence, Missouri.

Janice Schultz
Genealogy Librarian
Mid-Continent Public Library, Genealogy Branch
317 W. 24 Highway
Independence MO 64050
Phone: (816) 252-7228; Fax: (816) 254-7114

Unless explicitly attributed, the opinions expressed are personal.

New - Expected closing date is now June 9-14, 2008, with expected opening on June 16, 2008. Call ahead for hours and location. Grand Opening Activities will be on June 21, 2008 - all day.


If you've got more money than time, and could use a helper to convert newspaper clippings, letters, diaries, and other paper documents into digital formats that you can use on websites, post on a blog, publish in a genealogical newsletter or quarterly, or print as a family history book, we may be able to help. We received a note recently from Randal Phillips, a Springfield, Missouri English teacher who has 20 years of experience working in newspaper and print advertising. He's been doing conversion work for genealogists for the last four years, including putting Christian County, Missouri obituary entries on the Web.

If you (or your genealogical or historical society) can use somebody to do the conversion grunt work for you, get in touch with Mr. Phillips and see if he is the man who can solve all your pesky conversion problems!

Randal Phillips
1942 S. Cedarbrook Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65804


Great Christmas present for hard-core genealogists, or donate a set to your favorite genealogy library!

SAVE $$ on Your Own "Library of Congress" Genealogy Collection
(Sale prices in effect until 11:59 PM, EDT, Monday, June 16, 2008)

In the past two centuries, genealogists have published tens of thousands of family histories. In fact, since the middle of the 19th-century, the Library of Congress (LC), as we noted above, has served as the repository for some 50,000 of them. As any genealogist should know, the place to start your research--after examining and evaluating the records in your own family's possession--is by learning if someone else has done research on your family. Having access to a list of published family histories, therefore, can prove to be invaluable.

Recognizing the importance of such a list inspired author Marion Kaminkow to set herself the task of combing through the card catalogue of the LC for family histories. In 1972, Mrs. Kaminkow published GENEALOGIES IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: A Bibliography. This two-volume work provides bibliographical details of all the family histories deposited at the Library from its establishment through 1972. In 1977 and again in 1986, Mrs. Kaminkow produced two SUPPLEMENTS to the base work, extending the coverage by another 14 years. Recognizing that not every genealogist had sent his/her family history to the LC, she canvassed the collections of 24 additional libraries around the U.S. (e.g. the famed Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana). Her COMPLEMENT TO GENEALOGIES IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS identifies a staggering 20,000 genealogies not in the collection of our national library. In all, Mrs. Kaminkow produced a bibliography, in five volumes, of well over 50,000 genealogies prepared through 1986.

Since the publication of GENEALOGIES IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, a number of U.S. libraries have acquired copies of this remarkable compilation. However, the price ($430.00 for all five volumes when purchased separately; $395.00 for the five-volume set) has put them out of the reach of the average researcher. Although we have already reduced the individual prices on these precious reference volumes, we have decided to cut the prices even further on these oversized, hardcover books to bring them within the reach of a large percentage of our subscribers. For seven days only, readers of "Genealogy Pointers" can purchase one or all of the components of GENEALOGIES IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS at a savings of 60% or more off the retail price.

Imagine having at your fingertips the titles and full bibliographical details of the vast majority of genealogies ever published through 1986! In many cases, the book citations refer to collateral family names, spelling variations, and, sometimes, cross-references to other works--including foreign titles. Here is one example:

GRIM. History of the Grim family of Pennsylvania and its associated families including the following: Merkle, Greenawalt, Fertig, Zechman, Schaeffer, Smith, Felver Schreiner, Creher, Kircher and Moyer families. Published by Mabel Estella Grim Smith, Jennie Lucretia Grim Long, Harry Heber, Compiled and edited by William Gabriel Long (Huntington, W. Va., Printed by Huntington publishing company) 1934. v. 166 pp. illus (incl. ports., maps, facsim., coat of arms) 23 cm. 35-14616. CS71. G86 1934.

As you can see, GENEALOGIES IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS is more than a booklist; rather, it contains clues that may disclose the next phase of your research. Moreover, since you know where copies of these genealogies are housed, you may even be able to acquire a facsimile copy (e.g., the LC will print copies of its public domain genealogies on demand for a stated fee).

We are pleased to extend this unprecedented offer to own these marvelous books at dramatic savings. Remember, however, these special prices will end at 11:59 PM, EDT, Monday, June 16, 2008.

Don't miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to bring this massive bibliography of family histories from the LC into your own home!


This is the complete five-volume set, consisting of the two-volume base set of GENEALOGIES, the two SUPPLEMENTS, and the COMPLEMENT.
Was $395.00/set Sale Price: $149.95/set


All programs are held at St. Louis Public Library, Meeting Room 1, 3rd Floor, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. Programs are free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged but not required. Parking is free on Saturdays (meters are not checked), and Scott Trade Center Metro-Link stop is only four blocks away. Call 314-539-0381 or email to register or for more information.

June 14, 2008. 10 AM-Noon. Show-Me Soldiers: Researching Missouri Civil War Ancestors. Meeting Room 1. Join us as we discuss print, manuscript, and Internet sources of information about Missouri Civil War soldiers (Union and Confederate).

July 26, 2008. 10 AM-Noon. Great Civil War Battles: Lookout Mountain & Missionary Ridge. Meeting Room 1. Join us as we discuss the two unlikely Union victories that made the Spring 1864 Atlanta Campaign possible.

It’s easy to add you to my programs notification list! Just send an email with NOTIFY in the subject line to You’ll get a reminder of upcoming programs a week or so before each program takes place (don’t forget to tell me if your email address changes, and please tell your email client it’s OK to accept mail from me!).

Tom Pearson, Special Collections Department
314-539-0381 or


Persons who've been to the UP before will wish they could attend this conference:

The 59th Annual Upper Peninsula History Conference will be held in Gwinn, Michigan June 27-29th. Come join us in this "Model Community" with intriguing ties to the mining industry, architecture in the UP, immigration, and much more! To see and/or print the conference flier please visit us at

The 2008 UP History Conference is an annual event of the Historical Society of Michigan and is being hosted by the Forsyth Township Historical Society. The conference is sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Power Company, the Gwinn Area Community Schools and the Gwinn-Sawyer Area Chamber of Commerce. Highlights of the conference include a pre-conference tour of the Gwinn area including the former Sawyer Air Force Base and its museum. An additional pre-conference tour to the CCI Tilden and Empire mines is also being offered but is nearly at capacity.

Conference Keynote speakers include Arnold Alanen discussing the Gwinn Model Community, Russell Magnaghi on Ethnic Foods of the Upper Peninsula and Tom Friggens speaking on the No Tears in Heaven: the Barnes-Hecker Mine Disaster. Breakout sessions on Saturday will feature Demetrius Charlton: Architect of the Upper Peninsula by Steve Brisson, Getting from Europe to Upper Michigan: the Immigrant Experience by Barry C. James, The Gem in the Queen's Crown: An Environmental History of Marquette's Presque Isle Park by John Anderton, Warren Manning: Landscape Design and Planning for the Upper Peninsula by Lynn Bjorkman, Corporate Paternalism and Labor-Management Relations on the Iron Ranges by Terry S. Reynolds, and My Search for Early Man in Michigan's Upper Peninsula by Jim Paquette. Mini-workshops will be included in the conference on Saturday including one on Oral History 101: Using Personal History to Preserve Community History by James Cameron and Getting Published: How to Navigate Getting Your Michigan History Book in Print by Julie Loehr and Tom Vranich.

A pre-conference session on Friday morning will be an Archival Conservation Workshop and be led by Marcus Robyns of Northern Michigan University.

The annual Upper Peninsula History Awards will be presented at a special banquet hosted by the Michigan Iron Industry Museum on Saturday evening. At that time the Charles Follo Award and Superior Award will be presented for an outstanding individual and an outstanding historical organization that has played a key role in preserving and advancing Upper Peninsula history.

Other features of the 2008 UP History Conference include an outdoor Italian dinner at Peter Nordeen Park in the center of "downtown" Gwinn, tours of the Forsyth Township Historical Museum, a walking tour of historic Gwinn and its highlights on Sunday morning, and more.

The conference motels will be the Red Fox Inn and the Model Towne Inn with special conference rates starting at $39.95 (Red Fox Inn) and $49.95 (Model Towne Inn). The Red Fox Inn features spacious rooms and was once the housing for officers at the Sawyer Air Force base. The inn offers standard rooms ($39.95) as well as one, two and three bedroom suites (available for an additional charge). The Model Towne Inn is near the village center. Both motels offer clean and reasonable accommodations typical of a modestly priced motel. Upscale accommodations are available twenty miles north in Marquette.

To make reservations call one of the numbers below. Be sure to identify yourself as attending the 2008 Upper Peninsula History Conference and ask for the special conference rate:

Red Fox Inn: (866) 369-0096 or Model Towne Inn: (888) 252-9495

For more information on the 2008 UP History Conference or to register on-line (using our secure process via PayPal) visit or call (800) 692-1828. You can also respond to this e-mail and we would be happy to mail you a copy of the conference flier.

Larry J. Wagenaar, Executive Director
The Historical Society of Michigan
1305 Abbot Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: (517) 324-1828

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Nels Nelson married Margaret Merriam in South Dakota in 1904. The couple just didn't hit it off. Four years later, Nels filed for divorce in Washington State, saying he hadn't seen Mrs. Nelson in 18 months. A witness at the divorce proceeding said that Mrs. Nelson had visited her every day for three years just to talk about her husband's numerous shortcomings. Mrs. Nelson told this lady that she'd "gotten even" with Nelson by whistling ragtime tunes whenever he was trying to get to sleep. Mrs. Nelson was quoted as having said, "Nels don't like anything except folk songs of the Vikings, and that's why I whistled good old ragtime."

The above anecdote was discovered in the Adair Historian 5:2 (Spring 2008). The same publication also notes that the Adair County Historical Society is selling Troubled State: the Civil War Journals of Franklin Archibald Dick, for $35.95 plus $5 postage. Need a copy? Send a check payable to ACHS to:

211 South Elson
Kirksville, MO 63501


Ozarks Genealogical Society is holding its 28th Annual Fall Conference, Paths to the Past, on 12-13 September 2008 in Springfield, Missouri. Featured speaker is Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck. Sessions include Finding the Maiden Names of Females; Beginning Genealogy; Newspaper Research; Federal Bounty Lands; The New Mid-Continent Public Library Midwest Genealogy Center; Using Courthouse Records; Loyalists & Tories; and Where Did They Go? Migrations from the Peace of Paris in 1783 to the War of 1812.

Registration begins at 6 PM on 12 September 2008, with one session that evening. Registration begins on 13 September 2008 at 7:30 AM. Conference site is University Plaza at 333 John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield, MO 65806.

For more info, phone 417-885-9009 or email them at Website is

You may also be interested in these upcoming presentations at the OGS Library at 534 W. Catalpa Street (all at 9:30 AM):

25 June 2008-- Identifying & Dating Photos.

23 July 2008-- Genealogy by the Numbers.

27 August 2008-- The Life & Letters of a Vietnam Soldier.

Want to learn more about OGS activities, collections, programs, meetings, and special events? Attend an orientation session on 17 July 2008 or 20 July 2008. Both sessions begin at 2 PM at the OGS Library at 534 W. Catalpa Street. Need more info? Contact Melba Rector at


The Missouri History Museum will be hosting two genealogy events on Saturday, June 14.

1. If any of you would like to learn more about the valuable
genealogical resources held at the Missouri History Museum Library and
Research Center, I will be giving a genealogy workshop at the Library
and Research Center (located at 225 South Skinker) on Saturday, June 14,
at 9:30 a.m. In this workshop, I'll show you how to use the various
catalogs and guides to our collections, and I'll also show many examples
of genealogical resources in our library, archives, and photographs and
prints collections. The cost for this program is $10 per person, $7 for
Genealogy Series cardholders, and $5 for Missouri History Museum
members. Reservations are required. To make a reservation, call (314)
361-9017. To learn more about becoming a Genealogy Series cardholder,
call (314) 361-8059. Reminder: This genealogy workshop will be held at
the Library and Research Center at 225 South Skinker, across from Forest

2. Dr. Antonella Rastelli will be giving a talk titled "Finding My
Father: A Genealogical Journey" at the Missouri History Museum on
Saturday, June 14, at 2 pm. This event is free. Read more about this
talk on the Missouri History Museum events calendar.

Reminder: This talk will be held at the Missouri History Museum in
Forest Park.

Dennis Northcott
Missouri History Museum


If you've got a little mechanical aptitude, and a lot of patience, you can build one for $150 (doesn’t include keyboard, mouse, or monitor):


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Thanks to all you MoSGA Messenger readers, we're 10 grand richer-- this blog has received more than 10,000 visits since its inception on 4 November 2007! So pat yourself on the back-- you deserve it-- and thanks for reading MoSGA Messenger!


Bev at writes in to say:

Thanks for helping us get the word out about our blog ( Your members may also be interested in the Family History and Genealogy page we have on at htt(p://


There's still time to register for most of these summer classes (to be held at St. Louis Genealogical Society Headquarters in Sunnen Park):

June 12 and 19-- Intro to Legacy 6.0

June 22 and 29-- Beginning Genealogy

June 25 and 27-- Using the Mercantile Library

July 9-- One-on-One Problem Solving Sessions

July 9 and 16-- Trip to the Missouri State Archives

July 12-- Internet Books: Google and Heritage Quest

July 25-- Intro to German Genealogy: Where Do I Start?

August 7-- Introduction to GPS

August 16-- Are You Ready for a Research Trip?

August 13 and 20-- Tips & Tricks of Subscription Websites

Please see the website: for complete information.


The St. Louis Genealogical Society is sponsoring their 15th annual trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City November 9-16, 2008.

The week includes:

1. Seven nights at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel at Temple Square;

2. Six full days of research at the world's largest genealogical library;

3. An orientation tour of the library and surrounding area on Monday;

4. Individual research consultations with group leaders throughout the

5. Transfers and baggage handling between airport and hotel in Salt Lake

6. Sunday evening group meal at the hotel;

7. Special genealogical lecture on Monday evening;

8. Access to all classes held at the library from Monday through Saturday.

For complete information and costs, please visit the website at:


Registration continues for MoSGA's 2008 Annual Workshop. This free workshop will be held in Columbia, Missouri at the Boone County Electric Cooperative on 23 August 2008. The workshop includes talks on getting started in genie research, land records, and Missouri Civil War soldier research by Janice Schultz, Dr. Bill Eddleman, and Tom Pearson. We're also having a genealogy book sale (hundreds of books-- some like new, nearly all in very good condition-- at great prices) and our annual meeting and awards ceremony (lunch on your own at one of many fine nearby restaurants).

The workshop is free, and there is no deadline per se, but seating IS limited, so we advise you to register ASAP if interested. Our registrar informs me that seats are filling up fast, and we only have room for 100 persons! After that, we'll have to turn folks away! So, register online now at the MoSGA website, and we'll see you there!

Monday, June 09, 2008


The Missouri First Families Program is off and running, according to Program Chair Mary Celeste. There are currently 138 names in the database-- 78 pre-1908; 7 territorial; and 42 pioneers. There are only seven Civil War soldiers registered as yet, but Mary expects that to pick up as more people become aware of the program. Requirements for receiving certificates are as follows:

The three Certificate Programs:

* Territorial
(ancestor in Missouri on or before 10 August 1821)

* Pioneer
(ancestor in Missouri between & including 11 August 1821 – 31 December 1861)

* Civil War Service
(ancestor served in a Missouri military unit during the Civil War; was enlisted in any other military unit; but saw service IN Missouri during the Civil War; Civil War veteran of any military unit but died or is buried in Missouri)

Interested? You can get more info and applications here. Just click on "First Families."

NOTE: Missouri First Families certificates make great Christmas gifts for the genealogists on your list, and there's plenty of time to complete applications and receive certificates if you get started now!


If you have some free time, and would be interested in volunteering to help us with various projects, click here and we'll put you in touch with MoSGA President Martha Henderson. You don't necessarily need to live in the Columbia area, or even in Missouri, for some jobs can be done by anybody with a computer and Internet connection. Jobs involved will take varying amounts of time, so there's probably a job you can do no matter how much time you have to offer. Here's your chance to help other persons who are researching Missouri ancestors, so contact us today!


If you happen to be researching the See family of Odessa, Missouri, our Journal editor, Bob Doerr, has a number of newspaper clippings relating to this family. The clippings are not dated, and source is not noted. If any of you are interested in this family, click here and provide us with your email and mailing addresses.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Genealogy Insider blog has an informative post on the new MyHeritage metasearch engine that searches up to 1,350 genealogy specific sites for you all at once:



If you haven’t checked the page recently, you might just want to do so. Your eyes will probably immediately lock onto this section:

Search Genealogy Records & Library
· Family History Library Catalog
· Birth, Marriage & Death Vital Records
· U.S., British, & Canadian Census Collections
· Free Online Resources

There’s also a “News & Events” section:

News & Events
· New Civil War Era Records
· Library Catalog Upgrade
· England and Scotland Guides
· British Historical Records
· News Releases Archive

Interested? Go here:



There are “guy things” every guy should know how to do. Some guys seem to learn these “guy things” through osmosis, while other guys not so much… If the father in your life is a decidedly “not so much” guy, How to Back Up a Trailer will teach him how to do those “guy things” he really should have learned by now…

“Motor oil, beer, and charcoal- that's what real men are made of. A real man should be able to swap out the car's spark plugs and change its oil as his freshly caught fish smokes on open flame-- all while shotgunning a beer. For how-to instructions on these and other equally manly activities, you need How to Back Up a Trailer. It's the ultimate guide to everything you better know how to do, like:

· Rotate your car's tires and change its brake pads
· Swing a bat like a homerun hitter
· Build and light a campfire during a rainstorm
· Install an electrical outlet in your home
· Tap a keg for the perfect beer flow

Read it. Learn it. Live it. With How to Back Up a Trailer, you'll never have to stop and ask for directions again.”

Good news for you, too-- purchase price of $12.95 shouldn’t break most people’s bank…



Our government did, with Project Blue Book-- and the Brits did, too. You can now read the British government’s UFO files (1978-2002) here:


The site includes a fascinating introduction to the subject that provides a great overview of British and American investigation of UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena- the preferred term of most British government agencies), which really got its start not with Roswell in 1947, but with “foo-fighters” during World War II:



More to the point, if you’d like to keep yours alive, maybe you’d better read this:



You can put together a neat little map that shows places you’ve lived, places you’ve visited, and places you’d like to visit someday at the Where I’ve Been website. You can then embed your map in a blog or on your MySpace, Facebook, or Friendster page.

Take a look:


Thursday, June 05, 2008


A possible problem with the military's handling of the cremation of the remains of military casualties came to light in May 2008:

Defense Department Reviews Process for Handling Remains of Fallen Warriors
by Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2008 - The Defense Department is taking steps to ensure that remains of fallen service members are always treated with the utmost respect, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters today.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates learned of problems with the military's cremation process today, and he took immediate action, Morrell said. The department is launching an investigation into processes for handling remains of fallen warriors at the military's sole mortuary on Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

"The families of the fallen have the secretary's deepest apology," Morrell said. "Those still serving have his commitment that all members of the armed forces will be treated with the dignity and respect that their sacrifice demands. "

Morrell made the announcement at a Pentagon press conference held after senior leaders became aware of a complaint by a service member who works in the Pentagon about the cremation process. The service member complained after witnessing the cremation of a soldier's body that was returned this week from Iraq.

Because there is no cremation facility at the base, the Dover Port Mortuary contracted two local funeral homes to perform cremations. One of the mortuaries is not co-located with the funeral home and is in an industrial park in Kent County, Del. It has two incinerators: one is marked for human remains, another for pets, Morrell said.

While the facility is fully licensed, Gates believes the site and signs "are insensitive and entirely inappropriate for the dignified treatment of our fallen," Morrell said.

"There is no mission more important than the dignified return of our fallen heroes to their families and the Dover Air Force Base team has performed this mission with great care for a number of years," Morrell said.

With Gates' approval, Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne has directed the mortuary to stop contracting the off-site crematorium and use only those crematoriums that are co-located with licensed funeral homes, Morrell said. Also, there must now be a military presence during off-base processes of funeral home facilities, he said.

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Duncan McNabb will follow up on all actions and coordinate with Army staff. David Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, will review DoD policies on handling the remains of service members. They will determine how many soldiers' bodies were handled by the crematorium, Morrell said. He noted that while "probably more often than not" service members' remains are sent to their hometowns for cremations.

It is not unusual for crematoriums to serve both humans and pets, Morrell said. "My understanding is that it's common practice."

Morrell stressed that "we have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that any human remains were ever mistreated." While it is permissible to cremate fallen soldiers in a facility that also cremates pets, Gates believes it is inappropriate, he said.

The service member who complained "did what he should have done, which was to report it to us," said Lt. Gen. David Huntoon, director of Army staff.

"The senior leadership of all the services holds the mission of returning our fallen comrades of the highest order of importance," Huntoon said.

Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, director of Air Force staff, said the mortuary began contracting the facilities in 2001. Klotz said he will travel to Dover tomorrow to look into the matter. Because Dover is "a relatively small city," the mortuary is limited in its ability to contract cremation services, he said.

This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Department of Defense. Visit us on the web at


From the Greene County, Indiana Message Board comes a post that illustrates in horrifying detail my contention that The Good Old Days weren’t always good:



The following is a newspaper article regarding the Hunter Bros. Mill Explosion of 1877 in Greene County, Indiana. All that I had found before was a brief mention in Goodspeed’s 1884 History of Greene & Sullivan Counties on page 303.

The article is copied word for word from a single column article that originally appeared in the publication "The Weekly Bloomfield Democrat," the year 1877-- day and month are unknown. It is very sad, and it gives a lot of personal details that wouldn't be shared in newspapers today. I am very interested in receiving a photocopy of the original if possible.

This copy transcribed by Benita Sheets Steyer, from a copy obtained by Mable Crites Johnson in Greene County, Indiana May 2008.

Benita Sheets Steyer

Message Board Post:

The Bloomfield Weekly Democrat 1877

Harvest of Death: Terrible Boiler Explosion!

Greene County's Horror!! Fearful Loss of Life!! Particulars, Incidents, &C., &C.

Never before has it been our duty as a newspaper reporter to chronicle a more sudden, brief, and terrible disaster, in which the elements of horror, pain and suffering were more closely interwoven, than in describing the awful death that befell almost a score of our fellow citizens on last Friday morning. While the storm clouds of Heaven were marshalling their forces for a terrific war of the elements, and a deep unnatural gloom was settling down upon the earth like a funeral pall, the boiler in the mill of Hunter Bros. Situated about nine miles northeast of this place, exploded, and carrying, in all its terrible force, death and destruction to many of our fellowmen.

During the past week some new grinding machinery had been placed in the mill, which was formerly a saw mill and a number of the neighbors gathered there on Friday morning to see the machinery work. The day was cold, disagreeable and rainy, and those who were present naturally gathered about the engine and boiler to warm, when without a moments warning the boiler exploded, wrecking the building completely and killing twelve person, and wounding eight. The machinery was thrown in every direction and not a particle of the mill left standing. The cause of the awful accident was beyond question, a dry boiler, and someone one doubt connected with the mill discovering this, commenced pumping water into the empty boiler with the above fatal result. The following is complete list of those who were killed: Abner Vandeventer, aged 60 years cut in two; John Speltz, aged 75 years gash in the forehead; John Wilkie, aged 30 years crushed with a mill stone; James Hunter, aged 34 years, slashed across the abdomen; Irwin B. Rea, aged 20, portion of the head severed from the body; John Hunter aged 20 years head blown away; Wash Bender, aged 13 years, leg blown off, John Hamilton, aged 15 years, head blown entirely away; Ed Hunter, aged 7 years, and Howard Hunter, aged 5 years, portions of their heads severed from their bodies; Owen Sarver, aged 14 years, head blown off; Jacob Brubaker, aged 14 terribly mutilated, died the next day.

The wounded are Walter Hunter, aged 7 years right arm fractured and body badly scalded; John Bender, aged 11 years not seriously injured; Wm. Bland, aged 20 years, leg injured; Henry Bland scalded, Ahart Brubaker, leg scalded. Those who are wounded will probably recover, although some are seriously injured and may yet die.

This is beyond question the most horrible and fatal accident that ever occurred in Greene County, and has desolated many homes, and caused mourning in many hearts. Four of those who were killed were heads of families; the rest young men and boys.

No one in or about the mill escaped death or being wounded. A man, who was unloading corn at the time, was killed and his wagon torn to pieces, strange to say, his horses escaped without a scratch.

Three little boys were seated on a bench on top of the boiler warming themselves when it exploded. One was killed instantly, and the other two badly wounded and scalded. One boy was thrown into a tree and fell from there into a branch of water by the mill, and was one of the first to escaped and tell the story of the great horror.

The scene of the disaster was pitiable in the extreme. Pieces of men's bodies, torn clothing and portions of the machinery were all thrown promiscuously together. The greater number of those killed were buried Sunday and a gloom sorrowful beyond expression seemed over the entire community. The wreck was visited by hundreds of people during Saturday and Sunday, and the sympathy of many hearts flowed out to the afflicted and bereft relations of those who had been so suddenly called away from earth. Death is terrible at any time, even when we watch at the bedside of those who we know are doomed to die. We feel that he is truly the "king of terrors," but when our loved ones go from us in the morning well, happy, and the promise of long life before them, and before the noon are brought back mangled corpses, then and then only, can we measure the depth and extent of the suffering the stricken relatives of those who were killed in this disaster must experience.

It will long be remembered as a "black Friday" in the history of Greene County, and we indulge the hope that we may never again be called upon to write such a story of suffering and sorrow.


Elgin Community College
Elgin, Illinois
October 18, 2008

We are celebrating our 40th anniversary with:

Great Speakers • Great Topics • Sign Up Today!

• The Web, the World and You - D. Joshua Taylor

• Online Resources for Colonial America - D. Joshua Taylor

• Automated Search Tools – Beau Sharbrough

• Footnote – Beau Sharbrough

• City Smarts: Finding Your Ancestors in the Big Maze – Lou Szucs

• A Dozen Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Project – Lou Szucs

• The Digital Revolution: The FamilySearch Vision - Susan Anderson

• Restoring Documents with a Computer - Eric Basir

• DAR and Technology - Kathy Carey

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Now available for free downloading at Project Gutenberg:

Creator: Mainwaring, Arthur Edward, 1864-
Creator: Romer, Cecil Francis, 1869-
Title: The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War,
With a Description of the Operations in the Aden Hinterland



Now available for free downloading at Project Gutenberg:

Creator: McCarthy, Carlton, 1847-
Illustrator: Sheppard, William Ludwell, 1833-1912
Title: Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865



Even if you can't be in New Orleans for this event, maybe the descriptions will inspire some of you to create similar events in your localities:

21-22 June 2008
Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The National World War II Museum brings back its popular Home Front Days on Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22. The weekend event features activities for children of all ages, focusing on life on the Home Front in New Orleans during World War II. Children and their parents can enjoy fun, educational and free hands-on activities in the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion. Activities in the Pavilion begin at 10:00 am and end at 5:00 pm on both days. The Museum opens at 9:00 am. Admission to the Museum's exhibitions is also free to children all weekend.

Home Front Days activities include planting Victory Gardens, spotting planes, designing propaganda posters, building Higgins boats, making radio sound effects, shopping with ration coupons, writing V-Mail, surviving boot camp and learning to swing dance. Each activity will take place in the Pavilion in a series of stations and are geared to teaching the efforts of the men and women on the Home Front that were so important to the final victory of World War II. Home Front Days is a program of The National World War II Museum's Education Department. For more information, call 504-527-6012 x 229.

National WWII Museum,
945 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Entrance on Andrew Higgins Drive

PHONE: (504) 527-6012 FAX: (504) 527-6088


Notice how many of these young men were killed by IEDs-- the terrorists know they can't win a fair fight:

Lima Company Memorial Honors Fallen Marines
by Marine Corps Sgt. G.S. Thomas
Special to American Forces Press Service

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 27, 2008 - Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and other senior officials began the Memorial Day weekend by participating in a ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse here May 23 that included the unveiling of a memorial ho noring 22 Marines and a Navy corpsman killed in Iraq.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England praises the heroism demonstrated by fallen Marines of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines during a dedication of a memorial in their honor in Columbus, Ohio, May 23, 2008.

The memorial consists of eight panels with life-sized portraits of the Marines and corpsman from Company L, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, who lost their lives while serving in Iraq from February to September 2005.

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Delgado, who deployed with the company as the weapons platoon commander, was among those who spoke at the unveiling. He held back his emotions as he shared personal stories about many of the fallen.

"None of us want these Marines or anyone from Lima Company to be remembered for their death," Delgado said. "Please never forget why Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen go forward, and that's to push the cause of freedom."

England praised the courage of the Lima Company Marines who he said followed in the footsteps of Americans who have defended freedom for more than 230 years, including the "Greatest Generation" from World War II.

"Just as the 'Greatest Generation' answered the call almost 70 years ago and changed the course of history, today's 'Greatest Generation,' Lima Company, has preserved for us this marvelous, precious gift," he said.

"In honoring them, let us all never forget their sacrifices," he said. "Let us all recommit ourselves to the preservation of freedom for future generations, so those generations will wake each morning as free Americans."

England said it's not by accident or chance that Americans live in freedom, but because patriots like Lima Company Marines have stepped forward to defend it when it was threatened.

"Lima Company -- and especially those honored today and their families -- knows that the American people are grateful for your sacrifice, your tireless service, your dedication, and especially your gift of freedom," he said.

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Magnus shared words sent to the Lima Company Marines by Deb Dunham. Her late son, Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, became the first Marine since Vietnam to earn the Medal of Honor when he threw himself on a live terrorist grenade in Iraq to protect his fellow Marines.

"My message is Deb Dunham's message for those who honor the fallen angels of Lima 3/25 today and for those who carry on and celebrate the meaning of their lives," Magnus said. "Just like her boy Jason, who volunteered after 9/11 to do an important mission and to take care of his Marines, we say, 'Thank you, keep doing what you are doing, and take care of each other.'

"God bless the angels for the lives that they lived," he said. "God bless all who celebrate their lives. God bless those who do the difficult and often dangerous work of serving. God bless all who support them and their families. God bless America. Semper fidelis."

The eight canvas panels of the Lima Company Memorial honoring the fallen Marines were painted by Columbus artist Anita Miller, who said the idea came to her in a dream. The panels are arranged in an octagon, with each fallen warrior's boots and an ever-living candle beneath his likeness.

The memorial will stay in the statehouse before traveling across the country.

"These paintings tell a story of courage and strength and hope," Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said during the dedication ceremony. "The paintings will stand in our state house from Memorial Day through Veterans Day, but the Lima Company will remain in our hearts every day."

Depicted in the paintings are:

-- Lance Cpl. Eric J. Bernholtz, 23. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 27, 1981. His hometown is Grove City, Ohio, where he attended school from first grade through high school. Bernholz was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an improvised explosive device.

-- Lance Cpl. Wesley G. Davids, 20. He was born in San Jose, Calif., on May 10, 1985. Davids was a freshman in high school when his family moved to Dublin, Ohio, where he rowed with a team on the Scioto River. Davids was killed in ac tion May 11, 2005, in Qaim, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Christopher Jenkins Dyer, 19. He was born in Cincinnati on March 13, 1986. Dyer considered both Evendale and Glendale, Ohio, as hometowns. He was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Christopher P. Lyons, 24. He was born in Charleston, S.C., on Sept. 26, 1980. His hometown is Shelby, Ohio, where he worked as an advertising salesman for the Mansfield News Journal before he was deployed. Lyons was killed in action July 28, 2005, in Cykla, Iraq, from enemy fire.

-- Lance Cpl. Aaron H. Reed, 21. He was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, on Aug. 23, 1983. Reed was killed in action on Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Sgt. David N. Wimberg, 24. He was born in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 24, 1981. Wimberg was killed in action on May 25, 2005, in Haditha, Iraq, while leading his squad in a firefight.

-- Pfc. Christopher R. Dixon, 18. Born in Columbus, Ohio, on July 24, 1986, Dixon called Obetz, Ohio, home. He was killed in action May 11, 2005, in Qaim, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Michael J. Cifuentes, 25. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio, on June 25, 1980. Cifuentes called Fairfield, Ohio, home. He was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Nicholas William Baart Bloem, 20. Born in Bellevue, Wash., on Aug. 2, 1985, he called Belgrade, Mont., home. He was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Nicholas B. Erdy, 21. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 22, 1983, and called Owensville, Ohio, home. He was killed in action May 11, 2005, in Qaim, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Cpl. Dustin A. Derga, 24. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 18, 1980. His hometown is Pickerington, Ohio. He was killed in action May 8, 2005, in New Ubaydi, Iraq, from enemy fire.

-- Cpl. Andre´ "Dre´" L. Williams, 23. He was born in Lima, Ohio, on Aug. 9, 1981, and called Galloway, Ohio, home. He was killed in action July 28, 2005, in Cykla, Iraq, from enemy fire.

-- Lance Cpl. Grant B. Fraser, 22. Fraser was born in Anchorage, Alaska, on Feb. 3, 1983. He was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Staff Sgt. Kendall H. Ivy II, 28. He was born in Galion, Ohio, on Sept. 15, 1976. He was killed in action May 11, 2005, in New Ubaydi, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis L. Youngblood, 26. Born at Pensacola Naval Base, Fla., on June 5, 1979, Youngblood called Ivor, Va., home. He died July 21, 2005, from IED wounds suffered in Hit, Iraq, on July 15, 2005.

-- Lance Cpl. William Brett Wightman, 22. He was born in Fayette County, Ohio, on Jan. 11, 1983, and called Sabina, Ohio, home. Wightman was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Edward August "Augie" Schroeder II, 23. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, on April 10, 1982, and his hometown is South Orange, N.J. Schroeder was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Staff Sgt. Anthony L. Goodwin, 33. He was born in Fitchburg, Mass., on May 28, 1971, and called Shirley, Mass., his home. He was killed in action May 8, 2005, in New Ubaydi, Iraq, from enemy fire.

-- Sgt. Justin F. Hoffman, 27. He was born in Orange, Calif., on Nov. 9, 1977, and his hometown is Delaware, Ohio. He was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Sgt. David Kenneth John Kreuter, 26. He was born in Cincinnati on June 25, 1979, and was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Jourdan Lin Grez, 24. He was born in Little Silver, N.J., and called Richmond, Va., home. He was killed in action May 11, 2005, in Qaim, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Timothy M. Bell Jr., 22. He was born in Kansas City, Mo., on May 11, 1983, and his hometown is West Chester, Ohio. Bell was killed in action Aug. 3, 2005, in Barwanah, Iraq, by an IED.

-- Lance Cpl. Jonathan W. Grant, 23. Born on April 15, 1982, he called Espanola, N.M., home. He was killed in action May 11, 2005, in Qaim, Iraq, by an IED.

(Marine Corps Sgt. G.S. Thomas is media chief for Marine Forces Reserve. Donna Miles from American Forces Press Service contributed to this article.)

This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Department of Defense. Visit us on the web at


Honor Flight Offers World War II Veterans Chance to Reflect
by Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2008 - They last donned their uniforms nearly 70 years ago, but the veterans appeared as proud as if they were still wearing them as they set out for their visit to the nation's capital to see the memorial in their honor. To thunderous applause and cheers, 40 World War II veterans arrived from Detroit at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport's "A" Terminal on May 17. The group was ready to fulfill their dream of visiting the World War II Memorial, something none of them had done since its dedication in 2004.

"I like to think of my old buddies, which are mostly all gone by now," said John DeNardo, an Army veteran who served from April 1943 to January 1946. "Most of them never got to see it, so I feel like I'm representing them here in a way." The resident of Clinton Township, Mich., said he was glad for the chance to see the memorial built in part by his contributions. But to make the trip, he had to draw on his experiences from the war: early reveille and a full day. "I started at 4 o'clock this morning," DeNardo said. "We're going go to Arlington National Cemetery, and they said if time allows, they're going to drive us around." DeNardo said he didn't think the visit would be too emotional, but he had a few tissues just in case. And that probably was a good thing.

"It makes us cry. It makes them cry," said Rick Sage, who works with Honor Flight Michigan, the organization that made the trip possible. "You can't go through this day and not be emotional." Honor Flight Michigan brought 414 World War II veterans to visit the memorial in 2007. Sage said the organization's goal is 600 this year, and with 120 already having made the trip and an average of two flights a month, it seems attainable. It all depends on funding, he said. All funds raised and donations received go into getting veterans to Washington. "We're all volunteers. We don't get paid anything," Sage said. "We're just doing this because it's the right thing to do for these guys."

Even the right thing can come with challenges, though. Many World War II veterans are no longer mobile and require a wheelchair to get around. That means more of what the Honor Flight Network refers to as "guardians" to help move those who need wheelchairs. But that doesn't discourage the volunteers. "Logistically, it's a nightmare," Sage said. "But guess what? We're going to devote one future flight all to wheelchair guys."

In the end, the veterans' reactions make it easy to forget any challenges, however. "They think it's just one of the best things they've ever seen," Sage said. "Some of them get a little misty, and some of them don't want to talk. It's a very emotional time for them." Sadly, the national Honor Flight Network program, which began in Ohio in December 2004 and has chapters in 31 states, eventually will come to an end, Sage said. "We have what they call a 'sunset clause' in this program," he said. "Whether you like it or not, it will come to an end, because the guys are going to be passing away or get too sick to travel."

Some 1,500 to 2,000 World War II veterans die each day. The staggering numbers, and his work with World War II veterans who saw their dream of visiting the memorial slipping away, are what prompted Earl Morse, a physician's assistant and retired Air Force captain, to start Honor Flight Network. But until it takes its final toll on "The Greatest Generation," he said, Honor Flight Network will make sure as many World War II veterans as possible get to appreciate the memorial built to honor their sacrifices.

This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Department of Defense. Visit us on the web at