Friday, October 31, 2008


This post is not genealogy-related (correction-- it is if you happen to be related to Walt Disney, Davy Crockett, James Arness, or Fess Parker, or if you were raised in the wild by a colony of nurturing giant ants), but I feel compelled to run it because I am pretty sure none of the other genealogy blogs have ever run a post about this subject:

Walt Disney found the man he wanted to play Davy Crockett while watching a movie about giant irradiated ants:



A specialized genealogical search engine:

"Live Roots is a specialized search engine that assists you with locating genealogical resources, regardless of where it may be stored. Genealogists use Live Roots to find vital records and original publications, share opinion s about online repositories and learn more about tools available to simplify their research projects.

The concept behind Live Roots was to build a single resource that bridges the gaps between independent genealogy web sites, large commercial ancestry repositories and many other printed family history materials yet to be digitized and published on the World Wide Web.

Live Roots extends beyond the typical bounds of a traditional search engine or link directory by facilitatin g access to offline records and publications through partnerships with amateur and professional researchers who either own copies or are geographically closer to the libraries and archives that do."



If you need some basic information about (and a simple but helpful map of) an English county, or are planning a visit there in the near future, you’ll like this website:


Note: There are also sections for Scotland and Wales!


If you (or a young scholar in the family) need statistics about some aspect of life in the United Kingdom, you’ve come to the right place:



If it’s British and you need information on it, there's no better place to start your search:



If you like to scour genie blogs for worthwhile posts, this article will help you figure out which blog search engines are worth the bother-- and which aren’t:



The Civil War Preservation Trust has a page devoted to these topics:

“Interested in learning more about all that is going on in today's Civil War community? The number of quality websites devoted towards discussing, reviewing, debunking and debating issues related to the American Civil War continues to grow at a rapid clip. And while there's simply not enough room to showcase each great Civil War website, we do have a number of sites below that might help to expand your interest and perspective on this great subject.”



The following authors will discuss and sign copies of their recent books about world history of history of St. Louis neighborhoods or St. Louis persons of note:


November 6 . 7 p.m. •
Buder Branch Library, 4401 Hampton Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63139.

Zanaboni tells the story behind Ted Drewes, Hampton Village, the corner churches, and Francis Park. Through narratives illustrated by rare photographs, Zanaboni captures the essence of this St. Louis neighborhood (St. Louis Hills).

Zanaboni is a freelance writer and regular contributor to the St. Louis Hills Neighborhood Association newsletter.

Books available for purchase and signing from Reedy Press.


November 12 . 7 p.m. •
Central Library, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103.

Galbraith discusses Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq
Strengthened America’s Enemies

Galbraith was the earliest expert to describe Iraq’s breakup into religious and ethnic minorities. He provides rules for a national strategy
that will appeal to conservatives, liberals, anyone who believes that the United States needs an effective national security strategy.

Galbraith served as the first U.S. Ambassador to Croatia. He is currently the
Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books.

Books available for purchase and signing from Left Bank Books.

Part of the Great Rivers Authors Series sponsored by Left Bank Books,
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, UMSL, and KWMU.


November 15 • 1 p.m.
Kingshighway Branch Library, 4641 Shenandoah Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110.

Gravenhorst discusses Southwest Garden (the Southwest Garden neighborhood borders the Missouri Botanical Garden and Tower Grove Park). She owns Three Nosey Broads Historical Home Research, and is the author of Historical Home Research in the City of St. Louis.

Books available for purchase and signing from the Southwest Garden Neighborhood


November 23 . 2:30 p.m. •
Julia Davis Branch Library, 4415 Natural Bridge, St. Louis, MO 63115.

Muhammad discusses Princoirs: Official Memoirs of Prince Joe Henry, Ex-Negro Leaguer. Henry, a member of the Indianapolis Clowns, was described as “one of the greatest stars and comedians in franchise history.” He was also known for his professionalism.

Henry is the author of the “Ask a Negro Leaguer” column in The Riverfront Times. The book is an extension of this column. Muhammad is Prince Joe Henry’s grandson.

Books available for purchase and signing from the author.
Sponsored by The Julia Davis Friends.

1301 Olive Street • St. Louis, MO 63103 • 314.206.6779 •

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Seems like I just attended their last great annual conference, yet we can already mark our calendars for next year’s big St. Louis area genie event:

2009 StLGS Family History Conference
39th Annual Conference

Next year’s Family History Conference has already been scheduled for Saturday, 2 May 2009. We will return to the Maryland Heights Community Centre next year.


We are excited to announce that our featured speaker for the event will be David Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, Director of Records and Information Division, Family and Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). This organization has taken on the project to convert the Church’s vast collection of microfilmed records into indexed digital images, which will then be made available on the Internet.

David’s current assignment promises to transform the way genealogists access original documents pertaining to their family history research. We hope you will mark your calendar for 2 May 2009 to hear the latest on this project from the man who is directing it.

This all-day conference is the largest such single-day event in the Midwest. This year’s conference features nationally-recognized speakers, outstanding local speakers, a large and bustling vendor area, and an optional lunch.

Between 1 February and 30 July, audio CDs/cassettes of some of the lectures of the 2008 Conference are available for purchase. Click here for more information or to place your order online.

For a history of the Society's Family History Conferences, click here.

NOTE: It’s hard to believe, but they’ve been holding their annual conferences since 1970!


Event: Genealogy Book Jamboree
Date: Sunday, 07 December 2008
Time: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Place: StLGS office, #4 Sunnen Drive, St. Louis, MO 63143.

This free event is open to everyone.

The St. Louis Genealogical Society sponsors an annual pre-holiday Book Jamboree as a community service to the public. Genealogical and historical organizations around the greater St. Louis area will present their publications to the public. Several local authors, including Marilynne Bradley, Robbi Courtaway, Ann Fleming, NiNi Harris, Julius Hunter, and Don Marsh, will be on hand to sign their history-themed books.

Items of military interest, maps, and state and local history books will also be on sale. Additional items include resources for how to conduct genealogical research, publications geared to specific interests, such as St. Louis cemeteries, CDs of out-of-print books, and many volumes on St. Louis area history.

The Book Jamboree provides a wonderful opportunity to browse and purchase gifts for those looking for genealogical and historical resources for the holiday season.

Everyone attending this regional Book Jamboree will be entered into a drawing for several attendance prizes. This event is free and open to the public. Ample free parking is available.



Date: Saturday, 01 November 2008
Meeting Time: 10:00 AM
Presentation: 10:30 AM
Topic: Missouri Civil War Museum & Library at Jefferson Barracks
Speaker: Mark Trout

St. Louis Genealogical Society Monthly Meetings

Meetings are held at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters auditorium and are open to the public.

Chat time, a question and answer or discussion period, begins at 10:00 AM and the program begins at 10:30 AM.



If you’re using the Windows XP operating system, and haven’t been checking for system patches from Microsoft on a regular basis (your computer really should be set to check automatically, if you haven't already done so), you’d better do so ASAP. There’s a nasty rootkit out there that attaches itself to your master boot record. That’s a real problem-- the master boot record is what runs first each time you start up your computer. And this evil bit of code is being put there for a reason-- the hacker behind it is phishing for any bank account info you store on your computer. So, if you’ve been lax about checking for system patches, and you do any online banking, you’d best get cracking:



Didn’t know there was one? Well, there is-- and you can read the latest issue for free online:



A blog that bills itself as “a journey through Canada’s military history”:



What databases they’ve added in the past two months (8-29-08 to 10-28-08):


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


You've helped MoSGA Messenger pass the 25,000 visitors mark-- we did it this morning! Since this blog began operations on November 4, 2007, your continuing support has helped us achieve this milestone in less than one year!

We would like to thank all our loyal readers, and encourage you to help spread the word about MoSGA Messenger!


A free online guide to web searching, search engines, and directories:



Free tutorial on doing quick and effective searches for copyright-free images:



Google poobahs Brin and Page have added a fighter jet to their private air fleet-- should Microsoft and Yahoo be conducting regular duck and cover drills?



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Partners with JewishGen and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to Provide Access to Millions of Jewish Family History Records for People around the World

NEW YORK CITY and PROVO, UTAH – Oct. 29, 2008 – Today, part of The Generations Network, Inc., announced it has introduced the world’s largest online collection of Jewish family history records. has partnered with two leading organizations committed to the preservation of Jewish heritage – JewishGen, an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City that maintains the world’s premier Jewish genealogy website, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an overseas humanitarian aid organization committed to providing relief for Jews in more than 70 countries. These partnerships will make millions of important Jewish historical documents available on, many of which are online for the first time ever and searchable for free. These unique records, including photographs, immigration records, Holocaust records and memorials, can now be searched alongside other records already accessible on, creating the largest collection of Jewish family history records on the Web with more than 26 million records documenting Jewish life.

Details about the new Jewish Family History Collection on will be unveiled today at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

“, the JDC and JewishGen are committed to the preservation of important Jewish historical records, and we’re honored to be working with these well-respected organizations to help in this effort,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of The Generations Network, Inc. “For the millions of people interested in discovering more about their Jewish heritage, these new partnerships make researching family history easier than ever before.”

Many documents digitized as a part of this agreement have never before been available online, including two important JDC collections:

* Jewish Transmigration Bureau Deposit Cards, 1939-1954 (JDC), a collection of records showing the amount of money paid by American Jewish citizens to support the emigration of friends and relatives from European countries during and after WWII.
* Munich, Vienna and Barcelona Jewish Displaced Persons and Refugee Cards, 1943-1959 (JDC), a collection containing records of displaced Jews who were provided with food, medical care and clothing and emigration assistance by the JDC.

“Since 1914, JDC has helped revitalize Jewish communities throughout the world and has helped save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews,” said Steve Schwager, Chief Executive Officer for JDC. “We are excited to partner with, providing descendants access to rare new information about their families and themselves. JDC and are opening up a wealth of previously inaccessible information through the digitization and dissemination of 125,000 records of those who were helped and of those who helped provide relief to others during and directly after WWII.”

More than 300 databases from JewishGen will also now be available on These JewishGen databases represent 14 different countries and contain more than 5 million records, such as:

* The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry, an invaluable collection with more than 1 million names of Jews represented in nearly 2,000 Jewish cemeteries around the world.
* Yizkor Book Necrologies, a list of the names of those murdered in the Holocaust which directs users back to the Yizkor Books themselves – memorials which offer vivid, first-hand accounts of the Holocaust and its aftermath.
* The Given Names Database, which enables one to learn possible European, Hebrew and Yiddish translations of an ancestor’s given name.
* A Holocaust Database of 2 million names such as Schindler’s List, which includes names of 1,980 inmates in Oscar Schindler's factories in Plaszów, Poland and Brünnlitz, Czechoslovakia.
* Jewish Records Indexing (JRI-PL) Poland and All Lithuania Database, representing more than 2 million indexed names from databases in Lithuania and Poland containing vital information on the regions.

"JewishGen began as a volunteer community devoted to gathering and sharing Jewish records," said David G. Marwell, Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage. "We are excited that, through this new relationship with, we will be able to broaden our reach and extend our invaluable resources to a much larger group of researchers around the world. The entire community benefits when more people get involved in the fascinating and rewarding activity of researching their family history. "

In July 2008, JewishGen entered into a groundbreaking partnership with that provides with significant resources in the Jewish genealogy world. Under the agreement, not only will eventually receive access to well in excess of 10 million records, some of which date back to the 1700s, but JewishGen’s user base of more than 250,000 will be alerted to’s rich resources. will also provide technical support to the JewishGen site.

The JDC and JewishGen databases included in this release will be searchable for free in a new Jewish Family History experience on at These databases can be searched in combination with millions of other invaluable records documenting Jews available on, including census records, passenger lists, military records and more.

Ceremony at Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, JewishGen and JDC will celebrate their collaboration and unveil the new Jewish Collection today at 10 a.m. ET at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Battery Park, New York City. Members of and JewishGen who have made important discoveries about their Jewish heritage documents will be in attendance and on hand to share their stories.

About the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

Founded in 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC),, gives global expression to the principle that all Jews are responsible for one another. On behalf of North America’s Jewish communities, JDC works in over 70 countries to rescue those in danger, provide relief to those in distress, revitalize overseas Jewish communities, and help Israel overcome the social challenges that beset its most vulnerable citizens.

JDC also provides non-sectarian disaster relief and long-term development assistance to the world’s least fortunate populations.

JDC’s archives consists of approximately 40 to 50 million pages of archival materials dating from 1914 to present, many of which are of genealogical interest to scholars and Jews around the world.

About JewishGen

JewishGen,, became an affiliate of the Museum on January 1, 2003. An Internet pioneer, JewishGen was founded in 1987 and has grown from a bulletin board with only 150 users to a major grass roots effort bringing together hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide in a virtual community centered on discovering Jewish ancestral roots and history.

Researchers use JewishGen to share genealogical information, techniques, and case studies. With a growing database of more than 11 million records, the website is a forum for the exchange of information about Jewish life and family history, and has enabled thousands of families to connect and re-connect in a way never before possible.

About the Ancestry Global Network

The Ancestry global network of family history Web sites is wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc. It consists of nine Web sites – in the U.S., in the UK, in Canada, in Australia, in Germany, in Italy, in France, in Sweden and in China. Ancestry members have access to 7 billion names contained in 26,000 historical record collections. Tree-building and photo upload are free on all Ancestry websites. To date, users have created more than 7.5 million family trees containing 725 million profiles and 12 million photographs. More than 5 million unique visitors logged onto in August 2008 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).

Need more info? Contact Ancestry PR Lady Anastasia Tyler.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Cyber Security Tip ST06-002
Debunking Some Common Myths

There are some common myths that may influence your online security
practices. Knowing the truth will allow you to make better decisions about
how to protect yourself.

How are these myths established?

There is no one cause for these myths. They may have been formed because of
a lack of information, an assumption, knowledge of a specific case that was
then generalized, or some other source. As with any myth, they are passed
from one individual to another, usually because they seem legitimate enough
to be true.

Why is it important to know the truth?

While believing these myths may not present a direct threat, they may cause
you to be more lax about your security habits. If you are not diligent about
protecting yourself, you may be more likely to become a victim of an attack.

What are some common myths, and what is the truth behind them?

* Myth: Anti-virus software and firewalls are 100% effective.
Truth: Anti-virus software and firewalls are important elements to
protecting your information (see Understanding Anti-Virus Software and
Understanding Firewalls for more information). However, neither of these
elements are guaranteed to protect you from an attack. Combining these
technologies with good security habits is the best way to reduce your

* Myth: Once software is installed on your computer, you do not have to
worry about it anymore.
Truth: Vendors may release patches or updated versions of software to
address problems or fix vulnerabilities (see Understanding Patches for
more information). You should install the patches as soon as possible;
some software even offers the option to obtain updates automatically.
Making sure that you have the latest virus definitions for your
anti-virus software is especially important.

* Myth: There is nothing important on your machine, so you do not need to
protect it.
Truth: Your opinion about what is important may differ from an
attacker's opinion. If you have personal or financial data on your
computer, attackers may be able to collect it and use it for their own
financial gain. Even if you do not store that kind of information on
your computer, an attacker who can gain control of your computer may be
able to use it in attacks against other people (see Understanding
Denial-of-Service Attacks and Understanding Hidden Threats: Rootkits and
Botnets for more information).

* Myth: Attackers only target people with money.
Truth: Anyone can become a victim of identity theft. Attackers look for
the biggest reward for the least amount of effort, so they typically
target databases that store information about many people. If your
information happens to be in the database, it could be collected and
used for malicious purposes. It is important to pay attention to your
credit information so that you can minimize any potential damage (see
Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft for more information).

* Myth: When computers slow down, it means that they are old and should be
Truth: It is possible that running newer or larger software programs on
an older computer could lead to slow performance, but you may just need
to replace or upgrade a particular component (memory, operating system,
CD or DVD drive, etc.). Another possibility is that there are other
processes or programs running in the background. If your computer has
suddenly become slower, you may be experiencing a denial-of-service
attack or have spyware on your machine (see Understanding
Denial-of-Service Attacks and Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware for more

Author: Mindi McDowell

Produced 2006 by US-CERT, a government organization.

Note: This tip was previously published and is being re-distributed
to increase awareness.

Terms of use


This document can also be found at


For instructions on subscribing to or unsubscribing from this
mailing list, visit <>.


“It” meaning all the programs and files you normally use to work on your genealogy. If you store that material on a thumb drive, and clip that thumb drive to your key chain, you can work on your genealogy anywhere you have access to a computer:



If you’ve got a need for ANY sort of health or nutrition information, your Uncle Sammy is here to help:


Monday, October 27, 2008


“Local History/Genealogy (LH/G) is a research department specializing in the history of Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York State, the New England States, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Librarians and materials are available to help answer a wide range of information needs from family history and genealogy to in-depth research on people, places and events in the Syracuse area. The following is a brief overview of available resources in the LH/G Department. We encourage you to visit and ask our librarians for assistance with these and our other materials.”



If you’re researching Wisconsin ancestors, this online finding aid may prove of interest:



How to find info on persons who served in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps):



Google is celebrating its tenth birthday, believe it or not, and they have made available a fascinating Google Timeline to outline their growth:



Any article you may have submitted to him for the MoSGA Journal during the past year, that is (dad-blasted computers)! If you sent him any prospective Journal articles during 2008, please resubmit at this time-- thanks!

Bob’s Email Address:

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Diana Haddad describes her experiences at a recent genealogy lock-in at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County:



The folks at have some thoughts on the matter:



NARA-Great Lakes (Chicago) is offering this week-long workshop for teachers on 13-17 July 2009 (hmm- wonder if my library is willing to send me, since I teach genealogy and military history courses for it?). The workshop will provide lectures, demonstrations, analysis of documents, independent research, and group work intended to introduce teachers to the holdings and organization of the National Archives. Participants will learn how to do research in historical records, create classroom materials from those records, and present documents in ways that sharpen student skills and engender enthusiasm for history, social studies, and the humanities.



PHONE: 773-948-9001

NOTE: You may also be interested in these upcoming workshops (all Saturdays) at NARA-Great Lakes:

8 Nov 2008- 10 AM-11:30 AM: Understanding the Life & Times of Abraham Lincoln. Cost: $10.00.

14 Feb 2009- 10 AM-11:30 AM: Introduction to Document & Photograph Preservation. Cost: $10.00.

9 May 2009- 10 AM-11:30 AM: Using Court Records to Find Local & Family History. Cost: $10.00.

8 August 2009- 10 AM-11:30 AM: African-American Genealogical Research. Cost: $10.00. NOTE: Speaker is Tony Burroughs!


A prospective nun told several priests who had volunteered to write her letters of recommendation to the Dominican order that her brother had fallen off a courthouse roof. The nun-to-be needed a good story to explain why her brother was in a mental hospital. She feared that if the Dominicans thought that mental illness ran in her family, they would reject her as a potential liability to the order. So she told the priests that her brother began suffering mental problems when he fell off the roof of a courthouse that he’d been repairing as part of a construction crew.

That wasn’t the real story, though: he actually had been a carpenter, true enough-- but he had never fallen from a courthouse roof. At his commitment hearing, his wife testified that she’d found him in the front yard one morning, walking around in his underwear, with no idea where or who he was. She told the judge that her husband suffered from melancholia (depression-- which does, in fact, tend to run in families).

The nun has since passed on (this story took place in 1914): I wonder whether St. Peter opened the gates of Heaven for her, or pressed the Not Ready for Prime Time button instead?

Note: Original story in Lake County (IL) Genealogical Society Quarterly 29:1 (Jul-Sept 2008).


Well, virtual murder, anyway-- a Japanese woman grew so angry when a virtual hubby divorced her that she hacked into his account and killed the avatar he uses in the game they were playing. Now she’s facing five years in the pokey and a big fine: not for her act of virtual mayhem, mind you-- it’s her computer hacking that might net her some time in Japan's Big House:


Friday, October 24, 2008


But only until October 30th:

You might find Grandpa in gym shorts. Grandma referred to as Giggles. Maybe even your own high–school friends frozen in time. Yearbook Collection can add an entirely new dimension to your family story. And we’ve just doubled it for a total of 6 million searchable names spanning 1900 to 2005.

See all the fun for FREE through October 30, 2008.



Archivists (actually, anybody who helps maintain the archives of a genie society, library, or other institution) will be interested to learn that they can get free PDF downloads of the following magazine:

Recordkeeping Magazine

RecordKeeping is a quarterly publication from The National Archives (UK) for archivists, records managers, and all involved and interested in archives and records.

The magazine contains news, case studies and examples of best practice from The National Archives (UK) and the wider archives and records management communities.

If you wish to be notified by email when new issues are available, or have any comments on the publication, please contact



Lists of UK archives holding historical records. You can search by institution name, place name, or personal or family name:



You can sign up to receive the free monthly email newsletter of the National Archives (UK):



Need access to records of a UK hospital? You may be in luck-- read on:

This database provides information on the existence and location of the records of UK hospitals. There are currently over 2,800 entries, which have been compiled by the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. These can be found by searching the database.

Information includes:

* The administrative details of the hospitals, and their status or type
* The location and covering dates of administrative and clinical records
* The existence of lists, catalogues or other finding aids
* Links to some online hospital catalogues on Access to Archives (A2A)



Online exhibit of materials from the collection of the National Archives (UK):



If you’re researching a UK soldier, sailor, or airman, you’ll like this guide to the holdings of the National Archives (UK):


Thursday, October 23, 2008


If you use computers at home and at work (and if your employer’s IT people will allow you to do it), you can synchronize both computers using a thumb drive. That way, you can easily and continuously work on current files at either place. How to do it? Kim Komando can help:


NOTE: If it hasn’t as yet occurred to you to ask why anybody would want to take his/her work home, you are officially a workaholic and need to seek help immediately…

THE RECORD INTERPRETER is currently selling this item for $31.50- a great birthday / Christmas present for someone who frequently works with early English genealogical / historical records:

The Record Interpreter: a Collection of Abbreviations, Latin Words and Names Used in English Historical Manuscripts and Records. Second Edition

by Charles Trice Martin

Prior to the 19th century, many British and European records contain texts written in Latin or sprinkled with Latin or French abbreviations. Mr. Martin, one-time assistant keeper of public records in London, designed this book to answer the questions that can plague researchers when they run across Latin and French abbreviations in English historical manuscripts. Armed with this easy-to-follow guidebook, researchers will be able to understand most texts with little more than an ordinary dictionary. Mr. Martin's coverage includes: (1) abbreviations of Latin words used in English records; (2) abbreviations of French words used in English records; (3) a glossary of Latin words found in records and other English manuscripts; (4) Latin names and places in Great Britain and Ireland; (5) Latin names of bishoprics in England; (6) Latin names of bishoprics in Scotland; (7) Latin names of bishoprics in Ireland; (8) Latin forms of English surnames; and (9) Latin given names with their English equivalents.



If you need a good online visualization tool (or don’t know what a visualization tool is), this article will prove most helpful:


NOTE: Visualization tools are tailor-made for genealogists, who already think in terms of family group sheets and other such genealogy-specific visualization tools anyway…


Review by Jean Edward Smith of Tried By War, a new book by James M. McPherson about Abraham Lincoln as U.S. military commander-in-chief:


NOTE: Use McPherson as your search term, and you’ll find other reviews of books by McPherson, and book reviews written by him.


They’re non-credit courses, granted, but the price is certainly right (they do appreciate donations, however):

21H.101 American History to 1865
21H.102 The Emergence of Modern America 1865-Present
21H.104J Riots, Strikes, and Conspiracies in American History
21H.112 The American Revolution
21H.116J The Civil War and Reconstruction
21H.126 America in Depression and War
21H.131 America in the Nuclear Age
21H.150J Introduction to Asian American Studies: Culture and Historical Experience
21H.221 The Places of Migration in United States History
21H.223 War & American Society
21H.224 Law and Society in US History
21H.225J Gender and the Law in U.S. History
21H.231J American Urban History I
21H.232J American Urban History II
21H.306 The Emergence of Europe: 500-1300
21H.311 The Renaissance, 1300-1600
21H.326 The Making of Russia in the Worlds of Byzantium, Mongolia, and Europe
21H.342 The Royal Family
21H.346 France 1660-1815: Enlightenment, Revolution, & Napoleon
21H.418 From Print to Digital: Technologies of the Word, 1450-Present
21H.421 Introduction to Environmental History
21H.433 The Age of Reason: Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries
21H.443 European Imperialism in the 19th and 20th Centuries
21H.447 Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
21H.466 Imperial and Revolutionary Russia, 1800-1917
21H.467J Soviet Politics and Society, 1917-1991
21H.504 East Asia in the World
21H.522 Japan in the Age of the Samurai: History and Film
21H.560 Smashing the Iron Rice Bowl: Chinese East Asia
21H.571 The Making of Modern South Asia
21H.575J Women in South Asia from 1800 to Present
21H.580 From the Silk Road to the Great Game: China, Russia, and Central Eurasia
21H.601 Islam, the Middle East, and the West
21H.615 The Middle East in 20th Century
21H.802 Modern Latin America, 1808-Present: Revolution, Dictatorship, Democracy
21H.907 Trials in History
21H.912 The World Since 1492
21H.914 Jewish History from Biblical to Modern Times
21H.917J Visualizing Cultures
21H.927J The Economic History of Work and Family



If you really only need a bare-basics cell phone:

· for the occasional emergency
· for just a few phone calls per month

or if (let’s face facts) any item invented after 1950 terrifies you, a Jitterbug may be just what you’ve been looking for:



COLUMBIA, MO-- Missouri History in Performance Theatre will present its new World War II-themed play, Reunion, as part of The State Historical Society of Missouri’s Annual Meeting, at the Tiger Hotel in downtown Columbia on November 1, 2008.

The Reader’s Theatre production, written by Columbia playwright Mary Paulsell, is set at a World War II veterans’ reunion and based on wartime letters and other GI correspondence now held at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Columbia. Through tales of heroism, longing, and loss, listeners will be transported back to the early 1940s. The popular Boogie Woogie Babes of Jefferson City will provide music from the period, singing the hits of the Andrews Sisters.

Reunion is only part of the day’s events at this year’s Annual Meeting. The Society is also offering two concurrent sessions at 9:30 a.m. MU professor emeritus Walter A. Schroeder will discuss the “Cultural Regions of Missouri,” and David Moore and William Stolz will explore “World War II Research and Preservation at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Columbia.” The 2008 Brownlee Award recipients will be announced, with more than $6,500 in grants for individuals and organizations to write publications about, or otherwise document, the history of Missouri and its citizens.

Reservations for The State Historical Society of Missouri’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon are required and must be made no later than October 14, 2008. For more information or to register for the Annual Meeting, call the Society at (573) 882-7083 or go online.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


That’s right, and for free:

“Learn Chinese Characters multimedia learning program teaches reading and writing Chinese characters. For each character, it gives English definitions, Pinyin and Zhuyin annotations, cross reference of simplified/traditional character, radical, number of strokes (excluding the radical), word examples and definitions. You can also hear the character pronounced (Mandarin) through the speaker and see an animation of the writing.”

Free program is for Windows 2K, XP, & Vista users.


NOTE: You should check any downloaded program with your security software before installing on your computer-- better safe than sorry!


Worried about which Internet sites your kids are using? Little Explorer lets you choose which sites they can use. You then set a password that’s needed to change from the kids' restricted list to unrestricted Web surfing.


NOTE: You should check any downloaded program with your security software before installing on your computer-- better safe than sorry!


Informative article at the website:



A long list of persons interred in this cemetery:



Here’s a list of persons at rest in this cemetery:



New book of possible interest to MoSGA readers by a respected practitioner of the genealogical arts:

Product Description

Genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, and is heavily researched in public libraries and historical repositories. Increasingly, major genealogy resources are available online at libraries through subscription databases or free on the internet. As a result, librarians face the overwhelming task of helping a large audience of genealogists cope with an ever growing flood of new resources. This book offers novice and experienced reference librarians an introduction to tried-and-true genealogy techniques and resources. With the help of four case studies, Simpson outlines a basic starting strategy for conducting genealogy research. Later chapters deal specifically with genealogical librarianship: how to conduct a reference interview, continuing and professional development, and basic resources every collection should have. Charts, screen shots, and examples of public documents are also included; while a series of appendices present the case studies in their entirety.

About the Author

JACK SIMPSON is Curator of Local and Family History at The Newberry Library, Chicago IL.

Product Details
• Paperback: 192 pages
• Publisher: Libraries Unlimited (September 30, 2008)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1591585147
• ISBN-13: 978-1591585145
• Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.6 inches
• Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
• Price: $40.00 (Amazon is selling for $36.00)


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


St. Louis Public Library
Genealogy & Military History Programs & a Book Signing!
October 2008-April 2009

All programs are sponsored or co-sponsored by St. Louis Public Library. All programs are held at Central Library, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103 unless otherwise noted. All programs listed are free and open to the public (need not be a cardholder / member to attend). Registration for programs at Central Library is encouraged but not required. Parking in downtown St. Louis is free on Saturdays (meters are not checked), and Scott Trade Center Metro-Link stop is only four level-ground blocks away. Call 314-539-0381 to register or for more information.

October 22, 2008. 7 PM-9 PM. Gary Ecelbarger will discuss and sign his new book The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds to Win the 1860 Republican Nomination. Buder Branch Library, 4401 Hampton Avenue, St. Louis, Mo 63109. Left Bank Books will sell books. This timely book narrates the dramatic year-and-a-half turnaround in the political fortunes of Abraham Lincoln. It begins with him wallowing in despair during the aftermath of his spirit-sapping senate loss to Stephen A. Douglas. From there the story carries him to the pinnacle of jubilation following his stunning victory in the Republican National Convention in Chicago, where he not only shocked the nation by upending several front-running candidates to win the presidential nomination, he also at that moment of May 18, 1860 became the likely winner of the presidency six months before the general election. The book has garnered tremendous advance praise. Gary Ecelbarger is the author and co-author of seven books about events and personalities of the nineteenth century. He is also a professional history tour guide and a popular symposium speaker. Ecelbarger lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and three children.

October 23, 2008. 2 PM-4 PM. Use of Newspapers in Genealogical Research. Belleville Public Library, 121 E. Washington St., Belleville, IL 62222 (registration is required). Join us as we learn that obituaries are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to newspapers: there's much more information of genealogical value in newspapers-- if you know where to look. To register or for more information, call Dana Prusacki at 618-234-0441, ext.22.

October 25, 2008. 10 AM-Noon. History & Hauntings of Jefferson Barracks. Meeting Room 1. Join us as we learn the history of Jefferson Barracks-- its use as a hospital, national cemetery, training camp, and military post-- and hear about Civil War soldiers who refuse to "give up the ghost" at Jefferson Barracks and other Civil War military posts and battlefields. To register or for more information, call 314-539-0386 or 314-539-0381.

November 1, 2008. 10 AM-Noon. "To Rally With the Hearts of Lions": African-American Soldiers in the Civil War. Meeting Room 1. Join us as we explore the history and wartime exploits of the U.S. Colored Troops, and show you how to research ancestors who served as enlisted men or officers in the U.S.C.T. To register or for more information, call 314-539-0386 or 314-539-0381.

November 15, 2008. 10 AM-Noon. Records of the Great War: Researching World War I Ancestors. Meeting Room 2. Join us as we discuss book, manuscript, and Internet sources of information about WWI soldier, sailor, marine, and airman ancestors. To register or for more information, call 539-0381.

December 13, 2008. 10 AM-Noon. Great Civil War Battles: Fredericksburg. Meeting Room 1. Join us as we discuss this winter battle in Virginia during which reluctant Union Army commander Ambrose Burnside was outwitted and outgunned at every turn by the old Gray Fox, Robert E. Lee. To register or for more information, call 539-0381.

January 17, 2009. 10 AM-Noon. Killed by the Cure: Civil War Medicine. Meeting Room 1. Join us as we discuss the injuries and diseases that plagued Civil War soldiers, and the (sometimes fatal) methods Civil War doctors used to try and heal them. To register or for more information, call 539-0381.

February 14, 2009. 10 AM-Noon. Citizen Soldiers: Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestor. Meeting Room 1. Join us as we discuss book, microfilm, manuscript, and Internet sources of information about Revolutionary War soldiers and patriots. To register or for more information, call 539-0381.

March 21, 2009. 10 AM-Noon. St. Louis at War, 1861-1865: Arsenal, Forts, Hospitals, & Prisons. Meeting Room 1.Join us for a discussion the many ways in which St. Louis contributed to the Union war effort. To register or for more information, call 539-0381.

April 18, 2009. 10 AM-Noon. 4/14: The Plot to Kill President Lincoln. Meeting Room 1. Join us as we discuss the conspirators and the conspiracy, Booth's escape attempt, the trials of his co-conspirators, and the punishments meted out by military tribunals. To register or for more information, call 539-0381.

I can 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
Reference Librarian
St. Louis Public Library
1301 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
T: 314-539-0381


Advice from the Centers for Disease Control-- how to avoid getting it, and what to do if you get it in spite of their advice:



* This site provides a good intro for persons new to genealogy;
* it’s also a good primer for librarians with little genealogical knowledge who’ve been asked by their libraries to help family researchers;
* it may also prove useful to persons who provide talks for genealogists:



Hint-- if it is, that’s bad…

Kim Komando has tips for those of you who need to dezombify your computers:


Monday, October 20, 2008


It’s provided by the National Center for Educational Statistics, and you can use it to search for public libraries, colleges, and public and private schools:



Yesterday my wife and I went to the monthly flea market at the fairgrounds in Belleville, Illinois. A dealer there was offering carte de visites and some tintypes for $1 each. Something told me to buy a few items, so I did. I'm guessing that one of you is related to the persons whose images I'll be displaying over the next week or so, so let me know if you recognize anybody. Thanks!

NOTE: I'm afraid I can offer little identifying info about this dapper gentleman. I don't know his name, where he lived, or even where this tintype was created. If you have any info on Mister X, let me know care of this blog!


Ancestry’s got ‘em, and it keeps adding more to its collection:

We just doubled the size of our yearbook collection!

The collection now contains more than 6,000 yearbooks ranging from 1902 to 2005. In conjunction with this yearbook release, we kicked off a yearbook scanning project. You can search the updated yearbook collection for free through the end of October at:

You can also view the full list of recently added databases, extending back a couple of months, at:

NOTE: If you own any yearbooks that aren’t included in their collection, they’d like to hear from you:

Yearbook Scanning Project is compiling a nationwide collection of school yearbooks starting from the time yearbooks began. These yearbooks will be digitized and the resulting images will be made available on our websites. The main purpose of this program is to collect yearbooks and histories from institutions such as schools and libraries, however, individuals with collections are welcome to participate also. Learn more about this project at:


Lists of active and archived federal government blogs:



Photos of dozens of quilts made by Michigan ladies-- whether you have Michigan kin, or just love quilts, you’ll love this site:


NOTE: Click on the thumbnails for larger views of the quilts that include an info section about that quilt.


What it is, why you don’t need what they're selling, and legitimate ways to stay safe on the Internet:


Saturday, October 18, 2008


Yesterday my wife and I went to Springfield, Illinois. The purpose of our visit was two-fold- to visit the Illinois State Archives, and to take some pictures at Camp Butler National Cemetery. My wife was interested in death certificates at the Archives, and I wanted to look at the Administrative Files of the 89th Illinois Infantry Regiment, a regiment I've been researching since 1991. I also wanted to go to Camp Butler National Cemetery, to take photos of the gravestones of 89th Illinois Infantry Regiment members buried there. As I took those photos, it occurred to me that there were any number of other gravestones of interest in that cemetery, so I wound up taking about 60 photos all together. I'm planning to post those photos on this blog as time permits, hopefully with short biographical sketches of the soldiers in question. I'm posting a photo today just to get started:

Michael Wogomon, Pvt., Co. B, 89th Illinois Infantry Regiment
Died February 5, 1864


On Saturday, November 8th, Maureen Kavanaugh, whose walking tours have been featured on Channel 9's (KETC-TV) "Living St. Louis," will be narrating a bus tour of Old Saint Louis -- traveling the perimeters and inroads of the French Creole Village and telling stories of the merchants, Indians and colonials who seeded the St. Louis community. Maureen's passion for the city of St. Louis is infectious, and she guarantees that you will learn things about this Gateway to the West that you have never heard before - even if you have lived here all of your life. This tour is designed exclusively by Maureen Kavanaugh and offered by no other tour guide. You may visit her website for testimonials and descriptions of the tours she offers at:

This will be a "step off" bus tour on a chartered Trailways Coach. The bus will pick up at 10 a.m. at Francis Park (allowing ample street parking for participants) on the corner of Nottingham and Tamm in South St. Louis, with departure at 10:10 a.m. There will be a break for lunch at Soda Fountain Square in Lafayette Square, and the group will be returned to Francis Park by 3 p.m.

The cost for the tour, including bus transport, is $35 per person (the cost of lunch is not included). Call Maureen at 314-368-8818 or email her at for additional information or to reserve a place on the bus. Seating is limited to 57 passengers and reservations will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. The deadline for reservations and payment by check is Thursday, October 23rd.

Please feel free to forward this to anyone on your email list who you think might be interested in the tour. Thank you!


And deserve to, if you want my opinion…

Apparently ten million households have not yet prepared for the February 2009 transition of TV signals from analog to digital. People, where have you been? St. Louis TV stations mention this several times per day, EVERY BLESSED DAY! How can you NOT know it’s coming?



From the Census Bureau Public Information Office:



Currently being made available on the Web by

“The files are grouped under the soldier's name, but the widow's name and names of minor children are listed on the first page within the pension file. A pensioner's name (typically the widow's) is searchable, often giving her maiden name as well. Case files include where and when a man served, details of his service, his life before the war, and his family, including information about his widow, children, and sometimes his parents. These files are unfilmed textual records.”

They have also recently updated their collection of St. Louis City Directories:


Note: It may be time to check out their website again, to see if an annual subscription to has suddenly become a budgeting priority for you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Lengthy annotated list.



Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly 40:2 (Summer 2008) includes an interesting article called "Mining for Ancestors- A Challenge to Our Readers." The crux of the article is this: in documents you possess relating to your family lines, mention in probably made of hundreds, possibly thousands of persons not part of your lines. Those persons were not of special interest to you, so their names are probably not noted in transcriptions, indexes, or other finding aids you’ve created for those documents. As the article says, “Our challenge to you is to start mining for other genealogist’s ancestors in your files. Think of it as one of those random acts of genealogical kindness.” The Editorial Committee of the ISGS Quarterly goes on to invite readers to send in their notes about non-family members encountered in documents in their personal collections.


Elgin Genealogical Society Newsletter 33:3 (September 2008) includes a “Genealogical Codicil to My Last Will and Testament.” If you’ve ever worried that your spouse / kids will toss years of your painstaking research into the dumpster before you’re grown completely cold to the touch, you may wish to consider adding such a codicil to your will. In it, you make your heirs aware of your estimation of the value of your genealogical research, and ask that they endeavor to find an individual or institution willing to give your treasures a good home. The one page document provides space to suggest specific individuals or institutions with whom you would prefer that your genealogical treasures be entrusted.

Monday, October 13, 2008


The Preserver 16:1 (August 2008) asks, “What happened to the 1890 Census?” 47,000 enumerators collected information on 62 million Americans. On the afternoon of January 10, 1921, smoke was seen wafting from the Commerce Building in Washington, D.C., where the 1890 schedules were stored. The fire was confined to the basement, but the basement was flooded in the effort to put out the fire.

Some census schedules stored on the fifth floor of the Commerce Building were not damaged. Other schedules stored in a supposedly waterproof vault in the basement received minor damage. The 1890 schedules, while in the basement, were not in the vault. They were thoroughly soaked. To add insult to injury, the decision was made to allow the soggy schedules to remain in the flooded basement until a damage assessment could be done the next day!

A small part of the 1890 schedules in fact survived, but these fragments only cover very small sections of ten states and the District of Columbia. The cause of the fire was never ascertained- officially it was suggested that some papers had spontaneously combusted, but a second, more widely-believed theory held that a worker smoking in the basement set off the blaze accidentally.

NARA 1890 Census Fact Sheet:


NGS Newsmagazine 34:3 (July-September 2008) includes an informative article by Claire Prechtel-Kluskens called "Anatomy of a Union Civil War Pension File." She notes that a typical Civil War pension file is 100 or more pages long, and mentions more than 100 individuals in addition to the pension claimant. A Civil War pension file should contain all claims for a pension by a particular veteran and any other persons like widows or minor children who applied for a pension based on that man’s Civil War service. Eligibility for Civil War pensions varied according to the act of Congress in effect at the time of application, although prior to 1959 only Union soldiers, sailors, and marines and their widows were eligible for federal Civil War pensions. Initially, a man had to be unable because of wounds incurred or sickness contracted during the Civil War to do a full day’s work in order to qualify for a pension. As time passed, pension laws were liberalized until, by 1907, Civil War veterans needed only to be age 62 or older to qualify for a pension.


I'm betting you will want to know more about this new book:

Are You Harnessing the Power of Google?

Unlock the Hidden Power of Google for Genealogy & Family History Research

With more than 60% of Internet searches being performed using Google, there is no doubt it has become an important tool for the majority of family historians worldwide — hobbiest or professional. Given that more than 20 billion pages are included in Google's index of the Web, it is likely that some of these pages contain the clues about your ancestors that you have been searching for — text, images or video! The challenge, of course, is finding them.

Simple Commands — Powerful Results

Dozens of commands and specialized syntax are available through Google that can dramatically improve your search skills. In fact, it seems that many of these have been specifically built to help with our pursuit of our family heritage. The great news for you is that most of these commands are easy to learn and master and perfectly suited for finding people, places, and events. A special command even lets you narrow results by date range to filter results more quickly.

Leverage Free Resources

Did you realize the most powerful tool for your genealogy research is completely free? Google is available in more than 160 countries and is free to use — for genealogy or anything else you may be trying to find! Use Google to your full advantage.

• Find published works containing information on your ancestors
• Uncover intriguing family photographs and possibly video
• Search historic newspaper archives for long-forgotten details
• Visit your ancestral home towns as often as you like

Google Your Family Tree

The book is a 352-page softcover and measures 8.25 inches wide by 10 inches tall. The pages are written in a friendly, informative, and non-technical way — but still convey the depth of power contained within each major part of the Google service. Each concept is illustrated with large, easy-to-view images showing exactly how to execute the command being discussed and what results you will achieve. If you have ever used Google or any Internet search engine and experienced frustration with millions of listings resulting from your query, you are about to discover a true breakthrough!

Only a long-time genealogist and technology expert could have acomplished what author Dan Lynch did within this text. He disects more than one hundred powerful commands and features of Google, but maintains a focus on how they can be used specifically to conduct family history research. Special tips for finding people, places, and even filters for searching through different time periods. This book has it all.

The book will begin shipping on October 20, 2008 and is $34.95 (USD). Orders will be fulfilled on a first-ordered, first-shipped basis.


NOTE: At present, this book only seems to be available direct from the publisher- can’t find it on today (10-12-2008).

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Did you know that the National Archives has an online book store where they sell their publications plus selected other publications? There is a small section for autographed items that includes copies of The War (the companion book to the PBS mini-series) signed by co-author Geoffrey C. Ward. It's selling for $35 ($50 retail price). If you need a Christmas present for a WWII buff, look no further!


You can also find great presents for genealogists on your Christmas list here:

1. 1790-1890 Federal Population Census: a Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications ($3.50)
2. Black Studies: a Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications ($5.00)
3. Immigrant & Passenger Arrivals: a Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications ($3.50)
4. Military Service Records: a Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications ($3.50)

And while you're in that gift-giving mood, don't forget MoSGA's Online Bookstore , or our long list of MoSGA publications!


“This site contains the full-text contents of publications exploring different aspects of the history and people of Greene County, Missouri. It is a collection of full-text, indexes and abstracts to records held at the Greene County Archives and Records Center, Springfield, Missouri. These records include circuit court record books, coroner records, alms house records, justice of the peace records and others.

The material is of interest to genealogists who are attempting to fill in gaps in their research or to fill in details about individuals they have encountered in previous research. The material is also of interest to historians and others interested in historical details of the interaction between local government authority and citizens.”



“Welcome to the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections, an online repository of Iowa history and culture created by bringing together in digital form documents, images, maps, finding aids, interpretive and educational materials, and other media from collections held by a wide range of organizations throughout Iowa.”



“The Iowa Digital Library contains more than 175,000 digital objects—photographs, maps, sound recordings and documents—from libraries and archives at University of Iowa and their partnering institutions. The Iowa Digital Library also includes faculty research collections and bibliographic tools (holdings information for some library materials that are not otherwise accessible through the online catalog). Digital collections are coordinated by Digital Library Services, which manages the preservation, delivery, and structure of UI Libraries' digital content.”



Digitized book includes a listing of men buried in the cemetery as of 1867:

"It lists those Union soldiers buried in the Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg, Maryland, as of 1867. Many died at the nearby Battle of Antietam and the fighting on South Mountain in September 1862. In addition, Union soldiers who died in Allegany and Frederick counties and elsewhere in Washington County, Maryland, are interred here too. The battle of Monocacy in Frederick County in July 1864 produced large numbers of dead. Other skirmishes in the state at Funkstown, Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Folck’s Mill, Weverton, and several other small towns also produced casualties, many of whom are buried in Sharpsburg. Some of those Union soldiers injured in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia were transported to Maryland hospitals and if they died were buried in the Antietam National Cemetery."



OK, not all night, but certainly until the witching hour...

Let Your Skeletons Dance! The 1st annual Lock In at the new Midwest Genealogy Center will be held on Friday, October 24, from 6:00 pm-Midnight. The $25 fee covers Zarda Barbeque, a new canvas bag full of "treats", and door prizes. Come for a night of fun and research! Spend six hours getting to know the new facility. Call 816-252-7228 or email to reserve your spot now! Payment is due by October 17th. Proceeds to benefit the Midwest Genealogy Center Programming Fund.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Sixty-five digitized letters written by Colonel John T. Wilder, commander of the Civil War’s famous Lightning Brigade:



Europeana is Europe’s digital library, museum, and archive:


JUSTIA.COM is a portal to many different types of legal information:



Received from

Get in on the great holiday savings that await you in our Columbus Day Sale. From today through 11:59 PM EST, Monday, October 13, 2008, you can order almost any product available at at a discount of 20% off the current selling price of the books(s) or CD(s) of your choice. (The only products not qualifying for this sale are the tiny handful of books listed on our site that we ourselves do not publish.)

To take advantage of this special holiday discount, simply add the special code 101208 (no spaces) in the Discount Coupon Redemption Box on the Calculate Shipping and Discounts page of the check-out process.

You can use your holiday code on besting-selling books such as our just-released edition of Emily Anne Croom’s The Sleuth Book for Genealogists, with its emphasis on cluster research; the all-new Fourth Edition of Angus Baxter’s classic how-to book, In Search of Your German Roots; our complete selection of CDs; hundreds of Genealogy Warehouse books already reduced by 40%-50% or more; and just about anything else you find on

You can use your special 101208 discount code as many times as you like, so long as you place your final order by 11:59 PM EST, Monday, October 13, 2008.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


by Mary Harrell-Sesniak
"Genealogy is not just a pastime, it's a passion."

Don't be fooled by thinking U.S. federal census records were created for family historians—their original purpose was for demographics. Genealogists use them now, but knowing their original purpose and knowing the questions asked and notations used can keep you from being misled.

For instance, what does "UN" or "UA" indicate regarding military service? Unknown or Unavailable? No—it indicates service with the Union Navy or Army, and that can make a world of difference.

Questions changed from decade to decade. Some items were dropped and others manipulated to unearth new details. Here is some guidance to get you started.

Marital Status or Civil Condition

Early on, newlyweds were the only ones whose length of marriage was recorded, and the only year the month of marriage was asked was 1870. By 1880, divorces, widowhood, and single status were included.

From 1900–1910, the number of years a couple had been married was enumerated, but in 1920 this was eliminated. Strangely, in 1930, the enumerator determined the age when a person had first married.

That's quite a different issue, and it didn't matter if one was on a second or third marriage—the enumerator just recorded the age at first marriage. So what was the point? From a demographic standpoint, as more women worked or attended college, they were less likely to marry high school sweethearts! Luckily some records show M1 or M2, indicating first or second marriage.

Information enumerated, by census year and column number:

·1850 and 1860. Columns 10 and 11, respectively: Whether married within the year
·1870. Column14: If married within the year, the month (Jan., etc.)
·1880. Column 9: Civil Condition Single; Column 10: Civil Condition Married; Column 11: Civil Condition Widowed, Divorced; Column 12: Whether married during the census year
·1890. Column 7: Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced; Column 8: Whether married during the census year (June 1, 1889, to May 31, 1890)
·1900. Column 9: Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced; Column 10: Number of years of present marriage
·1910. Column 8: Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced; Column 9: Number of years of present marriage
·1920. Column 12: Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced
·1930. Column 14: Marital condition; Column 15: Age at first marriage


Some abbreviations you will see relating to military information include "UN" for Union Navy; "UA" for Union Army; "CA" for Confederate Army; "CN" for Confederate Navy; "CW" for Civil War; "SP" for Spanish American War; and "WW" for World War I.
In 1910, column 30 recorded whether someone was a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy. In 1920, the question wasn't posed, but in 1930, column 30 noted veterans of the U.S. military or naval forces mobilized for any war or expedition (with a Y or N), and column 31 indicated the war/expedition.

Interestingly, a number of Civil War veterans survived, along with veterans of the Spanish American War and the Great War.

In addition, in 1890 a special census was enumerated to assist with pension requests granted to veterans or widows. Only those with disabilities were eligible, and it didn't include confederates. Much of this special census schedule is missing—only records from Kentucky and Wyoming remain. However, if you are lucky enough to have an ancestor recorded, there are a number of important items included.

Information enumerated, by column number:

·Columns 1 and 2: The house and family number
·Column 3: Name of surviving soldiers, marines, and widows
·Columns 4 and 5: Rank and Company
·Column 6: Name of regiment or vessel
·Columns 7 and 8: Date of enlistment and discharge
·Column 9: Length of service
·Column 10: Post office address
·Column 11: Disability incurred

Citizenship and Naturalization

Over the decades, questions were expanded from place of birth to information about parents and native languages.

Information enumerated, by census year and column number:

·1850. Column 9: Place of birth, naming the state, territory, or country
·1860. Column 10: Place of birth, naming the state, territory, or country
·1870. Column 10: Place of birth, naming the state, territory, or country; Columns 11 and 12: Parentage of father and mother of the foreign born; Column 19: Constitutional Relations—Male citizens of U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards; Column 20: Male citizens of U.S. of 21 years of age and upwards where right to vote is denied on other grounds than rebellion or other crimes
·1880. No related information enumerated
·1890. Column 33: Number of years in the U.S.; Column 14: Whether naturalized; Column 15: Whether naturalization papers have been taken out
·1900. Column 13: Place of birth of this person; Column 14: Father; Column 15: Mother; Column 16: Year of immigration to the U.S.; Column 17: Number of years in the U.S.; Column 18: Naturalization
·1910. Same as 1900, but recorded on Columns 12 through14; Column 15: Year of immigration to the U.S.; Column 16: Whether naturalized or alien
·1920. Column 13: Year of immigration to the United States; Column 14: Naturalized or alien; Column 15: If naturalized, year of naturalization; Columns 19 and 20: Place of birth/mother tongue of person; Columns 21 through 24: Father and mother
·1930. Columns 18 through 20: Place of birth of person, father, and mother; Column 21: Language spoken in home before coming to the United States; Column 22: Year of immigration to the U.S.; Column 23: Naturalized or alien; Column 24: Whether able to speak English

In addition, census records often report addresses, literacy, occupations, and property values. Each decade was different, so do your research carefully.
I recommend RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees Number 9, which details the index system, official dates of enumeration, and pitfalls in interpreting and locating data.

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 8 October 2008, Vol. 11, No. 20.

Rootsweb Review Archives:


The Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center (Prince William County, VA) is making a Civil War Pathfinder available for free download:


NOTE: The Manassas National Battlefield Site is located one mile from the Information Center.

They’re also offering these free programs, if you’re planning to be in Virginia in October or November:

October 28, 7 pm - Tracing Your American Ancestors through Land Records, presented by Karen Jensen.

November 2, 2 pm - Assembling Your Family History, presented by John P. Colletta. (co-sponsored by the Prince William County Genealogical Society).

November 15, 2 pm - Rooting for Your Ancestors, a Beginning Genealogy Course for Kids and Their Families.

November 25, 7 pm - Demonstration of Family Tree Maker Software, presented by Susie Besecker.

All these programs take place in the community room at Bull Run Regional Library, 8051 Ashton Avenue, Manassas, VA. You may register for any of these programs at 703-792-4540 or For more details see:


For those of you with an interest in Cedar, St. Clair, and Vernon Counties in Missouri:


The September 2008 newsletter has been posted online on our website at

Please note: The Military Dedication Ceremony at Balltown Cemetery has been rescheduled to Sunday afternoon, November 9, at 2 p.m. This will enable more to attend and will not be in scheduling conflict with other ceremonies that are traditionally held on Veterans' Day.

Nancy Thompson
Tri-County Genealogical Society
218 West Walnut St, Nevada, MO 64772

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Several people I know will be very happy to hear this:

Eat dark chocolate-- avoid a heart attack:


NOTE: I’m hoping that next week they announce that a draft beer and a plate of cheese fries can cure any illness…


I'm assuming none of you have traced a line back this far, but just in case:

The Large Hadron Collider is supposed to tell us what happened immediately after the Big Bang. A question at least as interesting, however, is this: What was happening prior to the Big Bang-- or was anything happening at all?



If you had an ancestor at Saratoga (American colonist, British soldier, or Loyalist volunteer), you may be interested in this recently published book (and note the free PDF sample they are offering):

A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution
John Luzander

The months-long 1777 Saratoga campaign was one of the most decisive of the entire Revolutionary War. The crushing British defeat prompted France to recognize the American colonies as an independent nation, declare war on England, and commit money, ships, arms, and men to the rebellion. John Luzader's impressive Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution is the first all-encompassing objective account of these pivotal months in American history.


Foreword by Eric H. Schnitzer

Dramatis Personae

Chapter 1: British Plans for 1777: Fight the War “From the Side of Canada”

Chapter 2: Invasion from Canada

Chapter 3: Fort Ticonderoga and the Battle of Hubbardton

Chapter 4: Skenesborough, Forts Anne and Edward, and Beyond

Chapter 5: The Bennington Raid

Chapter 6: To Control the Mohawk: The Battle of Oriskany and Siege of Fort Stanwix

Chapter 7: The Northern Command: Personalities and Politics

Chapter 8: The New Commander Rebuilds

Chapter 9: Prelude to Bemis Heights and “the Airy Scheme”

Chapter 10: Freeman’s Farm

Chapter 11: Between Battles: Fortifying and Squabbling

Chapter 12: The Seventh of October

Chapter 13: Retreat, Pursuit, and the Siege of Saratoga

Chapter 14: The Convention of Saratoga

Epilogue: Saratoga’s Fruit: The Strategic Revolution

Appendices A - K (including photographic tour)




If you wish to receive a 356k PDF with Text and Map samples from SARATOGA, please e-mail

List Price $34.95 , SPECIAL PRICE $27.95; 504 pages, maps, Hardback
Savas Beatie Publisher


When they say best deal in the industry, they're not kidding:

EVERTON SINCERELY APOLOGIZES for the hassles and inconvenience that many genealogists and family history researchers experienced with the initial launch of the Online Edition of the Genealogical Helper magazine. We have re-launched the Online Edition, on a server and system under Everton's complete control, and we are confident that your experience will now be a pleasant and rewarding one.

We are offering the following in the hopes that all of you who have not subscribed will take another look at what we feel is the best deal in the industry. The Genealogical Helper is widely recognized as having no equal in terms of amount of total content, educational and research information, and lists of organizations, events, and repositories. The complete magazine is online, and all websites listed in either the content or advertisements are hot-linked.

Everton is offering the Online Edition FREE until October 17 to anyone willing to go to our website ( From now until October 27 the $12 annual subscription fee to the Online Edition of the Genealogical Helper will be reduced to $10.00, and the $29.00 annual subscription fee for the hard copy edition of the magazine (includes access to the Online Edition) will be reduced to $25.00. There are two issues now available for download at the site: Jul-Aug 2008 and Sept-Oct 2008. ENJOY!

Thank you, and again all of us at Everton's apologize for the false start and any inconvenience it may have caused.


The Midwest Genealogy Center of Mid-Continent Public Library is pleased to announce extended hours. Beginning Sunday, October 5, 2008, the MGC will be open from 1pm-5pm each Sunday to give you a few more hours each week of pure research pleasure. More information about the Midwest Genealogy Center can be found at

Janice Schultz
Midwest Genealogy Center


Links to various military history sites of interest from the Colonial Wars to the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan:



If you’re thinking about getting into podcasting, or just want to start recording interviews with family members, you may want to look at Free Audio Editor:


NOTE: You should check any downloaded program with your computer security software before installing on your computer- better safe than sorry!


For Immediate Release Reveals Who Would be King of America and Candidate Roots as Presidential Election Approaches

What If America Had King Paul Instead Of President McCain or Obama?
What Family Ties Do Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin Have in Key Election Battleground States and to Royalty?

PROVO, Utah, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- If George Washington had been America's king instead of its first president, an 82-year-old retired regional manager from San Antonio, Texas would be King of America today. As red and blue battleground states emerge in the upcoming presidential election, Americans may be interested to know that Senator Barack Obama has deep roots in Ohio or that Senator John McCain has family members from North Carolina on both sides of his family tree. And research into Governor Sarah Palin's family history revealed she is the 10th cousin to Lady Diana Spencer, Britain's beloved Princess Di, as well as a distant cousin to Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of the country's most popular presidents.

As the country prepares to elect the 44th U.S. president, genealogy experts at, the world's largest online family history resource, researched answers to some interesting questions surrounding this year's landmark presidential election. From the lineage of the first president, to the family roots of today's presidential and vice presidential candidates, the findings may evoke an interesting debate.


Many Americans are fascinated by the British royal family -- but what if America had its own Royal family? The experts at asked, "Who would be sitting on America's throne today if George Washington had become the king instead of the first U.S. president?" After countless hours of research to trace Washington's family lineage, the following facts emerged to determine which of his descendents would likely be King of America today had the U.S. become a monarchy rather than a democracy in 1789:

-- King George? - According to sources, Washington's leadership during and after the Revolutionary War was held in such high esteem, there were those who suggested he become America's first king.
-- Wading Through the Washingtons - George Washington had no children, so researching the descendants through all of his half- and full-siblings meant approximately 8,000 people could factor into the succession equation, with less than 200 of them bearing the Washington surname.
-- Would-be Royal - Since George Washington had an older half brother and a younger full brother, ultimately there were four possible succession paths. Two of the four paths, with male-only heirs, converge into one heir -- Paul Emery Washington, 82, of San Antonio, Texas -- making him the strongest candidate for king today. Paul Emery Washington also has a son, Bill, who he affectionately calls "Prince William."
-- Valley Forge Connection - Paul Emery Washington was a regional manager at Certain-Teed Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of wholesale building materials for 40 years. The company was headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., where coincidentally General Washington and his army camped during the difficult winter of 1778-79.


In every presidential election, certain U.S. states emerge as critical battleground states key to winning the White House. The experts at researched the family history of the presidential and vice presidential candidates to learn which of the often referred to battleground states could claim the candidates as their own, with some surprising discoveries.

-- Senator John McCain - McCain has North Carolina roots on both sides of his family tree, extending to the mid 1700s. He is also connected to the state of Arkansas through his paternal grandmother, Katherine Vaulx, a teacher who was born in Arkansas. Katherine's parents, James Vaulx and Margaret Garside, were long-time residents of Arkansas where James was a minister. Family members in his tree served in both the military and the financial sector: his father and grandfather both had careers in the U.S. Navy and great grandfather John S. McCain is documented in the 1900 U.S. Census as the treasurer of Carroll County, Mississippi.
-- Senator Barack Obama - Obama has deep roots in the state of Ohio that go back to 1850. Obama's heritage can be traced back to Ireland, to the small towns of Moneygall and Shinrone in County Offaly, Ireland. Obama's third great-grandfather, Falmouth Kearney, immigrated to the U.S. at age 19, landing in New York harbor on March 20, 1850 and then settling in Fayette County, Ohio among Irish relatives. In addition, Obama has roots extending into the swing states of Virginia, Indiana and Missouri.
-- Senator Joe Biden - Biden also has a strong Irish heritage; his ancestors arrived in the U.S. within six months of Obama's Irish family. Both Obama's and Biden's Irish relatives were shoemakers by trade. Biden has deep Pennsylvania ties: Patrick and Catherine Blewett, Biden's 2nd great-grandparents, settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, around 1860, where Patrick worked as a surveyor and a civil engineer.
-- Governor Sarah Palin - Palin has roots in several battleground states, including Ohio, Minnesota and Virginia, however, most of her roots are planted in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Palin descends from three consecutive generations of Michael Sheerans, who originate in Ireland; her great-great-grandfather Sheeran ran a firm called Sheeran & Filler Bottling Company, which shipped products across the Northwest. According to published family and local histories -- through a common ancestor, Rev. John Lothrop who arrived in Massachusetts colony in 1634 -- Palin is a distant cousin to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who is touted in history as one of the country's most popular presidents. Gov. Palin is also a 10th cousin to Lady Diana Spencer, Britain's beloved Princess Di, through common ancestors John Strong and Abigail Ford.


According to a recent independent survey from, Americans would choose to be a member of the Obama family more than any of four other prominent political families.(1) When asked which family they would like to join most, 21 percent chose the Obamas, followed by 15 percent for the Palins and 15 percent for the Clintons, 14 percent for the McCains and 3 percent for the Biden family. Nearly one-third of Americans surveyed (30 percent), however, said they wouldn't want to become a member of any of these political families.

"Most presidential elections bring up issues about where we've come from and where we're headed as a nation, and this election year is no different," said Megan Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian for "This is an ideal time for our family history experts to play historical what-ifs and conduct research to answer intriguing questions, as well as look into the family trees of our candidates to learn about where they come from and the ties they have in our great country."
To learn more about how to start researching your family history, log on to and sign up for a free two-week trial. It's possible that a famous ancestor or past presidential or vice presidential candidate is in your family tree and waiting to be discovered.

About the Ancestry Global Network

The Ancestry global network of family history Web sites is wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc. It consists of nine Web sites -- in the U.S., in the UK, in Canada, in Australia, in Germany, in Italy, in France, in Sweden and in China. Ancestry members have access to 7 billion names contained in 26,000 historical record collections. Tree-building and photo upload are free on all Ancestry websites. To date, users have created more than 7 million family trees containing 700 million profiles and 11 million photographs. Nearly 5.8 million unique visitors logged onto in August 2008 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).


For Immediate Release
7 October 2008

Summit County Ohio Court Receives Grant
Hundreds of thousands of historic records will be freely available online

Salt Lake City, Utah—, FamilySearch, and the National Association of Government Archive and Records Administrators (NAGARA) announced on July 24, 2008, that Judge Bill Spicer and the Probate Division of the Summit County Common Pleas Court in Akron, Ohio, were awarded a 2008 grant for the digitization of Summit County marriage, birth, and death records. The court’s grant was one of only two awarded in 2008. This significant grant will make it possible for Summit County to digitally preserve and provide free online access to select historical documents.

The project targets 1840 to 1980 marriage records for over 550,000 individuals, birth records prior to 1908 for over 46,000 individuals, and death records prior to 1908 for over 22,000 individuals. A free, searchable name index linked to the digital images of the original records will be available to the public through the probate court’s Web site and the grant partners’ sites.

“As a result of the grant, our Website, which was chosen as one of the 10 best in the country by the National College of Probate Judges, will now have the added distinction of being a model for the state and country for accessing historical court records,” said Judge Spicer. “Not only will it improve access, but by reducing the need to see the often-fragile originals, it will make the court’s job of preserving hundreds of thousands of original records easier. The project is a far-sighted and important effort in preserving local history. On behalf of the court and the citizens of Summit County, I thank the project sponsors for selecting Summit County Probate Court as its 2008 grant recipient.”

This is the first year that this national grant was offered. It is sponsored by and FamilySearch and administered by NAGARA. Under the grant, FamilySearch will digitize the original documents on-site in the Summit County courthouse by the end of 2008, and will create an electronic index linked to the images. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2009. The commercial value of the grant is estimated to be $150,000.00.


Media Contacts
Kimberly Guldeman
Summit County Probate Court

Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager

Mike Ward
Public Relations Director