Saturday, May 30, 2009


Now you can read the digitized case files concerning efforts to apprehend this deadly duo and their partners in crime on the FBI website:



How hard would it be for a terrorist to get a genuine U.S. passport? Not very, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office:



This blog discusses (and provides links to digitized) novels about World War I-- and you’ve never heard of most of these books, I guarantee you:



20 June 2009

Wichita, KS - The 2009 conference presented by The Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc. and The Wichita Genealogical Society, featuring Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak is scheduled for June 20, 2009 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, Kansas. Sessions include:

- Trace Your Roots with DNA
- Welcome to Roots Television
- Reverse Genealogy
- Find That Obituary: Online Newspaper Research

Registration: $50.00.

Contact for details, or visit our website.


Please join us June 4, 2009 for An Introduction to the National Archives and Its Treasures. Visit the National Archives during this virtual tour. We will clear some pathways through the amazing wealth of records at this Pennsylvania Avenue institution, learn some "lingo, " and view documents that may apply to your own family's research.

Our speaker, Diane Walsh, CG(SM), has visited the Archives in Washington, D.C. on several occasions, each time taking away new insights into the massive and varied records stored there. She is the author of St. Clair County, Illinois Research and Resources: A Genealogist's Guide and editor of our society’s quarterly journal.

Our monthly meetings begin at 7:30 pm at St. Luke's Parish Hall, 226 N. Church St., Belleville, Illinois 62220.

We are always looking for good speakers on genealogical topics. Let us know if you can recommend any speaker(s) from the St. Louis Metro Area, or if you can speak on a topic of interest to our Society.

For more information, program suggestions or inclement weather, please contact Karen LaCroix, Program Chairperson at or (618) 286-4392.

Guests of Members and First-time Visitors are Always Welcome!


Diane Auth
Membership Chairperson
St Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society

Friday, May 29, 2009


St. Louis Genealogical Society has released this blurb on their October Speaker Series event:

Our event this year will be held on Saturday, 24 October 2009, at the Viking Holiday Inn. Our speaker will be Barbara Vines Little, CG. Her presentation will be "Virginia: The Old Dominion State".

Old Southern as well as Midwest family roots usually go back to early Virginia families. Some families arrived in the 1600s, some immigrated before the American Revolution, and other arrived just in time for the Civil War.

Virginia research is the core for those who later lived in West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Join us to learn more about researching your family history.

Ms. Little, a nationally renowned Certified Genealogist, an expert on Virginia research, and editor of the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, will provide the following lectures:

a. County Records: The Nuts and Bolts of Virginia Research
b. Patents and Grants: Virginia's Land Records
c. Virginia's Tax Records: A Gold Mine of Information
d. Virginia"a Military Records: Colonial Militia through the Civil War



I know that many of you (like myself) take one or more prescription medications on a daily basis. If you’d like to keep the cost of doing so as low as possible, Medtipster can help you find the best prices in your area for the prescriptions you need to stay healthy:



The sources below have recently been added to the Missouri History
Museum Genealogy and Local History Index

To sign up for our monthly Genealogy and House History News e-newsletter, go this link:

-- and select "Genealogy."

Dennis Northcott
Associate Archivist for Reference
Missouri History Museum

1. Portrait album from a dinner given by Charles E. Ware, complimentary
to George T. Nicholson, on his departure to assume passenger traffic
management of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, and to Benjamin L. Winchell, on his coming to St. Louis to assume the general passenger
agency of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, held at Tony Faust's,
St. Louis, April 30, 1898.

2. "St. Louisans You Want to Know" (published by the Penograph Feature Service Co., St. Louis, circa 1921). Includes caricatures of prominent
St. Louisans.

3. Caricature album of the annual dinner, the Bankers Club of St. Louis, December 21, 1915

4. One Hundredth Anniversary, United Hebrew Congregation: Saint Louis, Missouri, 1838-1938 (St. Louis: The Congregation, 1938)

5. Dedicatory Book, United Hebrew Congregation, 1927

6. Union Base Ball Club March / composed by T.M. Brown (published by Rich. J. Compton, St. Louis, 1867). The cover of this piece of sheet music, which is dedicated to the members of the Union Base Ball Club, champions of Missouri, contains engraved images of the nine members of the Union Base Ball Club and their positions.

7. Illustrated Souvenir of the 27th National Festival of the North American Gymnastic Union and the City of St. Louis, Mo. (published under the auspices of the Central Committee by the Western Engraving Company, St. Louis, [1897]). Includes small portraits of gymnastic teachers and members of the Central Committee.

8. Program of the Entertainment and Dance Given by the Employees of Meyer Brothers Drug Co. under the Auspices of Meyer Brothers Employes [Employees] Mutual Aid Ass'n (held at Lemp's Hall, Thirteenth and Utah, February 14, 1910). Includes thumbnail portraits of Meyer Brothers Drug Company employees who served on various committees that organized the event.

9. The St. Louis Post Office (St. Louis, Mo.: St. Louis Post Office, 1937). Includes photographs of St. Louis Post Office employees.

10. Photographs of cast members and committee members of the Pageant and Masque of St. Louis. The Pageant and Masque was a historical drama of the history of St. Louis that was performed before huge crowds on Art Hill in Forest Park from May 28 to May 31, 1914.

11. Plat of the western addition of the Thomas Allen estate, bounded by California, Lafayette and Jefferson Avenues and [Accomac Street], St.
Louis, Missouri, circa 1885. Includes the names of several lot owners in the western addition of the Thomas Allen estate.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Ever wonder what it would be like to be left in the Library after hours with all those books? You can now fulfill your fantasy at Central Library’s first ever “Lock-In” event for genealogists and local historians. The Lock-In will take place the evening of June 19, 2009, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library at 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, Mo 63103 (downtown St. Louis). Free parking and security will be available.

Attendees will have exclusive access to the Library’s extensive genealogical and St. Louis Area Studies collections for the entire evening. Subject specialists in these areas will be available to personally assist you with your research questions and guide you through the use of the collections.

Reservations will be needed as space in the History and Genealogy Department and Microfilm Room is limited. Call 314-539-0385 or 539-0386 to RSVP and if you have any questions concerning the event.

St. Louis Public Library website


The Government Printing Office is having a Special Values Sale right now. Hundreds of titles are drastically reduced in price:


Note: Titles include many historical and statistical publications of possible interest to genealogists (and it’s easy to browse by subject).


Historic photos of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department buildings and equipment, many with accompanying textual information. Click on a photo to see an enlargement of that photo. Some of the photos show uniformed officers (some identified, some not):


Note: Page includes a link to The City of St. Louis Officer Down Memorial Page, which provides lists of officers killed by cause of death. Listings include name, rank, date of death, and cause of death.


More than 11,000 Circuit Court documents dated 1866-1868 have been prepared for use by researchers thanks to a joint effort of the St. Louis Circuit Court and the Missouri State Archives. These documents are to be made available to the public this week (records have been microfilmed; an index will be made available on the State Archives website). These documents include lawsuits filed by persons hoping to have confiscated property returned (or to receive reimbursement for that property). One case involves a man who sued the steamboat company that transported one of his escaped slaves to a free state (and freedom).

St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on the project:


Civil War Records from the St. Louis Circuit Court:


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


A history of the debates, plus information about the communities in which the debates took place:



Discussions of four different topics from the National Archives about the Civil War and Reconstruction:



This site calls itself:

"Best of History Web Sites: an Resource"



Did you know that you can create a free profile for yourself using Google Profiles? It’s simple and fun to do, and you can easily add photos to your profile:


Note: Why should you create a Google Profile? If you are job searching, or trying for other reasons to create / control your presence on the Web, doing so could prove very helpful for you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Your humble blog editor is taking a week off (starting tomorrow) to visit relatives and do a little beachcombing in North Carolina. I will think of you all often as I gather shells, play in the surf, eat fresh seafood, browse for souvenirs, and wake up to the sound of waves crashing on the beach...

Note: If you go to and search for "atlantic beach nc", you'll find some great photos of my little home away from home (OK, I wish it was):



You can view a nice selection of images from their extensive Image Library for free:


Note: Images are available in many categories including Colonial and Empire; Crime; Design; Entertainment; Manuscripts; Maps; Medicine; Military; Mining; People; Piracy; Places; Politics; Slavery; Transport and Travel; Victoriana; World War I; and World War II.


Recommendations for Honours and Awards 1935 - 1990

"You can now search and download recommendations for honours and awards to British army personnel and those of the dominions. This collection also contains details of some awards to members of the Royal Navy (RN), Royal Marines (RM) and Royal Air Force (RAF), and of decorations exchanged between British and allied armies. This completes a joint project by The National Archives and the Ministry of Defence (MOD).”



Why should you go to one if at all possible? Well, because you can learn a lot attending your pick of the dozens of classes offered; you can interact with genealogists from all over the country; you can tour the huge vendor area; you can see a few sites (and possibly eat at a few great restaurants) in the host city; and you will definitely have a great time:


Note: I certainly agree with the author. I went to the NGS Conference in Kansas City in 2008, and had a great time! I would have been glad to go to Raleigh this year if the economy hadn’t taken a header (I wouldn't mind going to the FGS shindig in Little Rock later this year, either).

Speaking of national conferences: in November 1992, Joy Reisinger of Sparta, Wisconsin began work on an index to the publications (programs and syllabi) for the annual conferences of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). In 1993 the organizations published the results of her work. After the Index to NGS and FGS Conferences and Syllabi was published, she then continued her work with FGS and NGS conferences and added many other conference years to her database as well. You can search her database here:


Hint: It's a terrific resource if you present genealogical programs or if you are in charge of securing programs for your society!


From their website:

"FamilySearch announced today it has published millions of records from Southern states to its rapidly growing, free online collection. The collection includes both digital images and indexes. Millions of death records from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida were the most recent additions. Viewers can search the free collection on the Record Search pilot at (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).

In the past 18 months, FamilySearch has been diligently publishing digital images and indexes from Southern states. It is part of a worldwide initiative to provide fast, economical access to genealogical records. Fueled by over 100,000 online volunteers, FamilySearch is digitizing and indexing historical records and publishing them online.

The most recent additions are from the following collections:

· Alabama Statewide Deaths 1908 to 1974 (Index)
· Arkansas County Marriages: 1837 to 1957
· Civil War Pension Index Cards (Digital Images)
· Florida Deaths 1877 to 1939 (Index)
· Florida State Censuses: 1855, 1935, 1945 (Digital Images)
· Freedman Bank Records: 1865 to 1874
· Freedman’s Bureau Virginia Marriages 1855 to 1866
· Georgia Deaths 1914 to 1927
· Louisiana War of 1812 Pension Lists (Images)
· North Carolina Deaths 1906 to 1930
· North Carolina, Davidson County Marriages and Deaths, 1867–1984 (Digital Images)
· South Carolina Deaths 1915 to 1943
· South Carolina Deaths 1944 to 1955 (Index)
· Texas Death Index 1964 to 1998 (Index)
· Texas Deaths 1890 to 1976
· Virginia Fluvanna County Funeral Home Records 1929 to 1976 (Digital Images)
· West Virginia Births 1853 to 1930 (Index)
· West Virginia Marriages 1853 to 1970 (Index)
· West Virginia Deaths 1853 to 1970 (Index)

FamilySearch has also published free indexes to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1920 (partial) U.S Censuses—-all important resources for Southern states research."

LINK: Scroll down to News & Events--Historic Southern Records Published.

Note: On their homepage if you click Research Helps on the top navigation bar, you will be able to access “Missouri Statewide Indexes and Collections"; “Missouri Research Outline”; and “Missouri Historical Background,” all three of which are very helpful and well-organized finding aids.


The younger brother of Vince and Joe (all three of whom were fabled major-league baseball players) died on May 8, 2009:


Note: Did you know that the parents of the DiMaggio boys (both immigrants from Sicily) had to register as enemy aliens during World War II? Their father’s boat (he was a commercial fisherman) was confiscated for the duration of the war:



Who was he, and why should you care that he’s gone? Because he was a double ace in the Korean War (he shot down 11 MIGs) who survived two years in a Chinese Communist prison, and then went on to fly 200 missions during the Vietnam War:



Today (May 16, 2009) is Armed Forces Day, and the Department of Defense has a website that includes an attractive downloadable Armed Forces Day poster:


Note: All of us here at MoSGA wish all our veterans and our active-duty military men and women a happy (and safe) Armed Forces Day!

Friday, May 15, 2009


If you have Scandinavian ancestors, and / or are interested in classics of Scandinavian literature, you can get free ebook versions of them at Project Runeberg:


Note: There is a catch, however, and it's a very big catch-- they’re only available in the Scandinavian languages they were originally written in…


Ebooks they’ve added in the last few weeks:



Available free (PDF format) online:


Note: “Responsibility and Proportionality in State and Non-State Wars” by Michael Walzer is an unflinching look at the question of civilian casualties in war: when are they justified, and how do we measure responsibility and proportionality when civilian casualties are inevitably inflicted?

The End of Proportionality” by Jonathan F. Keiler argues that the American military should cease using proportionality as a concept in military jurisprudence entirely, since proportionality is a “semantic, legal, and ethical miasma.”


It stands for United States Geological Survey, and Carolyn L. Barkley wants you to know how important a site it can be for genealogists:


Now that you’re curious, here’s the link for the USGS website:

Note the Science Topics section in the right-hand navigation bar. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Wildfires are just a few of the topics you can explore. Oh, and they're the folks who create those wonderful topographic maps, by the way...


As you may have guessed, it’s because the advertisers know that you’re using those ad minutes to do something in another room, like grab a snack, take a potty break, etc. They don’t want you to miss their ads, so they’re making sure that you can hear them anywhere in the house. If you happen to stay in the room during the ads, you’re treated to an eardrum-splitting treatise on room deodorizers or adult diapers. You may, therefore, be pleased to learn that it's possible to fight back:


Note: Of course, it will cost you...


Flags are flying at half-staff today (May 15) to honor the 18,661 law enforcement officers who have died in the performance of their duties:


Note: 133 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during 2008!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


FamilyBuilder DNA offers low, low prices on yDNA ($59.95) and mtDNA ($89.95) testing:



If you have vision problems, or know someone who is blind, you may want to invest in an Amazon Kindle DX. Dick Eastman has given it a glowing review, in which he notes that this ebook reader will actually read downloaded magazines, newspapers, or books to you-- and you don’t need a computer to perform wireless content downloading:



From their website:

Eighth Annual Summer Teacher Institute
July 24-26, 2009 at Fredericksburg, Virginia

The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) will host its Eighth Annual Teacher Institute from July 24-26, 2009 in Spotsylvania County, VA. This free weekend will feature workshops, battlefield tours of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, entertainment, speakers, and networking opportunities. Teacher Institute workshops are opportunities for teachers to learn about Civil War instruction and content while engaging with other teachers who have similar interests, challenges, and experiences.

Once again, Virginia Tech's Center for Civil War Studies will be an active partner in the institute. Dr. James I. "Bud" Robertson, Director of the Center, will be a keynote speaker at the institute and will be joined by William C. Davis, Director of Programs for the Center. Through our partnership with Virginia Tech, CWPT is able to offer Continuing Education Unit credits to participating educators.

Any teacher or librarian/media specialist who works with students grades kindergarten through 12 may attend, not just history teachers. 2.0 Continuing Education Units are offered, by pre-registration.

Would you like to learn more?



Celebrating 157 Years of Uncle Tom's Cabin-- information on Harriet Beecher Stowe and this highly popular-- and highly controversial-– book:

Did you know you can get a free audiobook of this classic novel?


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Yes, upon hearing the title I also thought this free ebook was probably weird porn of some sort, but it’s not-- it's just plain weird:

Title: Odd Showers: or, An Explanation of the Rain of Insects, Fishes, and Lizards; Soot, Sand, and Ashes; Red Rain and Snow; Meteoric Stones; and other Bodies
Author: Gibb, G. Duncan (George Duncan), Sir, 1821-1876
Note: London: Kerby and Son, 1970


Note: Sounds like our English ancestors needed really sturdy umbrellas!


Even if you love their operating systems and various other kinds of software, you’ve got to agree that their marketing team wouldn’t know a good product name if it bit them on their, err, USB ports:



If you’re over 40, you’ll recognize many of these products-- and be astounded to learn that you can still buy many of them off the shelf:


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


We received this comment on an earlier post on the WWI Battle of Fromelles, France, which we're printing here as well as in the comments on that prior post:

This week marks the long quest to unearth and identify remains of Australian diggers slaughtered at the Battle of Fromelles. And in doing so we honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

But something is gravely amiss.

One person, the real hero in this rewriting of Australia’s World War One history, has been hung out to dry. Lambis Englezos, a Melbourne schoolteacher, spent six years of his life on a quest to convince authorities of the truth. It was Lambis who identified the field where our diggers lay. It was Lambis who spent years trying to convince the Australian Government and Army to follow up his discovery. It was Lambis who was told repeatedly by authorities to give it up and “go away”.

Thankfully, Lambis did not give up and he did not go away. Instead, he was proven right all along.

Now after years of personal sacrifice and expense, Lambis has not been invited to be a part of the Fromelles project in any capacity. Even if he paid his own travel expenses and travelled to Fromelles, as he has done many times in the past pursuing a moral purpose, he would be granted only one brief visit to the site.

Lambis spent years doing the right thing by our diggers. Why won’t the Government and the Army do the right thing by an unsung Aussie hero?

Until Lambis has some official role at Fromelles, the process of integrity, honoring sacrifice, and doing ‘the right thing’ is far from complete.

Steve Carroll
Castlemaine, Australia

Note: Story on Englezos from the Melbourne Herald Sun:



Free ebook (in six volumes, no less):

Fuller, Thomas. The Church History of Britain: From the Birth of Jesus Christ Until the Year 1648. Oxford University Press, 1845. 6 volumes.



If you’re a budding Walt Disney or John Lasseter, or if you just like to watch interesting short animated films, you should take a look at AniBoom:


Note: If you already like to scrapbook, and are fairly good at it, it occurs to me that you just might be able to make an interesting animated stop-motion film about your family / ancestors using some of the same materials and skill sets you put into scrapbooking…


Create your own free online magazine-- you can include articles, pictures, and video:


Note: Take a look at several of the example zines they provide links to-- if your society, library, or church has been looking for a better way to promote itself / get its message out, your (free) ship may have just come in…


University of North Carolina Press is having a half-off sale now through May 31. Their inventory includes many titles on North Carolina and Civil War history. Go here to start browsing:


Saturday, May 09, 2009


The National Archives (UK) has published its priorities list for 2009-2010:



Highlights of their 2009 survey:


Note: One unanimous opinion of the pundits is that printed newspapers have already gone the way of the passenger pigeon and dodo bird-- a few of them haven’t figured it out just yet. The good news for newspapers-- needing to actually print up and distribute a physical newspaper put them at a great disadvantage compared to radio or TV news departments. A digital newspaper, however, can actually scoop radio and TV when it comes to being first to report a developing story!


It’s official-- the No. 1 roadblock between many working Americans and the information they need to do their jobs isn’t computer hackers or scam artists, it’s overly protective IT departments:



Includes alphabetical list of SC counties and a clickable map showing SC counties; South Carolinians in the Military; South Carolina Naturalizations and Citizenship Records; South Carolina Ship Lists; South Carolina Vital Records; South Carolina Ethnic Research; South Carolina Calendar of Genie Events & Reunions; South Carolina Genealogical & Historical Societies; and South Carolina Archives and Libraries:



Rosters for various South Carolina Civil War military units (includes a number of post-war censuses of Civil War veterans and their widows):


Friday, May 08, 2009


List of ancestors know to be in SC prior to statehood (1788). Listings include founder name, founder’s years of birth and death, spouse’s name, and county of residence.



Various maps covering the period 1683-1970.



Great list of SC institutions (live links provided) with records and other resources of value to the person researching SC ancestors. List includes archives and libraries, genealogical and historical societies, and church record repositories.



For the first time, the number of American homes that only have one or more cell phones and no land lines has surpassed the number of homes that have one or more land lines but no cell phones:




The Tri-Co newsletter has been posted at

The May meeting will be a very interesting home tour -- hope you will be there!


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


They’ve set up a blog so that conference goers can learn about what’s in store- while those of us who can’t go can follow posts made while the conference is in progress (May 13-16, 2009):


Note: I attended their conference in Kansas City last year, and had a great time! I'll admit that I'm a bit envious of persons who will be able to attend this one in Raleigh.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


You’ve never heard of this World War I battle at Fromelles, France, probably because Allied commanders made such a mess of it. 5,500 Australian and 1,500 British soldiers were butchered in this attack that was sent forward in broad daylight against German machine guns. More Australians died here than in the much more famous disaster at Gallipoli. Now officials are hoping forensic science will help them identify some of the Allied troops who were buried in mass graves after the battle:



New/Updated Freepages by Individuals

USS Henry R. Mallory includes the stories of the survivors of this ship's last and fateful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. These stories give the reader a feeling of how it really was when the balance of power was still waning from one side to the other. This happened during one of the biggest convoy battles of the war. The loss of lives was one of the largest of any ship sinking. Here is one of the untold and largely unknown but heroic stories of the battle of the Atlantic.

If you have a new or substantially revised freepage at RootsWeb and would like to see it mentioned here, send the URL, the title, and a BRIEF description, including major surnames, to

Request a Freepage (Free Web Account):

New/Updated Freepages by Counties, States, and Historical Societies

AHGP = American History and Genealogy Project
ALHN = American Local History Network
CAR = Children of the American Revolution
DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution

* cahcmcar - Hiram C. Meek Society (CA), CAR
* cargdgs - Roots and Gold Dust (El Dorado, CA) Genealogical Society
* cophoto - Colorado Genealogical Photos
* kyboyd2 - Boyd County (KY) AHGP Projects
* kyestil2 - Estill County, Kentucky AHGP
* kyhopkgs - Hopkins County (KY) Genealogical Society
* kylewis4 - Lewis County (KY) AHGP
* micd17c - Michigan State Society Colonial Dames 17th Century
* micrgs - Cass River (MI) Genealogy Society
* mnrrvn - Red River Valley of the North Histories (Kittson Co, MN)
* momgcsar - M. Graham Clark Chapter (MO) Sons of the American Revolution
* momcdon2 - McDonald County (MO) Genealogy
* njcdvdar - Captain Daniel Vliet Chapter (NJ) DAR
* tnrhea - Rhea County (TN) ALHN
* wamlcdar - Mary Lacy Chapter (WA) DAR
* widoor2 - Door, Kewaunee and Manitowoc County (WI) Irish Immigrants - ALHN


* bracurit - Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
* mexgudar - Guadalajara Chapter (Mexico) DAR

Some of these Web pages might not be accessible yet. They are created by volunteers, so if one that interests you isn't up yet, please check again in a few days or next week.

Note that the ~[tilde] before the Web account name is required. For example, the American History and Genealogy Project Lewis County (Kentucky) website is at:

New Surname Mailing Lists

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists
* CA-VCGS - A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the activities of the Ventura County (California) Genealogical Society (VCGS) and genealogical resources available in the Ventura County area.
* UNIFORMS & BADGES - A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding military uniforms and badges, providing insight on descendants of those bearing military uniforms and badges. We welcome discussions on the topic from all military groups for any time.

To find or subscribe to a mailing list, or to search archived posts to more than 30,000 RootsWeb-hosted genealogy mailing lists, go here:


The descendants of William Marion PINKLEY and his wives Lucinda Catherine RICH and Lettie Catharine FITZGERALD would like to announce a family reunion. We will be gathering at Fort Davidson State Historic Site in Pilot Knob, Missouri on Sunday, June 28, 2009 for a potluck dinner. The time is 1:30 p.m. We would like to invite our cousins from the PINKLEY family (as well as allied families including: SHRUM, RICH, FITZGERALD, CARTY, MIDDLETON, LAMBERT, MOYER, BROOKS, and WILSON) to join us at the large pavilion on that day. Remember to bring a covered dish and family photos to share. For more information: or 314-277-6077.


Why did many of our ancestors come to the New World? Not for religious freedom, according to Dick Eastman: for many of our forebears, a scary trip across an immense ocean to an unknown land seemed preferable to the awful living conditions the poor faced in their mother countries:


Note: Of course, some of our relatives came here because a scary ocean voyage seemed more promising than the other option they were offered-- the hangman’s noose…

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


2009 has already been a banner year for new books from If you haven't visited our site in a while, read on and see what we mean.

Do you know the difference between a wiki and a wooky? Do you think My Space is just for kids? Have you been on We're Related? Do you know how these and other social networking sites can enhance your genealogy research?

You will find out if you read the ground-breaking new book Social Networking for Genealogists, by online genealogy authority Drew Smith. This book describes how the wide array of social networking services now available online are transforming genealogy by way of blogs, message boards & mailing lists, podcasts, RSS feeds, wikis, genealogy-specific social networks, and much more. Priced at $18.95, Social Networking for Genealogists packs more genealogical punch into its 129 pages than any other book of its size.

•Also new for 2009, The Genealogist's Address Book, 6th ed., by Elizabeth Petty Bentley, gives you access to all the key sources of genealogical information, providing names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, websites, names of contact persons, and other pertinent information for more than 27,000 genealogical and historical repositories in the U.S.

The County Courthouse Book is Mrs. Bentley's companion volume to The Genealogist's Address Book. Now available in a spanking new 3rd edition, it is a concise guide to county courthouses and their records throughout America. In it you will find up-to-date addresses and phone numbers; information about the coverage and availability of key records such as probate, land, naturalization, and vital records; and more.

•At one time or another all of us need copies of birth, marriage, or death certificates. The brand new 5th edition of the International Vital Records Handbook, by Thomas J. Kemp, has the latest application forms and ordering information for all fifty states, as well as other countries of the world.

•Finally, if you are researching Canadian or Irish ancestors, don't overlook the outstanding second volume of Erin's Sons, by Terrence Punch.

For more information about any/all of these five new publications, visit our website at


The St. Louis County Library Special Collections Department newsletter, PastPorts, is produced as a PDF file. The May 2009 issue is now ready for download to your computer at:

The current issue and archived past issues may also be downloaded by going to the PastPorts webpage at:

Opening PastPorts on PCs requires Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®, a free software program. If you do not have a copy on your computer, or need a copy of the current version, it may be downloaded at:

Recent Mac computers come equipped with software that will read PDF files.


Special Collections Department, St. Louis County Library

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


From Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 62, April 30, 2009

Notices for Indentured Servants
by Melissa Shimkus

Many of our ancestors could not afford the fare to America, so they indentured themselves to others, who paid transportation costs. Contracts to work off that expense generally lasted for four to seven years and can be found among courthouse records. Some servants decided they did not want to complete their contract and abandoned their service. The holder of the contract, the owner, would post advertisements in the provincial newspaper notifying the public in hopes of having the servant returned. The Genealogy Center owns several books that include these notices of runaway indentured servants.

“Eighteenth-Century White Slaves: Fugitive Notices” by Daniel Meaders (call number 929.11 Ei4) features runaway indentured servants mentioned in “The Pennsylvania Gazette” from 1729-1760. Originally, the book was to be the first in a four volume series on newspaper notices of runaway servants in the colonies, but the other volumes have yet to be published. Notices are arranged in order by date. Separate alphabetical indexes of the owners and of the servants provide the date of the advertisement.

“Runaways of Colonial New Jersey” by Richard B. Marrin (call number 974.9 M34ru) is another source. The advertisements reproduced in this volume cover 1720-1781 and include indentured servants, slaves, military deserters, and escaped prisoners from the following newspapers: “The Pennsylvania Journal,” “The Pennsylvania Gazette," “The New York Gazette,” “The New York Post,” “The New York Weekly Journal,” and “The Boston Newsletter.” An alphabetical index directs the researcher to the page within the volume.

Advertisements typically supplied the owner’s name, residence, reward amount, servant’s name, age, trade, nationality, physical description including scars, and details on the clothing worn by the runaway. Matthew Burrass, an Englishman, ran from Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1742. In the advertisement, his owner stated that Matthew claimed to be a brickmaker, but was really a baker. Also, Matthew took his wife with him when he left. Thomas Griffiths, another Englishman, left Burlington, New Jersey in 1774. His description indicated that he previously owned a tavern in London called the Sign of the King’s Arms on Leaden Hall Street and also rented a farm near Bristol.

When researching colonial times, newspapers can offer a wealth of information. The advertisements vividly illustrate the history of indentured servitude in colonial America, as well as provide useful genealogical information on possible ancestors.

Publishing Note:

This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center, and is intended to enlighten readers about genealogical research methods as well as inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public Library. We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies. All precautions have been made to avoid errors. However, the publisher does not assume any liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, no matter the cause.

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

Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors


A really well-organized collection of Civil War pictures. You can click on each photo to enlarge it and get a brief description. Go to the bottom of the page and click on Return to Main Page to be taken back to the Main Gallery.


Note: There are some fairly graphic photos of dead soldiers / hanged men, so let the viewer beware!


The State Historical Society of Missouri Needs Your Support

Genealogy in the state of Missouri would be nearly impossible without the great resources of the State Historical Society of Missouri. Yet the state legislature is getting very close to approving a budget that would 1) reduce the annual appropriation to the State Historical Society by $40,000; and 2) remove the $20,000,000 of stimulus money that was originally planned to help with building a much-needed new facility for the society. If you want to support this amazing genealogical resource, please email or phone the following key legislators and ask them to reconsider these cuts:

Alan Icet (Missouri House Budget chair) (573) 751-1247

Gary Nodler (Senate Appropriations chair) (573) 751-2306 (email not known)

Contact needs to be made by Wednesday, May 6, at the latest. Decision time is now!

Monday, May 04, 2009


The Palatines to America National Conference and Annual Meeting will be held at the Allen County Public Library, June 18-20, 2009. Visit their website for all the details. <> The general schedule is below.

Thursday June 18, 2009 4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Workshop A - Palatines Along the Hudson: Researching 18th Century Settlers on Livingston Manor - Steven Myers
Workshop B - Researching Your North German Ancestors - Robert Rau
Workshop C - Advancing Your Research with PERSI - Delia Bourne

Friday June 19, 2009 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Workshop D - Researching in Germany - James Feit
Workshop E - Preparing Your Research for Publication - Barbara Gargiulo
Workshop F - Swiss Genealogical Records - John Beatty

Friday June 19, 2009 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Workshops A - B - C will be repeated

Saturday June 20, 2009 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Workshops D - E - F will be repeated

Online registration at the National Conference Registration site:


From Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 62, April 30, 2009

Papers of the St. Louis Fur Trade
by Steve Myers

The Chouteau family occupied the central place in the booming fur trade that spurred development of St. Louis into the “Gateway to the West.” Fortunately, researchers interested in this time period have ready access to a vast archive of family and company papers collectively microfilmed as the “Papers of the St. Louis Fur Trade.” The collection is divided into three parts which are fully introduced and described in two printed guides of the same title (call number 977.802 Sa227pa). Reel indexes for each part provide microfilm frame numbers for the beginning of each record series to facilitate use.

Part one contains “The Chouteau Collection” with documents dating as early as 1752, although the bulk of the items are from the pre-Civil War nineteenth century. Accounts, bills, contracts, correspondence, and legal papers are all arranged in one chronological series. Part two contains the Chouteau family’s “Fur Company Ledgers and Account Books, 1802-1871” which record payments for goods and services with the names of the person or company paid. Part three contains the “Robert Campbell Family Collection” including indexed letter books and ledgers of another fur trading company.

For the researcher tracing individual family members who were active on the frontier or had connections with St. Louis and the fur trade the financial ledgers may prove especially valuable. One entry records Thomas Murphy’s payment of $27 on April 8, 1825 for “Green Blankets sold him 29 November.” Genealogical connections are even possible occasionally. On the same page, the account of Jabez Warner was “paid by his brother Jude.”

While most of the accounts center on affairs in St. Louis and environs, some detail activities in the far flung corners of the Chouteau business empire, such as Michilimackinac in Michigan Territory. A journal entry there on August 19, 1836 records the names of several men, including “Joseph Chaput, boatman & striker,” for “Cash advanced them in Canada and Goods sold them on the way from Montreal to Mackinaw.” Besides their usefulness in tracing individuals, the seemingly routine accounts can be interesting reading, providing the prices of everyday necessities, along with the mention of now unusual items such as “buffalo robes.” Reel 23 of Part Two helps provide access to the account books through its 1,398 page index of personal and place names, and includes dozens of references under the names of specific Native American tribes.

Publishing Note:

This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center, and is intended to enlighten readers about genealogical research methods as well as inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public Library. We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies. All precautions have been made to avoid errors. However, the publisher does not assume any liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, no matter the cause.

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

Steve Myers & Curt Witcher, co-editors

Friday, May 01, 2009


Need an attractive, free image viewer? Maybe you should take a look at XnView. It’s not just an image viewer-- it’s also got some image editing capabilities:


Note; You should always check any downloaded file with your security software prior to installing it on your computer!


They’ve got a great list of online finding aids on their website:


Note: A Reference Service Interruption notice on this page makes it clear that you’d better call or email them prior to a visit to be sure that any records you want to look at during your visit are on hand as they transition into their new quarters!

“Please be aware that currently all microfilm is in the process of transition. To view any microfilm, researchers must request the film information in writing or via telephone 3 business days in advance of wanting to view the records.”


I noticed this English family tragedy while looking at records for Boarshaw Cemetery in Lancashire County, England. While a written record of this family would certainly make for interesting reading, try to imagine the heartache suffered by members of this family (Elizabeth Rowan especially!) as they experienced the loss of one family member after another:

Rowan, Alfred, d. 1 Jan 1902, age 2y 3 Mnths, s/of Gerald & Elizabeth
Rowan, Alfred, d. 15 Feb 1963, in his 57th year, s/of Elizabeth
Rowan, Elizabeth, d. 31 Oct 1947, age 79y, w/of Gerald
Rowan, Gerald, d. 24 Feb 1915, Killed In France, in his 22nd Year, s/of Gerald & Elizabeth
Rowan, Gerald, d. 25 Sep 1915, age 50y, h/of Elizabeth
Rowan, James, d. 20 Aug 1916, age 30y, Killed In France, s/of Gerald & Elizabeth

Note: It certainly appears as if the loss of his namesake son contributed directly to the early death of Gerald Rowan!



Would you be interested in a free, easy-to-use, secure email archive that doesn’t eat up valuable memory on your home computer and is very easy to search? Start an email archive account with Gmail.

My Gmail account (I have two, actually) currently offers me 7321 MB of free storage. If you are mainly archiving email text messages that don’t include image, audio, or video components / attachments, that’s a LOT of free memory. The account is easy to set up-- just go to and click Gmail near the top of the screen. You’ll see a sign-in box to the right, with a Create an Account box below it. Just click Create an Account. They’ll want a bit of information (not at all invasive, I assure you), and you’ll need to supply a user name and password.

For user name, if this is to be an archive for your personal emails, I suggest:

If this is to be an archive for your Middle Earth Public Library work-related emails, I suggest:

Password should be at least eight characters, and a combination of letters and numbers is best. Your password should never be “password” (but some people still choose it, believe it or not).

When you send emails via your primary email home or work account, just include a Bcc to your Gmail archive account. You can also forward emails received via your primary home or work account to your Gmail archive. You can save emails you send to your Gmail archive account with one click of the Archive button, and your archive account is easily searchable via keyword.

What if you somehow use up all the free space in this Gmail archive account? Simply start another one:

Gmail offers a great free spam filter. It also offers a basic HTML option if you’re using a slow dial-up connection. Finally, these archived emails will be housed on a Google server. It will be relatively safe there, but you may wish to avoid archiving any confidential information like your birth date, Social Security number, credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account and routing numbers, etc. But you already knew that email is not a secure transmission platform and you shouldn’t send info like that in emails anyway-- right?