Saturday, May 29, 2010


The artist, Donald Judd, had a library bigger than that of many small towns:


NOTE: I would love it if my personal library was that well organized-- and I’m a librarian!


Finding Ancestors in Company Employee Magazines and Trade Magazines

Company newsletters and trade magazines are packed with interesting facts about our ancestors, including articles on employees' hobbies; birth, death, and marriage announcements; articles on employees' military service; photographs of employees' children; announcements of promotions and retirements; and much more. See what these sources contain and how to locate them.

When: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 6:30 pm
Where: Missouri History Museum in Forest Park (Lindell and DeBaliviere)
How much: Free
Reservations: Not required.

Questions or comments? Contact Dennis Northcott.


The St. Louis Genealogical Society recently released its "St. Louis Burials, Volume 3" CD, which includes information on more than 330,000 burials in 21 St. Louis City and County cemeteries. The CD includes burials from the following cemeteries:

Bellerive Heritage
City Cemetery (Benton Park)
Crescent Community
Elm Lawn
Hillcrest Abbey Mausoleum
Memorial Park
Mount Lebanon
Musick Baptist
New Coldwater Burying Ground
Oak Hill
Ohave Shalom
Park Lawn
Salem Lutheran
St. John's Evangelical
St. Paul's Evangelical
St. Trinity Lutheran
Washington Park
Zion UCC

You can place your order here:



iCyte is a new social bookmarking tool that allows you to easily capture web pages for later viewing. You can also highlight words / paragraphs on a web page to make items of note really stand out. Here’s a blogger’s review of iCyte that I found most helpful:



Imagine, if you please, a world in which it’s possible to infect a person with a computer virus. That could never happen, you say? Guess again:


Friday, May 28, 2010


from Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 73, March 31, 2010

Passengers in the Records of the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company, 1819-1838
by Steven W. Myers

Genealogists whose ancestors traveled to or through Canada before 1865 are often challenged by the lack of passenger arrival lists. One source that came to light just a few years ago is a boon to researchers and helps fill this void. The records of the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company, operated by the Molson family of brewery fame, include information on the passengers and freight carried between Montreal and Quebec by 15 steamboats and two barges in the years 1819 to 1838. Part of the Molson Archives, these records are now available in the Genealogy Center on 16 reels of microfilm (cabinet 89-O-2).

The lists include thousands of names and indicate whether the passenger traveled in cabin or steerage, their destination, including some intermediate ports such as Sorel and Three Rivers, the amount charged and the amount paid. The identification of passengers is often scant. Sometimes only the initial of the first name is supplied and groups usually appear as “Wm. Robinson, wife and 2 children” or “John Smith and 2 friends.” Still, even that could be useful when other sources are lacking and some entries do provide more. For example, among passengers on the “Malsham’s 8th Trip, Quebec to Montreal, 3rd July 1819” were “Widow Caldwell & 5 Child[ren], 4 above 12 yrs [and] 1 under 12 yrs.” Jean Stamel’s passage on July 10th 1819 was “to be paid by Maitland & co” according to the remarks column, indicating a relationship worth investigating. Some passenger names appear regularly and probably represent local residents traveling on business or making social visits, but many are immigrants just passing through.

Crew lists and wage books provide additional opportunities for researchers and record the name, position, rate, lost time and remarks. Among the crew of the New Swiftsure were Pierre Beaumont, Seaman, who “June12th went ashore sick, returned July 5th” and Thomas Armstrong, Cook, who was “sent ashore for thievery” on June 2nd. The wage book for 1832 indicates that on May 17 Antoine Bibeau, sailor, was paid “in full for 12 days” service on the steamboat Chambly.

Even the freight lists could be useful to those researching local businesses, merchants and others. Among the freight on the Chambly’s 7th trip from Quebec to Montreal on May 22-24, 1828 were one horse and one piano forte for Col. Brown of the 79th Regiment Highlanders, resident in Montreal, as well as one basket for Mrs. Ogden of St. Paul Street. The freight lists can also indicate a consignee’s occupation as when two boxes of tin and one sheet of lead were shipped to E. Hart & Sons at Three Rivers, or when a consignee was identified as “R. Penn, ordnance store keeper.”

If you have ancestors who lived in or traveled through the Quebec-Montreal corridor in the years 1819-1838, these lists are worth a look. An index and transcripts of the passenger lists are available online at

Note: This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center. We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies.

To subscribe to “Genealogy Gems,” simply use your browser to go to the website:


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


If you’ve decided that the privacy issue hubbub has made you realize that you’d rather not even have a Facebook account, don’t think that deleting your info from the site is as easy as clicking a DELETE button. Oh, no-- but this post helps you decide if you want to deactivate or delete your account (not the same thing in FaceBook speak), and how to perform either action:



Another great post on what the changes in Facebook’s privacy settings allow you to do to help keep your personal information safe on that site:



Missouri State Genealogical Association
2010 Conference Schedule
Jefferson City, Missouri
Friday, August 13-Saturday August 14, 2010


9:30-11:30-- Pre-conference Workshops (Additional $20 fee)

Workshop 1: If You Don’t Tell the Story, Who Will? With Marilyn Collins. The search for family ancestors is the primary focus of genealogists. This workshop comes into play after the charts are complete. Learn how to write the story of a family, town, church, people, or events.

Workshop 2: When the Records Didn’t’ Get It Right, with Mary Celeste, MLS. If your family consists of names, dates, and places only, you may have missed out on really getting to know some interesting characters. In this workshop you will be inspired to roll up your sleeves, dust off your resources, call your cousins, and get back into the research mode. This is an interactive program.

9:30-1:00 -- Registration

1:00-2:00-- Conference Begins
Keynote Presentation: Civil Records in Germany, Roger Minert

2:30-3:30-- Breakout sessions

Researching Your Missouri Czech (Bohemian) Immigrant, June Sommer, MLS

Searching High and Low: Using Cartographic Records in Genealogical Research, Patricia M. Luebbert

4:00-5:00-- Breakout sessions

Overcoming Brick Walls When Researching Our Family History, Gene Block

The Rope and the Open Square: Civil War Crime and Punishment, Tom Pearson, MLS

6:00-- Banquet: Self-Defeating Behaviors in German Family History Research, Roger Minert


8:00-9:00-- Registration

8:30-9:30-- Troubleshooting in Germanic Family History Research, Roger Minert

10:00-11:00-- Breakout sessions

History Through Genealogy—Researching “Dred and Harriet Scott: Their Family Story”, Ruth Ann (Abels) Hager, CG, CGL [Book signing to follow]

St Louis At War, 1861-1865,Tom Pearson, MLS

11:30-1:00-- Luncheon and Annual Meeting

1:15-2:15-- Surname Changes in Northwestern Germany, Roger Minert

2:45-3:45-- Breakout sessions

Heritage Societies, Certificate Programs, and Lineage Research Projects, Mary Celeste, MLS

Ireland Here and There, Suzanne Vinduska and Maria Forsha

More info / to register:

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Their library contains an impressive collection of yearbooks (cruise books) from the Naval Academy, Naval Officer Candidate School, NJROTC programs, and other naval institutions / vessels. Go here for a long list of what they have in their library:



Thinking about switching to the Google Chrome browser, but not sure if it's a safe browser? Kim Komando feels that it's a very safe choice, and explains why in easy-to-understand language:



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 27, 2010 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 dish and family photos to share.

For more information: or 314-277-6077.


Although the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center is free and open to the public, there are many special benefits for members of the Missouri History Museum. For example, if you'd like to attend one of our genealogy or house history workshops, MHM members get a discounted price. Or, perhaps you'd like to purchase Ann Carter Fleming's St. Louis Family History Research Guide, which is one of many genealogical publications available in our Museum Shop (where members get a 10% discount). Or, if you'd like to order photocopies of references from the Genealogy and Local History Index, members receive a discount rate.

MHM has a year of phenomenal exhibitions and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities ahead!

Opening May 15, Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art explores 2,000 years of art, history, religion, and culture presented through 200 rare artworks, objects, and artifacts from the collections of the Vatican, many never before on view to the general public.

Then, beginning November 14, Treasures of Napoléon features over 300 objects, such as the earliest known letter in Napoléon's hand, one of his famous hats, his personal map of the French Empire at its pinnacle in 1812, and much more.

It's the perfect time to become a member of the Missouri History Museum!

Join the Missouri History Museum now and earn VIP status for these two exciting exhibitions and all that MHM has to offer! Become a Regular Level Member for $60 and receive:

* Free or reduced admission to special exhibitions for two adults and all children under 18 in the household;
* Members-only previews for select special exhibitions;
* Invitations to members-only Pastimes events, including presentations (like Dennis Northcott's upcoming lecture on amusing and interesting documents from our archives), workshops, bus and walking tours, and our annual Member Appreciation Day;
* A deck of MHM playing cards, each with an image of a historical artifact from our collections;
* The benefits already mentioned above (like discounts on our genealogy and house history workshops) and much more!

Join MHM now! You belong here!

Missouri History Museum P.O. Box 11940 St. Louis, MO 63112-0040

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Need a photo for a website or blog, but don’t want to steal one from somebody else’s site? Stock.XCHNG has 400,000 free choices for you:



If you’re having a problem figuring out just where Polish ancestors lived because that area changed hands so much in the last 150 years, you’re not alone. This blog post may help you to start sorting things out:



Of possible interest to our many Civil War buffs (myself included):

How do events in the American West change our understanding of the Civil War era? How did the conflict change the lives of Americans male and female, citizen or not, from American Indian nations to Mormon communities to Confederate Arizona to California, New Mexico, British Columbia, and further?

With the encouragement of the program committee, I am organizing panels on the Civil War in the trans-Mississippi West for the 51st Western History Association annual meeting in Oakland on October 13-16, 2011.

The official submission deadline is September 1, 2010, with a one-paragraph abstract, one-page cv, equipment needs (if any), and full contact information for each participant, but I welcome expressions of interest as soon as possible, in order to build the best panels, roundtables, and/or working groups for this conference, in the year of the Civil War's sesquicentennial. Please be in touch with any questions.

Adam Arenson
Assistant Professor of History
The University of Texas at El Paso
(915) 747-6277

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Their monthly e-newsletter is free—just follow this link and sign up:



Illinois, that is—- here’s a link to their June 15-August 15 Events Calendar:



Hello to all:

We are trying to get the word out on this year's spectacular Battle of Black Jack anniversary event being held on 5 June 2010. Wide Awake Films has produced a short promo video for June 5th that is on YouTube. Check it out if interested. And please forward this link to any other persons you think might be interested.


Kerry Altenbernd


What you need to know if you’re using (or planning to use) Facebook:


Saturday, May 22, 2010


Reading through previously received letters/emails may yield big dividends:

I had been into genealogy in a small way when my husband and I moved to Australia from Ireland in 1987, so I had to correspond in writing with my relatives, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

In 1990 I wrote to my aunt Rosie, my dad's youngest sister in England. I asked her to share her memories of various family members. Aunt Rosie wrote back, telling me what she could remember, although at the time a lot of it didn't make sense to me. But of course I kept her letter.

About 6 months ago I re-read that letter and lo-and-behold, the information she had given me then, now made sense to me, nearly 20 years later! In fact, because of it, I was able to trace 2 more grand-aunts, their husbands, and their 14 children. It was amazing!

Make sure to take out and reread that old correspondence now and again.

Thanks to Colette from the Canary Islands

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 12 May 2010, Vol. 13, No. 5


The first of a series of indexes to naturalizations in the Circuit Court after 1906 has just been posted. Be sure to also read the "Primary naturalization page" link provided for information on the three courts that performed these duties before 1906, and the three courts that did so after 1906:


NOTE: This is a cooperative project by Jim Moore and the St. Clair County Genealogical Society. Kudos to Jim for all his hard work!

St. Clair County (IL) Rootsweb Page:


Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and the Friends of the Missouri State
Archives cordially invite you to a special luncheon:

Saturday, June 12, 2010
G2 Gallery in the Lohman Opera House,
102 East High Street, Jefferson City, Missouri

11:30 am Friends of the Missouri State Archives Annual Business Meeting
12:00 pm Jambalaya and Brisket Brennan Luncheon
1:00 pm Denis Stroughmatt, "La Guillanee: Ancient French Traditions Live
in Missouri through Music and Food"

Stroughmatt is a recognized French Creole fiddle master who has traveled
around the world to share the songs, stories, and language of the French
Creoles of Upper Louisiana.

$25 per person
Payment by cash or check may be made at the door
Please RSVP by Monday, June 7, to (573) 526-1981.


Interested in adding/changing your firewall and/or anti-virus protection, but the economy has left your purse in sad shape? Comodo offers you a free firewall/anti-virus combination:


NOTE: An upgrade to their Pro (pay) version offers Wi-Fi protection, a Virus Free Guarantee (see their webpage for details), and Expert Help (over the phone or remote access-- your choice).

Friday, May 14, 2010


The State Historical Society of Iowa Library and Archives Reading Rooms will now be open to the public 12:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday, Monday and official state holidays. The new hours went into effect Dec. 8, 2009 for both Reading Rooms-– located at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines, and at the Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue in Iowa City. The change in hours stems from a 10 percent across-the-board reduction in state appropriations for Fiscal Year 2010 and changed job responsibilities due to the loss of several library positions.

“While this is a difficult decision, this adjustment will help us meet our 10 percent budget reduction and still be able to serve the public,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Cyndi Pederson said. “It does mean, however, that genealogists, historians and other researchers will have fewer hours to access materials and interact one-on-one with staff at the Library and Archives.”

The State Historical Library offers a wide variety of materials to the public, including:

1. Books and periodicals ranging from general history books, plat maps and genealogy resources to cemetery surveys, biographies and memoirs.
2. Newspapers from 1836 to the present representing all of Iowa’s 99 counties, and access to NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE, an archive of millions of on-line historical newspaper pages dating back to 1700.
3. County government records, which include marriage, birth and death certificates; naturalization papers; and land deeds.
4. Manuscripts, Audio-Visual and Map Collections that feature personal papers, and records of organizations such as schools, churches, clubs, businesses and labor unions. Other items include diaries, letters and photographs as well as audio, film, video and oral history collections.
5. State and federal census records dating to 1838.

The State Archives, which represents a public trust and is an advocate for openness and accountability in state government, works to ensure the essential records created by state government are maintained and available to the public. The State Archives contains records that document all facets of the state’s history, including:

1. Records of the office of the Governor and Lt. Governor.
2. Records of the Iowa General Assembly from the Iowa Territory to present.
3. Records of various state agencies that are maintained permanently for their historic value.
4. Military Records, including the records of the Iowa Adjutant General from the territorial period to 1915, which includes the military records of Iowa regiments that fought in the Mexican War, Civil War and Spanish-American War. Major record series include correspondence, military reports, muster rolls, roster books and volunteer enlistments.

Other military records in the State Archives collections include the following:

5. Grand Army of the Republic Post Minutes & Roster Books, which include information on Union soldiers who served in the Civil War from other states and later belonged to Iowa G.A.R. posts. An index to G.A.R. members and membership cards, compiled in the 1930s, are available on microfilm.
6. Bonus Board Case Files, which record military bonuses paid by the State Bonus Board for military service from World War I through Vietnam, are being acquired by the State Archives.
7. World War I and World War II Casualty Files, which contain photographs and compiled service records of men who enlisted from Iowa and died during wartime, are available.
8. Armed Forces Grave Registration Records, which contain information on veterans of the U.S. military buried in Iowa. The series may include genealogical information as well as data pertaining to military service and place of burial. The earliest graves registered are those of Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Iowa and the latest are for veterans who died in 1998.

More information about the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Library and Archives Reading Room is available at or by calling 515-281-5111.

Susan M. Jellinger, Librarian II
State Historical Society of Iowa
Department of Cultural Affairs
Des Moines, Iowa


The Civil War Book Review, a quarterly journal published by the LSU Libraries Special Collections Division, has released its Spring 2010 issue:


The Spring 2010 issue of Civil War Book Review focuses heavily on the politics of the period. The newest addition to Louisiana State University Press’s Southern Biography Series, Sam Davis Elliott’s Isham G. Harris of Tennessee: Confederate Governor and United States Senator, focuses our attention on one of the key figures of the period’s political activity. Harris provides a look into the political world of the Civil War era as Elliot gives an account of his senatorial and gubernatorial experience in the often-disjointed state of Tennessee.

Next, Stephen C. Neff details the legal issues that arose from the Civil War as he studies the lawfulness of many of the political decisions including secession, executive powers, and more in Justice in Blue and Gray: A Legal History of the Civil War.

Howard Jones’s new synthesis, Blue & Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations provides a masterful account of the diplomatic relations between the northern and southern governments and the European powers, especially Great Britain and France. His study illustrates, at its best, the value of understanding political history as Jones gives an account of the actors who maintained a constant conversation with foreign powers about the possibility of intervention in the American conflict.

Finally, eminent historian, Michael Perman provides a sweeping survey of southern politics. His most recent work, Pursuit of Unity: A Political History of the American South, take readers on a journey, narrating the political history of the American South from 1800 through the present-day political environment.

Civil War Book Review would like to thank Professor Christian G. Samito for taking the time to discuss his recent book, Becoming American under Fire: Irish Americans, African Americans, and the Politics of Citizenship during the Civil War Era. In this well-researched and well-argued study, Professor Samito raises a great number of significant questions about citizenship during the Civil War era. He graciously spoke with Civil War Book Review about some of the issues that arise out of his book as Irish Americans and African Americans sought to become a part of the United States, taking an active role in the politics of this nation.

This quarter, Leah Wood Jewett provides an account of some Louisianan planters’ views on the question of secession. Their political course, dictated by the election of Abraham Lincoln, changed significantly over the months preceding secession of the state of Louisiana, and Jewett has provided first-hand accounts that help us to explore and understand the complexity of the political world that these Louisianans occupied.

I am pleased to be able to feature a wonderful piece in which Frank J. Williams uses Grant Havers’s recent work, Lincoln and the Politics of Christian Love to examine the intersection between Christianity and Abraham Lincoln’s political actions. Williams has, yet again, provided an insightful piece of writing that uses a recent historical study of the Civil War era to reflect on our lives today.

Civil War Book Review is the journal of record for new or newly reprinted books about the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras, and is a project of the United States Civil War Center, LSU Libraries Special Collections. A readers survey can be accessed through the CWBR homepage.

To contribute to the Civil War Book Review fund, or for information on editorial matters, contact Nathan Buman, Editor, by phone at (225) 578-3553 or by email at

Civil War Book Review
Louisiana State University
Agnes Morris House
Raphael Semmes Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
(225) 578-3553 phone
(225) 578-4876 fax

Visit us on the web at!


Twelve-page bibliography of source materials that cover events during the war (and veterans’ activities afterwards) in the Plains States and the Far West (the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington State, Oregon, California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado):



The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War by Adam Arenson is scheduled for publication in October 2010. Dr. Arenson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas-El Paso:

The Civil War revealed what united as well as what divided Americans in the nineteenth century—not only in its deadly military conflict, but also in the broader battle of ideas, dueling moral systems, and competing national visions that preceded and followed. This cultural civil war was the clash among North, South, and West, as their leaders sought to shape Manifest Destiny and slavery politics.

No site embodied this struggle more completely than St. Louis, the largest city along the border of slavery and freedom. In this sweeping history, Adam Arenson reveals a city at the heart of the cultural civil war. St. Louisans heralded a new future, erasing old patterns as the United States stretched across the continent. They tried to reorient the nation’s political landscape, with westerners in the vanguard and St. Louis as the cultural, commercial, and national capital. John C. Calhoun, Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, and John Brown tracked the progress of the cultural contest by monitoring events in St. Louis, observing how the city’s leaders tried yet ultimately failed to control the national destiny.

The interplay of local ambitions and national meanings reveals the wider cultural transformation brought about by westward expansion, political strife, and emancipation in the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This vibrant and beautifully written story enriches our understanding of America at a crossroads.

For more info, go here.


Here's a list of the sources we're currently indexing. As they're completed, they'll be added to the Genealogy and Local History Index.

1. Washington University yearbooks, circa 1903-1940s

2. Mercantile-Commerce News (employee magazine of the Mercantile-Commerce Bank and Trust Company), 1947-1960s

3. Airscoop (employee magazine of McDonnell Aircraft Corporation), 1949-1960s.

4. Who's Who in Missouri: A Compilation of Biographical Information on Outstanding Citizens of the State of Missouri, 1974

5. St. Louis, History of the Fourth City, 1763-1909, Volume III (St. Louis: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909)

6. William K. Patrick's record book of Civil War pension claims, 1890-1892

7. The Pullman News, 1923-1958

8. Examples from the Recent Work of Barnett, Haynes & Barnett, Architects, 1896

Join MHM now! You belong here!

Missouri History Museum P.O. Box 11940 St. Louis, MO 63112-0040


The complete index to St John UCC Church Records, 1870-1986, Smithton, Illinois is now accessible from the St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society homepage:

There is also a more detailed baptismal index that distinguishes between the person baptized and the parents or sponsors.

Death records very often specify birthplace and biographical information, valuable data difficult to find elsewhere (yet this attribute is very nearly universal with UCC records in this county!).

A child's birth date appears in Confirmands through 1942, and in Baptisms (nearly 100% coverage). This is significant because vital records registration at the county level only began in late 1877 (but didn't reach 90% compliance until 1916 when a penalty was added to the state law for failure to register).

As with most small town congregations, families are often interrelated. A genealogical clue lacking for one member can often be found in that of a relative!

St. Clair County (IL) Rootsweb Page:


Received from St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society:

Prepare SCCGS publications for the Post Office. Help your society on your schedule! Great at-home volunteer position for a husband-wife team, or possibly you and a close friend (OK if you'd rather work alone, too). Applicant(s) should live within easy driving distance of downtown Belleville, Illinois.

Labels, supplies, and directions how to sort by zip code are provided. This routine job only requires about four (4) hours a month, less if more hands help. Imagine helping the society save money while you watch TV or listen to your favorite radio program or music. Turn-around time from publication receipt to completion should be two to three days. If we get a real "team" of volunteers, the job can be alternated.

Please, call us if interested - we would especially like to hear from members who can't make regular meetings but want to help SCCGS in some way. For more information, please phone Diane Walsh at 618.277.0848, or e-mail her at

3,000 POSTS!

Hello to all faithful readers of this blog! We just passed the 3,000 posts milestone in the last day or two and didn't realize it. MoSGA Messenger has been in existence now since November 4, 2007-- which means of course that it's currently a terrible two-year old (at least until it turns 3 this November). Thanks for staying with us so far-- we look forward to many more years of serving our readers!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Cyber Security Tip ST05-003
Securing Wireless Networks

Wireless networks are becoming increasingly popular, but they introduce additional security risks. If you have a wireless network, make sure to take appropriate precautions to protect your information.

How do wireless networks work?

As the name suggests, wireless networks, sometimes called WiFi, allow you to connect to the internet without relying on wires. If your home, office, airport, or even local coffee shop has a wireless connection, you can access the network from anywhere that is within that wireless area.

Wireless networks rely on radio waves rather than wires to connect computers to the internet. A transmitter, known as a wireless access point or gateway, is wired into an Internet connection. This provides a "hotspot" that transmits the connectivity over radio waves. Hotspots have identifying information, including an item called an SSID (service set identifier), that allow computers to locate them. Computers that have a wireless card and have permission to access the wireless frequency can take advantage of the network connection. Some computers may automatically identify open wireless networks in a given area, while others may require that you locate and manually enter information such as the SSID.

What security threats are associated with wireless networks?

Because wireless networks do not require a wire between a computer and the Internet connection, it is possible for attackers who are within range to hijack or intercept an unprotected connection. A practice known as wardriving involves individuals equipped with a computer, a wireless card, and a GPS device driving through areas in search of wireless networks and identifying the specific coordinates of a network location. This information is then usually posted online. Some individuals who participate in or take advantage of wardriving have malicious intent and could use this information to hijack your home wireless network or intercept the connection between your computer and a particular hotspot.

What can you do to minimize the risks to your wireless network?

* Change default passwords - Most network devices, including wireless access points, are pre-configured with default administrator passwords to simplify setup. These default passwords are easily found online, so they don't provide any protection. Changing default passwords makes it harder for attackers to take control of the device.

* Restrict access - Only allow authorized users to access your network. Each piece of hardware connected to a network has a MAC (media access control) address. You can restrict or allow access to your network by filtering MAC addresses. Consult your user documentation to get specific information about enabling these features. There are also several technologies available that require wireless users to authenticate before accessing the network.

* Encrypt the data on your network - WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) both encrypt information on wireless devices. However, WEP has a number of security issues that make it less effective than WPA, so you should specifically look for gear that supports encryption via WPA. Encrypting the data would prevent anyone who might be able to access your network from viewing your data.

* Protect your SSID - To avoid outsiders easily accessing your network, avoid publicizing your SSID. Consult your user documentation to see if you can change the default SSID to make it more difficult to guess.

* Install a firewall - While it is a good security practice to install a firewall on your network, you should also install a firewall directly on your wireless devices (a host-based firewall). Attackers who can directly tap into your wireless network may be able to circumvent your network firewall: a host-based firewall will add a layer of protection to the data on your computer.

* Maintain anti-virus software - You can reduce the damage attackers may be able to inflict on your network and wireless computer by installing anti-virus software and keeping your virus definitions up to date. Many of these programs also have additional features that may protect against or detect spyware and Trojan horses.

Authors: Mindi McDowell, Allen Householder, Matt Lytle
Produced 2005 by US-CERT, a government organization.
Note: This tip was previously published and is being re-distributed to increase awareness.

Terms of use:
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For instructions on subscribing to this mailing list, visit:


The Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center is free and open to the public. The Library and Research Center is located at 225 South Skinker, across from Forest Park in St. Louis. Their hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 pm, and Saturday, 10 am-5 pm.

The Library and Research Center collections are non-circulating; items may not be checked out. The library staff can make photocopies for 25 cents per copy.

Library reference desk: 314-746-4500,
Archives reference desk: 314-746-4510

Library and Research Center website

Missouri History Museum P.O. Box 11940 St. Louis, MO 63112-0040


Visualize with me, please: you’ve just settled in your easy chair, started watching your favorite TV show, and changed the volume to the perfect setting for your living room. Then the TV show switches to commercial break, and suddenly it sounds like your easy chair is on the runway as a big bird takes off at Lambert International Airport. Advertisers purposely want their ads loud, of course, because they know that people leave the room during ads for potty breaks, food and drink refills, etc. But haven’t they heard of negative conditioning? If I associate your product with ads that make my ears bleed, I’m not going to feel favorably disposed towards your product!

There are steps you can take to try and take back control of your TV volume level- and Congress is considering a bill that will prevent advertisers from demanding that their commercials run at such high volume levels:


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Noticed on the War of 1812 list-serve:


I am passing on this announcement for the organizational meeting of the 'Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Indiana' to be held on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 1402 East 225 South, Winona Lake, Indiana 46590-2041 (Dr. Donald E. Gradeless (574) 267-6020).

You can download more information and a reservation form here:


This and other related announcements can also be found here:


Rich Green
Historic Archaeological Research
4338 Hadley Court
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Office: (765) 464-8735
Mobile: (765) 427-4082

Follow our War of 1812 list on Twitter for more info on this and other topics. Later on this month, there will be an announcement of a special offer on the 1812 Kentucky Battle Flag:



Just when you thought anti-virus software was more or less keeping even with the hackers, they find a new way to get around safeguards:


NOTE: This hack may pose special problems for Windows XP users. Luckily, this hack appears complicated enough that even some hackers may have a little trouble understanding it!


I recently told you about Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud computing file storage option. If you are now using SkyDrive, but would like an simpler way to access files stored in the cloud, try SDExplorer:


NOTE: There are free and Pro versions of SkyDrive. Scroll down a bit to locate the free download.


Going cemetery hopping on Memorial Day? Here are some tips concerning things to take with and things to do that will maximize your time and your results:


NOTE: Don’t try to deny it: finding that tombstone you’ve been seeking for years would make you feel like a kid whose Wonka bar has a golden ticket!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


This item may prove of interest if you’re ready to create a digital family history project, but don’t know much about websites / HTML / slide shows / photo editing and management, and don’t especially want to learn:

Do you have enough family stories to fill a book or a drawer full of family photos you've been meaning to organize? Now you can create your own digital archive of special family memories – it’s never been easier!

Designed for the novice, this easy-to-use guide shows you how to convert your old photos and mementos into a digital archive. You can print, e-mail, create a slide show, or even upload to the Web. Plus, the included CD is filled with ready-to-use templates, loads of tips, and creative ideas!

§ Access the ready-to-use templates along with the software application
§ Archive interface - just add the text and images and select a template style
§ Print your memories, create a slide show, or store them on a CD
§ Update your archive and print out an index or image thumbnails
§ Minimum requirements: PC running Windows XP or Vista
§ Compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5

It’s priced at $24.95, which sounds quite reasonable for what you get:



Did you know that you can get certain Microsoft software products for free, no strings attached? You can-- well, if you’re a high school or college student who has an email address ending in .edu, that is:



The State Historical Society of Missouri is renovating its facilities, combining the former “Newspaper Library” and “Reference Library” into a single space for patron research. The Society will be closed to the public Tuesday, May 18 and Wednesday, May 19, while the collections are merged. Thank you for your patience. Regular hours will resume on Thursday, May 20, at 8:00 a.m.

The State Historical Society of Missouri
1020 Lowry Street
Columbia, MO 65201
Phone (573) 882-7083
Toll-free (800) 747-6366
Fax (573) 884-4950

Please visit us today at:


The Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) is asking your assistance in recognizing individuals or institutions in your area who have made significant contributions to the field of genealogy / family history or rendered significant contributions, effort, or service to MoSGA. MoSGA’s Awards Committee is seeking recommendations for individuals or institutions to be considered for an award in one of the two following categories:

1. Award of Merit – Presented to an individual, group, organization or institution in recognition of meritorious service or distinguished work in genealogy and/or family history for which no compensation was received (i.e., on a “volunteer” basis).
2. Certificate of Appreciation – Presented to an individual, group, organization or institution expressing thanks officially for compensated (i.e., “paid”) duties performed in an exemplary and outstanding manner. You do not have to be a MoSGA member to recommend an individual or institution for an award, nor does the nominee have to be a MoSGA member to receive an award. As much as we would like to, MoSGA cannot reward every nominee. Therefore, we will gladly re-consider nominations for individuals or institutions previously recommended who have not received a MoSGA award.

MoSGA’s 2010 Annual Conference will be held August 13 and 14, 2010, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, Missouri. Awards will be presented at the awards banquet Friday evening, August 13. Recipients need not be present at the awards program to receive an award.

Award recommendations must include the name and address of the individual, organization, or institution and be accompanied by a written statement giving specific reasons the individual, organization or institution is being nominated.

Please send your nomination(s) to the Awards Committee, care of MoSGA, at P.O. Box 833, Columbia, MO 65205-0833. The deadline for receipt of nominations is June 1, 2010.

MoSGA website

Friday, May 07, 2010


St. Louis Public Library's Central Library in downtown St. Louis is closing on 14 June 2010 for a two-year renovation project. Here's the official announcement from the SLPL website:


NOTE: Central Library is located at 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103.


The Genealogy and Local History Index is not the only place to look for your ancestors. Visit the Archives Collection Guides page on the Missouri History Museum website to browse or search (1) the Guide to the Archival Collections, which includes descriptions of the size and content of the cataloged archival collections, (2) the Civil War Manuscripts Guide, and (3) finding aids to selected archival collections.

The following finding aids have recently been posted to the website:

1. Naval Reserves of Missouri Papers

2. John Bruce Stewart Papers

3. Gottlieb Albrecht Family Papers

4. Judge Roy W. Harper Papers

5. Max A. Wittmann Papers

6. King Family Papers

Go here to check these recently posted finding aids:


Missouri History Museum P.O. Box 11940 St. Louis, MO 63112-0040


No, NRFU is not obscene texting slang (so far as I know)- its meaning is explained in the message below. I thought the message (that was sent to Missouri library directors) might well interest everyday Missourians who may encounter census enumerators-- and possibly persons claiming to be census enumerators:

Library Directors,

Just in case you have patrons with questions regarding the door-to-door enumeration phase of the 2010 Census, below is a quick update on the second phase of the decennial Census-- Non-Response Follow-Up (NRFU).

1. Non-Response Follow-Up (NRFU) is the name given to the phase of the decennial census when Census takers visit households that did not return the 2010 Census questionnaire.
2. NRFU started on May 1 across the country
3. Most important message: Open your door to the Census taker. If your address is on their list, your questionnaire was likely not received.

Census takers will:

1. show you their official ID
2. provide the phone number of their supervisor or the local census office for verification if asked
3. never ask to enter your home
4. only ask the questions on the 2010 Census form
5. never ask for your Social Security number or banking information

If individuals want to confirm that the person who has come to their door is employed by the Census Bureau, Missourians can call the Kansas City Regional Census Center at (816)-994-2000.

Let me know if you have any other questions related to NRFU. Thanks!

Katina Jones
Coordinator, Missouri Census Data Center
Statistical Research Analyst
Missouri State Library
P.O. Box 387
Jefferson City, MO 65102
phone 573.526.1087 / fax 573.751.3612


Are you fast filling up your computer with genie files, music, videos, photos, etc.? Then you’ll be pleased to hear that you can store up to 25 GB free in The Cloud with SkyDrive from Windows Live:


NOTE: It’s free, but you’ll need to create a Windows Live ID first (fairly painless). Also, don’t store sensitive / secret information in The Cloud. Security on most Cloud servers is very good-- but nobody’s perfect


Do you use Facebook? Are you aware of its privacy features, and are you sure you’ve got them set at a level that's comfortable for you? If you're not certain (or don't know what I'm talking about), you’ve got a little work to do:



How much preliminary research is done for each Who Do You Think You Are? episode? Now you know:


NOTE: By the way-- I really like that show, and am glad it's been renewed for a second season. Now if only the local NBC affiliate here will refrain from time-shifting the show or else running weather alerts that pre-empt the last half of the show...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

SPRINGHILL CEMETERY has added 172 listings for Springhill Cemetery in Christian County, Missouri:


HOPEDALE CEMETERY has added listings for Hopedale Cemetery in Christian County, Missouri:



Workshop: Genealogy 101-- Exploring Your Family Tree

Associate archivist Dennis Northcott will provide an overview of the Library and Research Center's many catalogs, guides, and indexes. You'll see many examples of valuable genealogical resources in the library and archives. Stick around after the workshop to do your own research.

When: Saturday, May 22, 2010, 9:30 am
Where: Library and Research Center (225 South Skinker, across from Forest Park)
How much: $10 per person; $5 for Missouri History Museum members
Reservations: Reservations are required; call (314) 361-9017.

Lecture: Finding Ancestors in Company Employee Magazines and Trade Magazines

Company newsletters and trade magazines are packed with interesting facts about our ancestors, including articles on employees' hobbies; birth, death, and marriage announcements; articles on employees' military service; photographs of employees' children; announcements of promotions and retirements; and much more. See what these sources contain and how to locate them.

When: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 6:30 pm
Where: Missouri History Museum in Forest Park (Lindell and DeBaliviere)
How much: Free
Reservations: Reservations are not required.

More info:

Missouri History Museum P.O. Box 11940 St. Louis, MO 63112-0040


The following sources have recently been added to the Genealogy and Local History Index:

1. The Disseminator: A Monthly Disseminator of News and Items of Interest to the Retail Drug Trade, 1908-1913, 1917-1918

2. Statement of expenses of the steamer Die Vernon on a trip from St. Louis to the Yazoo River in the service of the United States, circa 1862-1864

3. Lithograph of group view of 99 members of the St. Louis Turnverein, 1860

4. Copies of medical diplomas filed with the St. Louis County Court, 1874-1878

5. One Hundredth Anniversary of St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1843-1943

6. Souvenir of the Missouri Legislature (Thirty-Ninth General Assembly): State Officers, Etc., 1897-98

7. One Hundredth Anniversary of St. Peter's Evangelical Church, 1843-1943

8. Jahres-Buch, Year Book / by Tower Grove Turnverein, 1906-1907

Go here to check these and other Genealogy & Local History indexes:


Missouri History Museum P.O. Box 11940 St. Louis, MO 63112-0040

Saturday, May 01, 2010


The gang at Gizmo’s Freeware has put together their ultimate list of the best freeware out there in numerous categories:



Let's continue with our briny blue theme, shall we? Here's a four-volume book set (published 1785) that's now available full-text online:



No, I'm not talking about the Little Mermaid and her undersea posse. I'm talking about real women making their homes in the briny blue: the U.S. Navy is poised to begin accepting female officers into its submarine service:



Many areas in Missouri were under severe weather warnings last night. While these warnings may possibly have saved lives, they also meant normal TV viewing was disrupted on many Missouri TV stations, including the ones that were broadcasting Who Do You Think You Are? (Spike Lee episode). Most local stations here in St. Louis had continuous weather coverage from 7:30 PM-10 PM (CST).

As I say, that weather coverage may have saved lives, but it also meant that I was able to watch a bit less than half of the Spike Lee saga. I assume NBC will post the episode on its website soon (if it hasn't been done already), but I would like it even more if my local NBC affiliate would show the program again, even if in the 2:05 AM Monday morning slot where it aired several previous episodes of WDYTYA.