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MoSGA Messenger, The Official Blog of the Missouri State Genealogical Association
Serving Missouri ancestor seekers since 7 November 2007

Tom Pearson, Editor

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

HAPPY FOURTH TO YOU, TOO…

I don’t know about you, but I tend to dread a day that ought to be a joyful occasion—the Fourth of July. Why do I dread it? Because of all the people in my town (St. Louis) who ignore the law and shoot off fireworks. Yes, possessing and/or setting off fireworks is illegal in the city of St. Louis, and you can be fined anywhere from $100-$500 for doing so—-but you’d never guess that on the evening of the 3rd and early morning hours of the 4th:

St. Louis City Ordinance #65824

NOTE: If you live in/work for a municipality that needs an influx of cash (and has banned fireworks), suggest that your police force actually write tickets for fireworks violations. I think St. Louis could probably ditch the earnings tax if they would only write tickets for easy-to-spot violations of our fireworks ordinance!

FLIP PAL MOBILE SCANNER

Visiting one or more libraries or archives this summer? Flip Pal Mobile Scanner may save you lots of time and effort:

LINK

NOTE No. 1: Call/email ahead to see if library/archive allows portable scanners/digital cameras—some don’t.

NOTE No. 2: This could also come in handy if there's a tight-fisted relative who doesn't want to loan valuable photos/documents. Go to his or her house and scan them while he/she watches!

E-READER OWNERSHIP DOUBLES IN JUST SIX MONTHS

I’m not surprised—I’m still loving my Kindle:

Link to Pew Research Center Report

Link to Kindle with Special Offers

NOTE: In the interest of fairness, if any of you own non-Kindle e-readers and are thrilled with them, drop me a short report on your e-reading experience and I’ll print here for the benefit of readers of this blog.

Link to Wikipedia—Comparison of E-Book Readers

FGS CONFERENCE REGISTRATION UPDATE

You still have time to score a substantial discount on FGS Conference Registration, but you must register by July 1st to do so:

LINK

NOTE: You have until July 21st to register for our MoSGA Annual Conference and avoid a late registration fee:

LINK

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

GEEMAIL

A free desktop client for Gmail--- use Gmail outside your browser, and enjoy some Gmail functionality even when you’re offline (and it works whether you’re running Windows, Mac, or Linux OS):

LINK

CAMPAIGN FOR WILSON’S CREEK

This reviewer thinks a recent book about the Wilson’s Creek campaign in southwest Missouri is the best history of that campaign ever:

LINK

THERE’S WRONG...AND THERE’S VERY, VERY WRONG

When we first entered World War II, American strategic planners felt that bombers armed with sufficient machine guns did not need a fighter escort. A two-month period in 1943 during which 148 American bombers were shot down and an equal number so badly shot up that they had to be scrapped proved just how wrong planners had been:

LINK

NOTE: Did you know that three men in the Army Air Corps were killed for each one who was wounded? That exactly reverses the ratio for men serving in the infantry! I probably shouldn’t be surprised, however: my wife’s uncle (1st Lt. Gene Dyar) went missing over the English Channel on 20 December 1942. He’s listed (as Wilmer E. Dyar) on the Wall of the Missing at the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England:

LINK

Monday, June 27, 2011

TRULIA’S CRIME MAPS

How safe are our cities? For quite a few cities, Trulia’s Crime Maps (beta) tell the tale:

LINK

NOTE: Springfield, Missouri is one of the cities covered thus far.

A GENEALOGIST’S TOYBOX

Just getting started using computers in your genealogical endeavors? Here’s a fairly basic (yet helpful) guide to genealogical computing:

LINK

A STRANGLEHOLD ON THE SOUTH

General Winfield Scott believed that the North needed to “strangle” the South if it was going to prevail in the coming war, and said so publicly. That is, he felt that whichever side controlled the inland rivers would be certain to win the war. Scott was widely ridiculed by politicians and media pundits, one of whom dubbed his theory the “Anaconda Plan,” after the giant Amazon River snake. But guess what? Scott’s “Anaconda Plan” really did win the war:

LINK

GENEALOGY BLOG FINDER

Looking for blogs of interest? Whatever surname/locality you’re searching for, there seems to be at least one blog of interest:

LINK

Friday, June 24, 2011

TRUMAN’S GRANDVIEW FARM

The National Archives at Kansas City will host author Jon Taylor, on Wednesday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion of his book Truman’s Grandview Farm. Taylor will be available to sign copies of his book after the discussion. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the event.

Southern Jackson County still shelters the white and green farmhouse Harry Truman occupied in the days before his journey to the presidency. Truman moved to the farm in 1906 at the age of twenty-two, and after his father died in 1914, he shouldered the duties of a six-hundred-acre farm until he enlisted to serve in World War I. It was here that his nine-year courtship with Bess Wallace blossomed through the letters the couple exchanged from Grandview and Independence and through her occasional visits to the farm. Drawing on photographs, letters, and even farm receipts, historian Jon Taylor pieces together a picture of the man from Missouri whose humble beginnings prepared him to lead the country.

About the author

Jon Taylor is an assistant professor of history at the University of Central Missouri and served as historian for the Harry S Truman National Historic Site in Independence, Missouri, from 1993 to 1998. He is a member of the Organization of American Historians and the National Council on Public History and the author of A President, A Church, and Trails West: Competing Histories in Independence, Missouri.

Copies of Truman’s Grandview Farm will be available for purchase via the Kansas City Store onsite. For more information or to make a reservation for this free event call 816-268-8010 or email kansascity.educate@nara.gov.

The National Archives at Kansas City is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota available for public access. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit: www.archives.gov/central-plains.

ACCOUNT KILLER

At this point you may well have become a member on dozens (maybe hundreds) of websites. You probably use a majority of those sites rarely (if at all). It’s time to quit those accounts (and by doing so delete any personal profile you may have provided in order to join that site). You can quit many accounts more easily by using AccountKiller. This site takes you step-by-step through the process of closing your account on numerous sites:

LINK

NOTE: You may wish to check their blacklist first: sites that make it difficult (in some cases, impossible) to delete your personal profile. On the list and of special interest to genealogists: MyHeritage.com. If you’re a blogger, you’ll be interested to know that WordPress.com is on the blacklist.

DID THE SECEDING STATES COMMIT TREASON?

You most likely already have an opinion on this, but let’s make it more interesting: let’s assume that secession was, in fact, authorized by the Constitution.

So I ask again, did the seceding states commit treason? Before you answer, however, consider this fact:

At least six of the seceding states (FL, AL, GA, LA, AR, NC) seized federal property by force of arms prior to seceding from the Union, that is, before those states passed ordinances of secession.

South Carolina December 20, 1860
Mississippi January 9, 1861
Florida January 10, 1861
(January 6, 1861: Florida seizes Apalachicola arsenal)
(January 7, 1861: Florida seizes Fort Marion)
Alabama January 11, 1861
(January 4, 1861: Alabama seizes U.S. arsenal at Mount Vernon)
(January 5, 1861: Alabama seizes Forts Morgan and Gaines)
Georgia January 19, 1861
(January 3, 1861: Georgia seizes Fort Pulaski)
Louisiana January 26, 1861
(January 10, 1861: Louisiana seizes U.S. arsenal at Baton Rouge, and Forts Jackson and St. Philip)
(January 11, 1861: Louisiana seizes U.S. Marine Hospital)
(January 14, 1861: Louisiana seizes Fort Pike)
Texas February 1, 1861
Virginia April 17, 1861
Arkansas May 6, 1861
(February 8, 1861: Arkansas seizes U.S. Arsenal at Little Rock)
(February 12, 1861: Arkansas seizes U.S. ordnance stores at Napoleon)
Tennessee May 7, 1861
North Carolina May 20, 1861
(April 14, 1861: NC secessionists seize Fort Macon)

So the question I put before you now is: did those six states commit treason?

Before you answer that question, consider this: in 1859, John Brown was tried and hanged by the state of Virginia. Why? Brown had attempted to seize federal property—namely, the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. If you believe that southern states had the right to seize federal property prior to secession, but also believe that John Brown was a traitor who deserved his fate, how do you reconcile those opinions?

More info on this interesting topic:

Caught Sleeping
Confederate Confiscations of Federal Property
Did Virginia Commit Treason?

CIVIL WAR SCHOLARS

This blog chronicles the experiences of residents of a single county (Jefferson County, West Virginia) during the Civil War. Jefferson County was of course part of Virginia when the war began, and was apparently not pleased about being “annexed” by the fledging state of West Virginia:

LINK

Thursday, June 23, 2011

B.B. (BEFORE BURNS)

Before we had Ken Burns and “The Civil War” to inform us about the Recent Unpleasantness, we had Bruce Catton:

LINK

THE INDIANAPOLIS GETS A MAKEOVER

Very interesting photos of the U.S.S. Indianapolis taken during overhauls in spring and fall of 1944:

LINK

NOTE: The Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on 30 July 1945, after having delivered vital atomic bomb components to Tinian in the Mariana Islands. 300 sailors died in the immediate aftermath of the attack, while 880 men waited in the water for four days for rescuers to appear. During that time, 564 men died due to dehydration, drowning, or shark attacks:

LINK

DID THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION FREE THE SLAVES?

The answer, believe it or not, is this: It all depends. Many people forget that Lincoln issued a Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862. This document announced that slaves in states (or portions of states) still in a state of rebellion on 1 January 1863 would be henceforward forever free. It’s easy to overlook the fact that this document gave the rebel states a very real chance to keep their slaves indefinitely: they merely had to lay down their arms and accept Union Army control by 1 January 1863:

LINK

DID THE SLAVES FREE THEMSELVES, OR DID THE UNION ARMY FREE THE SLAVES?

It may sound like a “chicken or the egg” argument, but it’s an important debate nonetheless. Scholars on one side argue that slaves, by fleeing to Northern lines when the Union Army passed through Southern states, freed themselves, thus forcing the issue of emancipation on a reluctant Lincoln administration. The other side insists that the Union Army freed the slaves: only those slaves living close by its line of march in fact gained their freedom during the war—-and a Union Army retreat at times meant re-enslavement of slaves who had previously fled to Union lines:

LINK

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

GETTING STARTED WITH GOOGLE BLOGGER

Ready to start a blog for your society, library, church, or yourself? Google makes it easy to get up and running (and it won’t cost you a dime):

LINK

BEELINE TO BRITAIN

What if your ancestors didn’t leave Britain for America? What if they left other countries and Britain was their ultimate destination? This guide can help you track down their British naturalization and denization records:

LINK

Note: What is denization? Basically, it’s a form of limited citizenship:

LINK

BRITISH NURSES

Did an ancestor serve as a nurse in the British Army? A record of that service may still exist:

LINK

NOTE: Perhaps she worked as a nurse in a civilian hospital? Such records are more difficult to locate, yet may also still exist:

LINK

BOMB CENSUS

The UK’s Ministry of Home Security during WWII attempted to determine if there was a pattern to German bombing of England, Wales, and Scotland:

LINK

HOW TO TRACE YOUR HISPANIC ROOTS

Ancestors from Mexico? Find out how to research those Latin-American roots:

LINK

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

SWEDISH MILITARY RECORDS

Yes, they’ve always had an army, and your ancestor from Sweden may well have served in it:

LINK

NOTE: Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus is in fact widely known as the world’s first modern general:

LINK

FRENCH MILITARY RECORDS

Perhaps he served in the French military—you may be able to secure a record of that service, too:

LINK

GERMAN MILITARY RECORDS

Did an ancestor serve in the German military? You may be able to find a record of his service:

LINK

MILITARY RECORDS AT SLCL

A PDF guide to military records in the collection of St. Louis County Library:

LINK

DOCUMENTS IN MILITARY HISTORY

An electic (but fascinating) list of documents in PDF format:

LINK

For instance, British Navy Monthly Pay (1689):

LINK

Monday, June 20, 2011

THE TITANIC: WHO LIVED, AND WHO DIED?

Hint—the more expensive your ticket, the more likely you were to survive:

LINK

CHALKBOARD TO COMPUTERS

A virtual exhibit created mostly by Lindbergh School (St. Louis County) 4th graders:

LINK

NOTE: Includes images and stories.

OPEN YALE

Couldn’t get into Yale—or couldn’t afford the tuition & fees if you did manage to get admitted? Now you can audit many Yale courses virtually, at OPEN YALE:

LINK

NOTE: History curriculum includes courses on American Revolution and Civil War, plus one I’ve got my eye on that’s called “Epidemics and Western Society Since 1600” (how could a disaster-loving genealogist resist such a title?). There’s also an “Introduction to Ancient Greek History” course that sounds interesting (no, I haven’t traced my clan back to Ancient Greece as yet, but who knows—it could happen!).

BOOT AND NUKE

Planning to sell or give away an older computer? You should probably wipe the drives before doing so, in case there’s any private/confidential info contained on them (and no, sending files to the Recycle Bin doesn’t permanently delete those files from your computer). A fairly easy (and free) way to securely wipe a drive clean is Darik’s Boot and Nuke:

LINK

Friday, June 17, 2011

SPRING PUBLISHER

If your desktop publishing (DTP) needs are fairly basic, you might be able to get by with the free version of Spring Publisher:

LINK

NOTE: If your DTP needs are somewhat more complex, this free DTP application may still be all you need:

LINK

LOVE LETTERS FROM THE CIVIL WAR

Hello everyone,

Today (6-16-2011) the Missouri History Museum is launching a blog of the Civil War letters of James E. Love, an Irish immigrant who came to St. Louis in 1850. He enlisted to serve in the Civil War in 1861, and started writing letters home to his fiancee Eliza Mary "Molly" Wilson. We will be posting the text of each letter 150 years after it was originally written, covering the entire span of the war.

You can view the blog here:

LINK

There is an entry from April that explains more about James Love's life. The entry dated June 16th is the first letter.You can check this page to see when new letters are posted, or you can get updates on Twitter and Facebook.

I hope you enjoy it.

Molly Kodner
Associate Archivist
Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center
P.O. Box 11940
St. Louis, MO 63112-0040
(314)746-4518

DOES FACEBOOK MAKE US ANTI-SOCIAL?

Some critics believe it isolates us from others- in fact, for many users it appears to significantly expand their network of social relationships. And who are they most likely to connect/reconnect with? High school classmates, of course:

LINK

MICROSOFT DOWNLOAD CENTER

The Redmond Posse offer numerous downloads on this page (many free). You can browse by type of application you need or type of operating system you are running. A minor catch: you must be running a validated copy of a Microsoft OS (meaning one you obtained legally):

LINK

NOTE: A download to consider: the Bing Bar (formerly known as the Bing Toolbar or MSN Toolbar):

LINK

MAKING MONEY ON THE INTERNET

Can you work at home and actually make money? Yes—but you need to be VERY WARY of possible scams. This article helps you get started (and not get taken):

LINK

NOTE: The best advice is the same as it’s always been:

IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO POSSIBLY BE TRUE, IT’S A SCAM!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BLUE, GRAY, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

When the Civil War began, there was little uniformity in uniform colors. Men often furnished their own uniforms—so federals sometimes wore gray, and rebels sometimes wore blue. That sometimes resulted—as you might well imagine—in confusion (and sometimes men died because of that confusion):

LINK

DON’T SURF NAKED!

I’m talking about web surfing without malware/virus protection (what you wear—or don’t—when you web surf is your business). At this point, there’s plenty of great free malware/virus protection out there, so lack of money is no excuse. Here’s a LENGTHY list of great free security products:

LINK

NOTE No. 1: I’m running Avast Anti-virus at present, and like it very much. I back it up with Hazard Shield, a free malware checker that I also run on a regular schedule. I’m suggesting, however, that you look at four or five free security programs and pick something you feel comfortable with.

NOTE No. 2: You should also create something known as a Rescue CD (can normally also be created on a flash drive). You use it if a virus manages to overcome your existing defenses and you need to take drastic action to regain control of your computer. You can find a list of free Rescue CD applications on this page:

LINK

THE (GENEALOGICAL) GAME IS AFOOT

If you like to read mysteries in which genealogy plays a prominent role, here’s a long list of titles of interest (with helpful annotations):

LINK

NOTE: Read all those? Here’s a second list of genealogical mysteries:

LINK

ME AND MY KINDLE, PT. 2

Still in love with my Kindle--and I've figured out how to acquire pay ebooks from Amazon.com. Actually, they make it easy with a Download to Your Computer option--I just tell Amazon.com it's for my Kindle (and not my Kindle for PC account),download to my desktop, and then transfer via USB cable to the Kindle. I'm currently reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan on the Kindle-- book 1 of a great series if you like young adult fantasy and/or mythology.

Why mention the Kindle on a genealogy blog? Once again, because so many books published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, and can be downloaded for free. I've got dozens of such books on my Kindle, including a lot of military history titles. Try Project Gutenberg for thousands of free ebooks!

I've also been downloading MP3s from Amazon.com. If you're my age or older (late 50s), you can probably remember buying an LP because you really liked one song on it (and didn't care about--or actively hated--all the other songs on it). It's so much nicer to be able to buy just the song you like!

NOTE: As I mentioned previously, I bought the Kindle with Special Offers because it's $25 cheaper than the Kindle sans Special Offers--and I don't regret the decision one bit. If you decide to get one, also get a carrying case--you won't regret that, either.

Disclaimer: Amazon.com has not compensated me for this plug in any way.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

CHROMEBOOK

In the market for a laptop or netbook? Maybe you need a Chromebook instead:

LINK

HEAD NOT IN THE CLOUDS?

Still don’t "get" cloud computing? Here’s a fairly non-technical explanation of the Amazon and Apple cloud storage options, and the advantages and disadvantages of each:

LINK

THE RIDDLE OF JOHN BROWN

This author believes that Americans have so much trouble coming to grips with the enigma that was John Brown because Brown's actions in Kansas and at Harpers Ferry were not aberrant or atypical, but in fact sprang from a long-established tradition of American violence:

LINK

LOVING KEN BURNS/LOATHING KEN BURNS

A professor thanks Ken Burns for making the documentary that fills his Civil War classes—-but criticizes Burns for filling his students’ heads with a somewhat romantic and very much misleading picture of what the war was really about, and what really took place after it ended:

LINK

ST. CLAIR COUNTY (IL) GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY NEWS

Vendor profile of St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society has been posted on the FGS 2011 Conference Blog:

LINK

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SURFING SANS SHARKS

If your child is being harassed by a cyber-bully (or you are being stalked by a cyber-creep), there are some steps you can take to throw the weirdos off your cyber-scent:

LINK

ALF BOLIN’S LOST TREASURE

Who was Alf Bolin? He was a notorious Missouri outlaw from the Taney County area. He died (beaten to death with a fireplace poker) before being able to retrieve some gold, silver, and other loot that he had allegedly buried. Some say Alf’s loot is still there, waiting to be discovered:

LINK

CONFEDERATE TREASURE

Did Confederate soldiers bury various treasures in Missouri prior to surrendering? One man who has done considerable research is convinced that they did:

LINK

LOST TREASURES

Has the glut of TV reality shows about antiques acquisition, storage locker looting, and pawn shop pandemonium prepared to start looking for some treasure of your own? Here’s a guide to finding various lost treasures (some Missouri listings):

LINK

Friday, June 10, 2011

CIVIL WAR ROAD SHOW

Date: June 11, 2011
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Place: Springfield-Greene County Library Center

John Bradbury, Assistant Director, Rolla Research Center, will be a consultant at the second "Civil War Road Show" sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Library, 4653 S. Campbell in Springfield, as part of its Community & Conflict: The Impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks digital project. Patterned after the Antiques Road Show, this event invites the public to bring in Civil War antiques, documents, and photographs for evaluation. For more information, call (417) 882-0714.

ATTENTION AUTHORS!

Submit Your Book to the Missouri State Genealogical Association’s (MoSGA) Library Program.

The MoSGA Library program is seeking complimentary copies of recently published family histories, genealogies, local histories, and any other books relevant to genealogists. Every book will be reviewed in the MoSGA Journal, and a copy of the review will be sent to the author.

A bookplate naming the donor will be placed in the book and the book will be placed in the circulating collection at the Midwest Genealogy Center of the Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Missouri. This collection is available for use at the library, and more importantly, available for interlibrary loan, reaching genealogy patrons across the United States.

Please include with the book the following information: title, author(s)/ editor(s)/ compiler(s), place of publication, publisher/self-published, year of publication, contact/ordering information, including price and shipping.

For more information contact Jean Foster Kelley, MoSGA Library Director. Book donations may be mailed to MoSGA Library Director, P.O. Box 833, Columbia, MO 65205-0833.

MoSGA 2011 CONFERENCE

A friendly reminder: the Missouri State Genealogical Association will be holding its Annual Conference on 5-6 August 2011 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia, Missouri.

Holiday Inn Executive Center

Our keynote speaker, Henry Z. “Hank” Jones, will be lecturing on “18th Century Emigration”; “When the Sources are Wrong”; and “Family Tradition: Separating Fact from Fiction”.

Hank has been a professional genealogist since 1965. He is a very entertaining genealogical lecturer, an accomplished writer, and a respected Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. He is best known for his extensive work with Palatine genealogy and for his popular book, Psychic Roots. Hank also has a long career as an entertainer and screen actor. He will be available to autograph copies of his books and CDs at the conference. Find out more about Hank on his web site:

Henry Z. "Hank" Jones Website

We also have our usual great line-up of supporting speakers- it's looking to be one of our best conferences ever!

To see our conference schedule and registration form, go here.

Nancy Waller Thomas
Conference Chair
Columbia, MO

INDIANA COUNTY HISTORIES INDEX

They have printed indexes to county histories for all counties in Indiana:

LINK

NOTE: Here's the URL for their Ask a Librarian page:

LINK

See also the Indiana State Library Databases section!

ARMY CASUALTIES IN THE PACIFIC THEATER

The Army also incurred thousands of casualties during WWII campaigning in the Pacific Theater:

LINK

NAVY CROSS AWARDS TO WWII MARINES

Full-text citations for Navy Crosses awarded to World War II Marines:

LINK

THE 26th MARINE CORPS REGIMENT AT IWO JIMA

An analysis of the daily strength and daily casualties incurred by this USMC regiment during the Iwo Jima campaign:

LINK

CONCEPTIONS OF DISABILITY AFTER THE CIVIL WAR

The Civil War killed more than 600,000 Americans, and left many hundreds of thousands more with permanent disabilities. This site provides free access (in WORD or PDF format) to seven articles on disabled Civil War vets and the pensions received by these vets and their widows:

LINK

ZACHARY TAYLOR’S MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR CAMPAIGN

Review of a recent book on the subject by Felice Flanery Lewis:

LINK

Note: As the reviewer notes, Old Rough and Ready (Taylor) is clearly the hero--and President James K. Polk just as plainly the villain--in this book!

WAVE AT THE BUS

This dad stood outside his house in a different costume every day waving as his high school sophomore son's bus went by. Family members took a photo each day for a blog they kept about it:

LINK

Son was embarassed at first, as you might imagine, but soon he and fellow bus riders came to appreciate the daily spectacle. The dad during the entire school year never missed a day, and never repeated a costume

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

THE GREAT ILLINOIS GENEALOGY SCAVENGER HUNT

For Immediate Release
June 1, 2011

Help Find Illinois Genealogy Resources and Win Prizes!

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) announces The Great Illinois Genealogy Scavenger Hunt--June 1 – June 30, 2011--and invites all family historians to participate in this unique community effort.

ISGS, in partnership with FamilySearch, is hosting a virtual, online scavenger hunt and asks the public to submit their favorite Illinois genealogy resources to be included in the FamilySearch Research Wiki (http://wiki.familysearch.org). Described as “free family history research advice for the community, by the community,” the research wiki contains a page for each of the 102 Illinois counties as well as many other subject matters related to genealogy.

Find Illinois Genealogy Resources and Win Prizes!

Between now and June 30, 2011, the public is invited to locate information on Illinois genealogy-related resources and tell us why a resource is worthy of inclusion in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Examples include links to research websites and genealogy databases, as well as original articles on repositories, archives and other resources. A complete description of The Great Illinois Genealogy Scavenger Hunt can be found on the ISGS website.

Prizes include a RootsTech 2012 conference registration and a one-year ISGS membership. In addition, a prize will be awarded each day between June 1 and June 30, 2011 to one lucky winner drawn at random. For complete details, please consult the contest rules.

How to Enter The Great Illinois Genealogy Scavenger Hunt

Participants should first visit the Illinois pages of the FamilySearch Research Wiki at https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Illinois and consult the various pages, including the county pages, to see what content has already been added. Next, submit your original narrative article or Illinois genealogy-related hyperlink using the entry form.

Illinois Roots Run Deep . . . We’ll Help You Dig For Them!

Through The Great Illinois Genealogy Scavenger Hunt, ISGS, together with FamilySearch, hope to provide genealogists and family historians with the best set of Illinois-related resources available.

About Illinois State Genealogical Society

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) was organized in October of the Illinois Sesquicentennial Year, 1968, and is a non-profit, educational organization. ISGS was established for the following purposes:

--To stimulate an interest in the people who contributed to the establishment and development of the State of Illinois.
--To seek, preserve, and make available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois and to events which took place therein.
--To inform people of the value of, and need for, preserving family and local history for posterity.
--To encourage the formation of local genealogical societies and to coordinate and disseminate information.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and on our blog.

Contact:

Illinois State Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 10195
Springfield, IL 62791-0195
(217)789-1968

Join the Federation of Genealogical Societies for Pathways to the Heartland, A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists, September 7-10, 2011 in Springfield, Illinois. For more information, visit http://fgs.org/2011conference/.

Thomas MacEntee
Publicity Chair, Illinois State Genealogical Society

REMEMBERING THE CIVIL WAR IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS

Museums and historical societies in a number of northern Illinois counties house fascinating Civil War memorabilia:

LINK

DVD FLICK

DVD Flick aims to be a simple yet at the same time powerful DVD Authoring tool. It can take a number of video files stored on your computer and turn them into a DVD that will play back on your DVD player, Media Center or Home Cinema. You can add additional custom audio tracks, subtitles as well as a menu for easier navigation:

LINK

MERLN

Ever heard of MERLN? It’s the Military Education Research Library Network. They make a very wide range of bibliographies on military topics available free at their website:

LINK

Note: Here’s a great example—a 6-page bibliography on American Military History:

LINK

Need something more specialized? How about “Women in Combat—Iraqi Freedom”:

LINK

MILITARY BIBLIOGRAPHIES

Book lists created by the staff of the U.S. Army War College:

LINK

Note: Size of these bibliographies varies, but they average 30-40 pages in length.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

CYNDI'S LIST LAUNCHES UPGRADED WEB SITE

For Immediate Release

A major upgrade to celebrate 15 years of service

EDGEWOOD, WASHINGTON (June 6, 2011)– Cyndi's List is proud to announce a newly upgraded web site. With improved navigation, a custom database, and a custom administrative interface, the upgrade means that everything will be quicker and easier for both visitors and for the site's owner and administrator, Cyndi Ingle Howells. The upgrade has been done by fusionSpan of Maryland. Their staff worked closely with Cyndi to make improvements and to implement new technology and new ideas designed specifically for Cyndi’s List and for the genealogical community.

Cyndi's List website

Part of the upgrade was made possible by donations from generous users of Cyndi’s List. To date, 20% of what was accomplished in the project was thanks to them. Donors have been listed on the web site.

What's New with the Upgrade:

--The front page of the Cyndi's List site has a rolling genealogy news feed and a link to The Cyndi’s List Daily, a daily dose of family history news as tagged in Twitter and Facebook. Start each day with the front page of Cyndi's List and read the current genealogy news stories.
--The links are now contained within a database and pages will be dynamically loaded on each visit.
--The custom database and administration interface means that maintaining the link list will be much easier for Cyndi, which ultimately benefits the user with faster and more frequent updates.
--The new interface means that the backlog of uncategorized links can be processed much faster. The goal is to get the entire backlog done by the end of this year.
--New links will be reviewed, approved, and categorized within 24-72 hours after submission by visitors.
--Updates made to Cyndi's List will be immediately available to the public.
--Previous to the upgrade, the "What's New" page and mailing list post contained only new links submitted by visitors. The new "What's New" page and e-mail will contain those, as well as links added to the site during the day by Cyndi, *and* existing links that have been updated throughout the site (new addresses, updated descriptions, etc.).
--Across the site links have been labeled with graphics as "new" or "updated" when appropriate. With the upgrade these will now be text-based notations (easily spotted in green), which means that you can search on a page for "new" or "updated" with the Edit>Find function in your web browser.
--Now sub-categories within a category heading each have their own page. And each page displays 20 links, with pagination in place to go to the next page and so on. This means there will be a lot less scrolling through long pages as in the past. Shorter pages mean faster load time in the browser as well.
--Intuitive navigation at the top of the category makes it easy to find your way to previous category headings.
--The number of links within each category/sub-category is displayed at the top right on each page.
--Each of the U.S. counties (more than 3,100) now has a designated page of its own.
--URLs (addresses) for the pages have changed so bookmarks, favorites, and links to Cyndi's List will need to be updated.
--Opportunities to shop, support, or donate are highlighted on each page.

What Has Stayed the Same?

--The category and sub-category names are all the same.
--Related Categories are highlighted at the top right on each category.
--The layout and format of the links are the same.
--The policies, procedures, and disclaimers for maintaining the link list are the same.
--The Cyndi's List Mailing List will still distribute a daily What's New e-mail and a daily Link Activity e-mail. However, the What’s New e-mail will contain information about all new and updated links.
--You can still follow Cyndi's List on Facebook and Twitter.
--The purpose and intent of Cyndi's List is to be a free jumping-off point for your daily genealogical research.
--Cyndi’s List remains free for everyone to use just as it has for the past 15 years.
--This is still just a one-woman show!

About CyndisList.com

CyndisList.com is the world's largest one-woman family history resource, with more than 300,000 categorized links for genealogical research. For more than 15 years Cyndi's List has helped hundreds of thousands of people with their online journey to trace their family history. The site averages 275,000 unique visitors and 5,000,000 page hits every month. Cyndi's List has won numerous awards and consistently remains one of the top genealogical portals for beginners, intermediate, and veteran researchers.

About fusionSpan

fusionSpan is a start-up consulting firm focused on serving the comprehensive needs of non-profit associations and commercial organizations in the full range of the business cycle. With a core staff of highly experienced professionals from non-profit associations and a team approach to most consulting projects, fusionSpan will be able to offer a more balanced quality service and sustainable solution than many of its competitors. Our expertise covers the entire range of the web site and application development process: Strategy, Design, Development, Hosting, and Maintenance. For more information, visit www.fusionSpan.com.

RHINE-ENACTORS

Turns out Germans love to reenact our Civil War:

LINK

NOTE: Turns out more Germans like to portray Confederates than Yankees:

LINK

CITY DIRECTORIES, A VALUABLE RESOURCE FOR TRACKING OUR ANCESTORS

Dennis Northcott will be giving a presentation on city directories at the monthly meeting of the St. Louis Genealogical Society.

When: Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 7:00 pm
Where: St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd. (across the street from Frontenac Plaza)
How much: The lecture is free and open to the public.

StLGS website

NEWSPAPER MAP

The Newspaper Map does exactly what it promises to do: it maps 10,000-plus newspapers all over the world and lets you browse through (and read) every one of them.

You can search by specific location, zoom in on any given area, filter the news outlets by language, or translate foreign papers into English. And if your news fixation is accompanied by a history fetish, you’ll want to click the “Historical!” button, which links you to the archives of forgotten (but fascinating) papers like the Diario de la Marina (published in Havana from 1899 to 1959), Le Petit Journal (published in Paris from 1863 to 1940), and the Louisiana Capitolian (published in Baton Rouge for just a few years, starting in 1879):

LINK

FREE LAND FOR DISABLED TEXAS REBELS

Confederate Scrip: A grant created in 1881 providing 1,280 acres to Confederate soldiers who were permanently disabled, or widows of Confederate soldiers. This grant was repealed in 1883 with 2,068 certificates issued.

LINK

Note: A book (Texas Confederate Scrip Grantees by Thomas Lloyd Miller) lists all the soldiers and widows awarded these land grants. You can check for copies in nearby libraries here:

LINK

or you may purchase a copy at:

LINK

Monday, June 06, 2011

MISSOURI CIVIL WAR MUSEUM

They’ve had to push back their opening date, but still are shooting for a Summer 2011 opening:

LINK

CEDAR & VERNON COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY UPDATE

Our newsletter has been posted on our website:

LINK

Regards,

Nancy Thompson
Cedar & Vernon County Genealogical Society
218 W. Walnut St., Nevada, MO 64772

web: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~motcogs/
email: Cedar.VernonCoMO@centurytel.net

ST. LOUIS PUBLIC LIBRARY OBITUARY INDEX

The St. Louis Public Library's Obituary Index includes references to death notices, obituaries, and burial permits in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for the following years-- 1880-1930, 1942-1945, 1960-1966, and 1992-2009:

LINK

Note: Library employee Keith Zimmer continues to index death notices from the Post-Dispatch. He has indexed the years 1967-1971, but these indexes have not yet been posted on the website. If you're looking for a death in this period, contact Keith for a look-up.

If you've found some ancestors in this obituary index, you may want to send Keith a thank you for the countless hours he's devoted to compiling this index.

U.S. MARINE CORPS MUSTER ROLLS

Researching a Marine who served prior to 1941? These muster rolls available via Ancestry.com should be a big help:

LINK