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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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Friday, July 29, 2011

HOW TO CUSTOMIZE TOOLBARS AND BUTTONS IN FIREFOX

I’m an enthusiastic user of Firefox, and one of its main selling points is ease of customization. Well, customization just got even easier:

LINK

MIND MAPPING ON A VERY TIGHT BUDGET

Blumind is a powerful, lightweight mind mapping tool. How much is it going to run me, you're probably asking. Good question, and even better answer--it’s free, has a tiny 0.6 MB footprint, and runs on XP or later:

LINK

BLACK REBELS AT BULL RUN

Turns out black men did fight on the rebel side at 1st Bull Run—-they helped man the guns at that battle. But these black “soldiers” weren’t in uniform, were hoping that the men they were shooting at carried the day, and knew that their own officers would shoot them down if they abandoned their guns:

LINK

NOTE: Even during this first big battle of the war, slaves already had an eye out for their chance to escape to Union lines.

SEND YOUR ANT TO COLLEGE!

Not genealogy-related, but too cool a tagline to pass up:

No, not your maiden aunt who thinks she's Eleanor of Aquitaine (although it might be nice if they would take her, too)--North Carolina State University wants you to send them a sample of those uninvited guests that ruined your last picnic:

LINK

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

87 PLACES FOR FREE AUDIO BOOKS ONLINE

If you (or a family member) use audio books, you’ll love this list of links to free audio book sources:

LINK

IN-LIBRARY EBOOK LENDING PROGRAM

The Internet Archive announced that the 1,000th library from 6 countries has joined its In-Library eBook Lending Program. Led by the Internet Archive, patrons may borrow eBooks from a new, cooperative 100,000+ eBook lending collection of mostly 20th century books on OpenLibrary.org, a site where it’s already possible to read over 1 million eBooks without restriction. During a library visit, patrons with an OpenLibrary.org account can borrow any of these lendable eBooks using laptops, reading devices or library computers. This new twist on the traditional lending model could increase eBook use and revenue for publishers.

Of special interest to genealogists: a number of participating libraries have large collections of genealogical materials, which most libraries do not circulate or inter-library loan. Many of these materials will, however, now be available in digital format via the In-Library eBook Lending Program.

LINK

A GOODBYE THAT KEEPS BEING SAID

He had a premonition of his own death in battle, and penned a heart-rending farewell letter to his wife---150 years later, you should still be prepared to wipe away the tears when you read it:

LINK

NOTE: The wife of the actor who read this letter for the Ken Burns Civil War documentary was dying of cancer when he did the reading for Burns. Four years after The Civil War first aired, the actor took his own life, apparently still despondent over her death. So sad, yet somehow hopeful--true love never really dies...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

MOUSE TRAINING

Mouse Training is a UK-based company that offers training courses to companies whose staff use Microsoft Office. Following the release of Office 2010, the company has made available all of its training manuals for previous versions, totally free of charge. So if you're one of the millions of people using any of the Office 2003 or 2007 apps, and you'd like some in-depth information on how to use it properly, just head here.

Near the top of the page you'll find free downloadable Quick Guides to the Office 2010 apps (needless to say, the full manuals for Office 2010 aren't free!). Scroll down, and you'll find the free guides for Office 2003 and 2007, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Outlook, FrontPage, Project and Access.

These are superbly-written tutorials, produced by professional trainers. Whatever version of Office you're using, they're definitely worth a look.

NOTE: They have now added Excel 2010 (Introductory) to the free download list!

FGS REGISTRATION

It’s too late to get the early bird price, but you can still register for this September 2011 conference at Springfield, Illinois:

LINK

NEW YORK CITY AFLAME!

Well, almost—-Confederate Secret Service agents did attempt to burn it down, but luckily for New Yorkers, most of those agents were not very good at their jobs:

LINK

Thursday, July 21, 2011

HISTORIC HOTELS OF AMERICA

Planning to visit a major Civil War battlefield or historic site during the Sesquicentennial? You can book a room in numerous fine hotels at a substantial discount here:

LINK

CATHOLICS AND THE CIVIL WAR

Catholics and the Civil War (Milwaukee, 1945) by Benjamin J. Blied (page images at Hathi Trust):

LINK

ONLINE SERIALS ARCHIVE

This page provides a constantly expanding list of links to freely accessible archives of serials (i.e., magazines, journals, newspapers, and other periodicals). A complete run is available for some serials; partial coverage for others:

LINK

OBITS AS A SUPPLEMENT TO PROOFS OF DEATH

By Joan Young
from Rootsweb Review 14:7 (July 13, 2011). Reprinted by permission.

Obtaining an obituary (when you already have proof of death)

They say nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. Records involving both can help in your genealogical research. Even if you already have obtained a death certificate or located an individual in the Social Security Death Index when the death is recent (mostly 1962 to the present), or found burial or cemetery data -- obtaining an obituary can still be helpful. You may think that once you have ascertained the date and location of death you no longer need to look further. You may be missing valuable family information if you overlook an obituary.

In some cases, obituaries are nothing more than a two or three line statement of the death of an individual with very little useful family information. In other cases, obituaries can be a goldmine fleshing out your ancestors' lives. Obituaries often include a list of all living relatives and sometimes those who are no longer living. They may provide you with married names of siblings you hadn't previously discovered. You may learn where family members were living when the obituary was published. Sometimes, small town newspapers will include the name of another town with the notation "please copy." This can be a clue that the deceased was originally from that town, previously lived there, or has family there. My great-great-grandmother, Catherine (DIETERICH) SMITH died in York County, Pennsylvania, and her obituary carried the notation "Lancaster papers please copy." I knew very little about Catherine and this tip gave me a lead to pursue.

Additionally, an obituary may (if you get lucky) provide information about your family member's life you would otherwise have never known. My great-grandmother's obituary stated that she'd been in good health until the Atlantic City (New Jersey) railroad disaster of July 1896 when her back was badly injured. I hadn't known about the train wreck before finding the obituary. Another ancestor's obituary contained the information that when she passed away at an advanced age she could still "read her Bible without glasses which she had never worn." This not only told me about her eyesight but also informed me this female ancestor could read at a time when many women could not.

There are many online resources both free and subscription where you can find obituaries. Some resources are:

Cyndi's List, Obituaries

Free Online Obituaries

Linkpendium (click on the locality links for the location where your family member died and then on Obituaries and Funeral Home Records)

RootsWeb obituary resources:

RootsWeb User-Contributed Databases
RootsWeb message boards. http://boards.rootsweb.com/ Select the advanced search option and search the Classification "Obituary."

Search and/or subscribe to an obituary mailing list

If you cannot find the obituary you seek, you can post a query on the appropriate locality message board or mailing list to locate a volunteer in that area who may be able to obtain the obituary you need, use volunteer resources such as Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, or contact a library or historical society for their available obituaries.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

GARAGE SALE MYSTERY BOX

Did a box bought at a garage sale help solve a Kansas Civil War mystery? You bet it did:

LINK

NOTE: This story also suggests that, before selling a box of “junk” for a buck or two, you should probably give the box a quick once-over to be sure that you’re not selling something priceless for a handful of change…

THE PERFECT E-READER

Is there a perfect e-reader? No—-but there’s one that’s well-suited to your needs:

LINK

STRANGE WATERS

Civil War land battles often were directed by men who had first met at West Point (and—in some cases—had been roommates while at the military academy). Such was generally not the case with Civil War naval battles:

LINK

FREE ACCESS TO CIVIL WAR RECORDS

Via the FamilySearch website:

LINK

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DADDY WAS AT ANDERSONVILLE

This 93-year-old Georgia man’s father was at Andersonville Prison during the Civil War. He was a guard, though, not a prisoner—-although he succumbed to the abysmal conditions there anyway. He became sick with fever, and was sent home to rest and regain his strength:

LINK

NOTE: The article points out that this 93-year-old is one of only 37 living men known to be sons of Civil War vets.

BORDERLINE FAMILIES ALWAYS ON THE EDGE

The National Archives at Kansas City will host author Rose Ann Findlen, on Saturday, July 16 at 11:00 a.m. for a workshop based on her genealogy research and book Borderland Families Always on the Edge. Findlen will be available to sign copies of her book after the discussion. This event is presented in partnership with the Jackson County Historical Society.

True life stories of frontier families, Findlen’s books provide a personal glimpse into life in Kansas and Missouri during the Civil War. Borderland Families Always on the Edge documents carefully researched genealogies which Findlen brings back to life through the tales of guerrilla warfare and martial law that swept the plains in the 1850s and 1860s. Through her focus on the Lykins, Peery, and Heiskell families, Findlen personalizes the political and social climate that affected every family living in the Kansas-Missouri borderland.

Copies of Borderland Families Always on the Edge will be available for purchase. For more information or to make a reservation for this free event call 816-268-8010 or email us here.

About the presenter

Rose Ann Findlen grew up in the Kansas-Missouri borderland, with little awareness of the history that surrounded her and its greater impact on critical issues that shaped the nation’s political and social destinies. Findlen received her undergraduate degree from Northwest Missouri State University and pursued her graduate degree in English from the University of Kansas. After a career in college administration, Findlen turned her attention to writing and, through researching the history of the region in which she was raised, she came to appreciate the profound impact of the events that took place in the Kansas-Missouri borderland. Findlen is also the author of Missouri Star, which chronicles the life of Martha A. “Mattie” Lykins Bingham, a Kansas City pioneer. This biography, making extensive use of excerpts from Bingham’s journal, details life in Kansas City and the tumultuous conflicts of the Kansas-Missouri borderland from the 1850s through the 1890s.

The National Archives at Kansas City is a regional facility that serves as a repository for 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. These records are available for public research and use. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for research, with exhibits open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-800 or visit our website..

RESEARCH BETWEEN THE LINES

That’s what the Ozarks Genealogical Society is calling its annual conference this year. Headliner is Barbara Vines Little. Her topics include:

Granny Possum’s Pointers
Working the Land: Using Land Records to Solve Research Problems
Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Working with Manuscript Collections
Backtracking Your Ancestor: a Methodology That Works


Talks by supporting speakers:

Beginning Genealogy: Strategies for Success
Long-Distance Genealogy
Preserving & Caring for Family Papers
Using National Park Museum Collections


Dates: September 23-24, 2011
Place: Clarion Hotel, 3333 S. Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65804

Registration: Full Conference--$40 members; $45 non-members (add $50 if registering after 9-9-2011).
Friday Only: $20.

Full registration includes all sessions, Saturday lunch, admittance to Vendor Showcase, and conference sourcebook.

Register online (pay via PayPal)
Vendor Table Inquiries: 417-429-2151
Link to Clarion Hotel

Questions? Contact them here.

ONLINE DEATH INDEXES UPDATE

The Online Searchable Death Records Indexes & Obituaries website has been updated with new links. You can see a list of the latest additions here:

LINK

Regards,
Joe Beine

The Online Searchable Death Records Indexes & Obituaries website is here.

PERFECT STORM IN 1918

When you combine a virulent flu strain and soldiers from many nations in a relatively small geographic area (wartime France), the result is a worldwide flu epidemic. It’s quite likely that one or more of your ancestors was killed or badly sickened by the 1918 Influenza Epidemic—and it’s also quite likely that some record of that death/illness still exists:

LINK

MoSGA CONFERENCE 2011 UPDATE

I’m pleased to report that conference registrations are up significantly from last year. This looks to be a memorable shindig, indeed! There’s still time to get both the Early Bird registration price and the conference hotel discount—just register for each by July 21st:

LINK

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MOSGA AWARDS GRANT

Press Release:
1 July 2011

The Missouri State Genealogical Association [MoSGA] awarded a 21st Century Grant to the Friends of Miami, Inc., in Miami, Missouri. The Friends will use the grant of $960.39 to purchase archival supplies to preserve their town records. The area of Miami on the Missouri River in Saline County is one of the earlier settlements (1817) in the State of Missouri.

The 21st Century Fund was established in 2005 during the MoSGA’s 25th Anniversary. The fund provides grants of up to $1,000 to Missouri societies, libraries and/or archives to promote the preservation and publication of Missouri genealogical data.

The 2012 grant application and guidelines are available on MoSGA’s Web site. Application deadline is April 30, 2012.

The 21st Century Fund is supported by generous donations from the genealogical community. If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution, please send it to MoSGA, 21st Century Fund, PO Box 833, Columbia MO 65205-0833.

Martha L. Henderson, Chair
21st Century Fund Committee
Missouri State Genealogical Association

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2011 MIDWEST FAMILY EXPO

Keynoter is Lisa Louise Cooke, with special guest M. Bridget Cook and numerous supporting speakers.

Dates: 29-30 July 2011
Place: Overland Park, KS
More info & event registration is available here.

TOMBSTONE TIPS

Tips on taking the best tombstone photos possible, including a tip all you Haight-Asbury types are going to love:

LINK

NOTE: Younger readers are probably scratching their heads saying, “What’s a Haight-Asbury?” Well, children, it’s a place where your parents cheerfully did many of those things they are now telling you not to do:

LINK

FREE E-BOOKS

Awesome is an overused adjective, certainly, but this list of sources of free ebooks is, err, just plain awesome:

LINK

Saturday, July 09, 2011

200 YEARS OF MISSOURI NEWSPAPERS

Since Joseph Charless started the first Missouri newspaper in St. Louis in 1808, 6,000 newspapers have come and gone in the Show-Me State. Join us as we watch the Emmy-nominated documentary, "Trustees for the Public: 200 Years of Missouri Newspapers."

Discussion will follow with filmmaker Steve Hudnell and Doug Crews, Executive Director of the Missouri Press Association.

Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Time: 7 pm-8:30 pm
Place: Southern Boone County Senior Center, 406 Douglas Drive, Columbia, MO

More info: Daniel Boone Regional Library

ROOTS OF A NATION

Visit the Midwest Genealogy Center’s Roots of a Nation exhibit July 9-August 21, 2011. These are unique, rarely seen artifacts from the birth of our nation. For more information on this free exhibit:

LINK

Friday, July 08, 2011

CHINESE SOLDIERS IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

There’s a very interesting website devoted to this topic:

LINK

REMOVING A BOOTKIT

What’s a bootkit? In quasi-techspeak, it’s a “deep-cover” virus that embeds itself deep within your computer’s operating system.

In plain language, it's something you really, really don't want on your computer.

Removing one can be difficult—-but certainly not impossible. There are several possible ways to deep-six a bootkit:

LINK

A SILVER LINING ISN”T THE ONLY THING IT HAS…

Are you using a cloud storage service for some of your files? Maybe you should actually read the TOS (Terms of Service). Some cloud services claim a right to use your files (without compensation to you) in whatever manner they deem “necessary”:

LINK

NOTE: You can still store some stuff in the cloud regardless of a site’s TOS—-but I would carefully read their TOS before storing that novel, screenplay, music video, or Top 40 song you’re working on there…

WHY NOT LET THE SOUTH GO?

A blogger asks this interesting question:

“Should Lincoln just have allowed the seven states that seceded prior to Fort Sumter to leave the Union?”

LINK

RESEARCH BETWEEN THE LINES

That’s what the Ozarks Genealogical Society is calling its annual conference this year. Keynoter is Barbara Vines Little. Her topics include:

Granny Possum’s Pointers
Working the Land: Using Land Records to Solve Research Problems
Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Working with Manuscript Collections
Backtracking Your Ancestor: a Methodology That Works


Talks by supporting speakers:

Beginning Genealogy: Strategies for Success
Long-Distance Genealogy
Preserving & Caring for Family Papers
Using National Park Museum Collections


Dates: September 23-24, 2011
Times: Programs start at 7 pm Fri; 8 am Sat.
Place: Clarion Hotel, 3333 S. Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65804

Registration: Full Conference--$40 members; $45 non-members (add $50 if registering after 9-9-2011).
Friday Evening Only: $20.

Full conference registration includes all sessions, Saturday lunch, admittance to Vendor Showcase, and conference sourcebook.

Register online (pay via PayPal)
Vendor Table Inquiries: 417-429-2151
Link to Clarion Hotel
Questions? Contact them here.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011

MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM ONLINE EXHIBITS

Includes virtual exhibits on STL’s automobile and aviation industries (to name but a few):

LINK

MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM WORKSHOP

Loft History Workshop

Would you be interested in discovering the history of buildings in the Washington Avenue Loft District? Perhaps you'll find a historic image of your loft building! Associate archivist Dennis Northcott will introduce you to the valuable holdings at the Library and Research Center, including historic photographs, old business letterheads, maps, and more.

When: Saturday, August 27, 2011, 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: To reserve a spot in this workshop, please call (314) 746-4510.

MHM Events

MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM UPDATE

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

1. Third Annual House Tour of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, September 30, 1961

2. Record book of membership applications in the St. Louis Gruetli Verein, December 1, 1887–January 26, 1893

3. Dienst-Buch des Gruetli Vereins in St. Louis Mo. [Membership diary for Gruetli Association in St. Louis, Mo.], 1861-1892

ANCESTRY.COM FREE WEEKEND

Here's a chance to find your patriot ancestors!

The Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications let you trace generations of ancestors in a single document, showing your lineage back 235 years to the Revolutionary War.

This weekend, get free access to more than 145,000 applications and 1.2 million records and discover if your forefathers were founding fathers — or other patriots who fought for America’s independence.

LINK

RECORDSEARCH

RecordSearch is the National Archives of Australia's online collection database.
It describes over 7.7 million records created by 9000 Australian Government agencies, mostly since 1901.

Searchable records include documents, photographs, posters, maps, films and sound recordings. Generally, 30 years after a record is created, the public can access it.

New descriptions and digital images are continually added. Currently, 22.3 million digital images are available for viewing.

LINK

LOUISVILLE FAMILY HISTORY SEMINAR

Louisville (KY) Genealogical Society's Family History Seminar and Book Fair, Saturday, October 15, 8:30-4:00. Main Speaker, John T. Humphrey. Also eight free classes, commercial vendors, and silent auction. More info:

LINK

HOOKED ON NOOKS

Here are several replies I received to my e-reader challenge. Thanks, ladies!

No. 1

I have a Nook which is Barnes and Noble's e-reader. I love it. I got it a year ago instead of a Kindle because it reads library books which are usually published in the EPub format. Kindle still has not added that feature to its capabilities. I can also run any book through a program called Calibre and reformat it so it can be read on my Nook.

I researched and compared all the readers before I bought. Sony's was the best at the time but it was and is more than double the price. K

Kathy
Sent from my iPhone

No. 2

I bought Nooks for my husband and myself for Christmas. They are the older black and white models. The price was very good. We both love them. My husband has purchased quite a few books from B&N and also borrowed from the library. I have purchased very few and have concentrated on the ebooks from our local library. I have been very pleasantly surprised at the large selection available. I much prefer the Nook to holding a paperback or hardcover book. And, when I finish a book I don’t have to find a place on the shelf for it. My only regret is that the new Nook that came out this month was not available in December as I think the improvements are very worthwhile and the price difference between what I paid and the new Nook is small. We are avid Nook fans.

Judy Burns

LINK to Nook E-readers site