Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The National Archives at Kansas City will host Jeff Lanza on Thursday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion titled The History of the Kansas City Federal Bureau of Investigation. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the event.

The history of the Kansas City Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is rich in crime and the criminals who broke the law. Although the FBI is an often-recognized federal agency, it has a unique connection to Kansas City and has made a historic impact on the city and the Midwest. Jeff Lanza, a retired FBI agent and author of a book about the Kansas City FBI, will discuss the history of the Kansas City Bureau office along with the significance of J. Edgar Hoover's reign over the FBI.

For more information or to make a reservation for this free event call 816-268-8010 or email

About the speaker

Jeff Lanza was an FBI special agent for over 20 years. He investigated corruption, fraud, organized crime, cyber crime, human trafficking, and terrorism. He appears regularly on the Fox News Channel and has informed the public on other national programs including the Today Show, Good Morning America, Dateline and Larry King Live, among others. He is passionate about keeping people and organizations safe from risk and has presented to thousands around the globe. His clients include many Fortune 500 companies and his latest book Pistols to Press, has received critical acclaim from national media figures. Prior to his career as an FBI agent, Lanza was employed by Xerox Corporation as a computer systems analyst. He has an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of New Haven (Connecticut) and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 15 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000, email us here or visit our website.


Last fall, Fold3 introduced Featured Spotlight, a section of our home page showcasing intriguing historical events and images. Updated a few times each week, the Featured Spotlight has become a fresh and engaging focal point for site visitors as we turn the spotlight on unique snippets of history.

Whether momentous or minor, every historical event is made up of smaller events and stories. Within the documents on Fold3, they are immortalized in the official reports and first-hand accounts of the men and women who participated in history.

As the Allies moved into Germany toward the end of World War II, Prince Wolfgang of Hesse abandoned his family's castle in Kronberg, north of Frankfurt, Germany. Before leaving, he placed family heirlooms and jewels in a zinc-lined box, buried it in a hole in the castle basement, and covered it with concrete, hoping it would be safely hidden until the end of the war. It wasn't.

Recent spotlights offer these historical insights:

Spam to the Troops covers the popularity of that ubiquitous "meat" introduced in World War II.

The Fiancé Investigation League was formed to protect susceptible, and engaged, American soldiers from marrying French women in World War I.

The horrific, yet forgotten Battle of Wyoming in 1778 was spotlighted recently.

Who knew about Kit Carson Scouts in Vietnam before the February 2012 Featured Spotlight?

The Great Fire of Richmond, set by Confederates in 1865, tells of a desperate event in the final days of the Civil War.

If you like a particular spotlight, you can email or tweet it, or post it on Facebook and other sites via the "Share" link once you choose to "Continue reading." We invite you to share the Featured Spotlight on your website or subscribe to the RSS feed. Simply click the "Embed" link within the Featured Spotlight frame to access the code and subscription options.

Check out the latest Featured Spotlight every time you visit Fold3 and catch a glimpse of history from a unique perspective..


One June 2, 2012, at 9:00 AM (Mountain Time) the mad dash to register for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy will begin. We have eleven great courses (see sidebar) to choose from this year.

Register here.

Remember that at a genealogy institute you choose one topic track and you get 25 hours of in-depth instruction on that topic.


Many of our tracks fill quickly so you'll want to register right out of the gate. Early bird registration ends October 31, Tuition rates are as follows, note that there is a $65 additional cost for Problem Sovling:

• UGA Member with Early Bird discount - $350
• Non-UGA Member with Early Bird discount - $400
• UGA Member after October 31, 2012 - $400
• Non-UGA Member after October 31, 2012 - $450

If you are a UGA member, check your log-in information now. The webmaster will not be able to field log-in problems on June 2. If you are not a UGA member, join now! Membership is only $35, so you'll save yourself $15. If you cannot log-in on registration day please register as a non-member and then email us here requesting a new invoice with the correct total.

Evening Sessions, etc.:

We are building a new registration system which will allow you to edit your order at any time. It's not quite ready, so until it is we will only be opening registration for the main tracks. Please note that we will be offering evening sessions, meal plans, parking passes, and more as soon as our new system is ready. You will recieve an update in your email.

Dining Options:

Each year we recieve suggestions from our students regarding dining options. We heard you! Each morning registered students will be entitled to a complimentary continental breakfast at the Radisson hotel. This breakfast will include pastries and fruit, coffee, tea, juice, and water, and will be offered in the main Wasatch hallway on the second floor.

We will also be offering two lunch plans for interested students. See more details here.

We have a great lineup of tracks for 2013 and are very excited:

Course 1: American Research and Records: Focus on Localities with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS

Course 2: Bridging the 1780-1830 Gap: From New England to the Midwest (and Points in Between) with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

Course 3: Researching Your English Ancestors: Beyond the Parish Register with Apryl Cox, AG

Course 4: Advanced German Research with F. Warren Bittner, CG

Course 5: Researching in Washington D.C. without Leaving Home with Richard G. Sayre, CG, and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL

Course 6: A Genealogist's Guide to the Internet Galaxy with Thomas MacEntee

Course 7: Principles of Forensic Genealogy with Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG and in partnership with Boston University

Course 8: Producing a Quality Family Narrative with John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA

Course 9: Advanced Genealogical Methods with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Course 10: Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum with Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell

Course 11: Problem Solving with Judith Hansen, MLS, AG


How much time do you spend getting things done, and how much time do you waste on Solitaire, Facebook, and other diversions? This free application eliminates the guesswork, and keeps a log of how much time you spend working at each activity:


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


In case you live in North Carolina, or will be on vacation there:

Hi All,

We look forward to seeing you the first weekend in June.
Please see below for links:

3rd Annual Family History Fair and Heritage Weekend
Friday, June 1st; Saturday, June 2nd; Sunday, June 3rd
New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, New Bern, North Carolina

The event will also include exhibits by area libraries, genealogical, historical, and cultural groups as well as family photo displays, kids’ history activities, door prizes, and a tea cup auction. The exhibits, displays, kids' activities, and beginning genealogy classes are free and open to the public:


Friday, June 1st, 9 am—5 pm
Six Family History Research Classes with the North Carolina State Archives and State Library will feature Debbi Blake, North Carolina Archives Public Services Supervisor; Chris Meekins, North Carolina State Archivist; Kay Tillotson, North Carolina State Library Genealogy Research Librarian; and Jefferson Currie, Native American Research Specialist.

Topics covered will include "Resources Available Onsite and Online at the North Carolina State Archives and Library", "Researching Revolutionary War, Civil War, African American, and Native American Ancestry." Family History Research Classes: Pre-paid registration is $25 by May 26th, after, $35. A pre-paid box lunch is also available for $8 by May 26th, after $10.

Saturday, June 2nd, 9 am—5 pm
300th Heritage Luncheon Featuring The Civil War in ENC. Presentation by Mr. Chris Meekins, Archivist, NC State Archives, and the beautiful voices of The Heritage Chorale of Eastern North Carolina. Luncheon menu includes Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce and Baked Chicken, Garden Salad, Garlic Bread, Strawberry & Blueberry Shortcake, and Coffee, Tea (Sweet/Unsweet), or Water. Veggie Pasta (Red or White Sauce) is also available. Pre-paid luncheon tickets are $20 by May 26th, after $25.

Free Kids’ Event (9 am—Noon and 2 pm—4 pm ): Make Historical Crafts, Hear Stories, Pet an Alpaca (9a-12p), Sit on an Antique Tractor, and more Fun Activities!

Free Beginning Genealogy Classes at 10 am and 3pm include "How Do I Start My Family History?" by Barbara Ordione Kerr, sponsored by The Pamlico County Family History Library, Museum, and Heritage Center, "Getting the Most Out of the Federal Census Reports" by Carolyn Smith and Lois Gregory sponsored by The Craven County Genealogical Society, and "Researching DAR Records Online" by Lou Tate Walker and Carolyn Clemmer McCulley sponsored by The Richard Dobbs Spaight DAR Chapter.

Sunday, June 3rd, 10am—1 pm
Heritage Park Brunch & Ground-Breaking Ceremony.

Enjoy a wonderful brunch which includes Scrambled Eggs, Bacon & Sausage Patties, Biscuits, Breakfast Gravy for Biscuits, Pancakes with Butter & Syrup, Cheesy Breakfast Potatoes, Sliced Fruit, and Coffee, Water, or Assorted Juices (Orange, Tomato and Grapefruit). $15 by 5/26, After $20.

All the Best,

*The Family History Society of Eastern North Carolina*
252.349.0405 (Telephone)


Four-part series of blog posts about the human costs of the bloodiest war in human history—World War II:


Note: Search for bloodiest to find links to all four posts in this series.


Two German women on a beach vacation on the Baltic Coast picked up what they thought was amber—it wasn’t:



Do these qualifiers describe you?

Not much money
Love to read
Received an Amazon Kindle as a gift

Then you need a great source of low-cost books for your Kindle! How's this instead--a great source of no-cost books for your device:


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


A virtual exhibit on the National Archives (UK) website that provides records, pictures, and text concerning famous British battles in the Crimea (1854); Egypt (1882); WWII (1944); and Korea (1951):



Need good (free) security software for that new desktop, laptop, or netbook? Kim Komando has some great recommendations:



Need a great (free) ebook organizer? Calibre is a top-notch free application:



Joan Ferris Curran, 85, a long-time Kansas City area professional genealogist, passed away on Saturday, 19 May 2012. She was a Certified Genealogist who specialized in the writing and editing of family histories. Joan was an officer in many genealogical societies, including the New England Historic Genealogical Society. She published ten genealogy books and pamphlets. Her obituary can be viewed here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Short answer-—maybe, maybe not:



Free, in fact. GIMP is a free photo-editing application for Mac or PC. It used to have a (well-earned) reputation for being difficult to master, but a major overhaul has made GIMP’s learning curve much less steep:



If you’ve been encountering documents written in Latin (or merely yearn to learn Latin), the National Archives (UK) website provides online tutorials for beginning (and advanced) students of this tongue of antiquity:



I’ve told you all before that the Redmond Posse has been making more and more (great) free stuff available (and it’s always best not to look a gift horse in the mouth). Here’s another great offer from Microsoft—I’ve already downloaded First Look—Microsoft Office 2010 and Security & Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 as PDFs.

If you want to supplement your collection of technical e-books, or you need in-depth information about Microsoft technologies, you may be interested in a set of works from Microsoft Press that are being offered for download free of charge. There are 10 books on offer including Office 2010, Windows Phone 7, SQL Server, Office 365, Windows Server, and Visual Studio.



Leader in Online Family History has more than Doubled its Collection of Family History Records in Last Three Years

PROVO, Utah – (May 10, 2012) – (Nasdaq: ACOM), the world’s largest online family history resource, is celebrating the addition of its 10 billionth record to the website. Included in the extensive record collection are ship passenger lists, military draft cards, birth, marriage and death records and the most popular – U.S. Federal Census records. also offers unique and comprehensive collections that provide personal views into significant events in world history, such as the most comprehensive online collection of records relating to the passengers and crew aboard the RMS Titanic. Records such as these not only provide a glimpse into history, but also offer enlightening insights to people discovering their ancestors’ names in a record collection for the first time.

“Big numbers and major milestones are impressive, but what we think really counts is our commitment to acquiring meaningful content to help our users illuminate their lives by linking them to stories of their families’,” said Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of “The more records we collect, index and make searchable, the more widely impactful the user experience becomes, continuing our mission of helping everyone discover, preserve and share their family history.”

The treasure trove of 10 billion-plus online records on, which has grown 150 percent in the last three years, is larger than those of all other online family history sites combined. Although much of the increase in the record collections has been in recent years, the site overall has added an average of 55 million records a month since the website went online 15 years ago. Images of documents date back to wills executed in London in 1507 A.D., while indexes of records reach back more than seven centuries, to marriage licenses and probated wills in Dublin, Ireland, from 1270 A.D. helped pioneer the market for online family history research, changing an expensive and time-consuming pursuit for the few, into an easy-to-use, affordable and accessible online activity, both on its website and through mobile apps. The company has digitized and published records, and indexed them in a searchable format using proprietary big data analytics and put them online. Through the use of patent-pending technology, can make semi-structured data fully searchable to help accelerate the pace of record availability to the user. The result of this powerful technology is a simple and enlightening way for consumers to explore their family history and make unexpected and informative discoveries about families, both past and present.

For example, to make the 10 billion-plus records easier to discover, the Shaky Leaf™ feature associates and recommends certain records as personally relevant in the form of a “hint” displayed under individual ancestors’ profiles. Shaky Leaf hints help users make often unexpected family discoveries by providing suggested record matches or a reference to a living relative’s family tree. After a record is found users can easily attach new information or individuals to their family tree. Within the first quarter of 2012, subscribers made 321 million discoveries, up 26% from the same period a year ago, many of which were found using the Shaky Leaf feature.

More than 1 billion of the records have been attached to users’ trees on One member, that has found great success in her family history research, is noted to have attached more than 600,000 records to her family tree. Donna Williamson has spent two hours every day for the past three years tracing her family history and making discoveries with each new record she uncovers.

“It’s amazing. At first I just wanted to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it has become so much more than that now,” said Williamson. “Through records on I found that I have such a rich heritage. I learned that my great grandfather was in a prisoner of war camp in the Civil War and also found that I am a descendant of a survivor of Jamestown, VA.”

To help users get started, offers a 14-day free trial to let interested family historians search the treasure trove of records and make discoveries of their own. For more details, visit

About Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.8 million paying subscribers. More than 10 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 34 million family trees containing approximately 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, offers several localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


886 photos (mostly late 19th-early 20th century) of Hawaiian royalty, buildings, natural features, and people—all of which can be republished without permissions or copyright worries:



You may well not have any Hawaiian ancestors/relatives, but I in fact do! My nephew, Andy, was born there while my brother, Bill, was serving in the Navy. The Hawaii State Archives offers a great online guide to researching your Hawaiian ancestors:



It’s a free application for PC or Mac that lets you easily create digital collages, slideshows, scrapbooks, or photo albums:



Themed collections of digital archives assembled by various departments of the UK government:



A database containing service records and miscellaneous information on the 18,000 crewmen (and at least one woman disguised as a man) who served on British ships during the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). This is the famous naval battle at the start of which Admiral Nelson signaled the fleet that “England expects that every man will do his duty.” Crew composition involved men of numerous nationalities, including dozens of American citizens:



Abraham Lincoln’s eldest son, Robert, is remembered mainly because of his connection to his dad—yet he was a top-notch attorney; ambassador to Great Britain; and possibly the best Secretary of War during the 19th century:



The National Archives at Kansas City will be offering the following genealogy workshop:

Can’t Catch Me: Locating Ancestors in Court and Prison Records
Saturday, June 2, 2012
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. :

The workshop will be held at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

Workshop Description

10:00 to 11:30 AM – Order in the Court: Finding Your Family in Federal Court Records
Did your ancestor file for bankruptcy? Get tied up in a federal civil suit? Were they a defendant in a criminal case? Federal court documents are an underutilized set of records that help provide a snapshot of an individual or family at a particular juncture in life. Depending upon the type of case, documents can include lists of property, family members, testimony, and other insightful glimpses at events that may not be documented elsewhere. Come learn about the types of cases you can find at the National Archives and how to begin your research. :

11:45 AM to 12:45 PM - Behind Bars: Penitentiary Records
Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary has an infamous past, leaving behind a paper trail of inmates that crossed its threshold. The inmate case files document the individual’s life from arrival to departure. Included are “rap” sheets, intake charts, correspondence sent and received, intercepted letters, mugshots, and more. :

1:00 to 2:00 PM – Self-guided tour “They’re not going to get me:” Crime in the 1930’s exhibit :

To make a reservation for this free event, please call 816-268-8000 or email us here.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 15 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit our website.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Landmarks Association is sponsoring an upcoming bus tour to Louisiana MO to tour historic homes. It’s this Saturday (19 May 2012), but we still have room for more interested people. Here’s a link to more information:


In addition, we have three free lectures coming up next week that people might be interested in. One is Fred Fausz discussing the colonial architecture of St. Louis, one is on the Lustron Houses and the Lustron Company, and one is on the Turnvereins of St. Louis. More information here:


Any assistance you can offer in getting the word out would be sincerely appreciated,


Andrew Weil
Executive Director
Landmarks Association of St. Louis
911 Washington Ave, Suite 170
St. Louis, Missouri 63103

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Err—-at least be able to understand the basics in numerous foreign languages using these free online learning applications:



Learn about the Freedom Suits Legal Encoding Project, a collaboration between the Missouri History Museum and Washington University. Using the Museum’s city directories, Washington University’s legal and technical expertise, and St. Louis Circuit Court Records, this project will enhance our knowledge of the participants in nearly 500 lawsuits in St. Louis—slaves who sued for their freedom, their legal representatives, and those opposing their freedom. Museum librarian Emily Jaycox and staff from Washington University will demonstrate the project.

When: Saturday, June 30, 2012, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Missouri History Museum in Forest Park
How much: This lecture is free. No reservations are required.

More info? Go here.


Affordable DNA Test Combines Depth of Family History Database with an Extensive Collection of DNA Samples to Open New Doors to Family Discovery

PROVO, Utah (May 3, 2012) – (Nasdaq: ACOM), today announced the launch of its highly anticipated AncestryDNA™ service, a new affordable DNA test that enables purchasers of the DNA test and subscribers of to combine new state-of-the-art DNA science with the world’s largest online family history resource and a broad global database of DNA samples.

The new DNA test analyzes a person’s genome at over 700,000 marker locations, cross referencing an extensive worldwide DNA database with the aim of providing exciting insights into their ethnic backgrounds and helping them find distant cousins who may hold the keys to exciting family history discoveries. By combining these genetic matches with’s 34 million family trees and 9 billion records, AncestryDNA intends to provide a differentiated experience that helps find common ancestors dating back as far as the middle 18th Century.

“We’ve worked hard at for more than a year building, testing, and reinventing our approach to genetic genealogy,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of “We think AncestryDNA has created a unique and engaging experience that will provide existing subscribers with an entirely new way to make amazing discoveries about their family history. We are excited to be making AncestryDNA available to loyal subscribers first…but we look forward to eventually opening up this service to everyone. We think it will allow us to extend our mission to help people discover, preserve, and share their family history to an even greater audience.”

AncestryDNA helps determine geographic and ethnic origins by comparing test-takers’ unique DNA signatures to the DNA of people from across the globe – drawn from the preeminent collection of DNA samples assembled by the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. The current version of the test includes 22 worldwide geographical and ethnic categories, including six regions in Europe, five regions in Africa, and Native American.

“We think the newest DNA technology will dramatically change family history research. For the experienced genealogist it will help break down brick walls and for the casual family historian it will make it easier than ever to get started,” said Ken Chahine, Ph.D., J.D. Senior Vice President and General Manager of DNA, LLC. “While the science is cutting edge, the new online experience is simpler and more intuitive than ever before. We’ve already had overwhelming response and positive feedback from beta users as they discover relatives and uncover the treasures their ancestors passed down through DNA. DNA picks up where the paper trail leaves off. Genomic science can extend family history research into parts of the world where few paper records are available.”

Interest in exploring family history is rising quickly, especially on the scientific front, and that interest extends all the way back to the “old country,” wherever it may be. In fact, 56 percent of Americans recently surveyed by Harris Interactive are interested in taking a DNA genealogy test, up from 42 percent less than a year ago*. What’s more, people’s family history interests reach back beyond arrival in America – nearly two in three respondents told Harris that learning about pre-U.S. family members is one of the most important benefits of researching family history.

Pricing and Availability

Due to very strong early interest and demand, AncestryDNA will initially be made available by invitation-only to subscribers for $99, with the expectation that the service will be made available to the general public later this year. To learn more about AncestryDNA, or to sign up to be notified once it’s available, please visit

In preparing to bring AncestryDNA to market with the best science and a broad set of research assets, AncestryDNA has organized a distinguished and independent Science Advisory Board and has also acquired access to DNA samples, many of which had been assembled by the non-profit Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. AncestryDNA will be offered through DNA, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of

Science Advisory Board

With the continued focus on developing a solid DNA platform that stays ahead of the genetic genealogy trends, AncestryDNA has assembled a well-respected Scientific Advisory Board that can advise the company on best practices in the emerging field of DNA and genomic testing. The board consists of:

• Carlos D. Bustamante, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine
• Mark J. Daly, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Center for Human Genetics
• John Novembre, Ph.D., Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
• Jeffrey R. Botkin, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Ethics, Associate Vice President for Research, University of Utah •Philip Awadalla, Ph.D., Director of the CARTaGENE BioBank, Saint Justine Hospital, Montreal, Canada

Addition of DNA Assets from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

In March, DNA, LLC acquired access to an extensive collection of DNA assets from Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, a non-profit organization. Founded by molecular genealogy pioneer, James LeVoy Sorenson, this organization has been dedicated to building the world's foremost collection of DNA samples and corresponding genealogical information. Over the last 12 years, the Sorenson Foundation collected a one-of-a-kind DNA database of tens of thousands of DNA samples with documented family histories in more than 100 countries on six continents. This DNA database gives AncestryDNA test-takers an expanded family history genetic resource, and should enable new levels of discovery about people’s family backgrounds.

Jim Sorensen, President of Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation added, “We are pleased to bring this far reaching, unique DNA collection to AncestryDNA. My father, James L. Sorenson, envisioned creating a genetic map of the peoples of the world that shows relationships shared by the entire human family and with the shared vision and resources of AncestryDNA his legacy will greatly expand. We are confident in the capabilities and dedication of the team to realize the potential of genetic genealogy faster than anyone else in the field. We see this as a great benefit to consumers as well as the scientific community by combining some of the best science with the leader in family history.”

About Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.8 million paying subscribers. More than 9 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 34 million family trees containing approximately 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, offers several localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

About DNA, LLC DNA, LLC is a subsidiary of Inc. AncestryDNA uses a simple test to analyze an individual’s DNA. AncestryDNA offers the potential of identifying new insights into people’s ancient ancestry to help them collaborate with distant cousins and make even more discoveries in their family history. For more information visit

Thursday, May 10, 2012


New from our National Park Service:

One hundred and fifty years after it was contested, the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War offers an unparalleled opportunity to discover, discuss, and commemorate America's greatest national crisis, and explore its enduring relevance in the 21st century.

More than 70 national parks preserve the places and stories where this epic struggle occurred. Each is remembering the war in its own way, from formal ceremonies to academic symposia. Search their Calendar of Events to see what's happening near you, or head straight to the Plan Your Visit to plot your route to a Civil War national park or one of their partner sites.



WASHINGTON - The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) announces the new Mobile Member Guide, a mobile Web application (app) which provides the public with quick, easy access to information on House Members and Senators of the 112th Congress. Based on the Guide to the House and Senate Members and information in the Congressional Pictorial Directory, the new mobile apps features include:

• Official biographical information for House Members and Senators
• Official photograph of House Members and Senators, party affiliation, hometown, home state, and information on their length of service
• Contact information for House Members and Senators offices in Washington, D.C. and home districts
• Counties and zip codes that each House Member represents
• Links to House Members and Senators Web sites

This Mobile Member Guide allows users to browse for Members of Congress by last name, state, chamber, or party. The public can take advantage of GPO's free mobile Web app on iPhone, Android and other major mobile device platforms:



The website hosts an amazing number of virtual exhibits, including a number of special interest to genealogists:


For example, this Civil War virtual exhibit:



While it’s true that some of our troops in Vietnam faced incredible danger and unbelievable hardships, many soldiers serving at bases in the rear had access to better recreational facilities and greater luxuries than they did back at home—and were safer at night than they would have been in many big cities back home:



A little luck, an abundance of courage, and some very bad decisions by enemy commanders changed the Battle of Midway from a potential disaster for the American fleet rivaling Pearl Harbor to an incredible victory that sank three of four aircraft carriers and dealt the Japanese Navy a crippling blow from which it would never be able to recover:


Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Summary: Almost 1,000 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, represent both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The photographs often show weapons, hats, canteens, musical instruments, painted backdrops, and other details that enhance the research value of the collection. Among the rarest images are sailors, African Americans in uniform, a Lincoln campaign button, and portraits of soldiers with their families and friends.

Tom Liljenquist and his sons Jason, Brandon, and Christian built this collection in memory of President Abraham Lincoln and the 620,000 Union and Confederate servicemen who died in the American Civil War. For many, these photographs are the last known record we have of who they were and what they looked like.

The Liljenquist Family began donating their collection to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division in 2010 and continues to add to it. In addition to the ambrotypes and tintypes, the collection also includes several manuscripts, patriotic envelopes, photographs on paper, and artifacts related to the Civil War:


Persons partial to one side or the other will be pleased to learn that they can choose to view “Confederate Images” or “Union Images”! You can also enjoy this collection in Flickr, where public comments provide additional information about images in the set called Civil War Faces:


An LOC slideshow of staff favorites is another good way to sample the collection:


Note: These photographs can be republished without requesting permission.


These companies help African Americans discover their African tribes and countries of origin:

DNA Tribes

African Ancestors:


Monthly meetings are held at St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO.

Date: Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Time: 7-9 pm.
Speaker: Larry Franke
Topic: Naturalization & Immigration

Date: Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Time: 7-9 pm.
Speaker: Pat Stamm
Topic: Brick Walls

Date: Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Time: 7-9 pm.
Speaker: Diane Walsh
Topic: Illinois Vital Records

Date: Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Time: 7-9 pm.
Speaker: Ann Fleming
Topic: Congregation Records

Date: Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Time: 7-9 pm.
Speaker: Carol Whitton
Topic: Ancestry & 1940 Census

Date: Tuesday, 10 November 2012
Time: 10 am-Noon.
Speaker: Cynthia Millar
Topic: New St. Louis Public Library



In Honor of National Nurses Week, Online Family History Leader Adds More Than 300,000 Cadet Nursing Corp Files to Its Military Collection

PROVO, UTAH – (May 7, 2012) –, the world’s largest online family history resource, announced today a collection of more than 300,000 WWII Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files is now available at The records date between 1942 and 1948 and detail the history of the Corps, providing personal information about Cadet Nursing Corps members, offering a glimpse into the backgrounds of the young women who joined this important program. is the exclusive location to search the entire Cadet Nursing Corps collection online, making it easy to review this piece of American history and discover personal connections to former Corps nurses.

Upon the United States’ entry into World War II, the Cadet Nursing Corps was established to increase the number of nurses available for war efforts. This collection tells the story of more than 124,000 young women between the ages of 17 and 35 who committed to serve in the nursing profession during this time. As a part of the program, cadets went through an accelerated training that fit a 36-month course into a 30-month period. Senior cadets then served their last six months in civilian, military and veteran hospitals and other public health agencies, which freed up registered nurses to help with the war effort. All cadets received a scholarship and a monthly stipend, effectively giving these young women an education they otherwise may not have been able to afford.

“As a former member of the Corps, I am excited to have this important part of our history not only acknowledged, but made available for more people to learn about this unique wartime effort,” said Thelma Robinson, RN MSN PNP (retired). “I consistently speak with fellow Corps members who are trying to find information about this period of their lives. Putting these records online provides an invaluable resource for them and their families.”

The Cadet Nursing Corps not only served to meet the needs of the United States during World War II, but also promoted the profession of nursing among women. There was a unique social aspect to the program for this period in history – the Corps was non-discriminatory and trained nurses from a wide variety of backgrounds including Native Americans, African Americans and even displaced Japanese Americans. Unlike other professions, where women left to pursue other interests after the World War II, 85 percent of all nursing students in the United States were a part of the Cadet Nursing Corps.

“While much of the focus around World War II remains on what happened overseas, groups like the Cadet Nursing Corps are an important reminder of the dedication of the U.S. citizens on the home front,” said Dan Jones, Vice President of Content Acquisition, “We are proud to honor those who served as a part of this distinguished group and provide new generations with the opportunity to learn more.”

To access the collection, users can visit offers a free 14-day trial for all new visitors to the site.

About Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.8 million paying subscribers. More than 9 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 34 million family trees containing approximately 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, offers several localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


He revolutionized the practice of medicine during the Civil War, and in doing so saved the lives of literally thousands of Union soldiers and captured Confederates—-his thanks was a courts-martial proceeding engineered by political foe Edwin Stanton:



The wounds of some soldiers wounded at the Battle of Shiloh glowed in the dark. What’s more, the wounds of these soldiers tended to heal more quickly and more cleanly than those of their unilluminated comrades:



St. Louis Public Library's obituary index for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has recently added the years 1967-1969. The obituary index now includes the following years: 1880-1930, 1942-1945, 1960-1969, and 1992-2011:


St. Louis Public Library also provides an index for obits appearing in the St. Louis Argus (a newspaper geared towards African Americans) for 1915-1927 and 1942-1945:


St. Louis County Library's Westliche Post index has recently expanded, and now includes the years 1878-1892:



The St. Louis Genealogical Society has published a CD titled "St. Louis Burials, Volume 4," which contains records of more than 270,000 burials in 19 St. Louis cemeteries. The CD includes the following cemeteries:

Bethlehem Lutheran (old)
Bethlehem Lutheran (new)
Holy Family Fathers
Holy Ghost (Old Pickers)
Laurel Hill Memorial
Mount Hope
Society of Mary
New Pickers (Gatewood)
Old Pickers
St. Paul's Lutheran
St. Stanislaus Catholic
Sunset Burial Park
Valhalla Cemetery
Valhalla Cremations
Valhalla Mausoleum

The CD is available for purchase from the St. Louis Genealogical Society:



SPONSOR: St. Clair County (IL) Genealogical Society
VENUE: Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Conference Center, Belleville, IL
FEATURED SPEAKERS: Ann Fleming, CG(SM) & CGL(SM) and Carol Whitton, CG(SM)

The Society proudly presents two lecture tracks at a day-long genealogy conference. Of seven lectures geared for beginner to intermediate level genealogists, hobbyists, and family historians, four are designed to break down brick walls, organize the data, and present the information with style. Equally interesting are three lectures that pinpoint a German immigrant's town of birth and identify steps to take after that discovery. Successful research on both sides of the Atlantic usually requires some familiarity with reading German language church records, so a lecture devoted to this topic is also covered.

REGISTRATION includes full-day conference, syllabus, beverages, continental breakfast, lunch, and mid-morning and afternoon refreshments. Early Bird reduced registration fee must be received by June 30, 2012 mail early to ensure receipt by deadline. $40.00 (members), $50.00 (non-members)--fees are higher after June 30. Join SCCGS when you register and receive the member discount. Walk-in fee is $65.00.

More info here:



On Tuesday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m. the National Archives at Kansas City will host Debra Goodrich Bisel for a discussion and signing of her book The Civil War in Kansas: Ten Years of Turmoil. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede this event.

By the time the Civil War officially began in 1861, Kansas and Missouri had already been fighting for six years. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act left the Kansas Territory wide open for white settlement, and the stage was set for a battle that would ignite the nation. The hopes and dreams of settlers and the exploits of John Brown to the Lawrence and Pottawatomie Massacres and the many other battles and skirmishes are highlighted in this new publication.

Copies of The Civil War in Kansas will be available for purchase via The Kansas City Store onsite. Following the program, the author will sign copies of her book. To make a reservation for this free event, call 816-268-8010 or email


The deadliest weapon of the Civil War was one that nobody could see, killing two soldiers for every one felled by gunfire. The extraordinary casualties caused by that invisible killer, disease; the conventional weapons used to create slaughter on an unprecedented scale; horrific injuries suffered on the battlefield; and the heroic efforts of medical personnel to treat soldiers on both sides are described in detail in “To Kill and to Heal: Weapons and Medicine of the Civil War,” a new exhibit that opens May 11 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.

This Civil War 150th anniversary exhibit runs through 2013 and features original images and artifacts from the Presidential Library and Museum’s collections supplemented by unique artifacts from the Illinois State Military Museum, The Museum of the Confederacy, Rush University Medical Center Archives, Fort Sumter National Historic Site, Nancy Ross Chapter of the DAR from Pittsfield, University Museum of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the Old State Capitol State Historic Site. Visitors can see an original Civil War hospital flag; a field stretcher; a door used as a surgical table; original weapons; a tree trunk from the Battle of Chickamauga with an embedded artillery shell; various medical and surgical tools, including an amputation kit; a crude leg prosthesis; a drum carried by a wounded soldier; and original letters, journals, drawings, clinical photographs and medical records.

To Kill and to Heal: Weapons and Medicine of the Civil War” opens about a month after the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, the first Civil War battle with massive casualties on a scale that indicated what the remaining years of the war would bring. Glenna Schroeder-Lein is the curator, and she worked closely with an exhibits team consisting of John Malinak, Michael Casey, Carla Smith, Katie Grant, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, staff from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and numerous community groups, institutions, and individuals to create the exhibit.

Paid admission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is required to view the exhibit. Admission prices are $12 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, and $6 for children. A special admission rate of $5 is available to those who want to visit only the new exhibit.



When the boiler exploded aboard the steamer Sultana on April 27, 1865, more than 1,700 people lost their lives. Most of those aboard were recently released Union prisoners from Confederate prisons in Cahaba, Alabama, and Andersonville, Georgia. They were en route from Camp Fiske in Mississippi to Camp Chase, Ohio, but the explosion occurred only a few hours into the journey.

In addition to the faulty boiler, the ship was also grossly overburdened with 2,200 passengers on a vessel built to carry 376. Records relating to the Sultana Disaster, April 1865, are now available on Fold3. They include lists of the former prisoners who survived the disaster, with military service information and brief comments on their injuries. There are also lists of those who perished, yet not of the civilian survivors or those who died.

The enormity of the disaster led quickly to investigations. By January 1866, a court-martial was convened to charge Captain Frederick Speed, the man who volunteered to coordinate the transfer of prisoners, with “neglect of duty to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.” There are 647 documents in the court-martial case with testimonies, witness accounts, and statements by the defense and prosecution. After "nearly six long weary months" the trial came to a close. Capt. Speed was the only person charged in the incident. He was found guilty, yet the charges were later dismissed by Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt.

Matthew Deighton



President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. It was "an act to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain," and increased westward expansion through settlement of surveyed government lands in thirty states. The law allowed a homesteader to receive up to 160 acres by applying for a claim, improving the land, and filing for a land patent after successfully living on the land for five years. Fold3 has been digitizing the homestead records for Nebraska.

The files, from the Records of the Bureau of Land Management, consist of final certificates, applications with land descriptions, affidavits showing proof of citizenship, register and receiver receipts, notices and final proofs, and testimonies of witnesses. They sometimes contain unique records for a person or family, used to verify their right to make the claim.

The 1862 Homestead Act had been debated, proposed, and defeated for over ten years, stalled by the issue of slavery. After eleven states left the Union and a civil war erupted on American soil, the act finally passed. Applications were filed beginning on January 1, 1863.

Claim of Daniel Freeman

Daniel Freeman, a Union soldier, filed the first claim at the Brownsville, Nebraska, land office on that day. In January 1868, he proved his claim. His file includes a statement by neighbors Joseph Graff and Samuel Kilpatrick that Daniel had lived on the land for five years with his wife and two children, and "built a stable, a sheep shed 100 feet long, corn crib, and has 40 apple and about 400 peach trees set out." He paid $12 for his 160-acre tract of land, or about $226 in today's dollars.

Explore Daniel Freeman's and other Nebraska Homestead Records on Fold3:


Homestead Records Digitization Project

Did you know there is a short film about The Homestead Records Digitization Project? The film shows how the original records of those who claimed land under the Homestead Act of 1862 are being digitized. To see the video, click on the link below and scroll down to “Related Resources.”