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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, February 29, 2012

PT BOATS

It stands for Patrol Torpedo Boat, but it turns out the torpedo wasn’t the best type of weapon for these fast, light Navy vessels: torpedo tubes were gradually replaced during World War II with heavy machine guns, automatic cannon, rocket launchers, and mortars:

LINK

NARA-CHICAGO SUBJECT ACCESS LIST

List by subject of materials contained in various record groups at this NARA facility:

LINK

COUNTRY STUDIES SERIES

Need information on the history, economy, politics, or general living conditions in a foreign country? The Country Studies Series (sponsored by the U.S. Army) now covers 101 different foreign countries:

LINK

U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE

If you’re a little fuzzy on U.S. copyright law, their Copyright Basics pdf and their FAQ should answer most of your questions:

LINK

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

THE CIVIL WAR IN WESTERN MISSOURI

For many, the skirmishes between pro- and anti-slavery factions along the Missouri-Kansas border in the 1850s were the beginnings of the Civil War. To explore some of that history, the St. Joseph (Missouri) Museum offers an April 5 motor coach daytrip with respected Civil War guide Ross Marshall narrating a tour of locations with ties to the Civil War.

The day-long trip will include guided tours of the Battle of Lexington Historic Site and the 1853 Oliver Anderson House, which played an important role in the battle and is also an excellent example of the large houses built by prosperous, slave-holding Southerners in Missouri in the 1840s and 1850s. There will also be a stop at the 1847 Lafayette County Courthouse, the oldest courthouse in continuous use west of the Mississippi.

Paid reservations must be received by March 5. For more information, or to make a reservation to join the trip, call (816) 232-8471.

LEWIS COUNTY MISSOURI HISTORIES AND FAMILIES

If you want a copy of this hardcover, heavily illustrated history of Lewis County, Missouri (1832-2012), you will need to place your order prior to 31 March 2012. Cost is $54.95 (if you pick up your copy; $6 extra if you want them to mail it to you). Need more info, or an order form? Call any one of these friendly folks:

Cynthia Barker: 573-288-3786
Doug Martin: 573-288-5872
Jennifer Pegler: 573-288-2090

RESEARCHING YOUR GERMAN ANCESTORS

The Greater Omaha Genealogical Society (GOGS) is hosting a 2012 Spring Genealogy Workshop, Researching Your German Ancestors. Featured speaker is Roger P. Minert. Talks include:

A Genealogist’s Outline of German History Since 1517
Form and Content in German Church Records
Introduction to German Phonetics as It Applies to the Spelling of Personal Names
German Social Status and Life Style, 1500-1800


Date: 28 April 2012
Time: 8:15 am-4:15 pm
Place: Nebraska Methodist Church, 720 N. 87th Street, Omaha, NB

Fee for registrations prior to 19 April are $30 (GOGS members), $40 (non-members).

Conference will also feature t-shirts, door prizes, bake sale, and a fund raiser. More info?

LINK

WHO IS HILBERT J. GRAMELSPACHER?

He served in the U.S. Coast Guard for seven years, and has repaired appliances for movie stars like Lucille Ball and Joan Crawford, but those things aren’t why he’s currently in the news. The father of this 92-year old man from Popular Bluff was a Civil War veteran:

LINK

Monday, February 27, 2012

MORE THAN PETTICOATS: REMARKABLE KANSAS WOMEN

About the Program

The National Archives at Kansas City will host Gina Kaufmann on Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion of her book More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Kansas Women. Kaufmann will be available to sign copies of her book after the discussion. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the event.

In her debut publication, Remarkable Kansas Women, Kaufmann celebrates the women who shaped the Sunflower State. Short, illuminating biographies, archival photographs, and painting help to tell the stories of women from across the state. Included are the stories of frontier dentistry and the women who dared to be doctors in the wild west; a notable figure in the Harlem Renaissance who graduated from an all-black college in Quindaro, Kansas; a documentary filmmaker who explored unknown corners of the Earth instead of staying home; and many more.

Copies of More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Kansas Women 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.

About the Author

Gina Kaufmann is a freelance writer and broadcast journalist. She began her career as an arts columnist, providing highly readable, in-depth coverage of the local art, music, and theater scene. Recently, she co-hosted The Walt Bodine Show on Kansas City's public radio station. In this role, she presented a history series, facilitating shows on such topics as how Kansas City residents experienced and survived the Great Depression, the history of suburban sprawl, and what Kansas City was like during Prohibition.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 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.

STATE MILITIA SOLDIERS

Looking for records of a state militia soldier (or Confederate soldiers generally)? Sometimes state archives are a better source than NARA:

LINK

FBI CASE FILES: THE JFK ASSASSINATION COLLECTION

List of related case files organized by surname or name of organization:

LINK

MILITARY RECORDS AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Need a concise guide to military records available at NARA? They’ve created one that should answer most of your questions:

LINK

Thursday, February 23, 2012

THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING GOES UP…

Including the cost of flinging large metal projectiles at enemy soldiers:

LINK

WHAT HAPPENED AT ISANDLHWANA (1879)?

The British were caught napping, is what—-and the rank and file paid dearly for the arrogance and incompetence of their superiors:

LINK

ANGLO-ZULU WAR

An historical sketch of this 1879 conflict in Southern Africa:

LINK

ALIEN CASE FILES AT NARA-KC

The National Archives at Kansas City will offer the following free genealogy workshop, Alien Case Files (A-Files) on Friday, February 24 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Workshop Description: Alien Case Files (A-Files), Friday, February 24, 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Learn about the Alien Files (A-Files), a rich source of biographical information for family research and how to complete a successful request. The A-Files contain United States immigration documents generated and collected since the mid-20th century with a wealth of data, including visas, photographs, applications, affidavits, correspondence, and more. This course will be taught by Archivist Elizabeth Burnes.

To make a reservation for this free workshop, please call 816-268-8000 or email: kansascity.archives@nara.gov.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 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, February 21, 2012

IMAGES OF THE CIVIL WAR

Extraordinary photos taken during the Civil War now appearing in a series of articles in The Atlantic Monthly:

LINK

CODE ACADEMY

If you’d like to learn to create websites, games, and/or apps, Code Academy can be your teacher—for free:

LINK

ON SLAVERY’S BORDER: MISSOURI’S SMALL SLAVEHOLDING HOUSEHOLDS, 1815-1865

The National Archives at Kansas City will host Diane Mutti Burke on Wednesday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion of her book On Slavery’s Border: Missouri's Small Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865. Mutti Burke will be available to sign copies of her book after the discussion. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the event.

Mutti Burke focuses on the Missouri counties located along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to investigate small-scale slavery at the level of the household and neighborhood. She examines such topics as small slaveholders’ child-rearing and fiscal strategies, the economics of slavery, relations between slaves and owners, the challenges faced by slave families, sociability among enslaved and free Missourians within rural neighborhoods, and the disintegration of slavery during the Civil War. Mutti Burke argues that economic and social factors gave Missouri slavery an especially intimate quality. Owners directly oversaw their slaves and lived in close proximity with them, sometimes in the same building. White Missourians believed this made for a milder version of bondage. Some slaves, who expressed fear of being sold further south, seemed to agree.

Mutti Burke reveals, however, that while small slaveholding created some advantages for slaves, it also made them more vulnerable to abuse and interference in their personal lives. In a region with easy access to the free states, the perception that slavery was threatened spawned white anxiety, which frequently led to violent reassertions of supremacy.

Copies of On Slavery’s Border: Missouri's Small Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865 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.

About the author

Diane Mutti Burke is an associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Currently she is editing and annotating the diary of a 19th century Missouri woman named Paulina Stratton for publication, as well as co-editing, with Jonathan Earle from the University of Kansas, a collection of scholarly essays on this region’s history during the era of the Civil War. Mutti Burke was born and raised in Kansas City and earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and her master’s and doctorate from Emory University.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 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 kansascity.educate@nara.gov or visit www.archives.gov/central-plains/kansas-city.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A MARINE JOINS HIS SHIPMATES…

A Marine who survived the attack on the U.S.S. Arizona chose to be interred with his shipmates in a gun turret on that vessel at Pearl Harbor:

LINK

STATE PHOTO AND MULTI-MEDIA GALLERIES

Some photos are public domain, some not: read disclaimer on each site before using:

LINK

ROYALTY FREE PHOTOS FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT

List of government agencies that offer a wide variety of royalty free photos on their websites:

LINK

INTERACTIVE MEDIA CENTER

Online classes and tutorials from SUNY-Albany for persons interested in learning how to create, use, or edit digital images:

LINK

Friday, February 17, 2012

CLASSICAL SMACK-DOWN

In a contest between opponents using the Greek pike and the Roman gladius, which side would win? Various military engagements during the second century BC provide us with an unambiguous answer:

LINK

DUELS IN THE SKY

When pilots first began engaging enemy airplanes during WWI, they took potshots at one another with rifles and pistols:

LINK

HOW SLAVERY REMAINED ALIVE AFTER THE CIVIL WAR

After the Civil War, some Southern states managed to keep many black persons in conditions that were sometimes even worse than those they faced when slavery was still legal:

LINK

2012 GILDER LEHRMAN LINCOLN PRIZE

GETTYSBURG, Pa.- The 2012 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, which includes an award of $50,000, will go to co-winners William C. Harris (North Carolina State University) for Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union, (Univ. of Kansas Press) and Elizabeth D. Leonard (Colby College) for Lincoln's Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky (UNC Press).

The Prize is awarded by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The winners were chosen from 116 nominations. Each will receive $25,000 and a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens's life-size bust, Lincoln the Man in a ceremony April 11 in New York City.

The Prize was co-founded in 1990 by businessmen and philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, co-chairmen of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York and co-creators of the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the largest private archives of documents and artifacts in the nation.

Gilder Lehrman Collection

In his book, Harris covers Lincoln's often desperate efforts to keep the border states in the Union during the first months of the Civil War, with a focus on three states: Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. Harris's study is thorough and well researched, and emphasizes Lincoln's careful moderation in dealing with an issue that he himself believed was crucial to the survival of the country. Harris clearly develops the various aspects of loyalty in the three states under examination, and illuminates Lincoln's emerging management style.

In her book, Leonard provides a thorough biography of a man who played a role in four presidential administrations, Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky. She portrays Holt as an interesting personality with strengths, weaknesses, quirks and integrity, and provides a new perspective on emancipation in Kentucky, as evidenced by Holt himself, a slave-owner, who later supported emancipation. The discussion of Holt's role as judge advocate general in the Lincoln administration provides information about Lincoln's wartime efforts regarding emancipation and civil liberties.

"Gettysburg College is proud to have the opportunity to partner with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in the presentation of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize to these two excellent books that extend our understanding of Abraham Lincoln's leadership and the role played by of one of his most loyal supporters," said Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs.

About the Honorable Mention Recipient

In addition to the two winners, Barbara A. Gannon, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Florida, was awarded an honorable mention for The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic (UNC Press).

Gannon's book examines how black Union veterans crafted their own narrative of the Civil War, and how they reinforced this narrative with one another at their post-war Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) meetings. Gannon examines not only the activities of black GAR chapters, but also notes the rather startling fact that there were a number of racially integrated chapters. She demonstrates how shared suffering and sentimentalism counteracted racism, to a degree, among veterans in what was a profoundly racist era.

About the Other Finalists

William A. Dobak, Freedom by the Sword: The U.S. Colored Troops, 1862-1867 (U.S. Army Center for Military History) is a comprehensive history of black Union troops during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The book concentrates on the formation, training and operations of black troops, as well as the social, political and racial context.

Amanda Foreman, A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War (Random House) covers not only the perception of Britons about what was going on in the United States 1861-65, but also offers views of the war itself through the prism of a number of British subjects who were volunteers on one side or the other.

William G. Thomas, The Iron Way: Railroads, the Civil War, and the Making of Modern America (Yale) is an outgrowth of the "Railroads and the Making of Modern America" digital archive project. This book illuminates the critical impact of railroad construction, railroad management, and the boost railroads provided to regional development during and after the Civil War era.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, founded in 1994, is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the Gilder Lehrman Collection and conducts history education programs in all fifty states, serving more than 150,000 teachers, their students, and communities across the country every year.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college, which enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students, is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

SEARCH THE 1930 CENSUS FOR FREE!

On Ancestry.com—offer good February 16-20 (scroll down to see the 1930 Census window):

LINK

ONE MAN FOR THE UNION

When a Confederate army of occupation forced residents of Arizona Territory to choose sides, one prosperous Mexican immigrant stood for the Union:

LINK

THE ROLE OF THE RIFLE IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

The accurate fire of colonial rifles made things hot for British soldiers, but slow rate of fire and inability to be fitted with a bayonet meant that changes in tactics would be necessary if rifles were to be used effectively during this conflict:

LINK

ARTILLERY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Nicely detailed article on artillery used by both sides during this conflict:

LINK

CRUEL OR KIND?

How are you treated on social networking sites? Most Americans say they have generally positive experiences on such sites:

LINK

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SHADES OF BLUE AND GRAY

Daily life in wartime Tennessee:

LINK

BELLEFONTAINE CEMETERY TOURS

St. Louis beer barons, statesmen, artists, entrepreneurs, pioneers in exploration, and human rights advocates are among the 87,000 persons who rest at Bellefontaine Cemetery. For the first time ever, Bellefontaine will offer docent-led tours at regular scheduled times. Tours begin April 14, 2012 at 1 pm. The tours will be held on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month. Led by our knowledgeable volunteer docents on a small tour bus, these tours will include such notables as explorer William Clark, brewer Adolphus Busch, poet Sara Teasdale and writer William Burroughs.

See the historic architecture: Louis Sullivan’s 1892 Wainwright Tomb; George Zolnay’s bronze statue at David Rowland Francis’s gravesite; and George Barnett’s Taylor Tomb. The entire history of St Louis can be told by a tour through this historic ground.

WHAT: Tours of Bellefontaine Cemetery
WHEN: 2nd & 4th Saturday of the month starting April 14, 2012
TIME: 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm
WHERE: 4947 West Florissant Ave St Louis, MO 63115
COST: $10; call 314-381-0750 ext. 209 to reserve your seat!

Founded in 1849, this active burial place celebrates the lives of individuals who have shaped our world. This 314-acre park is the first rural cemetery west of the Mississippi, and is one of the nation’s finest examples of a garden cemetery.

Jean Larson Steck
Vice President Customer Relations
(314)381-0750 ext 209

Bellefontaine Cemetery
4947 West Florissant Ave
St Louis, MO 63115

GOING GOOGLE-LESS

If you’re worried about Google’s new Privacy Policy (I’m not especially concerned, but you may be), there are alternatives to many Google services:

LINK

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT

You should be checking your credit rating at least once per year--and you can get a free annual credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.

This is the URL of the real free credit report site:

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

MY OFFICE MAKES ME SICK!

Don’t laugh; your office may be making you sick, too—-but there are ways to stop those cold and flu germs before they make you sick:

LINK

NATIONAL ARCHIVES BLOG

The National Archives (UK) is now blogging:

LINK

BURLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY GENEALOGY WORKSHOP

Burlington (IA) Public Library is sponsoring its 10th Annual Genealogy Workshop on Saturday, 14 April 2012 from 9 am-3 pm (doors open 8 am). Speaker is Patricia Walls Stamm of St. Louis. Topics include:

Developing a Research Plan
Social Networking for Genealogists
Mapping Your Way to Success
Clicks and Tricks of Census Research


Registration is a very reasonable $10 per person—it includes handouts and lunch! Roots2Leaves will be there selling genealogy books and supplies, and the Library Coffee Shop will sell beverages and treats.

To register, or for more info:

LINK

Monday, February 13, 2012

MERCANTILE LIBRARY TREASURES

Photo gallery of some treasures in the collection of the Mercantile Library of St. Louis:

LINK

OHIO CIVIL WAR COLLECTORS’ SHOW & REENACTMENT

Relics show and reenactment at the Richland County Fairgrounds on 5-6 May 2012—750 tables and a 6-gun battery firing demonstration!

LINK

CAVE CITY CIVIL WAR SHOW & REENACTMENT

Cave City, Kentucky is hosting their 2nd Annual Civil War Reenactment and Relics Show on 4-6 May 2012:

LINK

FLORIDA ANTIQUE ARMS & ARTIFACTS SHOW AND SALE

Deland, Florida is hosting a one-day relics show and sale on 10 March 2012. Show and sale includes relics from colonial period to Spanish American War (1898):

LINK

Friday, February 10, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA AND THE CIVIL WAR

Interesting blog of historian and author Michael C. Hardy.

LINK

Note: Blog includes links for purchasing autographed copies of Hardy’s numerous books.

TEACH ENGLISH ONLINE

If you have experience as an ESL teacher, you can make money online from home teaching English to foreign students. Of course, you need a computer and good broadband connection:

LINK

GOOGLE OFFERS

Great deals at local businesses sent straight to your in-box. Currently available for St. Louis, Kansas City, and 33 cities in other states:

LINK

MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM UPDATE

The following sources have recently been added to the Missouri History Museum's Genealogy and Local History Index. To search the index globally, visit the main page: http://genealogy.mohistory.org/.

To browse or search one of the individual sources below, click on the link for that source.

To receive monthly updates of new indexes added to the Genealogy and Local History Index, sign up to receive the monthly e-newsletter "Genealogy and House History News." To sign up, send an email to dpn@mohistory.org with the word "subscribe" in the subject line of your email and your name in the body of the email.

1. Souvenir Program, National Federation of Post Office Clerks and Woman's Auxiliary: 22nd Convention, St. Louis, Missouri, September 1-6, 1941

2. St. Louis in the Twentieth Century: A Hundred Years of Progress Illustrated by Over Two Hundred Views, Representative of the Social and Commercial Interests of the City in 1909

3. Independent Evangelical Protestant Church record book of marriages, 1884-1905

4. Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of the Missouri Bicycle Club, 1885

5. Bath and Tennis Club of St. Louis Press, 1965

6. Directory of the Dover Place Christian Church, 1914

7. Directory of the Fourth Christian Church, 1915

8. Catalogue of students of the School of the Good Shepherd, 1888

9. Thirteenth Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Members of Mrs. Cuthbert's Young Ladies' Seminary, 1877-1878

10. Ridgway's, a Militant Weekly for God and Country, 1906

11. Directory of St. John's Episcopal Church, 1924

12. Roster of the Department of Missouri, Grand Army of the Republic, 1895

13. Officers and Employees of the City of St. Louis, 1913

14. Roster of Members of the Ex-Confederate Association of Missouri, 1881-1889

Dennis Northcott
Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center

Thursday, February 09, 2012

WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?

If you find yourself saying this at the end of each month, maybe it’s time to try this free budget manager:

LINK

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/donor.

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.

If you are the author of the donated item, please include with the book the following information: title; author(s)/ editor(s)/ compiler(s); place of publication; publisher/self-published; year of publication; and contact/ordering information, including price and shipping.

For more information contact Jean Foster Kelley, MoSGA Library Director, by email at jean@fosterkelley.com. Book donations may be mailed to MoSGA Library Director, P.O. Box 833, Columbia, MO 65205-0833.

DID YOU FORGET?

Reminder!

Members: your 2011 membership expired on December 31, 2011.

Membership types, cost per year, and benefits of each:

INDIVIDUAL---$20/yr; 4 Journals, 4 Newsletters; One vote, one Conference discount.

INSTITUTION---$20/yr; For libraries, societies. Same as individual. One vote that can be assigned to a representative.

FAMILY---$30/yr; 4 Journals, 4 Newsletters; Two votes, two Conference discounts.

CONTRIBUTING---$40/yr; Same as individual; donation advantages.

PATRON---$100/yr; Same as individual; plus 20% discount on publications [not to be used for resale]; and 20% discount on Annual Conference. Donation advantages.

LIFE---$400 one time. Same as individual; Retains active membership status for Life. Never needs renewing. Non-assignable.

FOREIGN--- $40/yr. Same as individual .

Please indicate whether you prefer your newsletter to be e-mailed in PDF format or sent as a paper copy via U.S. mail. Circle the format you prefer:

E-mail or US mail

Your Journal is sent as a paper copy via U.S. mail (no PDF option at this point).

NAME ______________________________________________________________
ADDRESS ___________________________________________________________
CITY ___________________________ STATE ______ ZIP CODE __________
PHONE _____________________________________________________________
E-MAIL ____________________________________________________________

Include a check payable to: MOSGA

Mail to: Missouri State Genealogical Association, P.O. Box 833, Columbia, MO 65205-0833. Thanks for your continuing support of our organization!

RPAC ANNOUNCES STOP ID THEFT NOW! CAMPAIGN WITH WHITE HOUSE PETITION

For Immediate Release
February 7, 2012

Genealogy Community Responds To Efforts To Remove Access to Social Security Death Index and Other Records

Austin, TX: The Records Preservation & Access Committee (RPAC)

RPAC--a joint coalition of international genealogical societies representing millions of genealogists and family historians-- announces the launch of its Stop ID Theft NOW! campaign with its We The People petition posted at WhiteHouse.gov.

Call To Action For IRS To Do Its Job

Each year, fraudulent tax refund claims based upon identity theft from recently deceased infants and adults are filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The current target is the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) or Death Master File since this file, as found on numerous genealogy-oriented websites, could possibly be the source of identity thieves acquiring a deceased person's Social Security number.

The IRS could close the door to this form of identity theft if, in fact, it were to use the Death Master File for the purpose for which it was created: to reduce fraud. If returns claiming a tax refund were screened against the Master Death File and matching cases identified for special processing, the thief should receive a rejection notice for the filing.

Tax Fraud and Identity Theft: Genealogists Are Not To Blame

The House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Social Security is proposing to completely shut down use of the SSDI by genealogists as well as other industries such as banking and insurance that rely upon its information. Such an attempt is short-sighted and runs counter to the original purpose of the SSDI: to actually combat fraud.

Loss of Access to SSDI Doesn't Just Affect Genealogists

The SSDI is accessed by many different companies, non-profits and other entities besides individuals researching their family history. Forensic specialists utilize the SSDI when reuniting remains of military veterans with their next-of-kin and descendants. Law offices, banks and insurance companies utilize the SSDI to resolve probate cases and to locate heirs.

All of these entities would be required to spend more money and more time leveraging other resources of information when the SSDI has served this purpose, uninterrupted, for over a decade.

RPAC Petitions Obama Administration

The We the People petition, now posted at http://wh.gov/khE and accepting signatures, has a simple yet effective mission:

Take immediate steps that would curtail the filing of fraudulent tax refund claims based upon identity theft from recently deceased infants and adults. [Note: Visitors to the WhiteHouse.gov website must log in to sign the petition, or click Create an Account to register. Once registered, return to http://wh.gov/khE to sign the petition.]

No need for lengthy hearings in front of a Congressional committee. No need for filing statements for or against any House action. No need to waste time and effort which could be directed to more pressing national issues. In fact, the National Taxpayer Advocate in 2011 issued suggestions which do not require additional legislation but can be implemented collaboratively between the IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA) almost immediately in time to impact the current tax filing season.

About Records Preservation & Access Committee (RPAC)

The Records Preservation & Access Committee (RPAC) was formed to advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to historical records of genealogical value in whatever media they are recorded, on means to affect legislation, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.

The genealogical community works together through The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), which today includes The National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) as voting members. The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the American Society of Genealogists (ASG), ProQuest and Ancestry.com serve as participating members.


To learn more, please visit http://www.fgs.org/rpac/.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

READY TO PUBLISH THAT BOOK YOU’VE BEEN WORKING ON?

One option is Lulu.com. Here’s a guide to options available:

LINK

GENEALOGY GEMS: NEWS FROM THE FORT WAYNE LIBRARY

Back issues are available on their website:

LINK

CHANGE OF THE GUARD AT NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF AUSTRALIA

David Fricker is now Director-General:

LINK

Latest issue of Your Memento, NAA’s online magazine:

LINK

Back issues are also available:

LINK

NARA-KC FEBRUARY WORKSHOPS

The National Archives at Kansas City will be offering two free genealogy workshops in February. Naturalization Records will be held on Wednesday, February 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and Alien Case Files (A-Files) will be held on Friday, February 24 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Workshop Descriptions:

Naturalization Records--Wednesday, February 15 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Throughout American history, immigration and naturalization laws have ebbed and flowed with the political climate. Tracking documentation and evidence of our ancestor’s paths to citizenship can be a challenge. Learn about the paperwork involved with the process and how naturalization encompassed a variety of individuals from immigrants to the native born. This course will be taught by Archives Technician Jennifer Audsley Moore.

Alien Case Files (A-Files) Friday, February 24 from 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Learn about the Alien Files (A-Files), a rich source of biographical information for family research and how to complete a successful request. The A-Files contain United States immigration documents generated and collected since the mid-20th century with a wealth of data, including visas, photographs, applications, affidavits, correspondence, and more. This course will be taught by Archivist Elizabeth Burnes.

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

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 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.

Friday, February 03, 2012

HOW EGYPT WON THE CIVIL WAR

It all had to do with King Cotton, and how the South was forcibly reminded that there were several other places on Earth (Egypt and India) where cotton could be profitably grown:

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Confederate leaders drove the first nail into their nation’s coffin when they decided that an embargo on Southern cotton exports would force Great Britain to enter the war on their side:

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PIECING TOGETHER YOUR HERITAGE: A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

The St. Louis African American History & Genealogy Society is holding its Third Annual Conference on Saturday, 18 February 2012 at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. A schedule and registration form are available here:

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THE ONLY KNOWN RECORDING OF OTTO VON BISMARCK

Turns out a guy working for Thomas Edison recorded the voices of various late 19th century German politicians and statesmen on wax cylinders in an effort to sell more of Edison’s new-fangled phonographs:

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WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

It’s back, starting tonight (February 3rd):

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ST. LOUIS GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY ANNUAL FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE

St. Louis Genealogical Society is proud to announce our upcoming 42nd Annual Family History Conference scheduled for 28 April 2012. For additional information on the Conference and our upcoming Trivia Night, we invite you to go to the StLGS website.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

NATIONAL CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS DAY

OK--it was actually yesterday (February 1), but you should still change passwords on a regular basis:

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An earlier post on this blog suggested a simple way to create strong, hard to hack passwords that are easy to remember:

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SUCCESS, ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME

Have trouble staying on task? LazyMeter may be your no-cost answer:

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YOU SAY YOU DON’T OWN AN EBOOK READER?

It’s only a matter of time until you do…

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FOLD3 OFFERS FREE ACCESS TO AFRICAN AMERICAN COLLECTION

Hello,

Fold3 is proud to announce Free access to our Black History Collection in honor of Black History Month. This collection includes many enlightening historical records documenting African American achievements since the earliest days of our nation, and will be available the entire month of February.

As soon as black soldiers were recruited to serve the Union in 1863, records were generated to document their service including Compiled Service Records for the U.S. Colored Troops and, ultimately, pension files. The pension file index cards, like the one for Joel Bedenbaugh, include a soldier's rank, company, and regiment within the U.S.C. Infantry, his pension numbers, and sometimes a death date, 24 August 1913, in this case. Private Bedenbaugh's 16-page service record also includes his enlistment record from when he joined up in Dayton, Ohio, in 1864.

Southern Claims Commission files are petitions by southerners who lost property to Union troops during the Civil War, including many blacks, like William and Louisa Ferguson. Though freeborn, Louisa was not only the wife of a slave, but also the daughter of George Washington's carpenter, also a slave. Their claim for compensation of $150 for the loss of a horse was denied, but Louisa's tales of Union and Confederate troops in the vicinity includes her encounters with the rebels and her service to the Union hospital nearby.

Explore these and thousands of other records documenting the history of African Americans in the U.S., from before the Civil War to the War in Vietnam. Join us as we recognize Black History Month and provide free* access to the Black History Collection on Fold3.

LINK

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

NARA-KC NEWSLETTER

Are you currently receiving our free monthly newsletter?

If the answer is “no,” then send us an email with your email address/U.S. postal mail information or call 816-268-8000. By providing your address, you grant the National Archives at Kansas City permission to send you information about upcoming exhibitions, special events, and programs. Per the Privacy Act of 1974, we will not share your personal information with third parties.

A HOUSE DIVIDED: YOUR ANCESTORS IN THE CIVIL WAR

Union and Confederate soldiers and their families left behind a legacy in paper. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and in conjunction with the exhibit Divided Loyalties, the National Archives at Kansas City will host a day of courses dedicated to records that can be beneficial to genealogical research.

Please note these workshops will not address specific battles, politics, or strategies of engagements. Sessions will be taught by National Archives staff members on the following topics:

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Draftees and Deserters: Your Ancestors in the Civil War

Was your ancestor a draftee, substitute, or deserter? The U.S. Provost Marshal General was responsible for collecting information on all men eligible to fight regardless of their political loyalties. Come learn what details these unique records contain and how to search them.

11:00 a.m. –11:50 a.m.
Military Records Online

Curious about what types of Civil War records are available online? This course will explore free and subscription-based websites with Civil War military record content, including: indexes, original images, and unit histories.

12:00 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.
Ordering Compiled Service Records and Pension Records

Did your ancestor serve in the Civil War? Did he or his widow apply for a pension? Come learn how to locate and order these records from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This session will include a basic overview of the
information needed to make a request via online or by mail.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Confederate Records Available through the National Archives

While the Civil War divided the nation, it also divided the records created about it. Confederate records were not created by the U.S. Federal government, but by both the Confederate government and states that joined the Confederacy. It can be difficult to locate records on ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. This course will help you discover what records can be found at the National Archives and how to order them.

All workshops are free and open to the public. Since some of these workshops will take place during the noon hour please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch to enjoy.

These workshops are free, but reservations are suggested. For more information or to make a reservation for these free events, call 816-268-8000 or email us here.

National Archives-Kansas City website

PRESERVATION MATTERS!

Date: Saturday, 5 May 2012
Time: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Place: National Archives at Kansas City

The National Archives at Kansas City invites you to Preservation Matters: Caring for Personal Papers, Pictures, and Paraphernalia. Preservation Matters will feature a series of workshops highlighting practical preservation techniques you can perform to save your treasured memories. Presentations will focus on family keepsakes, photographs, electronic records, personal papers, and oral histories. There will be 10 presentations between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. There will also be a Preservation One-on-One Clinic: attendees can bring in a single item and receive professional advice on how to preserve it. The clinic will be held from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Registrants can attend one event or stay for all.

Detailed registration information will be made available in our March newsletter.

FREE GENIE WORKSHOPS AT NARA-KC

The National Archives at Kansas City will be offering the following free Genealogy Workshops during February.

Wednesday, February 15 - 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Naturalization Records

Throughout American history, immigration and naturalization laws have ebbed and flowed with the political climate. Tracking documentation and evidence of our ancestor’s paths to citizenship can be a challenge. Learn about the paperwork involved with the process and how naturalization encompassed a variety of individuals from immigrants to the native born. This course will be taught by Archives Technician Jennifer Audsley-Moore.

Friday, February 24 - 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Alien Case Files (A-Files)

Learn about the Alien Files (A-Files), a rich source of biographical information for family research and how to complete a successful request. The A-Files contain United States immigration documents generated and collected since the mid-20th century with a wealth of data, including visas, photographs, applications, affidavits, correspondence, and more. This course will be taught by Archivist Elizabeth Burnes.

These workshops are free, but reservations are suggested. For more information or to make a reservation for these free events, call 816-268-8000 or email us here.

National Archives-Kansas City website

AUTHORS AT NARA-KC

On Wednesday, February 15, at 6:30 p.m. the National Archives at Kansas City will host David Remley and Kent Dicus for a discussion and signing of their book Pendleton Heights: Then and Now, First Suburb of Kansas City.

Pendleton Heights: Then and Now, First Suburb of Kansas City published by the Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association, takes an in-depth look and analysis into the area’s historic architecture. Platted in the early 1880s, Pendleton Heights bears the distinction of being Kansas City’s first suburb, being separated from town by few roads, deep gullies, and ravines. While the entrance ramp to I-35 North now serves Pendleton Heights from Columbus Park, it is hardly considered a suburb of the City.

Included in Pendleton Heights: Then and Now are 83 vintage photographs of historic homes and other structures compared to as many images captured at today’s same camera angle. While many of the homes reflect successes in the preservation of the neighborhood’s original structures, other side-by-side comparisons boldly state the impact of neglected and abused property, as well as—in extreme cases—the brutality of the wrecking ball.

On Wednesday, February 22, at 6:30 p.m. the National Archives at Kansas City will host Diane Mutti Burke for a discussion and signing of her book On Slavery’s Border: Missouri's Small Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865.

Mutti Burke focuses on the Missouri counties located along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to investigate small-scale slavery at the level of the household and neighborhood. She examines such topics as small slaveholders’ child-rearing and fiscal strategies, the economics of slavery, relations between slaves and owners, the challenges faced by slave families, sociability among enslaved and free Missourians within rural neighborhoods, and the disintegration of slavery during the Civil War.

Mutti Burke argues that economic and social factors gave Missouri slavery an especially intimate quality. Owners directly oversaw their slaves and lived in close proximity with them, sometimes in the same building. White Missourians believed this made for a milder version of bondage. Some slaves, who expressed fear of being sold further south, seemed to agree.

A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede both events. Copies of both Pendleton Heights: Then and Now, First Suburb of Kansas City and On Slavery’s Border will be available for purchase at The Kansas City Store onsite. Following the program the authors will sign copies of their books. To register for these free events call 816-268-8010 or email us here.

National Archives-Kansas City website

BOYS IN BLUE: ILLINOIS ANSWERS THE CALL

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s popular Boys in Blue-Illinois Answers the Call Civil War 150th anniversary exhibit has reopened and will continue here through December 2012.

The all-new Boys in Blue exhibit builds upon the success of the original Boys in Blue exhibit which ran for most of 2011 and was viewed by more than 40,000 people, a record for the Presidential Library. It may be viewed weekdays free of charge, and features an original flag from the Battle of Corinth, one of the key western theater actions of the Civil War in which large numbers of Illinois soldiers fought. It will also feature the faces, letters, sketches and songs of the men who fought in Illinois regiments during the Civil War, including U.S. Colored Troop regiments and those from Illinois regiments formed starting in 1862.

Teachers, ask the library receptionist about our Boys in Blue scavenger hunt!

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum