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Friday, March 30, 2012

THE NAVY’S FIRST DENTIST

Who was the U.S. Navy’s first dentist? Once again, depends on who you ask:

LINK

THE NAVY’S FIRST SHIP’S SURGEON

Who was the U.S. Navy’s first ship’s surgeon? Depends on who you ask:

LINK

WHEN WAR DOES COME

Seeing the results of World War I gas attacks caused many soldiers (and civilians) to dread horrors that future wars might inflict:

LINK

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1940 CENSUS RELEASE--APRIL 2, 2012

On April 2, 2012, the 1940 Census will celebrate its 72nd birthday and become widely available to researchers for the first time at 8:00 a.m. (CST). Users will be able to search, browse, and download the approximate 3.8 million 1940 Census schedules, maps and enumeration district descriptions, free of charge, from their own computers or from the public computers at National Archives locations through the new 1940 Census website. No other website will host the 1940 Census data on its April 2 release date.

To mark this historic event, the National Archives at Kansas City’s research rooms will be open to the public on Monday, April 2 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Patrons will be able to utilize free WiFi to work from their personal laptops or from a National Archives public access computer. Staff and volunteers will be available to assist with research.

In order to familiarize patrons with this new record, the National Archives at Kansas City will offer Introduction to the 1940 Census on March 31 at 10:00 – 11:30 a.m., April 2 at 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., and again on April 5 at 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Learn what questions were asked, what is new since the 1930 Census, and what you need to know in order to successfully search for your ancestors. Explore what your ancestors’ lives were like in 1940 by discovering this “new” record.

Introduction to the 1940 Census Workshop Schedule:

March 31 at 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

April 2 at 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

April 5 at 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

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

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.

LOGO INSTANT

Need a great-looking logo for your website, but have no graphic design skills and can’t afford to hire a graphic designer? No problem—LogoInstant can provide you with a spiffy logo for free:

LINK

ALLIED BOMBARDMENT OF GERMANY DURING WWII

Was it successful? Yes, one blogger feels—it convinced Stalin to remain in the war, and that was the main point of the British and American air campaigns against Germany all along. Britain and the U.S. certainly lost thousands of men and aircraft in the air war—but Russia lost millions in its ground campaign against the Germans, and forced the Nazis to divert precious supplies and manpower to the Eastern Front:

LINK

THE BURDENS OF WAR

How evenly are the burdens of deployment to war zones shared by our military families? Not nearly as evenly as we might hope, apparently:

LINK

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

REMEMBERING A REAL HERO

I'm hearing that "hero" word used a lot lately--often when the person involved really didn't do anything remotely heroic. But a genuine American hero died earlier this month. He was a Navy corpsman during the Korean War, and he repeatedly risked his own life during that brutal conflict to save the lives of Marines in his assigned unit:

LINK

OMNIGLOT

Interested in a language—any language? Omniglot is your one-stop learning resource:

LINK

INTERNATIONAL BLACK GENEALOGY SUMMIT

It’s in Salt Lake City (18-20 October 2012) this time around:

LINK

Lecture highlights posted here:

LINK

Monday, March 26, 2012

SIMILAR WEB

It’s an add-on for Firefox that helps you locate websites that are similar to the one you’re currently looking at:

LINK

ACCOUNT KILLER

Need to delete unused online accounts? Account Killer makes the process much easier to accomplish:

LINK

GOODREADS

Do you enjoy reading, but have a hard time deciding what to read next? Goodreads can help:

LINK

Sunday, March 25, 2012

GENERATIONS PUBLISHES GENEALOGY TEXTBOOKS FOR KIDS

Chicago, Illinois – March 23, 2012: Professional Genealogist, Jennifer Holik, of Generations publishes six new genealogy textbooks for kids. Parents, teachers, and genealogical societies looking for a how-to genealogy textbook for elementary through high school-aged students need to look no further. In Branching Out, a new series available from Generations, author and professional genealogist Jennifer Holik provides parents and educators with the tools they need to teach genealogical research skills to children and teens.

Through thirty fun and educational lessons, students will learn the foundations of genealogy and how to begin research on a level that they can understand and enjoy. Each lesson contains a clearly defined goal, all necessary vocabulary, additional reading assignments, and lesson and homework assignments to extend understanding of the concept.

The Branching Out series of books begins with six paperback textbooks which are also available as a PDF or PowerPoint download. The PowerPoint files, which were created with the visual and hands-on learner in mind, contain the same information as the textbooks with a few fun and interactive extras.

The Branching Out: Genealogy Lessons for Adults will be released in April with additional books for families, genealogical societies, and educators to be published later in 2012.

The books are available on CreateSpace in paperback form at the links provided. The PDF and PowerPoint files are available at the Generations Store at:

http://www.e-junkie.com/generations

Branching Out: Genealogy for 1st – 3rd Grade Students Lessons 1-15
Book $24.95
PDF $17.95
PowerPoint $17.95

Branching Out: Genealogy for 1st – 3rd Grade Students Lessons 16-30
Book $29.95
PDF $20.95
PowerPoint $20.95

Branching Out: Genealogy for 4th – 8th Grade Students Lessons 1-15
Book $26.95
PDF $18.95
PowerPoint $18.95

Branching Out: Genealogy for 4th – 8th Grade Students Lessons 16-30
Book $32.95
PDF $23.95
PowerPoint $23.95

Branching Out: Genealogy for High School Students Lessons 1-15
Book $29.95
PDF $20.95
PowerPoint $20.95

Branching Out: Genealogy for High School Students Lessons 16-30
Book $34.95
PDF $24.95
PowerPoint $24.95

If you live in the Chicagoland area, you can meet Jennifer and purchase books at the Fountaindale Public Library’s Author Fair on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

CIVIL WAR SYMPOSIUM

Saturday, 31 March 2012, 9 am-3 pm

Experts from Missouri State Historical Society, Southeast Missouri State University, Springfield-Greene County Public Library and the Kansas City (MO) Public Library will be at Midwest Genealogy Center to discuss and display the preservation and digitization projects their institutions are working on to save as much of the Civil War memorabilia and documents here in Missouri as possible. This state's rich and controversial Civil War history will be showcased in the digital imagery of the projects at each repository.

9 am Patricia Luebbert/MO State Historical Society
10 am Ellen Ryan/Southeast Missouri State University
11 am Jordan Fields/KCMO Public Library
12 pm Lunch break
1:30 pm Bryan Grubbs/Springfield-Greene County Public Library

Refreshments available.

Questions? You can get more info here. Thanks!

Angela McComas
Research Assistant, Programming
Midwest Genealogy Center
Mid-Continent Public Library
3440 S Lee's Summit Road
Independence, MO 64055
816-252-7228
http://www.mymcpl.org/

Thursday, March 22, 2012

100% FREE CHESS

This free program can provide a challenge and help novices/children increase their skill levels:

LINK

NEWSPAPER CLIPPING IMAGE GENERATOR

Ever wanted to create a realistic looking (but fake) newspaper clipping for whatever purpose? Now doing so is easy—and free:

LINK

PLANS OF MILITARY FORTS, 1790-1941

A majority of these plans are for Civil War fortifications, including several Missouri forts:

LINK

PHOTOGRAPHIC SKETCH BOOK OF THE CIVIL WAR

Images by photographer Alexander Gardner:

LINK

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MAPS IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES (UK) COLLECTION

The National Archives (UK) holds many different types of maps, some of which will greatly interest genealogists with British ancestors:

LINK

THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

Preparations for the 2012 Summer Games in London have included efforts by the National Archives (UK) to ensure that the various records generated by the Games are permanently preserved and available for use by the public:

LINK

DOMESDAY BOOK

A record of the lands held by William the Conqueror and his various minions and underlings (ca. 1066 A.D.)—Britain’s earliest surviving public record:

LINK

THE TITANIC

Stories, images, artifacts, passenger and crew lists, made available by the National Archives (UK):

LINK

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

FREE CLASSIC AUDIO BOOKS

What is it? Just what you’d expect, I imagine—-public domain items available as MP3 or iPod downloads:

LINK

Note: If you’ve been planning to learn a foreign language, lessons in a number of languages are available!

WIPE A DRIVE CLEAN WITHOUT NUKING WINDOWS

Need to remove files from a hard drive without removing the operating system? You can do it, but it’s not a simple one-step procedure:

LINK

CIVIL WAR IN VIRGINIA—WALK IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS

Do you have an ancestor who resided in/fought in Civil War Virginia? This website can help you figure out where he was situated at various times during the war:

LINK

A HOUSE DIVIDED: YOUR ANCESTORS IN THE CIVIL WAR

The National Archives—Kansas City will be offering a four-part Civil War genealogy workshop, A House Divided: Your Ancestors in the Civil War, on Saturday, March, 24, 2012 from 10:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m.

Workshop Description:

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.

Classes:

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Draftees and Deserters: Your Ancestors in the Civil War
The U.S. Provost Marshal General was responsible for collecting information on all men eligible to fight regardless of their loyalties. Come learn what details these records contain and how to search them.

11:00 –11:50 a.m.
Military Records 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 – 12:50 p.m.
Ordering Compiled Service Records and Pension Records
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 – 2:00 p.m.
Confederate Records Available through the National Archives
Confederate records were created by a variety of entities. As a result, 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 and will be held at the National Archives at Kansas City, 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64108. Since some of these workshops will take place during the noon hour please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch to enjoy. To RSVP for one or all courses, please contact us by phone at 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 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.

Monday, March 19, 2012

COULD THE SOUTH HAVE WON THE CIVIL WAR?

A new book ponders that question, and answers in the affirmative:

LINK

I think, however, that the question of whether the South could have “won the Civil War” is really two different questions:

1. Could the South have achieved a complete and decisive military victory over the North?
2. Could the South have won its independence from the North?

In my opinion, the answer to Question No. 1 is a definite NO, it could not—the North was simply too much of an economic and industrial powerhouse, with a much more extensive and effective supply and transportation infrastructure, and a much more extensive pool of military-age men.

The answer to Question No. 2, however, is a definite YES, because the South didn’t need decisive military victory to gain independence—it only needed to convince a majority of Northern voters that continuing the war was a bad idea, and nearly did so in spite of the inadequate leadership of Jefferson Davis and the flawed strategy of Robert E. Lee!

PRICE’S LOST CAMPAIGN: THE 1864 INVASION OF MISSOURI

This review of a recent book about Price’s Raid says that the tome is admirable in parts, but it’s definitely not the definitive history of Price’s 1864 invasion that many of us have been hoping for:

LINK

EDMUND T. WINGO MONUMENT

For any Civil War buffs (especially those located in South Central Missouri):

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming April 21, 2012 dedication in Salem, Missouri of a monument to Edmund T Wingo, commander of the 1st infantry Regiment, 7th Division, Missouri State Guard. This regiment was raised mostly in Dent and Texas counties, and included men from Dent, Phelps, Texas and Shannon counties. Wingo's Regiment formed in June 1861, and fought in the battles of Wilson's Creek, Drywood Creek, and Lexington, Missouri.

You can get more information from me about this important event. Hope to see you there,

John L. Harris
(314) 832-3385

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

CIVIL WAR 150

The Washington Post is running an ongoing series of articles on the Civil War (some focus on the war’s effects on the Washington, DC area):

LINK

SPRING CLEANING

Yes, it’s certainly time to think about spring cleaning your house and/or garage—but you should also make it a routine to spring clean your computer. An easy (and free) way to do that:

LINK

NOTE: Back up your computer before using a system maintenance program like CCleaner—if you stick with default settings it’s hard to go wrong, but you should be routinely backing up your techno-baby anyway!

ONLINE CLUB DIRECTORY

Want to set up a secure online directory for members of your club or society? There are very good pay and free alternatives:

LINK

WILD APRICOT

You know your society or organization needs a great website if it’s going to be around for the long haul, but none of your members is a web wizard (or has the free time necessary to adequately manage your website). What do you do? Well, one option is to use an online pay membership service like Wild Apricot that does all the heavy lifting for you:

LINK

NOTE: Monthly flat fees seem quite reasonable, but take the free virtual tour to see if it sounds right for your group!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

WHITES, BLACKS, REDS & GREENS

Civil wars can get really ugly really quickly—and the Russian Civil War was no exception:

LINK

SEARCH ENGINE USE 2012

Survey says—we’re generally happy with our search results, but are somewhat anxious about what personal information search engines are gleaning as we do our surfing:

LINK

WINDOWS 8

Microsoft’s new OS will be available later this year, but you can try it now—-just be careful, since early versions of a new OS can be unstable:

LINK

ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES

Their website has been given a facelift:

LINK

Monday, March 12, 2012

WILL THE 1940 CENSUS BE AVAILABLE ON MICROFILM?

First of all--yes, I know it will be available for free online. Let’s suppose, however, that you/your society/your library will need a microfilm copy for whatever reason. The short answer is yes, you can get census records on microfilm, but there’s a really big catch: you’ll need to get the microfilm for an entire state, not just some part of that state:

LINK

WHY DID THE VIKINGS RAID OTHER COUNTRIES?

Bank robber Willie Sutton supposedly said that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money was.” It’s definitely the reason why Vikings raided other countries: because that’s where pillaging paid the greatest dividends:

LINK

AUSTRALIA AND THE VIETNAM WAR

60,000 Australians (Army, Navy, and Air Force) took part in the Vietnam War:

LINK

AUSTRALIANS ON THE WESTERN FRONT

Australians took part in many WWI battles in France and Belgium: this website is a guide to those battlefields:

LINK

Friday, March 09, 2012

LAND BATTLE FOR GUADALCANAL

What do you need to know about this World War II battle in the South Pacific? For starters, you didn’t want to be there if you could possibly avoid it:

LINK PART I

LINK PART II

BABY (ARCHER) ON BOARD!

Mongol archers rarely missed their marks, and why should they—-they started practicing when they were two years old:

LINK

DAMN THE TORPEDOS!

During the first half of World War II, many American submarine commanders had good reason to make that exclamation:

LINK

HISTORIC AMERICAN BUILDINGS SURVEY

Subject guide to the images collection of the Historic American Buildings Survey:

LINK

LIBROPHILE

Thousands of audio books and e-books, categorized and available for immediate download (many free):

LINK

Monday, March 05, 2012

CONFEDERATE COVERT ACTION IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

Interesting book review: the author argues that John Wilkes Booth was under orders from Jefferson Davis to carry out his attack on President Lincoln; the book reviewer argues that the author fails to prove his case:

LINK

NAVIGATING THE 1940 CENSUS

Some 1940 Census guides and finding aids of interest:

How to Start Your 1940 Census Research

1940 U.S. Census—a Genealogy Research Guide

1940 Federal Population Census—General Information

1940 Census—Questions Asked, Enumerator Instructions, and Abbreviations and Codes Used By Enumerators

National Archives—1940 Census Finding Aids and E.D. Maps

Stephen Morse One-Steps—1940 Finding Aids (hover over U.S. Census in left-hand navigation bar to find 1940 finding aids)

View Short Films Used to Train 1940 Census Enumerators

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. 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 me with the word "subscribe" in the subject line of your email and your name in the body of the email.

1. List of Officers and Employees of the City of St. Louis, 1913

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

3. Roster of the Ex-Confederate Association of Missouri, 1890

4. Roster of the Ex-Confederate Association of Missouri, 1891

5. All Aboard, July 1955-November 1957 (employee magazine of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company, a.k.a. the Frisco Railway Company)

6. Register of the Commandery of the State of Missouri, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, 1908

7. Photograph of delegates to the 19th convention of the U.S. Brewers' Association, St. Louis, 1879

8. The Politician (1930-1931), a monthly periodical devoted to the Republican party in St. Louis

9. Legg Collection: Photographs of St. Louis residences and businesses, circa 1898-1909

10. Catalogue of the Annual Exhibition of the Saint Louis Architectural Club, 1900

11. The Falstaff Shield, 1952-1969

Dennis Northcott
Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center