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

Tom Pearson, Editor

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Friday, August 30, 2013

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

If you’ve been following this TV show, they tend to make it look so easy, right? Finding answers for their latest celebrity (Cindy Crawford) took a while, however—1,000 hours, to be exact:

LINK

Note: That’s 41 eight-hour days for three researchers, for any math-challenged readers out there…

FREE ACCESS TO ANCESTRY.COM IMMIGRATION RECORDS

Ancestry.com is offering free access to these records through 2 September 2013:

LINK

U.S. CENSUS BUREAU NEEDS INTERVIEWERS

Live in Iowa and need a job?

The Census Bureau's Chicago Regional Office is currently seeking Field Representatives in DuBuque and Butler County, IA to interview respondents at selected addresses. Pay is $13.41 per hour.

Call Our Scheduling Staff for Test Scheduling: 1-800-865-6384, Extension 15.

To view job vacancy announcements, qualifications, and instructions on how to apply, visit the Census Bureau's Chicago Regional Office website.

We appreciate your assistance.

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW

From the Family Tree Insider blog:

I learned a little more about PBS' upcoming Genealogy Roadshow series while at the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Conference last week.

The show, slated to air Mondays from 9 to 10 p.m. ET starting Sept. 23, 2013 will combine history and science to uncover the roots of everyday Americans. This season's participants come from four cities: Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; Detroit; and San Francisco.

Genealogy experts will explore unverified family history claims about connections to a famous event or historical figure by using family heirlooms, records, DNA and local historians.

The experts will reveal many of the answers they discover in front of a live audience in a location relevant to the participant's family history.

LINK

MHM CLASSES

Finding Your Ancestors on the Missouri History Museum Website

The Missouri History Museum's Genealogy and Local History Index is a valuable resource for St. Louis family history research, but it's not the only place to search. Get an in-depth look at the many catalogs and guides on the Missouri History Museum's website.

When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
Where: St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd. (across from Frontenac Plaza)
How much: Free; reservations are not required.

Civil War Eyewitnesses

Join Missouri History Museum associate archivist Dennis Northcott for a look at the Civil War through the eyes of those who witnessed this turbulent period in our history. Hear first-hand accounts of the war on the battlefield and the home front from letters, diaries, and other documents in the Missouri History Museum Archives.

When: Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 7 p.m.
Where: Daniel Boone Branch, St. Louis County Library, 300 Clarkson Road (see map for directions)
How much: Free; registration requested (visit the St. Louis County Library's Event Registration page)

COLOR BLIND

Tom Dunkel to discuss Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color Line at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

On Saturday, September 21 at 1:30 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City in partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, will host Tom Dunkel for a discussion and signing of his book Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color Line. Copies of Color Blind will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop.

During the Great Depression, out in drought stricken North Dakota, one of the most improbable teams in the history of baseball was put together by one of the sport's most unlikely champions. In Bismarck, a decade before Jackie Robinson broke into the Major Leagues, car dealer Neil Churchill signed the best players he could find, regardless of race, and fielded an integrated squad that took on all comers in spectacular fashion. When baseball swept America in the years after the Civil War, independent, semi-pro, and municipal leagues sprouted up everywhere. Color Blind focuses on the wild world of independent baseball, with its tough competition and novelty, from all-brother teams and a prison team (which only played home games, naturally), to one from a religious commune that sported Old Testament beards. Dunkel traces the rise of the Bismarck squad, and follows them through their highs and lows, focusing on the 1935 season, and the first National Semi-Pro Tournament in Wichita, Kansas.

The National Archives at Kansas City and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum have partnered to present the Swing into History program series this year. The focus is on baseball and its impact on American culture. The series will continue during the 2013 baseball season.

To make a reservation for this event call 816-268-8010 or email: kansascity.educate@nara.gov.

*Museum admission rates will apply. For Negro Leagues Baseball Museum hours, directions, and admission fees, visit their website.

Monday, August 26, 2013

WOMEN MILITARY PILOTS OF WWII

Women served as test pilots, and ferried aircraft from one location to another, for numerous nations during World War II. Staggering losses in its armed forces, however, forced the Soviet Union to use women as fighter and bomber pilots—the only nation during that conflict to officially utilize women pilots in combat situations:

LINK

TIMESDIGEST

Know a guy or gal in uniform?

The Military Edition of TimesDigest is a nine-page synopsis of The New York Times that is transmitted through dedicated Navy electronic networks, Internet e-mail, and password protected Web sites to U.S. Navy ships at sea, land bases and other military installations worldwide.

Specifically designed and edited for the Navy, TimesDigest Military Edition provides a selection of The Times' major articles and editorial comment, along with weather, business and sports.

Between 40,000 and 50,000 sailors, who otherwise have no access to any other daily civilian publication, receive TimesDigest every day.

Each edition is offered free to military personnel with a ".mil" e-mail address.

LINK

THE NATURE OF A BATTLEFIELD

National battlefields, because they are protected from developers/vandals/etc., are often host flora and fauna just as engaging as the historic points of interest:

LINK

PEEK…

The foliage around this Gettysburg monument may be in greater need of a trim than your no-account brother-in-law:

LINK

Saturday, August 24, 2013

KEEPING THE AWFUL MEMORIES ALIVE

Believe it or not, numerous survivors of the Hiroshima bombing have not written down or recorded their memories of that day—and now historians are racing to get the job done before time runs out:

LINK

FORT SAN JUAN

Forty years before the establishment of Jamestown Colony in Virginia (1607), the Spanish built Fort San Juan in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains:

LINK

THE UNKINDEST CUT

Vikings tended to concentrate their raids on monasteries and churches. They obviously didn’t mind stealing any gold or silver found there, but the real targets of these raids seem to have been the monastery occupants. These literate young men after capture were taken to Venice, where they were castrated (ouch!) and offered to buyers in the Byzantine and Abbasid markets, where literate eunuchs sold for a premium:

LINK

Note: Literate eunuchs can teach and/or guard the ladies of your harem without the risks posed by—err—intact employees…

THE VIKINGS—PLUG-UGLY THUGS OR MEDIEVAL PRETTY BOYS?

Were they really filthy, ugly thugs, as the peoples they raided tended to portray them—or were the Norsemen actually fashion-conscious dandys?

LINK

Thursday, August 22, 2013

MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

One man, however, decided that the Battle of Gettysburg was indeed the Civil War’s decisive turning point—and spent a lifetime trying to prove it:

LINK

TURNING POINT OR TURNING POINTS?

This blogger makes a good case that the Civil War had many turning points—and that Gettysburg is merely one of them:

LINK

THE TURNING POINT?

A number of Civil War historians are making the argument that Gettysburg (as we are so often told) was not the decisive turning point of the Civil War:

LINK

A BAD DAY FOR BOBBY LEE?

Was the third day at Gettysburg just a “bad day” for Robert E. Lee, or was some planned element of Pickett’s Charge not executed as Lee had envisioned?

LINK

Monday, August 19, 2013

T-BONE HILL

A U.S. Army medic may just win a long-delayed Medal of Honor for his actions at this little-known Korean War battle:

LINK

WINNING THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY

Why did the U.S. Navy win the Battle of Midway during WWII? Innovative strategy, tactics, and intelligence work had something to do with it:

LINK

Navy cryptologists played a vital role in the stunning victory:

LINK

ALONG THE (APTLY NAMED) DEADLINE

The Battle of Pickett’s Mill in northern Georgia (27 May 1864) produced more casualties than either side expected:

LINK

Friday, August 16, 2013

SIX BROTHERS

All served during WWII—and all came home:

LINK

VISITING MHM

The Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center is free and open to the public. The Library and Research Center is located at 225 South Skinker, across from Forest Park. Our hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 pm, and Saturday, 10 am-5 pm.

The Library and Research Center collections are non-circulating; items may not be checked out. The library staff can make photocopies for 25 cents per copy.

Library reference desk: 314-746-4500, library@mohistory.org
Archives reference desk: 314-746-4510, archives@mohistory.org

Library and Research Center website

SOCIETY OF THE WAR OF 1812 APPLICATIONS

The Society of the War of 1812 Applications is the newest title in Fold3’s growing War of 1812 Collection. Thousands of names, dates, and relationships are available in over three hundred membership applications. The Society, founded September 14, 1814, is comprised of thirty-two state societies, one of which is the District of Columbia whose application files are the first to be added to Fold3.

The applications are typically four to six pages, teeming with genealogical data connecting members of the Society to their War of 1812 ancestors. Often, especially in the later applications, you’ll discover verifying documents like family Bible records, awards, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia.

The General Society of the War of 1812 is a lineage society which commemorates those who fought in the War of 1812. Many members of the District of Columbia society were descendants of the original Washington "Warhawks," younger congressman who pushed for going to war with Great Britain in 1812 in what is often called America's Second War of Independence.

Explore the War of 1812 Society Applications on Fold3 to learn more about the soldiers who served and their descendants.

LINK

SOLDIERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BURIED IN ILLINOIS

The alphabetical listing of “The Soldiers of the American Revolution Buried in Illinois” published in 1976 by Illinois State Genealogical Society has been expanded to include new entries, children of the entry, (other family members), history found in and referencing to pension records relating people, places and events, location of graves and references to searching for the Revolutionary War Soldier connected to Illinois. The expanded version includes the very early Soldiers in Illinois before the establishment of the Northwest Territory (1787) and Illinois (1818), many of French extraction.

Available in hardcover and ebook versions:

LINK

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BLOCKADE RUNNING IN FLORIDA

Blockade running could be very lucrative indeed—if you were successful:

LINK

THREE OF THE FALLEN

It’s relatively easy to think of casualties in a major battle as mere statistics—human chess pieces, if you will—until you see them staring back at you from photos taken not long before their deaths:

LINK

SLASH THE SKY

A newly renovated military museum in Dresden, Germany is notable (among other things) for the gigantic shard of glass and steel that bisects it:

LINK

GHOSTS IN THE SHELLS

Undetonated artillery shells from World War I can still kill or injure farmers tilling fields where battles took place:

LINK

Monday, August 12, 2013

MoSGA PUBLICATIONS SALE

MoSGA has over 35 publications for sale. We are now offering them at $5 each in order to reduce our inventory and storage needs.

LINK

MoSGA CONFERENCE 2014

Might seem a bit premature to be worrying about it, but marking your calendar now means you won't miss it!

Save the date for 2014 - August 1-2

Plan to attend the Annual MoSGA Conference in 2014, to be held again at The Stoney Creek Inn. Our keynote speaker will be Josh Taylor. Watch for more information in early 2014.

ZINIO EMAGAZINES

Perhaps your library also offers this service:

St. Louis Public Library now offers cardholders digital access to current popular magazines:

Zinio, the world's largest newsstand, offers full color, interactive digital magazines for your enjoyment. Browse from your library's collection of popular titles with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limit to the number of magazines you can download.

• Current Issues — New issues are released simultaneously with the print edition many are available before they arrive at your library and are ready for immediate download

• Easy browsing — Browse your library's collection of titles one at a time, search for your favorite magazines by title or use the convenient category feature to find new magazines which meet your interests

• Manage your collection — Using the personal account you will create, you will have the opportunity to checkout the magazines you choose and read them instantly on your computer (both PC and Mac) or access the content on a portable media device. (Note: viewing options, including the ability to download or view the content while online, may differ based on the device and/or magazine publisher)

• No limits — Check out as many issues as you want and keep them in your account as long as you wish

Note: I don’t notice any genealogy titles, but lots on beading, computers, cooking, fashion, gardening, jewelry, quilting, science, and sports, to name a few subjects covered.

LINK

AUGUST CLASSES AT NARA-KC

Exploring Fold3.com
Friday, August 16 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Fold3.com takes its name from the “third fold in flag-folding ceremony [honoring and remembering] veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country and promoting peace in the world.” This subscription-based website provides digital access to select military records held in the National Archives. Learn what resources are available for various military engagements.

Googling Your Genealogy
Friday, August 23 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Searching online can be a powerful tool when seeking historical documents and resources. One of the biggest challenges is knowing how and where to start looking for them. Learn to harness the power of the internet through the use of simple tools and tricks for finding websites and useful genealogy resources

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

UFO REPORTS IN PROJECT BLUE BOOK

After the 1947 “Roswell Incident” in New Mexico, the U.S. Air Force launched Project BLUE BOOK which ultimately investigated nearly 13,000 UFO sightings within the United States and abroad. The reports and records of these sightings are available free on Fold3. When the project closed in 1969, the Air Force had concluded that that none of the objects investigated ever threatened national security, that no discoveries were more advanced than known contemporary technology of the day, and there was no evidence that the objects were extraterrestrial vehicles.

Fifty years ago, in August 1963, there were forty-four investigations into UFO sightings. Most were explained as meteors or planets, aircraft, or natural occurrences; and many were written off as lacking in evidence. The files typically begin with a Project Record Card with twelve boxes recording date, location, number of objects, length of observation, a summary, and conclusions. While most sightings were in the U.S., other reports in August 1963 came from Italy, Afghanistan, Chile, and the Pacific Ocean.

In Auburn, Maine, strips of tinfoil were discovered on a farm and explained as chaff used in jamming radar. In Borger, Texas, a ten-foot wide, heart-shaped mark of a smelly phosphorus substance on someone’s lawn led her to believe that "some object had hovered just above the ground," but it was identified as eggs of a grass fly species. It was acknowledged as "an unusual happening with an unusual answer." The Cleveland Ufology Project investigated a newspaper story that reported a young boy finding a rock that fell from the sky on August 13, 1963. It tasted like salt (we wonder why anyone would taste something that might be of extraterrestrial origin) and was later determined to be salt crystals.

Several witnesses in Warner, New Hampshire, near Lake Winnepocket testified that they saw cigar-shaped objects. One person took a 16mm color movie, supposedly archived in another location at the National Archives. The 38-page report included diagrams and multiple forms. Analysis confirmed that the observations were of a meteor shower.

A circular object with a bluish red tinge disappearing over the treetops in Nikiski, Alaska, on August 10, 1963, was evaluated as an a/c (aircraft) sighting. A couple unidentified objects accompanying a military aircraft in Morehead, Kentucky, were identified as the aircraft’s appendages as it flew out of the nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The documents in Fold3’s Project Blue Book files are declassified, but names and addresses are masked to protect identities and locations. The stories can be fascinating. Evidence of any government cover-up is discounted, but you can be the judge of that when you read the investigations.

LINK

1921 CENSUS OF CANADA

Good afternoon,

I hope you’re well! We thought you would be excited to know that Ancestry.com is now officially offering access to images from the 1921 Census of Canada. Right now, you can be one of the first people to view select images, while we work hard to index the collection, providing a fully searchable experience later this year. Start browsing the collection here.

We hope you’re as thrilled as we are about preserving Canada’s history online.

Thanks,

Matthew Deighton, PR Specialist
Ancestry.com

MONTANA STATE GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

Do you have Montana relatives/ancestors? Then you’ll like this society website:

LINK

Their book series, First Families and Early Settlers of Montana, will likely be of special interest:

LINK

Friday, August 09, 2013

SURPRISES IN THE GREASY GRASS

If you get off the beaten path at this American battlefield, you’ll see some amazing scenery—and possibly carry one or more unwanted hitchhikers back to your motel room:

LINK

RIVER OF DEATH?

The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga (19-20 September 1863) is fast approaching. Nine out of ten articles about the battle will tell you that “Chickamauga” means “River of Death” in Cherokee.

But wait…

The word has no meaning in the Cherokee language. It is more likely Shawnee, Creek, or Chickasaw in origin.

The northern Georgia creek received that appellation long before the battle. Why would they name it that? There’s no record of any sort of major conflict occurring there prior to the Chickamauga battle, or of any epidemic or similar episode of mass deaths.

It seems much more likely that Chickamauga means “dwelling place by the water” or something similar:

Chickamauga: an Introduction

“Chickamauga” and “Chattanooga”: Legacies of the Shawnee

HISTORY OF CLAY COUNTY, MISSOURI

Woodson, W. H. History of Clay County, Missouri. Topeka, [Kan.]: Historical Pub. Co., 1920.

LINK

MARY ELIZABETH JANE COLTER, VISIONARY ARCHITECT

On Tuesday, August 13 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City will host Tom Taylor for a lecture titled, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter: Visionary Architect of the Southwest. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the lecture.

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was an American architect and designer hired in 1901 by the Fred Harvey Company to decorate the Alvarado Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A few years later, Colter began working full-time for the company, moving from interior designer to architect. For the next thirty years, working as one of few female architects and in rugged conditions, Colter completed 21 projects for the Fred Harvey Company. She is most well known for creating a series of landmark hotels and commercial lodges through the Southwest, including La Posada in Winslow, Arizona, and the Phantom Ranch buildings at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She also created the five structures on the south rim of the Grand Canyon:Hopi House, Hermit's Rest, the observatory Lookout Studio, the 70-foot Desert View Watchtower with its hidden steel structure, and Bright Angel Lodge. Her works have been listed as National Historic Landmarks, and she is credited with inspiring the Pueblo Deco style. Taylor will discuss the architectural impact and design style created by Colter for the Fred Harvey Company.

To make a reservation for this free event email kansascity.educate@nara.gov or call 816-268-8010.

About the Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the American West Exhibit:

Fred Harvey was a visionary businessman who changed the nature of railroad meal stops in the 1870s. His string of eating establishments, called Harvey Houses, followed the route of the Santa Fe Railroad. Prior to Fred Harvey, there were no fast-food restaurants or chain hotels guaranteeing a quality travel experience in the American West. He espoused the principles of excellent food, impeccable service, reasonable prices, and standardized service in all his restaurants.

Fred Harvey’s hospitality empire eventually spanned from Ohio to California. Dotted with everything from eating houses and grand resort hotels to curio shops and specialty tourist activities, Fred Harvey created a standard of excellence in hospitality that the traveling public grew to appreciate and expect. So much that Fred Harvey inspired poems and books about his famous hospitality, and even a Hollywood movie featuring the Harvey Girls.

Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the American West is available for viewing, Tuesday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. through January 4, 2014. To schedule a group tour call 816-268-8013 or email mickey.ebert@nara.gov.

About the Speaker:

Tom Taylor recently retired as director of Community Relations and the Visitors Center at Unity Village. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School. He is the author of a pictorial history of Unity Village (in the Arcadia Images of America book series), and is one of the community authors of Elmwood Cemetery published by The Kansas City Star and Star Books. He lives in Westwood, Kansas. Tom has a strong interest in history and architecture. He is active in several local history groups, giving tours and presentations. He is a board member of the Wornall/Majors Historic House Museums and is an avid collector of old postcards and railroad dining car china.

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 www.archives.gov/kansas-city/.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

CIVIL WAR PROGRAMS AT ST. LOUIS PUBLIC LIBRARY

These programs are free and open to the public. You can park for free on our lot directly behind the Campbell House Museum at 15th & Olive Streets (pick up a parking token at the entrance desks on Locust or Olive Streets). You can no longer park for free on Saturdays in downtown St. Louis—they check the meters!

Saturday, August 10, 2013, 10:30 am-12:00 pm—Great Civil War Battles: Wilson’s Creek. 2nd Floor, Training Room, Central Library. Join us as Tom Pearson discusses the Battle of Wilson’s Creek (southwestern Missouri, 1861). To register or for more info, email us at tpearson@slpl.org.

Sat, Nov 16, 2013, 10:30 AM-Noon-- Squeezing Your Sources: Getting All the Info You Can From Military Service and Pension Records. 2ndFloor, Training Room, Central Library. Join us as Tom Pearson discusses ways to extract all the info you possibly can from compiled military service records and pension records. To register or for more info, email us at tpearson@slpl.org.

Saturday, December 14, 2013, 10:30 am-Noon—Killed by the Cure: Civil War Medicine. Central Library. 2nd Floor, Training Room, Central Library. Join us as Tom Pearson discusses book, manuscript, microfilm, and Internet sources of information on typical illnesses and injuries suffered by Civil War soldiers, and the methods Civil War doctors and nurses employed to try and heal them. To register or for more info, email us at tpearson@slpl.org.

NOTE: I will be giving my presentation, "I Fight Mit Sigel: Researching Your German-American Civil War Ancestors" to the Madison County Genealogical Society on Thursday, 8 August 2013 at 7:00 p.m. This group meets in the basement Community Room at Edwardsville Public Library, 112 South Kansas, Edwardsville, IL. 62025.

This program is co-sponsored by St. Louis Public Library, and is free and open to the public.

AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE--SIMPLIFIED

Have questions about the looming big changes in health care and health insurance? St. Louis Public Library will be offering the above-named program twice during September 2013. Both programs are free and open to the public.

PLACE: Central Auditorium, Central Library, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103
DATES: Sept 10, 2013 (7-8:30 PM) & Sept 14, 2013 (2-3:30 PM)

Questions? 314-241-2288 or webref@slpl.org

ANOTHER MILESTONE!

As we fast approach this blog's sixth birthday (4 November 2013), I'm pleased to report that our visitors total just surpassed 150,000! Thanks for your continuing support of MoSGA Messenger!

Monday, August 05, 2013

HISTORY OF HARRISON COUNTY, MISSOURI

Wanamaker, George W., 1846-1921. History of Harrison County, Missouri. Topeka: Historical Pub. Co., 1921.

LINK

KILLING TO KEEP MY BUDDIES ALIVE

One WWII Army vet has a fairly straightforward explanation when asked why he killed Germans during the war:

LINK

THERE AND BACK AGAIN

He’s visited the Gettysburg battlefield more than two dozen times—and explains his magnificent obsession in this entertaining blog post:

LINK

DID ROBERT E. LEE KILL A MAN?

It appears there was indeed a death that day—and while it appears that “Bobby” Lee in fact did the killin’, was it a man who died?

LINK

MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM UPDATES

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

1. "Spirit of 73" (published by the Industrial Relations Department, Continental Can Company, Inc.), 1955-1959

2. Fest-Zeitung fur das Dritte Bundes-Sangerfest des Arbeiter-Sangerbundes des Nordwestens der Vereinigten Staaten, 1903-1904

3. Annual Catalogue of Hosmer Hall, a Day and Boarding School for Girls, 1896-1897

4. Annual Catalogue of Hosmer Hall, a Day and Boarding School for Girls, 1898-1899