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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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Monday, October 28, 2013

POLISH GENEALOGY & HERALDRY: AN INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH

Available full-text at Hathi Trust:

Hoskins, Janina W.Polish Genealogy & Heraldry: an Introduction to Research. Washington: Library of Congress, 1987.

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SURGEON IN BLUE

New book for those interested in Civil War medicine (and gift idea for the Civil War buff in your family):

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THE SKINNY ON KANSAS CITY

Planning a research trip to the Kansas City, Missouri area? This guide provides links to area archives and libraries; historical societies; and museums and historic sites:

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SANBORN MAPS OF MISSOURI

The Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Company (established 1867) created maps of U.S. cities and towns for the fire insurance industry to assess the risk of insuring a particular property. The maps are large scale plans of a city or town drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch, offering detailed information on the use made of commercial and industrial buildings, their size, shape, and construction material. Some residential areas are also mapped. The maps show location of water mains, fire alarms and fire hydrants. They are color-coded to identify the structure (adobe, frame, brick, stone, and iron) of each building.

Between 1955 and 1978, the Library of Congress withdrew duplicate sheets and atlases from their collection and offered them to selected libraries. Maps for Missouri towns and cities were given to the MU Libraries. Documenting the layout of 390 Missouri cities from 1883 to 1951, the University of Missouri-Columbia Ellis Library Special Collections Department has digitized 6,798 of the maps for Missouri cities from 1880 to 1922:

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Friday, October 25, 2013

SLPL UPCOMING PROGRAMS

The following talks at St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library are free and open to the public. Note: parking is no longer free at meters on Saturdays. Library patrons may park for free on our lot at the NW corner of 15th & Olive Streets (directly behind the Campbell House Museum—pick up a parking token at the entrance desks on Locust or Olive Streets when entering the Library). Questions? Email me 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. Central Library, 2nd Floor, Training Room. Tom Pearson describes ways to extract all the info you possibly can from compiled military service records and pension records. To register/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. 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.

Saturday, January 18, 2014, 10:30 am-Noon. Squeezing Your Sources: Getting the Most from Local & County Histories. Central Library. 2nd Floor, Training Room. Tom Pearson shows genealogists how to get the most information possible from town and county histories. To register/more information: tpearson@slpl.org.

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 10:30 am-Noon. Heroes of the USCT (United States Colored Troops). Central Library. 2nd Floor, Training Room. Tom Pearson discusses book, manuscript, microfilm, and Internet sources of information on the struggles and triumphs of African American Civil War soldiers. To register/more information: tpearson@slpl.org.

Saturday, March 22, 2014, 10:30 am-Noon. The Price is Right: the Genealogist’s Guide to Free Stuff on the Internet. Central Library. 2nd Floor, Training Room. Tom Pearson shows genealogists sites where they can access genealogical databases for free, and find free digitized books; newspapers; magazines; forms & charts; clip art; images & photographs; maps; music; and podcasts, plus sites they can use to create free blogs & websites. To register/more information: tpearson@slpl.org.

Central Library
1301 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63103

PERIODICALS SPOTLIGHT: FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE

Family Tree Magazine

Lots of articles of interest in their October/November 2013 issue:

Rediscovering Slave Burial Sites (a new project is cataloging such locations)

Cutting Teeth (how your ancestors cared for their teeth)

Migration Melodies (how did they get from there to here?)

Burned Out? (a five-step plan to rebuild your tree from archival ashes)

Time-Saving Tech Tools (17 apps and online tools for organization and time management)

Death Records Workbook (what are they; how do you find them; and what other types of record can provide death info)

Going to Church (a guide to German church records)

Movie Moments (converting old home movies to digital format)

Top Free Sites for Online Newspapers (includes a guide to digital yearbooks)

You can read this magazine (and other issues of this title, plus numerous other genealogy magazines) in the Genealogy Room at Central Library (St. Louis); the Midwest Genealogy Center (Independence, Missouri); or the Jefferson County Library (High Ridge Branch).

Genealogy pages on the SLPL website

Midwest Genealogy Center

Jefferson County Library

PERIODICALS SPOTLIGHT: FAMILY CHRONICLE

Family Chronicle: the How-to Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors

If you’ve never read an issue of this bi-monthly magazine, I think you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Each issue features articles designed to help you research ancestors from a particular country, state, or locality; work with particular types of records; or generally become a better, more skillful genealogist.

For example, the September/October 2013 issue features these articles:

Five Reasons Why the Records Aren’t in the Courthouse (some reasons are obvious, others not so much)

Wooden Shoe genealogy: Finding Your Dutch and Frisian Ancestors, Part I (Frisians reside in the northern parts of the Netherlands and Germany and—naturally—speak Frisian)

How to Find Dead People in Chicago (in cemeteries, of course--what were you thinking?)

Processioners’ Books (a closer look at a record with roots in medieval England)

Follow the Luther Trail (discovering your Lutheran ancestors)

You can read this magazine (and other issues of this title) in the Genealogy Room at Central Library (St. Louis) or at Midwest Genealogy Center.

Genealogy pages on the SLPL website

Midwest Genealogy Center

PRESERVATION MATTERS

The National Archives at Kansas City will be offering Preservation Matters: Dos and Don’ts, Digital Records, and Disaster Response on Saturday, November 2. The event will feature workshops from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and a Preservation One-on-One clinic from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The presenters include staff members from the National Archives at Kansas City and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. The event will be held at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

Workshop Descriptions:

8:30 – 9:20 a.m.
Preservation Myths: The Things We Do…and What We Should Do Instead

Have you ever opened a box of priceless family records, only to find them torn, brittle, and damaged? Have you tried to fix the damage yourself? You may be surprised to learn that some of these “fixes” irreparably harm fragile documents. Learn how to best care for your paper-based records before the damage occurs.

9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
Caring for Your Family Treasures

Are you hanging on to your wedding dress in the hopes that one day your daughter or granddaughter will wear it? What about all that family china and sterling silver flatware you use at Thanksgiving? Learn how to care for and store your family treasures, and make sure they last for the next generations!

10:30 – 11:20 a.m.
Preserving Your Digital Heritage

In the past, your family’s photographic collection probably consisted of prints made with a single family camera. In the 21st century, we’ve gone digital with our phones, tablets, computers, and cameras. Technology has made it easier to capture memories, but has complicated the process of storing them. This session will show you how to organize, centralize, and protect your collections.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
All Wet! Responding to Floods, Leaks, and Other Damp Disasters

It’s bound to happen. A pipe will burst or a leaky roof will drip, and family papers, books, and photos will be awash in water. Learn quick response tips to salvage sodden heirlooms, and stop or prevent mold damage. Pick up practical advice on spotting disasters just waiting to happen.

12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Preservation One-on-One Clinic - by reservation only

Reserve your 15-minute time slot to bring a single item to the Preservation One-on-One clinic, and receive personal advice on how to preserve it. Call 816-268-8000 or email us here to save a seat.

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

BANNED

Interesting page on the National Archives (AUS) website that looks at books banned in Australia at various times, including Lolita, Brave New World, and Peyton Place, to name just a few. Why were they banned? In the case of Peyton Place, a censor voting to ban the book noted that,

‘It is unfortunate that Mrs. Metalious is so flustered with sex, for she often writes well.’

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

PORTALS TO STATE HISTORY SITES

List of 71 general-interest portals to state historical resources:

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WAR MEMORIAL ALBUM

A digital album of photographs and service information about 93 Missouri State University--Springfield students and alumni who lost their lives during World War I, World War II, and the Korean Conflict:

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MISSOURI COUNTY MANUSCRIPTS

Most of us know that the State Historical Society of Missouri owns a huge manuscript collection, but what manuscripts in that collection deal with counties that your ancestors lived in? This online finding aid sorts it out for you:

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MORE THAN JUST SHIP PASSENGER ARRIVAL LISTS

The National Archives at Kansas City will be offering one free genealogy workshop in October. More Than Just Ship Passenger Arrival Lists will be held on Wednesday, October 30, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. The workshop will be held at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri.

Workshop Description:

More Than Just Ship Passenger Arrival Lists
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 10:00-11:30 a.m.

The breadth of immigration records available online and in archives can seem overwhelming. Come learn what original records you can find at the National Archives and what you can discover online. Records range from passport applications, naturalization documents, ship passenger lists, and more!

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

BOONE COUNTY PROBATE INDICES NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

September 26, 2013— The Boone County probate indices are now available online. With the help of the Secretary of State’s State Archives Local Records Division, the massive volumes have all been scanned at no cost to Boone County.

Individuals searching for historical knowledge often turn to probate records for information about their ancestors’ estates which may shed some light on lives otherwise lost in time. Previously, the indices were only located in the Boone County Courthouse, which proved frustrating for those who made the trip to the courthouse only to find no records that pertain to them. Now, genealogists can search the probate indices in the comfort of their own home. If their search is fruitless, they have saved themselves a trip to the courthouse; if the search reveals the existence of probate documents, they can go the courthouse with identifying information in hand to expedite their search. This is an especially helpful tool for those researchers not located near Boone County.

This technological advance is more than a convenience for family historians. It will also help preserve the historical value of the books for years to come by significantly reducing the daily wear and tear on these large volumes. Currently, no probate files are available online; however, the long-term goal is to scan the estate cases currently on microfilm to make them available electronically as well. For more information or to search the probate indices go here.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

ST. LOUIS MEDIA HISTORY FOUNDATION

My friend Frank Absher is Executive Director of this organization. If you’re seeking info on St. Louis radio or TV stations; advertising agencies; or the print media, visit their spiffy-looking website:

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STONE QUARRIES AND BEYOND

Looking for info on Missouri stone quarries, quarry workers, stone cutters or stone carvers? Start your search here:

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MISSOURI DIGITAL LIBRARY

I know some of you are already familiar with this site, but the rest of you are in for a treat--it provides numerous links to digitized books; periodical articles; pamphlets and brochures; and images and maps:

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JAVA AND JRE

Have questions about Java and Java Runtime Environment (JRE)--for instance, what are they? This page has some (easy-to-follow) answers:

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

ST. JOSEPH MUSEUMS, INC.

Interested in Buchanan County ancestors, or just plain fascinated by St. Joe history? This site provides access to info on four St. Joe museums:

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NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM

Founded in 1990, this private, non-profit museum in Kansas City, Missouri is dedicated to preserving the history of African-American baseball in America:

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NOTE: I created this list of guys who played for the St. Louis Stars or St. Louis Giants ball teams between 1910-1943:

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LUTHERAN CHURCH RECORDS ONLINE

Researching Lutheran ancestors, or interested in a particular Lutheran church or pastor? Check here:

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A DIGEST OF THE MILITARY AND NAVAL LAWS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES

Available via the Documenting the American South website:

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ABOUT GOOGLE

Want to find out more about Google (the mega-corporation)? Their own “About Google” website is a very good starting point:

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

AMERICAN LIFE HISTORIES

This collection of life histories consists of approximately 2,900 documents, compiled and transcribed by more than 300 writers from 24 states, working on the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program that was part of the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936 to 1940. Typically 2,000-15,000 words in length, the documents vary in form from narratives to dialogues to reports to case histories. They chronicle vivid life stories of Americans who lived at the turn of the century and include tales of meeting Billy the Kid, surviving the 1871 Chicago fire, pioneer journeys out West, grueling factory work, and the immigrant experience.

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FAMILY HISTORY BOOKS

Family History Books is a collection of more than 80,000 digitized genealogy and family history publications from the archives of some of the most important family history libraries in the world. The collection includes family histories, county and local histories, genealogy magazines and how-to books, gazetteers, and medieval histories and pedigrees.

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CLAY COUNTY ARCHIVES AND HISTORICAL LIBRARY

Clay County Archives and Historical Library is located in Liberty, Missouri. It is a non-profit corporation, organized as a depository and research center for original Clay County Records. The Board of Directors is composed of representatives of Clay County museums, genealogical groups, historical societies and patriotic organizations.

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RESOURCES FOR GENEALOGY AND FAMILY HISTORY

This resources page on the Midwest Genealogy Center website offers holdings guides, topical guides, and free genealogy forms in PDF format:

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MISSOURI MAPS FROM THE PERRY-CASTANEDA LIBRARY COLLECTION

Digitized Missouri maps from this outstanding University of Texas map collection:

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

BARRY COUNTY NEWS

The Springfield News-Leader reports that state archivists and Missouri State University students will clean, repair, arrange and index 19th century Barry County Circuit Court records. Once those records are studied and processed, the archival work will shift to other southwest Missouri counties. Completed records will be transported to the Missouri State Archives for preservation imaging.

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UPCOMING EVENTS AT MHM

CITY HOMES AND NEIGHBORHOODS

Join Lynn Josse, an architectural historian with the Preservation Research Office, as she shares her expertise on researching St. Louis City homes and neighborhoods. Learn about resources and strategies she uses to delve into St. Louis's architectural history.

When: Saturday, October 19, 2013, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Missouri History Museum, AT&T Foundation Multipurpose Room
How much: Free; reservations are not required.

Other upcoming lectures:

THE FORGOTTEN WAR: MISSOURI FROM 1812–1815

Michael Dickey offers a look at Missouri and the “second war for independence,” the War of 1812.

When: Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Missouri History Museum, McDermott Grand Hall
How much: Free; reservations are not required.

SLAVE ANCESTRAL RESEARCH: TACKLING PRE-1870

Workshop led by Martin Collier.

When: Saturday, November 16, 2013, 1:00 p.m.
Where: Missouri History Museum, AT&T Foundation Multipurpose Room
How much: Free; reservations are not required.

Missouri History Museum

Sunday, October 06, 2013

MISSOURI HISTORY MUSEUM UPDATE

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

1. Program for the May Festival Grand Ball given by the St. Louis Chapter No. 53, Order of Ahepa, May 16, 1937

2. Mid Channel: Class of 1910, Mary Institute, June 1935

3. The Nugget / published by the students of William McKinley High School [St. Louis], 1937 and 1944

4. Catalogue, The Taylor School, 1933-1934 and 1939-1940

5. Tell-tale (Forest Park University yearbook), 1911

6. Maple Leaves (Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School yearbooks), 1947-1950, 1954-1955

ANCESTRY.COM FREE DATABASES

Dated but still useful list of free Ancestry.com databases. In some cases access to index and database content is free; sometimes only use of the index is free.

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ANCESTRY.COM LLC ACQUIRES FIND A GRAVE, INC.

PROVO, Utah, September 30, 2013 – Ancestry.com LLC announced today it has acquired Find A Grave, Inc., the leading online cemetery database.

With over 100 million memorials and 75 million photos, Find A Grave has amassed an unparalleled collection of burial information. Over the past 18 years, it has grown to become an invaluable resource for genealogists, history buffs and cemetery preservationists. Find A Grave will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com, and will continue to be managed by its founder, Jim Tipton.

“Find A Grave is an amazing phenomenon supported by a passionate and engaged community of volunteers around the world,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. “We at Ancestry.com are so excited…honored really…to take on the responsibility of supporting this community. We will maintain Find A Grave as a free website, will retain its existing policies and mode of operation, and look forward to working with Jim Tipton and the entire Find A Grave team to accelerate the development of tools designed to make it even easier for the Find A Grave community to fulfill its original mission to capture every tombstone on Earth.”

Ancestry.com plans to bolster the resources dedicated to Find A Grave to launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements.

“Ancestry.com has been a long-time supporter of Find A Grave. They have been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years,” said Jim Tipton, founder of Find A Grave. “Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history and I look forward to working with Ancestry.com to help continue our growth and accelerate the pace of improvements.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

INKSCAPE

Need a drawing/illustration program, but don’t want to fork over big bucks? Maybe this free program has all the features you need:

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