Saturday, July 23, 2016

Missouri History Encyclopedia

Many Missouri researchers may be aware of the great resource the six volume set of the Missouri History Encyclopedia.  Published 1901, the set is organized alphabetically with vol 1 (A-Ci), vol 2 (Ci-Ga), vol 3 (Ga-La), vol 4 (La-Nu), vol 5 (O-Sl), and vol 6 (Sm-Z).

There are a various websites that have the books digitized and I find it useful to go between the sources for maximum search options, especially with older books that do not have an index.  Ancestry has it here.  Ancestry is focused on people so if you know a specific name you can look it up with the search function.  That said, I don't find it easy to browse on Ancestry, instead I use Google books or  Google is great because you can type in any search query and may find page numbers for town, maps or other details you seek.  This set is on Google Books, but if  you do not find a book there, you can go to and download the full book via pdf, save it to your own computer and go directly to the pages you seek.

If you want a hard copy of one or all of these volumes reprints can be purchased on

Canada, Oh Canada!

My husband and I returned this week from a 2000+ mile trek to visit family in Ontario, Canada, where most of his family resides.  We spent last week helping to prepare his mother for a move into a new apartment and discovered a few genealogical gems along the way.  

I thought I would share some of the great Canadian resources I have found useful.  As in the United States, the Canadian Archives, divided by provinces, is an excellent place to begin or continue your research.  The Ontario website is informative and gives access to numerous free online databases. From the English homepage you are given the option to explore several viable avenues listed under "Family History" and "What We Have." Both of these subheadings lead to the many databases and research guides the province has to offer, which includes, birth, death, immigration and marriage records, maps and photos, as well as detailed collections for World War I, the War of 1812, Patents and Black History records.

Some of the other provinces are not quite as easily accessible online as Ontario, however; each has a genealogy or archive website where you can learn the best avenues for your research.
 British Columbia 
 New Brunswick
 Newfoundland & Labrador
 Nova Scotia
 Prince Edward Island

Happy Hunting!

Friday, July 08, 2016

Papers of the War Department 1784-1800

This past weekend I found a great new historical reference - well, new to me anyway.  George Mason University has yet another great source for American History. is a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media that has digitized documents from the U.S. War Department long-considered lost since November 8, 1800 when a fire nearly destroyed all records of the department.

The project and the results open a window to historians that shed light on numerous aspects of U.S. policy for which the War Department was responsible including Indian Affairs, Naval Affairs, Veterans Affairs, militia and regular Army.  You can follow the progress of the project by reading the blog here.

FindMyPast is Offering a 50% Off Special through July 15th

Genealogy website FindMyPast is offering 50% off their 1-month World Subscription through July 15, 2016.  The site is known for its United Kingdom offerings, but after acquiring Mocavo earlier this year has expanded its U.S. portfolio as well.  Check it out here.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Las Vegas Man Finds Copy of the Declaration of Independence

Here is another great story of why we shouldn't throw away old papers and photos! The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that a man discovered a rare piece of American history.  The story can be found here.

Missouri State Genealogical Association Announces Two 21st Century Fund Awards

MoSGA announces the granting of two 21st Century Fund Awards.  The 2016 award winners are:

Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc. will receive a grant of $496.80 for archival supplies to preserve the “Muhammad Speaks” Collection of over 100 newspapers dating from 1969 to 1985. “Muhammad Speaks” was one of the most widely circulated African American newspaper publications in the United States.  A finding aid will be placed on the Black Archives of Mid-America’s website.

St. Charles County Historical Society will receive a grant of $990.00 to purchase a scanner to digitize the many genealogical records acquired by the society when the Genealogical Society of St. Charles County merged with the St. Charles County Historical Society in 2009. The merger resulted in a large collection of genealogical materials. The Historical Society intends to organize, scan and place these records on the society’s website for researchers worldwide.

The awards will be presented at the MoSGA Annual Luncheon, Saturday, August 6th, during the Association’s Annual Conference, August 5-6, Columbia MO. Conference information is available on the MoSGA website. 

The 21st Century Fund was established in 2005 during MoSGA’s 25th Anniversary. Grants of up to $1,000 are offered to Missouri societies, libraries and/or archives to promote the preservation and publication of Missouri genealogical data. 

The 2017 grant cycle begins July 1, 2016. Grant application and guidelines are available here.

The 21st Century Fund is supported by generous donations from the genealogical community.  If you wish to make a tax deductible contribution, please send it to MoSGA, 21st Century Fund, PO Box 833, Columbia MO 65205-0833.  Thank You!

Martha L. Henderson, Chair

21st Century Fund Committee