Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Free Family History Library Classes and Webinars for September 2017

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, has announced its free family history classes and webinars for September 2017. A Nordic countries series (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) will feature 21 classes for researchers from Monday, September 11 to Friday, September 15. Participants can attend in person or online. See the full schedule below. Find and easily share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom

Mark your calendars for events you want to join so you don't forget. Online classes are noted on the schedule as webinars.  Webinar attendees need to click the link next to the class title at the scheduled date and time to attend the class online. Those attending in person simply go to the room noted. Invite your family and friends. All class times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST).

If you are unable to attend a class in person or online, most sessions are recorded and can be viewed later online at your convenience. To access these, go to the archive for Family History Library classes and webinars.


Monday, September 04, 2017

MoSGA Announces New First Families

The Missouri State Genealogical Association takes pride in offering the Missouri First Families program to honor early Missouri families.  Your work in proving your ancestor’s early years in Missouri will be preserved for future generations by the Missouri State Genealogical Association [MoSGA].


The three categories are: 
Territorial Certificates – Ancestors proven to have resided in Missouri on or before statehood, 10 August 1821.
Pioneer Certificates – Ancestors proven to have resided in Missouri at any time between and including 11 August 1821 and 31 December 1860.
Civil War Service Certificates – Ancestors proven to have served in a Missouri military unit during the Civil War; those ancestors in other military units who saw service in Missouri during the Civil War; and those ancestors who were Civil War veterans and died and/or were buried in Missouri.

Please welcome our newest first families!

Category: Civil War
Ancestor: Johann Nicholas Friedrich
Name of Person Requesting: Carol J. Norman

Category: Civil War
Ancestor:  Martin Ballew
Name of Person Requesting: Marilyn L Taylor

Category: Pioneer
Ancestor: Charles Skinner
Name of Person Requesting: Anna Lou Martin

Category: Territorial
Ancestor: William Jones Kelly
Name of Person Requesting: Judith Lee Frisch


Would you like to see your ancestor's name on a certificate? Your application and accompanying documentation will make a significant contribution to the record of our state’s heritage and your family’s participation in that heritage.


In order to comply with genealogical standards of evidence, we ask that all applications include a complete set of the supporting documentation for all generations from yourself to the ancestor you are honoring. Please send only photocopies of the documents. The application may be shared with other genealogists; however, information on living persons and those born within the past 100 years will be withheld.

For more information check the MoSGA website.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" Is Coming Back in 2018

Ancestry.com has announced that "Who Do You Think You Are will be seen on TLC in spring 2018. Celebrity names have not been released, but the 2017 season included: Courteney Cox, Julie Bowen, Jennifer Gray, Noah Wyle, Jessica Biel, John Stamos and Liv Tyler, and musician Smokey Robinson.


Disaster Planning for Genealogists

With the national heartache over the Hurricane Harvey and the resulting flooding in Houston and other Gulf coast towns, genealogists are often reminded about disaster planning for our records and keepsakes.  Here are a few suggested sites and tips worth your time.

1.  Thomas McEntee blogged about a great reference for disaster planning that is currently FREE at Legacy Family Tree.
Melissa Barker, aka The Archive Lady, knows all too well what can happen to important papers and artifacts as well as data when a disaster hits. Whether it is fire, flood or simply a computer failure, Melissa has created a guide at Legacy Family Tree entitled Disaster Planning for the Genealogist.
2.  Melissa Barker also recommends a free document from the New York State Archives that is available for free here.  It is a bit dated but the 58-page document is worth a read.

3.  Lisa Louise Cooke provides a three-step process on her website.  She also has a podcast about disaster planning here.

4. Family Tree Magazine provides additional advice here. Maureen Taylor has tips for protecting photos here, while Diane Hadad gives four pointers for protecting keepsakes here.

5. Finally, I got a Flip Pal Mobile Scanner at the recent MoSGA annual conference.  It is my new best friend.  I immediately went to my Aunt Mary's and proceeded to run through a set of batteries scanning photos.  Flip Pal has a great blog here.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New Digital Archive Sheds Light on WWII Civilian Internment Camps in Singapore

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Collection has launched a new digital archive, Voices of civilian internment: WWII Singapore. These unique records, now freely available through Cambridge Digital Library, were conserved and digitized over a two year period with the support of the Wellcome Trust. They powerfully bring to life the experience of civilians who were interned at the Changi and Sime Road camps between 1942 and 1945 following the fall of Malaya to the Japanese. The archive will be of immense interest to the families of internees and a wide range of researchers since few survivors ever spoke of their traumatic ordeal. 

 The Cambridge University Library site provides a little background: 
The Royal Commonwealth Society Collection at Cambridge University Library has digitized the archives of two Second World War civilian internment camps established by the Japanese at Singapore, generously funded by a Research Resources Award from the Wellcome Trust.  The records are of immense interest to the families of internees and a wide range of researchers, since few survivors ever spoke of their traumatic ordeal.  The survival of this unique archive is largely due to the vision of Hugh Bryson, a career member of the Malayan Civil Service, who himself was interned.  While Secretary of the British Association of Malaysia and Singapore from 1952 to 1967, he collected original documents, diaries and correspondence of historical interest from members, and encouraged them to write their memoirs.  When the association disbanded in 1977, its archive was deposited with the Royal Commonwealth Society, and it came to Cambridge in 1993 when the University acquired its library.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, British colonial civil servants remained at their posts and civilians running businesses overseas stayed to support the war effort.  In this respect Malaya’s rubber and tin industries were particularly important.  There were plans to evacuate women and children from Malaya, but the speed of the Japanese invasion in December 1941 caught many by surprise. There was an exodus of refugees to Singapore as the Japanese advance continued.  Memoirs in the collection record the final battle for Singapore: aerial bombardment, shelling, blazing petrol stores in the harbour and the acrid smoke of burning fuel.

Missouri Gravestone Project

The Missouri Gravestone Project was created as a non-profit organization to help preserve Missouri history by acquiring digital images of every tombstone in the state.  You can search the site's database by county, surname or cemetery name.

The mission of the Missouri Gravestone Project is "to capture digital images of every gravestone in Missouri, and preserve these images and the information they provide for researchers and future generations.  This invaluable historical information, especially the older gravestones from before the middle of the last century are in danger of being lost forever, and many are already gone.  We are volunteers and this project is a "Not For Profit" organization."  

photo credit: Michelle Spencer

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the organization here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Highlights from the 2017 MoSGA Conference

Last weekend MoSGA wrapped up another great annual conference held at the Stoney Creek Conference Center in Columbia, MO.  Participants were wowed by keynote speaker Kathleen Brandt's presentations.  She gave us all a lot to think about including a few tips on breaking down the brick walls, how to engage family members of all ages in genealogy and how to use migration paths to trace your ancestors.

Kathleen Bradt with her family history quilt
We also had great vendors who showed us new products, research options, membership possibilities and genealogy bling.  Thanks to ALL the vendors who offered door prizes.









Stay tuned to hear about the 2018 conference!



Missouri State Genealogical Association Announces 2017 Award Recipients

The Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) recognizes individuals, groups and organizations that have put forth extra effort to support genealogical research, activities, and publications in the Show-Me State. The 2017 awards were presented August 5th during the Awards Luncheon of the MoSGA Annual Conference held in Columbia, Missouri at Stoney Creek Hotel &Conference Center. The awards were presented by MoSGA Board Member Jenna Mills.


Director’s Award - ​For distinguished service over an extended period of time in support of genealogy and exceptional contributions to the field with extra effort to promote goodwill and improve service.  Awarded at the discretion of the Awards Committee. The 2017 recipient is Lana Smith of Stanberry, Missouri.


Certificate of Appreciation – Presented to an individual, group, organization or institution, expressing thanks officially for compensated duties related to Missouri genealogy and/or family history performed in an exemplary and outstanding manner. The 2017 recipient is Dan Lilienkamp of St. Louis, Missouri. 

Award of Merit – Presented to an individual, group, organization or institution in recognition of meritorious service or distinguished work in Missouri genealogy and/or family history for which no compensation was received. The 2017 recipient is Paul Barker of Springfield, Missouri. (Mr. Barker was not present at the luncheon)





Sunday, July 30, 2017

MoSGA Book SALE!

One of the most exciting features of the MoSGA annual conference is the book sale.  We collect all year and offer up many vital reference, history and genealogy books any family historian would want.  While we offer countless Missouri-related tomes, you will also find numerous options from surrounding states such as Kansas and Illinois, but also options from states and regions across the United States.

Courtesy of anoblesavage.com


With prices beginning at $2.00 and none higher than $10.00, everyone can walk away with some treasured finds. The doors will open at 9 a.m. on Friday, and at 8 a.m. on Saturday. On Friday, books up to 200 pages will sell for $2 each; those with 201-500 pages will sell for $5 each; and those over 500 pages will sell for $10. Starting Saturday, prices drop to all you can fit into a plastic shopping bag (we provide the bags) for $5.00.

See you in the Lewis & Clark Room, just outside the Vendor Area at this year’s conference!


Don't Miss These Great Sessions at the MoSGA Conference, August 4-5, 2017

In addition to our Keynote Speaker Kathleen Brandt, we will have several can't-miss lectures from our other speakers including: 

  • Where Did You Come From, Missouri Settlers: Beth Foulk
  • Applied DNA – A Case Study Using DNA to Break Down Brick Walls: Eric Wells
  • Grandpa “Stole Chickens in the Nighttime”: What Penitentiary Records Can Tell You About Your Family: Mary Stansfield, CA
  • Grand Army of the Republic, Loyal Legion, and other Civil War Union Veterans’ Associations: Dennis Northcott 
We are offering a choice of 2 pre-conference workshops:
  • Introduction to Public [Federal] Land Records
  • Accessing European Church Records  
See you on Friday in Columbia!  If you still haven't registered, you can do so on the MoSGA website.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Launches New Society Management Webinar Series


The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced the launch of their Society Management webinar series. This series of free events will bring a much-needed aspect to the array of learning opportunities currently provided in the genealogical community; focusing solely on the leadership and management of non-profit societies.



The August session will feature David Rencher, CG, presenting on the best practices – and challenges – surrounding The Nominating Committee.

Each month thereafter will feature a new and interesting topic, ranging from recruitment and volunteer management to technology, publications, and working with your local tourism board. Registration will be necessary, and regular updates will be shared via the FGS Voice blog, FGS Voice Newsletter, and social media. Webinars will occur every 3rd Thursday of the month.

Speakers interested in presenting topics should contact Jen Baldwin, Education Chair, at education@fgs.org.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Vita Brevis

Once in a while I like to recommend  a blog or website. I have been reading Vita Brevis, the blog associated with AmericanAncestors.org, the website for the New England Genealogical Society for the last few months.  The blog is informative and tells some great stories. Part of the reason for the success is that several people contribute to the blog, which keeps it fresh and entertaining. Even if you don't have ancestors from New England you will enjoy this blog as the stories are rich in American history and the examples given often have a wide application. Try it out today!

MoSGS Conference Only Two Weeks Away!

We are very excited about the 2017 annual MoSGA conference to be held in Columbia,  MO at the Stoney Creek Conference Center on August 4-5. 




The lineup this year is stellar with our Keynote Speaker Kathleen Brandt offering several not to be missed lectures. Kathleen will be joined by some of the best speakers Missouri has to offer.

If you haven't had a chance to register you can do it here.  We will see you two weeks from today in Columbia!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pictures of Ellis Island Immigrants

While many of us have accessed an ancestor's records from his or her entry into the United States, few have ever had more than imagination to consider what our relatives were wearing when they arrived.

These photos from Ellis Island are truly amazing, adding rich detail to our imagination.  Check it out today!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

MoSGA Announces 2017 21st Century Grant

The Missouri State Genealogical Society (MoSGA) is pleased to announce a $1,000 grant to the Sullivan County Genealogy Library in Milan MO. The library will purchase microfilm of the Milan Standard newspaper for the years 1890-1899.



The check will be presented at MoSGA’s annual meeting during the MoSGA Conference, August 4-5, 2017 at Stoney Creek Conference Center, Columbia MO.

Since 2009, MoSGA has awarded a yearly 21st Century Fund Grant to Missouri genealogy societies, libraries and archives. The grants are awarded to help identify, compile and preserve Missouri’s non-public (non-governmental) records.  For more information on the grant program visit the MoSGA website.

Independence Day Genealogy Deals

Here are two great deals if you want to spend part of your weekend conducting research.

1.  Ancestry.com is offering free access until midnight July 4.

2.  The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering free access to their records from Thursday to Thursday,  June 29-July 6, 2017.

Authors: Send Us Your New Family History or Genealogy Book!

The Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) is dedicated to enhancing the study of family history and the principles of sound genealogical research for its members and the general public. We have an active library program seeking books of value for review and placement in the circulating library collection of the Midwest Genealogy Center located in Independence, Missouri.

We invite your members to donate copies of recently published family histories or historical works for review in the MoSGA Journal. Once books are reviewed, they are donated to the Midwest Genealogy Center of the Mid-Continent Public Library for placement in the circulating collection. This collection is available for public use in the library and nationwide through the interlibrary loan program. Look here for a link to the card catalog.   

Books may be mailed fourth-class book rate to: 

MoSGA Library Director
P.O. Box 833 
Columbia, MO 65205-0833

For each book please include the following information: price, postage and handling charges, any applicable sales tax, and contact information for the author or publisher.

Association of Professional Genealogists Hit By Scam - Lessons Learned

Last week the Association of Professional Genealogists announced it had been targeted by scam artists. The villains were able to impersonate the secretary's email and offered to pay APG members an hourly fee to lobby state legislatures regarding forensic genealogy.  In a further attempt, members received requests to "Support Diane's Brain Cancer Battle."  APG quickly quashed the scam by alerting members and asking them to report any such attempt at fundraising and asking that those affected to notify the organization.  

I have some professional knowledge of cyber security and I have been the target of email cloning and twice had my credit card accounts hacked.  I, therefore, would like to offer a few cautions of my own.  

1. Source. Be cautious of any solicitation via email or social media, especially Facebook. We have all heard about fake news on social media, yet it is hard not to click on that story about the baby with cancer.  Look carefully - is it a story supposedly about someone in a small Missouri town but the link takes you to a website that is not linked to any local, regional or state news source?  Don't be taken in just because it is a sad story or even a happy one!

2. Context.  Does the email read like a normal / regular communication you receive from an organization? Often databases are hacked by groups in foreign countries then they are sold to individual criminals or organizations.  If you closely read the fake email there will be grammatical mistakes or colloquialisms that don't fit.  For example, did a New England genealogical society end their request with "see y'all in the spring!" when you know their annual conference is in the fall and no self-respecting Bostonian would say y'all like we do in the south?  Sometimes it isn't that simple, but if you look you will often see things that just do not fit the norm.  

3. Legitimacy. If any legitimate organization is soliciting funding, take a minute to think about the source and what they are asking.  Would an organization such as APG solicit funding through their work emails for an individual?  The answer is never.  Most companies and non-profit organizations have rules about using their official communication sources for private funding. 

4. Check it out. At the national level any non-profit must register and are held accountable by federal law.  You can check out charity ratings at Charity Watch. For an organization such as a genealogical society, go to their website for information about events and solicitations.  If an organization is undertaking a fundraising campaign, you bet it will be front and center on their website.  Also, you can contact them via phone or mail, but use only phone numbers that you find officially linked to the organization not one provided in the suspect email.

5. Be familiar with the typical scam.  You can check  this US government website that lists common fraud types: https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds#item-35157.

According to an IBM report, the global cost of cybercrime will reach $2 trillion by 2019, a threefold increase from the 2015 estimate of $500 billion. Small, regional and even local organizations are not immune. The IBM report explains, "a staggering 50 percent of small and mid-sized organizations reported suffering at least one cyberattack in the last 12 months."

Your best bet is to be aware, be vigilant of your own finances and social media presence and most importantly when and if you are ready to give to a worthy cause, take the time to do the research and get your hard-earned dollars in needy hands, not those of criminal organizations.











Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG

Executive Director

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Genealogy Resources in Kansas City

I had the great fortune to spend last week researching in Kansas City, Missouri.  I had such a great experience I thought I would share some of the sources I found so helpful. My week was filled with trips to 2 libraries, 2 city halls and 3 county courthouses!  I was researching the history of two buildings on Troost Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri.  I spent two full days in the Missouri Valley Special Collections Room at the Kansas City Public Library.  Melissa was a great help and a cheerful voice when I got bogged down.  If you have never been to the KC Library, GO NOW.  It is beautiful and a wondrous resource. Keep in mind the Special Collections have different hours from the rest of the library so check the links above before you visit. Also, there are many online resources found on the websites so check them out.



I also made a trip to the Midwest Genealogy Center.  No longer living in Missouri, this is a real treat for me.  As usual I found what I needed with the expert assistance of the staff - even on a Sunday.

I also was amazed at the courteous and helpful staff at the Jackson County Courthouses (Independence and Kansas City) where I conducted deed and property research.  Before I left for the airport I squeezed in a final and most personal search - I was able to locate my maternal grandparents marriage certificate at the Wyndotte County, KS courthouse. It couldn't have been a more perfect end to a great research trip!

I hope everyone gets to spend some quality family time this weekend!




Happy Father's Day! Here are a Few Genealogy Sales

Here are a few of the specials running through this weekend for genealogy.  If you are ready to test your DNA: 

  • Ancestry DNA is $79 through Sunday, June 18, 2017.
  • 23andMe is $79 for Ancestry service and $179 for Health + Ancestry Service through Sunday, June 18th. 
  • Family Tree DNA is $69 for the Family Finder Test and $139 for the YDNA Test.
  • MyHeritage is $69 for the DNA test through June 19, 2017.
  • To make sure you are getting the best deal for you, check out Genealogy Bargains. They maintain a running list of coupon codes and discounts.
DNA Image from the University of Michigan Medical School 



If you need a little help navigating all the genealogy options out there:
  • FamilyTree is offering 50% off their on demand Webinars through June 20, 2017.
As always, happy hunting!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Friends of the Missouri State Archives To Hold Annual Meeting: June 10, 2017

The 2017 Friends of the Missouri State Archives annual meeting will be held Saturday, June 10, at the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center (600 W. Main St.) in Jefferson City. The business portion will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a noon luncheon and program entitled, Route 66: The Highway and Its People, by nationally recognized author Susan Croce Kelly.

This event is open to the public, but there is a cost of $25 per person. Contact Brian Rogers by Friday, June 2, at (573) 526-1981 or brian.rogers@sos.mo.gov to reserve your place. Payment should be mailed to the Friends of the Missouri State Archives at P.O. Box 242, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

MyHeritage Launches New Comprehensive DNA Ethnicity Analysis

My Heritage  today announced the launch of its new and improved Ethnicity Estimate. The new analysis, developed by the company’s science team, provides MyHeritage DNA customers with a percentage-based estimate of their ethnic origins covering 42 ethnic regions, many available only on MyHeritage, representing the most comprehensive report of its type available on the market.

The best part is that you can either order a DNA kit from MyHeritage or upload your own data from other site.



MyHeritage Announces New Collection Catalog

Earlier this month MyHeritage announced a new section on their website called the Collection Catalog, a listing the historical record collections indexed and available on MyHeritage SuperSearch™. The catalog is useful for beginners as well as professional users. It lists next to the name of each collection the number of records in it and the date in which it was added or last updated, and indicates with a special icon which collections are new or recently updated. Some people call this a “card catalog” in reference to the way libraries used to index their inventory on cards in the old days, but our Collection Catalog is digital; It is available online and includes many useful functions.



Try it out soon!

Sanborn Maps Now Available at the Library of Congress

This is one of the most exciting announcements from the Library of Congress (LOC) maps collection in several years! The LOC has digitized more than 25,000 pages of Sanborn maps.  I use these maps regularly for my preservation and historical research.  According to the LOC
The Sanborn map collection consists of a uniform series of large-scale maps, dating from 1867 to the present and depicting the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of some twelve thousand cities and towns in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property and therefore show the size, shape, and construction of dwellings, commercial buildings, and factories as well as fire walls, locations of windows and doors, sprinkler systems, and types of roofs. The maps also indicate widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers.
The maps are easy to use, once you understand the key.  It is explained here.  

If you know where your ancestor lived you might just find his house on a Sanborn map.  There are limitations - not every city was mapped and like census takers some maps provide more detail than others.  Currently over 3,000 cities across the US are online with more being added monthly through 2020. Missouri is in the first release so go check! 


Springfield, MO map, April 1884, p 1,
Library of Congress, Sanborn Map Collection


Other areas in the first release include: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, OH, OK, PA, SD, TX, VA, VT, WY and Canada, Mexico, Cuba sugar warehouses, and U.S. whiskey warehouses.

But as Missourians we are doubly blessed because the University of Missouri Library has an extensive Sanborn Map collection.  The University of Missouri--Columbia MU Libraries have documented 390 Missouri towns totaling 6,798 of the maps from 1880 to 1922. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society Records Offering

Today i would like to highlight one of Missouri's regional societies and some of the historical records available there. The Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society has many records available online. Volunteers are indexing and adding digital copies of cemetery records, obituaries, death notices from local newspapers- just to name a few. For example, deaths are recorded from 1890-1909, when death certificates became legally required by the state.  More years are being added so check now and check again later if you have ancestors in Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan,  Clinton,  DeKalb, Gentry,  Holt, Nowaday and Worth counties.

NGS Releases Two Newly Revised Guide Books for Tennessee and North Carolina

NGS Releases Two Newly Revised Guide Books for Tennessee and North Carolina

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announced this week the publication of two newly revised books in its Research in the States series. These guides are two of 26 books that provide information about genealogical repositories and resources in specific states to aid individuals who are researching their family histories. The latest editions are Research in Tennessee, 3rd Edition and Research in North Carolina, 2nd Edition.  The books are available in pdf and hard copy from the NGS online store.


Spring Sales for DNA and Genealogical Research

With the spring holidays (Mother's Day, Father's Day and graduations) several companies are offering discounts for genealogists.  


MyHeritage is offering their best deal ever.  The Mother’s Day promo on their DNA tests – is just $69 thru May 15. 


  • Ancestry.com is offering 25% off memberships for Mother's Day.  


  •  Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems is offering 25% of annual membership using the code SAVE25NGS

  • Genealogy Bank is offering 2 months free with an annual subscription.




Excitement Builds as Ground is Broken on the New Center for Missouri Studies

As the Spring semester ends at Mizzou, construction is slated to begin on the new Center for Missouri Studies at Sixth and Elm on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. The State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO) celebrated the culmination of its 10-year effort to create its Center for Missouri Studies in a ceremony on April 19, 2017.  
Ground Breaking Ceremony April 19, 2017
As well as acting as headquarters for SHSMO the new state-of-the-art facility will offer a lecture hall, art gallery, historical research center, conservation lab and meeting rooms.  SHSMO President Bob Priddy said, "This building reminds us that our history is not a bunch of papers and books to be stored in an attic. This building reminds us that our history is alive and it can guide us."  The new Center for Missouri Studies new Center for Missouri Studies will open in April 2019.  We can't wait!
Artist Rendering of the New Center for Missouri Studies


Thursday, May 04, 2017

New York Public Library Has Digitized 5,000 NYC Historical Maps

"An article in Hyperallergic caught my eye when I read, "The New York Public Library Has a 'Digital Time-Travel Service' for Its Historical Maps."  I had to check it out.  It seems the New York Public Library has a two year project to plot 5,000 digitized street maps across the five boroughs, organized by decade from 1850 to 1950.  

The article states that the "New York Public Library’s new NYC Space/Time Directory is imagined as a 'digital time-travel service,' a two-year project engaging the library’s collections of maps and geospatial data through interactive tools." The first tool, Maps by Decade, was launched this month.




“The goal of the Space/Time project is to connect the library’s collections through space and time,” Bert Spaan, NYPL’s Space/Time Directory engineer, told Hyperallergic. Now that is pretty cool.  If your ancestor came through Ellis Island they may have lived in NYC for a time.  If you are really lucky, you might just be able to view the exact location "real time." Happy hunting!


NGS 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, NC, 10-13 May: Livestream & On Demand

Many genealogists soon will be flocking to North Carolina to attend the 2017 National Genealogical Society annual conference.  For those of us who cannot attend in person, still have an opportunity to see some of the many interesting lectures by premier American genealogists.




You can now live stream select sessions from the Conference—and watch them again and again for three months from the end of the Conference (until 13 August). You can watch one track (5-sessions on DNA and/or BCG Skillbuilding) or both tracks (10-sessions) as they happen live, and then replay them anytime.

Personally, I think I will listen to the DNA sessions.  I have tested my DNA along with several family members but I have yet utilize the information to its fullest.  I look forward to hearing some great lectures on the subject!

Happy Hunting.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 25th Is National DNA Day

National DNA Day, organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, is Tuesday, April 25, 2017.  The event commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953.  The website lists numerous events from Tuesday's Twitter Chat with  NASA Astronaut Kathleen Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space, to discussions at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Several organizations are offering deals on DNA-related products to celebrate the occasion. Here are a few of the bargains: 

1. Lisa Louise Cook is offering 27% off a Genetic Genealogy Bundle.  Additionally, Lisa's website is offering a coupon code DNADAY to save 15% on all single DNA guides, print or digital. 
2. Ancestry.com is offering 20% off AncestryDNA kits.
3. Family Tree DNA has several options on sale.
4. Two DNA workshops will be offered at the 2017 FGS National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 30-September 2. Both DNA workshops are sponsored by Ancestry ProGenealogists and require pre-registration in order to attend.  Check here for more details.
5. The MoSGA conference will offer two DNA-related from Eric Wells, the first will be a DNA introduction for beginners while the second will detail a case study that offers insights into how to use DNA results with your other genealogical research.  Join us on August 4-5 in Columbia!


Google Earth's New Release Offers Genealogists Updated Tools

Google Earth released an update that offers several great tools for genealogists.  The new search function has been updated with "knowledge cards" that provide encyclopedic details of locations. Users can orbit the world in 3D and utilize the new "Voyager" that incorporates BBC Earth and NASA.  There is a "wildcard" function that allows you to view random locations.  While some of these functions such as street view may not be available for small towns and villages, I was able to pinpoint the church where my 3x great-grandfather was baptized in a small town in Germany.  Happy hunting!


Halifax, Nova Scotia Releases Photographs of the Harbor as the Centennial of Halifax Explosion Nears

On December 6, 1917, a French cargo ship, the SS Mont-Blanc, fully loaded with wartime explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the Halifax harbor. A resulting fire on board the French ship ignited the cargo and caused an explosion that devastated the Richmond District of Halifax. It was the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Approximately 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and an estimated 9,000 others were injured.




As Halifax prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, the Municipal Archives is highlighting historical sources on how the communities of Halifax and Dartmouth responded to the tragedy, and how the city worked with the Halifax Relief Commission to rebuild. Visit 100years100stories.ca for information on commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

American Ancestors Opens Probate Databases April 18-25

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering free access to thirty-two probate databases for one week, April 18-25. The databases contain some of the earliest records in the New England colonies.

Anyone can sign in as a guest member to gain access on AmericanAncestors.org. There is a free webinar on how to use probate  records.

Monday, April 10, 2017

WWI at the National Archives

First, I would like to express my thanks for a reader Vicki Root/Carpenter-Runk/Patton Evans for pointing out that some of the links from the April 6th post were not working.  They are fixed now.

Second, I failed to mention the best source for U.S. records related to World War One are at the National Archives.  In commemorating the war, the National Archives has created a special portal for the WWI holdings. This page provides a breadth of information on current programs, photographs, genealogical records and a mobile app that allows the user to build your own collection of memorabilia.

Gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, firing 37 mm gun during an advance on German entrenched positions. Courtesy of the National Archives.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Today is 100th Anniversary of the U.S. Entry into World War I - Links Repaired

Today is the 100 anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.  I share some of the most profound coverage here.
The Washington Post has never before published photos here.
The Associated Press shares their coverage here.
Family Tree Magazine has a time line for other countries entry into the conflict here.
Watch the ceremony at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO on YouTube