Sunday, January 29, 2017

Researching Ancestors in Other States

Most Missouri Researchers know about our great state resources including Missouri Digital Heritage and those on the University of Missouri Digital Library such as plat books.  But what about when you are searching for relatives in other states?  Do you automatically search for similar resources?  Here are a few sites I have found useful.

A good site for nailing down those state sources is at the Digital State Archives that lists the primary online source for each state.  Happy Hunting!

Creating Context for Your Ancestor's Life: A History of Restaurants

I recently read an article about Italian restaurants in America that detailed a new book by historian Paul Freedman titled, "Ten Restaurants that Changed America."  The book explains the lives of Italian immigrants in New York City and how those new Americans adapted to life in the New World. Italians, according to the author, were much less likely to assimilate into the New York City culinary life.  Rather Italians made the conscious decision to teach their children to cook in the ways of the old country.

There were stark differences, however, mainly relating to the availability and variety of food products such as meat, butter and cheeses.  Many of us cherish our family recipes, but when considering the lives our ancestors led in America, it is worth considering how their eating habits changed and what that meant for families. While food facts may not add leaves to your family tree knowledge of food and the circumstances surrounding it will go a long way in understanding the fabric of the times.

Paul Freedman's book, published in 2016, can be found on Amazon or other book retailers.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017 Family Tree University Winter Virtual Conference, March 3-5

Early Bird Registration is open for Family Tree University's 2017 Winter Virtual Conference. By registering soon you can get $40 off the $199 conference cost. It is not clear from the website when early bird pricing will end so check it out.

The conference includes 15 presentations on genealogy issues such as DNA testing, tools and technology, and research and preservation strategies.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Find My Past Offers Free Records Weekend is offering free access to all birth, marriage, census and death records on the site through January 15, 2017.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Mark Your Calendars!

There are several state and national events on the horizon.  Here are a few to add to your schedule.  Please feel free to submit your event to add to the calendar by emailing

RootsTech is February 8–11, 2017 in Salt Lake City, UT.  Register for the live or web events here.

National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2017 Family History Conference will be held 10-13 May 2017 in Raleigh, NC.  Registration is now open!

NGS 2018 Conference  - Call for Proposals for call for proposals for the 2018 Family History Conference, Paths to Your Past to be held 2-5 May 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  All proposals must be submitted electronically by 1 April 2017.

Ozarks Genealogical Society is hosting an event called, "Genetic Genealogy: Identifying and Confirming Ancestors with DNA Testing," on 11 March 2017.  Register or get more details here.

Useful Genealogy Advice

There are so many genealogy experts out there dispensing advice it is often hard to keep up.  In the coming months I will highlight a few of the ones I find consistently excellent.  

Amy Johnson Crow, a certified genealogist, has an excellent blog providing advice on many current genealogical issues we all face.  Her recent post "The Truth About Ancestry's Hints," provided useful information about how Ancestry hints should be approached with caution and understanding of the underlying resources. For example, not all databases are included in hints; instead hints tend to come from federal and state records including census, birth, death and marriage.  Additionally,  hints are intended to drive interest and provide possible clues.  Amy reminds her readers that often the hints are not the correct individual.

Amy's recent round-up of her 2016 best blogs reminded me how useful I have found her advice.  I highly recommend reading "Top 10 Genealogy Tips" to discover an excellent resource that is worth your time.  My favorites were "How FindAGrave Could - And Should - Be Made Better" and "5 Things You Can Do in Genealogy When You are Short on Time."

Amy also provides a free program called "31 Days to Better Genealogy" accessible on her website.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a warm and joyous Christmas with family and friends.  2016 was a bit rough for my family and many friends so we were quite happy to close that chapter and have a chance to begin anew.

When a new year begins we often make resolutions to organize our genealogy, start new projects or finally break down that brick wall.  In the spirit of new beginnings here are a couple of great FREE resources to help you in your quest.

Family History Daily has created a genealogy-specific search engine that looks through free sites. Called doGenealogy, the website offers the ability to search by location, subject or record type.  The project is new so check in regularly for new resources.

The other new resource for organizing your research is to follow the blog Do As I Am Doing, which describes in detail a method for organizing into binders.

Most importantly, mark your calendars for the 2017 MoSGA Annual Conference on Aug 4-5, 2017 in Columbia, MO.  See you there!