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!