Friday, June 29, 2018

Do You Know Where You Will Be in 6 Weeks?

Join Us in Columbia for the Annual Conference on 10-11 August 2018!  If you haven't already registered you can do it here.

We have a great line-up this year with keynote Amy Johnson Crow as well as sessions on DNA, Missouri research including the new adoption law, the National WWI Museum and Research Center, the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, using social media, and cemetery research at Jefferson Barracks.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Do You Know Anyone Who Was an Orphan Train Rider?

Until the release of a 1993 documentary on PBS's The American Experience, the story of the orphan trains was not widely known.  Since that time books have been written and an effort to collect the personal stories has been underway.

Here are a few of the recent books, many of which are fiction:
A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains: A Memoir (non-fiction, available Jul 11)
Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story (non-fiction, 1998)
Riders on the Orphan Train: a novel (2012)
Orphan Train (2013)
Orphan Train Girl (2017)
The Orphan's Tale (2017)
The Chaperone (2012) This book is not about the orphan trains, but the main character was an orphan in Kansas and later in life she and her family hide the fact from society.

Courtesy of
Between 1854 and 1929 over 250,000 orphans and unwanted children were taken out of New York City and given away at train stations across America. Originally organized by minister Charles Loring Brace to rid New York of homeless street children and provide them with an opportunity to find new homes in the developing Midwest, this nearly eighty year experiment in child migration is filled with horror stories and happy endings. The last train came to Sulphur Springs, Texas in 1929. The trains stopped in pre-selected towns where people interested in taking a child would assemble. Kansas was the destination for many of the orphans. See the Kansas State Historical Society for more information.

Beatrice Flanagan was born in New York City on April 25, 1921 to Josephine Flanagan, an Irish immigrant. She was left at Bellevue Hospital and then transferred to the New York Foundling Hospital. She was sent on a train by the Sisters to Sealy, TX in 1922 when she was fourteen months old and later adopted by Mary Polak in Wharton County, TX.

Beatrice is now 97. If anyone has any information on any other living Riders, please contact Alison Moore at with any pertinent information.

Did Your Ancestor Hold a Patent? Check the National Archives!

From the National Archives Pieces of History Blog:

Just two weeks ago, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the 10 millionth utility patent on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. This is a historic milestone for the agency and for inventors in the United States. Did you know the National Archives holds 1,000,000 Utility Patent Drawings and 138,388 boxes of Patent Case Files

I have at least two ancestors with patents. How about you?

Monday, June 04, 2018

Has Your Genealogy Research Hit a Wall? Maybe You Need to Go Old-School and Hit the Books!

One of the most exciting aspects of MoSGA's annual conference is our book sale.  Each year we encourage historical societies, libraries or other organizations to donate books to our book sale that benefits our Association.  Our greatest benefactor is always Mid-continent Library in Kansas City, Missouri.  Their genealogical holdings are unsurpassed.  

The benefit of the book sale is that not only do you get to clean out your respective closets or get rid of multiples of old materials, those of us who are die-hard book-hounds (I am confessing here) get to go shopping.   

Last year I left with bags of books. Among my treasures I found the following: 
  • A listing of burials in a cemetery on my grandparents farm in Morgan County.  The gravestones are no longer legible and the family only remembers a few names. Now we have the list!
  • A South Carolina Genealogy book written in the early 1960s that included details on a client's family.
  • A History of Kansas City's early businessmen I have used in my research to list two Kansas City properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Early Deed Records of from Virginia.  I have a few ancestors whose surname is Adams, making this search very difficult.
The internet is a great resource, but sometimes nothing beats a book.  Whether you have books to give or research to support THIS is your chance!

2018 MoSGA Book Sale
Lewis & Clark Room
(Outside the Vendor Area at the 2018 MoSGA Conference)

Sale begins at 9 a.m. on Friday and at 8 a.m. on Saturday

Friday:  Books 1 – 200 pages     = $ 2.00

               Books 201 – 500 pages = $ 5.00

               Books over 500 pages  = $10.00

Saturday:  As many books as you can fit into a plastic shopping bag (we provide the bag) for $5.00.

Got Genealogy Books Taking Up Valuable  Shelf Space?

Just bring them with you to the 2018 MoSGA Conference and drop them off at the MoSGA Book Sale after 9 a.m. on Friday and after 8 a.m. on Saturday.

All revenue generated by this sale goes to support MoSGA and its continuing mission to enhance the knowledge of its members and the public in the study of family history, genealogical records and the principles of sound genealogical research.