13 September 2014

Minnesota Genealogical Society webinar proposals

The Minnesota Genealogical Society is now hosting webinars and accepting proposals for the 2015 educational year. According to the press release:

"The Minnesota Genealogical Society invites proposals for our 2015 genealogy webinars. The webinars are via our GoToWebinars.com account on the 1st Wednesday of February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October, November, and December. The MGS Education Committee especially encourages proposals for presentations with content relating to Minnesota and Upper Midwest resources and important Upper Midwest ethnic groups, including, but not limited to, Swedish, German, Norwegian, French Canadian, and Yankees. . . ."

For full details and the submission form:http://mngs.org/upload/files/Webinar_2015_RFP.pdf

Proposals must be sent no later than 9 October 2014.

12 September 2014

Genealogist and Great Grandmother all in one

Last week I posted about the birth of my first great grandchild. I spent yesterday afternoon with the latest addition to our family, itty bitty Lucas. He is under 6 lbs and is so light to hold. My granddaughter commented recently that being a young great grandmother is neat since I get to spend many years with him.

That made me think about my children and their great grandparents.

My oldest son had 4 great grandparents living when he was born. One, my Grandpa Mike died when my son was 4 1/2 months old and never got to meet his first great grandchild as we were living in California and Grandpa was back in Minnesota. However, my son did spend time with three other great grandparents. He was 6 when two of them died.

My daughter also got to know those two grandparents as she was 4 when they died.

Then there was my Grandma Gert who lived until she was almost 99. My oldest son was 31 when his GGG died, my daughter was 29, and my youngest son was 22. Grandma Gert was also fortunate to become Great Great Grandma Gert to my first two grandchildren. My own children spent a lot of time with Great Great Grandma Gert. 

Lucas and Mommy
This brings me to my own great grandparents. When I was born, I had 3 living great grandparents. One died when I was 3, another when I was 4, and the last one, Nana, when I was 10.
Lucas and Great Great Grandma Paula

Lucas and I will continue to become better acquainted. I promised to tell him stories about his Mom! I also promised to work on his family tree.

11 September 2014

Hula hoops, Barbie dolls, books, and my childhood at MHS

A current and popular exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society is Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s. This brought back memories of my own childhood. Tents made out of blankets hung from the clotheslines, blow-up swimming pools, trikes, roller skates, books, Colorforms, and more.

I was lucky to have my paternal grandmother, Olga Theodora (Carlsen) Stuart, aka Grandma Toots, who introduced me to the world of Nancy Drew and I eagerly looked forward to the next book she would bring me. I thought about Grandma Toots a couple times this past summer when I stopped at a lake to read. She used to read in scenic spots, too. My other favorite place to read as a child was at night in bed under the blanket using a flashlight.

I had an early hula hoop, Barbie doll, slinky, and other neat 1950s toys because a neighbor worked for a toy distributor. They always had neat toys at their house, too. I wonder what those toys would be worth today?

 The toys exhibit is open at MHS through January 5, 2015. More details are at www.mnhs.org

10 September 2014

Tewksbury, Massachusetts Almshouse records digitization

One of my favorite lectures I present at history and genealogy events is titled Tho’ They Were Poor, They May Have Been Rich In Records. The wealth of information that is available often leads to more family history than you ever thought possible including details on religion, birth, death, burial, divorce, children, and more. The lecture and slides includes how to find such records and show many examples from across the country of what records contain. Even family members you don't think of as poor may have spent time in such places.

Imagine my excitement this morning when I opened an email from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and read The Weekly Genealogist. One section jumped out at me: "Tewksbury Almshouse Records Available Online." Several paragraphs followed including this: "The Tewksbury [Massachusetts] Almshouse intake records, 1854-1884 (bulk 1860-1884), have been digitized and placed on both the Digital Commonwealth and UMass Lowell websites. This effort was a partnership between the Tewksbury Public Health Museum and UMass Lowell."

The project will have about 40,000 names indexed when it is completed. Visit http://library.uml.edu/clh/Collect.Html and scroll down to Tewksbury for several entries related to this almshouse including historical background. Don't forget to check back for updates.

If you have been a long-time reader of my blog or attended my presentations, you know that I often discuss the rich research resources held in Special Collections sections of college and university libraries.

If you don't subscribe to this free NEHGS newsletter, you may read it here: http://www.americanancestors.org/enews-2014/ and also access the links to the records.

07 September 2014

Two genealogy conferences in one place!

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is having its conference a bit earlier in 2015. February to be exact and in Salt Lake City!

FGS and RootsTech are teaming up for a one-time special genealogy event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, February 11–14, 2015. FGS and RootsTech will share the huge expo hall, general sessions, activities, and more while each conference offers their own program of sessions. FGS sessions will focus on methodology, records, ethnic research, and migration for honing your research skills and society issues to motivate and inspire society volunteers. RootsTech will offer a program of technology-based solutions for the genealogy needs of both individuals and societies.

I hope to see you there for this amazing event. Reserve your hotel room now. Don't forget that multiple light rail lines in the Salt Lake City area means you can also stay at outlying hotels.

Read the full details here https://www.fgsconference.org/ and register for the FGS conference online. Add RootsTech for only $39. 

The greatest savings on the registration cost is available only through September 12th! Anyone with an interest in genealogy, history, and family history is welcome.

06 September 2014

Researching Old Ship Logs

How cool is this! Volunteers are combing old ship logs to learn weather details for The Old Weather project. It is a way to fill in the gaps of our climate knowledge.  It also tells the story of the humans involved in the shipping industry and the human enjoyment and suffering of those on the ships.

"Mariners have long kept meticulous logbooks of weather conditions and descriptions of life onboard, and the National Archives in Washington, D.C., has pages and pages and pages of them recorded by sailors on Navy and Coast Guard vessels. Along with the basic weather observations, the logbooks contain amazing stories of adventure, survival and mystery. A bouquet of dried flowers was sandwiched in one logbook. Another log describes a 1,600-mile overland journey to bring reindeer to some stranded whalers. And then there are the logs of the USS Jeannette. Its journey began in San Francisco in 1879, an ill-fated attempt to find an open-water passage to the North Pole. Two months later, the Jeannette was surrounded by ice north of Siberia."

Read the full article here: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/09/03/ship-logs?from=environment

05 September 2014

Minnesota and beyond: seeking families and descendants of 46,000 adopted children since 1865

I love neighborhood newspapers. The Park Bugle serves the St. Anthony Park, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, and Como Park areas of St. Paul, Minnesota The September issue I picked up this week carried an article with joyous news of importance to many people. It concerns the families of children adopted through two organizations located here in Minnesota. 

The Children's Home Society is celebrating 125 years of service. It has joined with Lutheran Social Services in a celebration being billed jointly as “Family Reunion: Celebrating 275 Years of Adoption.” The event takes place on Sunday, September 21st.

One special part the article states is "Everyone is welcome, but organizers are issuing a special invitation to families and descendants of the estimated 46,000 children who have been adopted through the two organizations since Lutheran Social Services opened in 1865. They’ve set up a special website www.adoption275.org for adoptees and their loved ones to “Share Your Story” through photos, memorabilia and memories.

Read more about the two organizations, their history, and more about adoption in Minnesota http://www.parkbugle.org/family-reunion/.

Please share this notice with others who may have a connection to the children adopted via these organizations. The stories need to be shared.

Genealogy Immersion January 2015 in SLC

Check your calendar. I bet it's pretty empty for next January. Why not sign up for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy that takes place 12-16 January 2015. SLIG is moving to a different hotel with more classrooms and more space in each room. It has on-site restaurants, a Starbucks takeout area, and places to sit and talk with fellow students.

If you register today (and before 31 October 2014) you save $50 off registration. Join the parent of SLIG, the Utah Genealogical Association, and you save even more if you register now rather than after Halloween.

I am once again coordinating the United States Records and Research course. 2015 is Part I and Part 2 is offered in even numbered years. These do not need to be taken in any specific order and some genealogists return for a refresher when a number of years has passed! Plus the session content and the syllabus are always being updated by the instructors.

This course offers greater understanding of records, learning more unusual resources, one-on-one consultations at the Family History Library, a computer lab session, and some surprises. 

 Click here for the full intermediate course lineup. 

To learn more about SLIG: http://www.saltlakeinstituteofgenealogy.com/

And here: http://www.infouga.org/cpage.php?pt=42

04 September 2014

War of 1812 Pensions: 362,206 more pages funded for digitization!

During the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in San Antonio, last week, there was a special event that helped raise the funds to digitized 362, 206 more pages of the War of 1812 pension files.

Digitize and make them searchable, free, and printable to anyone forever. What a nice phrase.

The FGS 2014 Celebrity Fun Walk was extremely successful. If you hadn't heard about this, it was a fun event with many donations given on behalf of these four amazing individuals. The power of the four genealogists who woke up before sunset to walk from the convention center to the Alamo was amazing. The power of the community donations was wonderful. With all that was raised on behalf of Judy Russell, Josh Taylor, Kenyatta Berry, and Ed Donakey, plus the matching funds and other items, the total is almost $85,000.

Check out the Preserve the Pensions blog for more details and photos. 

The campaign isn't finished yet. There are many more files to be digitized. About 61,000 pages were digitized last month but that's only into the H surnames. Urge your fellow genealogists, historians, authors, military experts, and others to contribute. The Illinois and Indiana genealogical societies are once again providing matching funds for donations made through them. Check their society websites for details.

Registration Savings on North Star Genealogy Conference in Minnesota

Sunday, September 7th is the last day to register and save money on the 2014 North Star Conference. This is the Minnesota Genealogical Society's annual conference. The featured speaker for 2014 is Judy Russell, JD, CGSM , CGLSM , who is known as The Legal Genealogist.  Judy will present four lectures during the October 3-4 event. Several other speakers will also present sessions, including some woman named PaulaStuart-Warren.

Lunch is included in the registration price, and each attendee will receive tickets for door prize drawings. The location is Colonial Church in Edina, a Minneapolis suburb. The church  has plenty of parking and free Wi-Fi.

The full conference brochure is here. Register on the MGS website http://mngs.org/

On Thursday evening, October 2, MGS and the DNA Interest Group host Judy Russell for "DNA Goes Genderless." This requires a separate registration.Visit http://mngs.org/ for details.

Judy's description of this presentation: "Until 2010, genealogists could only use DNA to help prove ancestry if they could find sons of sons of a male ancestor or daughters of daughters of a female ancestor to test against each other. With the advent of autosomal DNA testing, DNA has gone genderless: it's now possible to test a male descendant of a man or woman against a female descendant. Learn more about this exciting addition to the toolkit of 21st century genealogists."

01 September 2014

My first great grandchild on Labor Day!

It will always be a special family joke that my first granddaughter gave birth to my first great grandchild on Labor Day!

Lucas arrived this morning. I feel giddy. I had no trouble sleeping through it all. I had the phone on silent and slept 12 hours upon my return from the FGS genealogy conference in San Antonio. I woke up to many missed phone calls and text messages. Those messages included photos of Mommy, Daddy, and Baby. Then I opened Facebook to see the first photo had already been posted there by the Daddy. I had instructed her that the baby could not arrive while I was out of town. She waited!

I am guessing my granddaughter won't be working at the paying job on Labor Day.  However, this was a much better paying Labor Day for her. 

I have added the details to RootsMagic already. That's a genealogy software program that I have started to use. I know that family who read this won't know what that means. What an honor to add the newest generation.

So anxious to see and hold the latest addition to our family.

10 August 2014

Next up: FGS Conference in San Antonio

I have a two week break from presentations right now but I have plenty to keep me busy and earning a living.

Next up on my travel schedule is the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in San Antonio, Texas from August 27-30. I have given up editing and writing the conference blog but it still exists and is filled with helpful information that you need in advance of this event that will draw people from all over the U.S. and from some other countries. Click here to view the conference information and to read the blog. Be sure to save time for the Exhibit Hall!

Juliana Smith has written a post on Ancestry.com's blog that reinforces the benefits of attending such conferences along with many tips that will help you prepare for the upcoming FGS conference. Click here to read her excellent post.

02 August 2014

Update on stolen Chaska Moravian Church Records

A few days ago I blogged about the volumes of records being stolen from an area church. Sometimes the media doesn't get the whole story. Then there is me who assumed the story was correct. I wasn't about to call the church and bug them when I know they are already being overwhelmed. Maybe I should have.

Another local TV station (KSTP) reports  "[Pastor] Eder says the Moravian Church is very much into their history. The stolen book, volume three, dates back to 1902. Two other volumes of records are stored in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania."

That answers some questions yet it still means one important volume was stolen. 

01 August 2014

New book for German researchers: Hanover Military Records Guide!

I received this press release today. Sounds like a MUST HAVE if you have Hanover ancestral roots!

Lind Street Research Publishes a New Guide for finding German Military Records
for the former Kingdom of Hanover

INVERNESS, ILLINOIS, August 1, 2014 – Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Certified GenealogistSM and German research expert, is proud to announce the publication of Guide to Hanover Military Records, 1514–1866, on Microfilm at the Family History Library. Military records for the former Kingdom of Hanover in Germany can include a soldier’s date and place of birth, his father’s name, and widows’ pensions. This publication is the only English-language guide to this gold mine of information for genealogists. With this guide, a researcher can quickly determine all available records for a regiment and time period and know where to find them in the Family History Library’s (FHL) microfilm holdings in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The records in this collection span 130 rolls of FHL microfilm and go beyond simply listing names of soldiers. In addition to the typical details in the muster rolls, transfers to and from other companies provide clues to additional muster rolls to review. The many other types of records in this collection include regimental journals, pension data, marriage consents, field church books, and even horse muster rolls, including physical descriptions of the horses and the names of the soldiers who rode them, and much, much more.

Easy to use, this guide is organized chronologically and includes brief historical overviews at the beginning of each major section. The book explains the history of the former Kingdom of Hanover and includes a detailed explanation of how to use this guide, demonstrated with examples.
This guide book is a must-have for anyone researching ancestors from the former Kingdom of Hanover in Germany.

McMillin has produced a thorough, detailed guide to the soldiers’ records, geography, and military history of the Kingdom of Hanover. Her book is the key that unlocks the puzzle of which microfilm your ancestor’s military record is found among the 130 Hanover military microfilms at the Family History Library.” -- Ernest Thode

“Until now this collection has hardly been touched by family historians, mostly because of the difficulties associated with locating the…microfilms. It’s an incredibly helpful work.” – Baerbel Johnson

The 400+ pages of this guide will save any genealogical or historical researcher dozens of frustrating hours trying to find valuable information in this collection. Although painstakingly detailed, it is ridiculously easy to use.” -- Michael Lacopo

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Certified Genealogistsm has had a life-long passion for genealogy. In 2006, Teresa founded Lind Street Research, a company dedicated to helping clients trace their German ancestry. Since then, she has helped many people discover their family history. Teresa also writes family history books and is a popular speaker for local and national genealogical societies, sharing her knowledge with the genealogical community. 

Visit www.hanovermilitary.com for more details
Contact:           Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG
Teresa S. McMillin, CG

CG or Certified Genealogist is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certified genealogists after periodic evaluation.

30 July 2014

KARE 11 reports Chaska Moravian Church books stolen

It's been a tough news day here in my area. One horrific story has been the shooting and death of a suburban police officer. That has affected my thinking all afternoon. My heart aches for his family and fellow officers.

Then I checked the local news channels websites to see if the suspect had been found and so far that news is negative. I saw another story that caught my eye. Definitely not as horrific, but still sad. A local news channel (KARE) has reported that thieves broke into a Minnesota church and among other items stole the church record books. These books from the Chaska Moravian Church are a big part of the history of the church and the area in Carver County, Minnesota.

KARE11 reports "Sometime in the late evening hours of Monday, July 14th, Reverend Eder discovered thieves broke into the church office and took a locked safe containing $50, but even more valuable to the church were four handwritten ledgers containing birth, wedding and death records dating back to 1920. The leather bound books contained important genealogy information of members from the early years all the way to a baptism performed two weeks ago."

I just checked several catalogs including those of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Family History Library and didn't see any evidence that these record books were ever microfilmed. The Moravian Church Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania does appear to have something from the first two record books. That means two of the stolen items are the only locations of the valuable information. Now I wonder if it is microfilm, photocopy, index, abstract, or what else? The inventory is not clear.

Read the full KARE story here plus the video of the newscast announcement.

Some record abstracts are posted on this website. Debbie Moe did an even greater service at the time by providing this information.

Update to police officer death: the suspect has been apprehended.

28 July 2014

Genealogical Research Institute of Pennsylvania 1 & 2!

I am home from a successful week at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh that was held at LaRoche College. I had a classroom full of wonderful and sharing people in the course I coordinate, “Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper.” The homework project for the week turned out to be one that featured many twists and turns. One newspaper article even called the family "notorious!" We were able to spend time discussing many of the students' own research problems and I hope they follow up on the great research suggestions we all shared. Sometimes it just takes a different set of eyes and experience to help solve an issue.

I also taught in the “Becoming an Online Expert: Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives" that is coordinated by Josh Taylor and had fun sharing the ins and outs of searching on Ancestry.com and on public library websites. I appreciate the great presentations by Debra Mieszala, CG and D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS in the intermediate course.

I made some new friends last week and some of them are even attending a course in Orchard Lake! They are hooked on the institute experience.

The next offerings of the week-long institute are July 20-25, 2014 in Pittsburgh and August 3-8, 2014 in Orchard Lake, Michigan (a beautiful suburb of Detroit). I will be repeating the “Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper” and will also be teaching in the “Bridging the Gap: New England to the Midwest, 1780-1840.”

There are still some openings in the Orchard Lake week. Visit http://www.gripitt.org for more details.

16 July 2014

You may still register for the FGS Genealogy Conference in San Antonio!

I just had someone ask me if they could still register for the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) conference in San Antonio, Texas.

That answer is easy: YES!

One other question that I usually receive since I am a member of the FGS Board of Directors is whether this is just a conference for genealogical societies. Another easy reply: NOT AT ALL!

Anyone may register and you don't need to belong to a genealogical society. Though, I would then ask why that person doesn't belong to a society where they reside and also where the ancestors resided. Whether you are just starting out with your family history research or have been researching for a long time, there are helpful presentations, networking, vendors, speakers, topics, fun events, plus the beautiful and famous San Antonio River Walk just steps from the convention center and hotels.

Check the conference information, speaker and topic lineup, hotel details (a second large hotel was added), luncheons with special speakers, evening events, workshops, exhibit hall participants, and more at https://www.fgsconference.org. Be sure to click on the Blog and read updates and important details, too.

If you register now, you will soon get online access to the full syllabus. Each conference registrant will receive notice in early August that the conference syllabus of lecture handouts is online and ready to read. Be sure to print the sections for lectures you plan to attend. Many speakers refer to specific points, have the URLs in there, and you may want to add additional notes on some of the points.

29 June 2014

One billion family history records from FamilySearch at our fingertips!

You may have already seen the stories about this but I still have to write about it. I can't even fathom one billion images.

This past week, "FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) announced the online publication of its one billionth image of historic records at FamilySearch.org, a feat that took just 7 years to accomplish."

I still love to touch original records in libraries, courthouses, historical societies, and archives, but I also love to sit here at my computer, with no shoes on, and my mug of spring water next to me, while I look at digitized records of my ancestors that are available online.

I have viewed records from all over the U.S., England, Canada, and other places. According to FamilySearch, the billionth image was published in FamilySearch.org’s growing Peru civil registration collections.

To read the full story on the FamilySearch blog, click here.

To search the indexed images, visit FamilySearch.org and click on Search. When you are on the actual search page scroll down to the list of country names and pick one to see what is online for your ancestral interest.