27 December 2008

FGS Conference 2009

Thinking about going to the Federation of Genealogical Societies and Arkansas Genealogical Society 2009 Genealogy Conference that will be held September 2-5, 2009 in Little Rock? The conference blog continues to have additional information and updates. The hotel information was just updated to include hotel amenities. Camping and RV Park info was also added.

24 December 2008

Holiday Greetings

The last month has been incredibly busy and I am sure your's has been too! I am finally getting around to some holiday greetings.

Dear Readers,

This is my greeting to you as 2008 comes to an end and 2009 is just about here. No matter the personal, country, or world conditions, there is much to be thankful for. I turned 60 this year and that is something to be thankful for (ouch!) as it is better than not turning 60. I moved to a one-level rental townhome that I love and plan to stay here for at least two years.

I just spent a Christmas celebration weekend with my oldest son and daughter-in-law, my daughter and son-in-law, and four of the grandchildren. My daughter and family come to the Twin Cities every other year for Christmas so it was our turn to go to Hermantown to be with them. It was a great time to be thankful for. Tonight I will spend Christmas Eve with my oldest son and family. They told me I have to stay overnight so that Santa won’t be confused about where to leave my Christmas Stocking! After Christmas morning with them, I will spend time with my Dad. My youngest son moved to Washington, DC this year and will spend Christmas with friends.

2008 started out on a good note as I traveled to Salt Lake City to teach at the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. It was my twelfth year are part of SLIG. It was also a trip to have a family reunion of sorts – with many from my genealogy family. On January 8th, I spoke to my Mom’s main caregiver back in Minnesota and was told she was having a good day. The good start ended with the phone call from my sister Linda that same evening telling me that Mom had passed away. She had suffered for many years surviving breast cancer, emphysema, severely broken leg that got worse, bad osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other maladies. She no longer spoke and the glint of recognition of family beyond my Dad had been gone for a long time. She is no longer suffering, but I still miss the frequent phone calls we used to have.

The shock of my Mother’s sudden death was difficult. The cost to go back home was also a shock. Then my Dad called and told me to stay in Salt Lake City – he was going to have the service immediately and he knew the airfare cost was prohibitive. My “family reunion” family had a special memorial service for Mom. It was perfect. Some friends mourned their own losses, too. This other family is very special to me. My Dad later said he wished he had been there with me. I was fortunate to see many of these friends at conferences and seminars throughout 2008. I also have a reunion every so often with a group of friends from elementary school.

Several good friends passed away during the year and I miss them. I do admire them for their upbeat attitudes as they fought disease. Others are still fighting valiantly. Some friends are spending their first holiday season without their significant other or in the midst of a family crisis. It will be difficult, but remember that you will make it through – just be sure to do something special for yourself and reach out to others if you need someone to talk to. You have my phone number and I am always willing to listen.

My oldest son was married this summer to a woman I dearly love. Their outdoor ceremony was perfect as was the day. Jim has one daughter and Jamie has one daughter and three sons. We will all be together tonight. I knew that they were all part of my family once they began teasing me about my height.

My Dad is amazing. His mind is sharp and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration at my sister and brother-in-law’s new lake home. Dad played cards for hours with us and got off some real zingers as he teased us. He turned 89 this year and I wish his body was as good as his mine. I love you Dad.

I look forward to 2009. My biggest wishes are for better health for my Dad and some more positive changes in this country and the world.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and best wishes for all celebrations and neat memories to all the special people in my life,



11 December 2008

Post-Adoption Research

If you are involved in such research, run, don't walk, to read an article by Debbie Mieszala, CG, in the October-December 2008 NGS Magazine. (This issue is volume 34, #4). The article is titled "Riding the roller coaster of post-adoption research." Debbie discusses the adoption triad (child, adoptive parents, and birth parents), respectful adoption language, possible records that were created, the two versions of a birth certificate, and gives the reader a search checklist. She does not avoid the emotional roller coaster that this research generally involves and gives tips on dealing with this issue and with making everyone as comfortable as possible.

If you are not a National Genealogical Society member, a public library, historical society or genealogical library in your area may soon have this issue on the shelf.

10 December 2008

Gold Rush Stories

In the weekly (and free) e-News I receive from the New England Historic Genealogical Society this notice was included today:

Seeking Gold Rush Stories

For a California Gold Rush-themed issue, to be published later in 2009, the staff of New England Ancestors magazine would like to hear from those with ancestors who traveled from New England to participate in the Gold Rush. Please send a paragraph of information on your Gold Rush ancestor(s), outlining the details and briefly mentioning relevant family stories, documentation, or photographs concerning the Gold Rush, to magazine@nehgs.org. Some submitters will be asked to write accounts for publication in New England Ancestors magazine or NewEnglandAncestors.org.

09 December 2008

Archivist of the United States resigns

December 9, 2008

National Archivist Allen Weinstein Resigns

Washington, D.C. . . On December 7, historian Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, submitted his resignation to the President, effective December 19, 2008. Professor Weinstein, who has Parkinson's disease, cited health reasons for his decision.

Deputy Archivist of the United States, Adrienne Thomas, will serve as Acting Archivist until a new Archivist is appointed, in accordance with the National Archives governing statute, 44 USC 2103(c).

In his letter to the President, Weinstein said "During my tenure as Archivist, my team of colleagues and I have made substantial progress in achieving virtually all of our goals. Moreover, we at the National Archives have worked diligently and successfully on our primary mission of maximizing public access to the records of all three branches of government while protecting at all costs this agency's rock-solid nonpartisan integrity." The Archivist says that the time has come for him to address fresh challenges.

Weinstein was nominated by President Bush on April 8, 2004, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 10, 2005. Under the National Archives statute there is no specific term of office and the position is not intended to change hands automatically with the election of a new President.

02 December 2008

Have you attended a FGS Conference?

I am looking for some human interest stories to use in publicizing the September 2-5, 2009 Federation of Genealogical Societies and Arkansas Genealogical Conference. I need names and contact info for stories related to attending a FGS conferences. The areas I am hoping for are these and others that you might have to share:

a. a great research find because of what was learned at a conference
b. someone convinced to venture out to libraries and not do just online research
c. a person finding a possible relative at the conference
d. great friendships evolving due to conference attendance
e. breaking through a brick wall because of conference attendance
f. chance meeting at a booth in the vendor hall
g. learning a lot about a research facility just by talking with someone at a luncheon

The name of the person submitting the story would be used in the PR as will their city and state.



NGS Conference Program Online

I just noticed that the National Genealogical Society's Program and Registration for the May 13-16, 2009 Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina has gone live. The website has a nice listing of items in the left hand column to click for just about all the knowledge you need for attending the conference.

I checked airfares earlier today and they have come down a lot for that time period from when I first checked two months ago.

NARA Award for Excellence in Genealogy

I received this press release from the U.S. National Archives. It sounds interesting.

December 1, 2008

Two awards to be granted for articles based on National Archives records

Washington, DC* In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the National Archives announces two awards to recognize significant achievements in genealogy research, based on records from the National Archives.

The National Archives is known worldwide as a treasure chest of genealogical information. Each year, millions of people use Federal records in the National Archives to search for their family roots. Census schedules, ship passenger arrival lists, citizenship papers, military pension files, land patents, and court records offer detailed evidence to flesh out family histories. This competition provides an opportunity for students to share their research "treasures" with the public.

The awards are $1,000 for first place; $500 for second place. Winning articles may be published in Prologue, the quarterly magazine of the National Archives, and/or on the National Archives web site.

To be eligible, an applicant must be either an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning; have completed at least one semester; and have not yet advanced to candidacy, if in a Ph.D. program. An applicant does not have to be an American citizen, but must be attending an American college or university. Permanent National Archives employees are not eligible.

Awards will be announced at the National Archives annual Genealogy Fair on April 22, 2009.

Applicants are required to submit:
1. Cover sheet that includes the following:
o Name and contact information;
o Proof of enrollment at an accredited academic institution; and
o Signature giving permission for the article to be published.

2. An original, unpublished work between 1,000 and 3,000 words that demonstrates the use of National Archives holdings to conduct genealogical research. The essay must be typed and include a works-cited page or bibliography. End notes are suggested but not required.

Please submit applications to:
Diane Dimkoff
Director, Customer Services Division
Room G-13
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408

30 November 2008

Index to Hudson, Wisconsin Newspapers

Earlier, I did a blog post about the death of Willis H. Miller of Hudson, Wisconsin. Kathy Deiss of the St. Croix Valley Genealogical Society sent details on the CD of his wonderful newspaper index. The cost is $29.95 plus $3.00 postage. Send your check to SCVGS, P.O. Box 396, River Falls, WI 54022. She said "it's a great resource. Three of our members spent untold hours, one drawer at a time, entering every detail. It truly is a treasure."

25 November 2008

Special Programs Highlight National Archives Records in January 2009

If you are going to be in (or live in!) the Washington, DC area in January, you might be interested in today's Press Release from the National Archives:

In January, the National Archives will feature a series of programs highlighting records from its holdings. All programs are free and open to the public and will be held in the National Archives Building and at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

Visitors to all programs in the National Archives Building Research Center (Room G-24) should use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. The National Archives at College Park, MD is located at 8601 Adelphi Road. For directions to both locations, see: http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro.

Civil War Pension Files at Footnote.com
Tuesday, January 6, at 11 a.m.
Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Beau Sharbrough from Footnote.com will discuss the Civil War pension files recently scanned and published online through the partnership between the National Archives, Family Search, and Footnote.com. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in the auditorium on Thursday, January 8, at 11 a.m.)

Introduction to Genealogy
Wednesday, January 7, at 11 a.m.
Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Archives staff will present a lecture on basic genealogical research in Federal records. This lecture occurs on the first Wednesday of the month and selected Saturdays. The next weekday lecture will take place on Wednesday, February 4.

The National Archives Experience "Digital Vaults" online interactive exhibition
Tuesday, January 13, at 11 a.m.
Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Suzanne Isaacs, digital projects coordinator for the National Archives Experience, will present features in the National Archives "Digital Vaults" exhibit. With a database of some 1,200 documents, photographs, drawings, maps, and other materials and a keywording system that visually links records, the Digital Vaults enables visitors to customize their exhibit experience and to create posters, movies, and games that can be shared by e-mail. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in the auditorium on Thursday, January 15, at 11 a.m.)

Introduction to Genealogy
Saturday, January 24, at 10 a.m.
Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Archives staff will present a lecture on basic genealogical research in Federal records. This lecture occurs on select Saturdays and the first Wednesday of the month. The next weekend lecture will take place on Saturday, February 21.

"Help! I'm Stuck"
Saturday, January 24, noon-4 p.m.
Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
An archivist with extensive experience in genealogy and the records of the National Archives will be available to assist with research questions. Please sign up for a 20-minute appointment at the Research Center. The next opportunity will be on Saturday, February 21.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Tuesday, January 27, at 11 a.m.
Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Ramona Branch Oliver, FOIA/Privacy Act Officer for the National Archives, will discuss provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and how the statutes affect public access to both archival and operational records at the National Archives. (This lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in the auditorium on Thursday, January 29, at 11 a.m.).

23 November 2008

Willis H. Miller -- we have lost a champion of history and genealogy

The worlds of genealogy, history and newspapers have lost a great friend. Willis H. Miller of Hudson, Wisconsin, passed away last Sunday. His obituary reads like an autobiography and I am sure Willis worked on his own obituary over the years.

I met this amazing man many years ago and the minute someone mentions his name I immediately think "newspaper index." The newspaper that is synonymous with his name, the Hudson Star-Observer, carried this about the index, "He was instrumental in establishing, at the office of the Star-Observer, the Hudson Area Biographical Index, a comprehensive listing of names and information on some 200,000 Hudsonites, both living and dead. The index has caught the attention of historians, researchers and genealogists from throughout the nation over the years." The index is virtually a history of the area and does include some Minnesotans.

A celebration of his life takes place this coming week on what would have been his 90th birthday.

His obituary is in the Sunday, November 23rd issue of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and in many other newspapers in Wisconsin and Minnesota. This is the obituary that all of us should have -- but alas, the cost of publishing these is prohibitive.

21 November 2008

Vermont library adds a touch of modern convenience

What would a library add in today's world that would bring it into the 21st century? I am willing to bet you would say computers with internet access, an electronic catalog, or gasp, wireless internet. This library in Roxbury, Vermont is already ahead of many. Fooled you -- it already has wireless.

So, what has it added? Read this article to have a smile for this Friday.

20 November 2008

2009 is the Lincoln Bicentennial

Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky on February 12, 1809. Next year marks the 200th anniversary of that date. A year-long national celebration "Live the Legacy" is planned. Lectures, articles, displays, books, speeches, photos, and so much more are planned.

The Lincoln Bicentennial website is here. Most states have a liaison appointed and those are listed on the website as are activities, representatives working on the memorial year, a timeline of his life, projects and contests for kids, links and publications for learning more about Lincoln, and other items about his life, legacy, and how it is being commemorated.

18 November 2008

November Discount for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2009!

Still thinking about registering for the January 12-16, 2009 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy? Some courses are already full, and others are filling quickly! But, SLIG is offering a special deal for you.

From now until November 28, 2008, you can register with a $25 discount. This is a great opportunity to save on your registration fee.

Whether your interests are in a locality strategy, like the Gulf South States, England or Germany, or on improving your skills, like using the Internet or researching Beyond Libraries, the 2009 Institute has a course for you. Maybe you'll want to take advantage of a rarely offered course on Hispanic Research for Spain and Latin America. Or for more individual help, you might try American Research and Records or Problem Solving.

See the U.G.A. website at www.infouga.org for the latest registration information and details about each course.

Whatever your choice, the 2009 Institute will be a great experience!

Hope to see you at the 2009 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy!

Geoffrey Morris
Director 2009

12 November 2008

Canadian censuses being digitized and indexed!

FamilySearch [Family History Library] and Ancestry.com this week announced a joint project to bring more Canadian censuses online. In an agreement similar to the US census agreement announced by the two organizations in July 2008, FamilySearch will digitize and index Canadian census records that Ancestry has acquired, and Ancestry will provide FamilySearch with indexes and images for the 1851, 1891, 1901 and 1906 censuses.

These digitized and indexed records will then be made available to Ancestry members on the company’s website, and in time the indexes will also be available to the public at FamilySearch.org. By the end of next year [2009], it is anticipated that all publicly available Canadian Census 1851-1916 will be online. The full press release for this announcement is available here.

I am already making my lists of people to check in Montreal, Rawdon, and other places. Some are already available and for the first time I found a maternal great great grandfather listed with his parents.

03 November 2008

The story of Helen

Last week I had dinner with some long-time friends I met because of genealogy. Gene & Winnie Fernstrom have been friends for 26 years! And none of us has a gray hair, LOL. I asked Winnie how her Mother, Helen, was doing. Her 98 year old Mother was still going strong and playing cards. Helen never let adversity stop her from living and she passed this philosophy on to others.
Two nights after that dinner I received an e-mail. Helen had passed away just a couple of hours before. She suddenly took ill. Yep, I cried (as my sister would say, big surprise!). Over the past few years I got to know Helen better. I didn't see her frequently, but did spend time with her whenever I was doing lectures in Arizona where she had lived for most of the last 30 years. About a year and a half ago, her daughters wanted her to come back to Minnesota where they could take care of her.

When I would visit Gene & Winnie in Casa Grande, Arizona where they wintered with Helen, I was amazed at the activities in which Helen participated. Everyone else needed to rest, but Helen usually had evening plans such as dancing, bingo, cards or something else. She graciously stayed with neighbors and gave me her bedroom so I could stay and visit for a few days.

When my own Mother died this past January, it was different. Her long-term Alzheimer's had already taken her from us. Not so with Helen. Oh, at 98 she did get mixed up some, but overall, she was active til the end. She did have her moments - maybe it was her superior age that made her feel in charge of everything sometimes. However, I feel privileged to have known this more than spry woman. Her "never stop living" attitude is an example to us all.

01 November 2008

Autumn Ancestor Harvest Weekend, Minnesota Genealogical Society

Quarterly Genealogy Programs
MGS sponsors four events each year with guest speakers presenting programs on various aspects of genealogical research, tailored to meet the diverse needs of both beginning and experienced genealogists. These events are open to the public. MGS members receive discounts for most events as well as for most MGS class offerings.

Autumn Ancestor Harvest Weekend

November 20-21-22, 2008

Haven’t made time to use the excellent resources at the Minnesota Genealogical Society Library? Been there, but need some extra assistance? How about three days with special hours for your visit. Join MGS in November for a special three-day Autumn Ancestor Harvest at the Minnesota Genealogical Society Library in South Saint Paul, Minnesota. The focus of the event will be using the MGS Library to do your genealogical research. That means special hours for the library, special assistance from the ethnic branches, special interest groups, and a special speaker and consultant! You don’t even need a Minnesota ancestor, as MGS has many reference materials for other states and for many foreign countries. The majority of the collection is on open shelves, meaning you can do some great browsing.

Special Library Hours
  • Thursday November 20: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and 6:30 - 9:30 pm
  • Friday November 21 (The library is normally not open on Friday): 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday November 22:
    • 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. (extended library hours)
    • 8:00 am Registration starts
    • 9:00 am MGS business meeting
    • 9:45 am George Findlen presentation

Saturday Special Ancestor Harvest

Special Assistance from Ethnic Branches

Need more reasons to come? The all-day Saturday ancestor harvest will include many short programs from most of the ethnic branch groups. Also, branch members will be on-hand in the library to help you understand the various specialized research materials each branch has. This is the day to get through some brick walls by getting help from the people who understand our ethnic offerings.

Special Interest Groups
Several existing Special Interest Groups will be presenting programs and new groups will be signing up members. The Writing Group will offer an entertaining session. An inaugural Research Study Group workshop will be led by MGS President Jay Fonkert. Jay and Tom Rice are interested in forming an ongoing Research Study Group and Jay will be glad to sign you up!

Also, members of the MGS Research Committee will be on hand to do brief sessions on using Ancestry.com for census and for immigration searches. This committee answers your email and regular mail inquiries. And talk to MGS members spearheading the formation of an African-American Interest Group and a Scottish Interest Group.

Saturday Special Speaker and Consultant
Do you live in the Metro area and use the MGS Library all the time? There is still something for you! George Findlen, a Certified Genealogist from neighboring Wisconsin, will present his first program in Minnesota.

George Findlen is a retired academic administrator who has served at nine colleges and universities in seven states over thirty years. In retirement, he has re-invented himself as a genealogist, becoming certified in 2005. In addition to researching his family and those of clients, he writes articles for publication and gives talks to genealogy groups. George specializes in the blended Acadian/French Canadian families of eastern Quebec. He also tries to stay out of trouble by volunteering at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library in the Microforms Room!

George’s talk is entitled: Finding What Can't Be Found: A Case Study in Whole Family Research. This talk describes all the reference works used by Acadian and French-Canadian researchers in an effort to identify the parents of a woman who is well-documented as a mother. The point of this segment of the talk is that a reliance upon secondary sources and on baptismal and marriage entries in parish registers often leads to dead-ends. George then describes an effort to examine the baptismal and marriage records of every one of the woman’s children and every one of her nephews and nieces, as well as the marriage records of all of the woman’s possible brothers and sisters. He finishes by illustrating how genealogists can use indirect evidence to establish a firm link between two generations. The talk is pure how-to and is aimed at an audience of researchers willing to go from intermediate skill to advanced. The talk is based on an article published in October 2008 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. While the talk is a case study about a French-Canadian family, many aspects can translate to other nationalities.

After his talk, George will be available for private consultations. He is especially knowledgeable on French-Canadian, New England, upper Midwest back-track to Canada, and the Midwest in general.

Check the MGS Website to learn more about the day including a chance to get your family recipe in a new ethnic cookbook and the used book sale.

Saturday Registration
Full-day registration (including lunch) is $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Registration by mail ends Thursday, November 13. Registration by Credit Card or PayPal ends Saturday, November 15.

You may register at the door on the day of the meeting. Only checks and cash will be accepted.

Lunch on Saturday
Lunch is included in the registration fee and will be available on-site for most of the middle part of the day.

Live too far to drive to MGS each day?
Gather your friends and relatives at the Best Western Drovers Inn, 701 Concord St. So., South Saint Paul, MN 55075, one mile south of the MGS Library. Phone: 651-455-3600. Ask for the special MGS rate of $75.65. This room rate covers up to 4 people per room.

Minnesota Genealogical Society
1185 Concord St. N. Suite 218
South St. Paul, MN 55075-1187
(651) 455-9057

23 October 2008

Are you in the Los Angeles area this Saturday, October 25th?

I wish I could be in the Lost Angeles area this Saturday, October 25th. The 3rd annual L.A. As Subject archives bazaar, Archives Live!, will be held at the University of Southern California Davidson Conference Center.

It is a full day devoted to showing off Los Angeles history “whether they are working on a scholarly project or family genealogy.” [I always cringe at such a differentiation as do many other genealogists.]

Among the exhibitors are many of the city's archives and libraries. These include collections such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Autry National Center, Los Angeles City Archives, Los Angeles Public Library, and UCLA Library Special Collections. Also represented will be the Boyle Heights Historical Society; Chinese Historical Society of Southern California; Filipino-American Library; Japanese American National Museum; LA84 Foundation--Sports Library; Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum; ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives; Orange Empire Railway Museum; Society of California Archivists and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library and Archive and many others.

The bazaar will also include screenings of films, presentations on genealogy, teaching sessions and book signings by several authors.

And to make this special day during Archives Month even better, the event is free, but parking is not. [I am guessing that there must be some big sponsors and that the cost to be an exhibitor is high.]

For more information:




16 October 2008

Have Ancestors in the Southwest Germanic Areas?

From the GGS E-Connect, Newsletter of the Minnesota based Germanic Genealogy Society (GGS)

Sunday, October 26
Southwest Germanic Regional Workshop
Covering the areas of Alsace-Lorraine, Baden-Wùrttemberg, Hesse, Luxembourg, Palatinate (Pfalz) Rhineland, Saar, Switzerland.

Place: Concordia University Library Technology Center
Near the corner of Hamline Ave. and Concordia Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota
Room 214 (above the library) [This is where the GGS extensive library is housed]

For a map, go to http://concordia.csp.edu/Library/about/mapdirections.html
Free parking on the north and west sides of the building on weekends

Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Concordia Library is open from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sunday for extended personal research.)

Cost: $5 (to cover the cost of the room)

What to expect: At this session, you can....

* Get individual help with questions on this Germanic area
* View resources to help you locate ancestral villages and answer immigration questions
* Examine additional resources in the GGS library collection
* Get help with the Meyers-Orts gazetteer
* See examples of findings from various areas
* Talk to other researchers in your areas of interest

Tagged by another blogger

Kathy Brady-Blake, CG, of Kathy's Genealogy Blog tagged me. It is basically a challenge to respond with my own answers and tag other Bloggers to do likewise. Here goes:

***10 Years Ago I........

Was beginning work on the FGS 2001 Quad Cities Conference
Lost my gallbladder
Was awaiting the birth of my daughter’s first child
Was renewing friendships with some people from New England
Was on an extended research trip to NARA in DC for a client

***5 Things on Today's To-Do List......

1. Write on my blog
2. Call my Dad
3. Tons of TMG data entry for a client
4. Vacuum
5. Remind SLIG instructors that syllabus material is due to me November 8th

***5 Snacks I Enjoy........

1. Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate
2. Soft Serve chocolate & vanilla twist ice cream in a cup
3. Strawberries
4. Anything mint
5. Diet Cherry Limeade from Sonic

***5 Places I Have Lived......

1. St. Paul, Minnesota (7 addresses)
2. Mountain View, California (3 addresses)
3. Zimmerman, Minnesota (1 address)
4. Eden Prairie, Minnesota (1 address)
5. That’s all folks

***5 Jobs I Have Had.....

1. Candy Girl and Ticket Sales at Highland Movie Theater, St. Paul
2. Shipping and Receiving at Feldman’s in Highland Park, St. Paul
3. Office help at Hart Ski Manufacturing in St. Paul
4. Day Care Provider
5. Genealogical researcher/lecturer/writer/consultant

***5 Blogs I tag to play.....

David at David Lambert Blog
Alvie at Alvie's Genealogy Spot
Steve Danko at Steve's Genealogy Blog
Drew and George at Genealogy Guys Podcast
Miriam at AnceStories

11 October 2008

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, January 12-16, 2009

I have received a couple of questions asking me to explain the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). An institute is not the same as a seminar or conference which may have multiple individual sessions from which to choose. An institute, such as SLIG, has five (5) full days of learning. Registrants choose one five-day course and attend all the sessions that course offers. It's not a pick and choose for each hour. One of the advantages is getting to know your fellow registrants and the instructors better, thus allowing for better learning, networking, and Q&A time. Registrants come from all over the U.S. and some from Canada.

Each course has twenty (20) total hours of sessions. I coordinate and teach in an intermediate level course titled American Records and Research: Focusing on Localities.

In this course we have 22 hours for the same fee as the other courses. There are 16 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of Family History Library Lab. During those FHL hours, three of your instructors are on hand to give tours of the FHL, for one-on-one consultations, or whatever assistance you need during that FHL Lab time. Need to learn how to use the technological equipment, how to make a good copy from a microfilm or transfer it to a flash drive or CD? Does one branch of your family stymie you more than others? Need to become acquainted with the library catalog or the in-house finding aids? This is the course to help you with that. I am one of those consultants and am joined by Birdie Monk Holsclaw, CG, and D. Joshua Taylor, both of whom were great consultants in 2008.

Other in-the-classroom instructors are John Philip Colletta, PhD, Thomas W. Jones, CG, J. Mark Lowe, CG, and Kory L. Meyerink, AG. This assemblage of instructors is reason enough for taking the course. Add the lectures, syllabus, and library consultations and you have an exceptional week.

This 2009 course alternates in the even years with "Focus on Families" which has completely different class sessions.

If you have any questions about this course, please don't hesitate to contact me at PaulaStuartWarren@gmail.com. Visit the Utah Genealogical Association's website to learn about all the courses and individual classes. All have excellent coordinators and instructors. Online registration is easy. See you in January in SLC where the weather is never bad enough to stop genealogists. SLC sidewalks are amazingly clear for walking.

Register by October 30th and save $25.00 off the full price. Check out the list of evening classes that SLIG offers, too. These can be taken individually.

See you in SLC!

02 October 2008

Black Americans in Congress

The first African Americans to serve in Congress did so in 1870. An extensive website tells more about Black Americans in Congress. Based on a book, Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007, it tells the story of the painful and also successful road over time as these elected officials moved in and out of Congress. The site includes historical essays about black Congressional members, educational tools, historical data, member profiles, and digitized images of political ephemera and artifacts.

The member profiles give the name of each person, whether serving currently or a former member of Congress, Senator or Representative, state served from, and which political party. Clicking on each name leads to a long and interesting biographical essay about the person, citations to articles and books, and a citation to the papers of the member, if they exist.

01 October 2008

American Archives Month

October is American Archives month. Important? That would be an emphatic yes for family historians. Where would our research be without our local, county, state, and federal archives? What about archives devoted to specific topics? When you research at one of these archives in October, be sure to thank the staff for being there for you. Archivists are not a highly paid group and most archives have had major budget cuts for several years.

That registration certificate for Grandpa's first car, Uncle Manny's naturalization record, a probate file for Grandma's father, the case file for a divorce, great grandpa's Union or Confederate pension, grasshopper relief applications, tax records, bankruptcies, and more are found in archives.

Here are some links to important articles and archival websites archives that will help demonstrate the value. Some of these share info on special activities for Archives Month. Many archives have website that include indexes, finding aids, catalogs, and other helpful information.

Arkansas History Commission
Minnesota State Archives
Pennsylvania State Archives
Texas State Library and Archives
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Utah State Archives
Washington State Archives

21 September 2008

14,300 Years Ago!

I read an article today that added a whole new range of time to our genealogical research. Archaeologists and anthropologists have pinpointed proof that humans were on the North American Continent earlier than the previous marker of Clovis, 10,000 years ago. That is, the oldest proof they now have shows that it was 14,300 years ago. DNA research on coprolites determined this. Ouch, how many more generations does that add for family historians, especially those with American Indian ancestors? Who will write the first genealogy how-to guide on this? What genealogy software program will handle this? It's just like we are taught -- you are never finished with the family history research.

Coprolites? You are just going to have to look that up for yourself. I want to see the family history and the source citation for this.

Minnesota Genealogy

This was a great weekend. The Star of the North Genealogy Conference took place at the Minnesota History Center, which proved itself as a welcoming host. The conference was the annual seminar of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Christine Rose, CG, was the main event on Saturday and I was privileged to be the main speaker on Friday. As always, attending a MGS event was like old home week as friendships were renewed. It was great to see some new faces, too.

At the Friday evening banquet, author and Professor of History, Annette Atkins, PhD, was the speaker. She began by thanking the genealogists for teaching historians like her about research. There was an audible murmur throughout the audience as this sunk in. Thanks, Annette, for recognizing the skills and knowledge of genealogists. In turn, we have learned much from the historians! This almost sounds like "working together for the common good."

Genealogical societies are always looking for volunteers to help run meetings, work in libraries, write articles, publicize the society and events, recruit other volunteers, teach classes and other tasks. One of the best things I ever did was join MGS back in 1982 and place a check mark next to the box that asked if I wanted to volunteer. I served six year on the MGS board of directors and many other years doing assorted volunteer tasks. MGS awarded certificates to an amazing array of volunteers at the banquet. What spirit among them and also of the other award winners from around the state.

I was presented the Minnesota Genealogy Ambassador Award for "Representing Minnesota Genealogy in the Region and Nation and Bringing Honor to Minnesota Genealogy." I told people that being a promoter of MGS, MHS, and Minnesota in general is an easy task. And selfishly, I am fortunate to have worked along side other volunteers who are now part of my greater family.

14 September 2008

The Oldest Genealogical Society in Florida

The Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) celebrated its 50th anniversary this past weekend. I was honored to be the speaker on Friday night at the banquet and for the seminar on Saturday. I met many nice people and my hosts George Morgan and Drew Smith treated me royally.

I thought I would mention this society so that snow birds from the U.S. and Canada remember that there are many genealogical societies in Florida and Arizona with monthly meetings and seminars during the time you escape the snows in the northern climes. If you winter in other warmer states, you will find groups there. Some sponsor trips to research places in their areas. This would be a good way to keep involved in genealogy during your time away from your main home. You might even be lucky enough to find some kind of index, book, or database that includes distant relatives or is a book that you didn't find in your home area libraries.

To find such societies look at the FGS Society Hall, Rootsweb.com, or type into your favorite search engine, the name of the county or city where you will be wintering along with other terms such as genealogy, genealogical, and society. There are are also many online listings of genealogical events.

10 September 2008

2009 Conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies

The Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Arkansas Genealogical Society invite you to the 2009 Conference. The conference takes place next September 2-5, 2009 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Check the FGS Website www.fgsconference.org> for details later this fall.

Want to be up-to-date on the news, lectures, exhibit hall, and people connected to the 2009 FGS/AGS Conference? It’s easy! The conference blog debuted this past weekend. We’ll post lots of breaking news, more details on the lectures, speakers, vendors, special offers, conference events, shopping, getting to hotels and the convention center, and the beautiful area around the conference location. This conference will have some special elements never done before at a FGS conference.

Today's posting was about hotel reservations. I have driven to Little Rock from Minnesota several times -- it is a nice drive. You might consider a few days in Branson before or after the conference --but be sure to save some days for traveling in Arkansas. The "Natural State" is quite beautiful.

Bookmark <www.FGSConferenceBlog.org> and visit us often as it will be updated frequently.

08 September 2008

Star of the North Genealogy Conference

Two nationally renowned genealogists will headline the Star of the North Genealogy Conference, September 19-20, at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

Minnesota professional genealogist Paula Stuart-Warren will teach a class on finding ancestral places of origin, as well as lecture on tactics for researching Midwestern ancestors with New England roots and easy ways to begin writing a family history. Stuart-Warren is a Certified Genealogist and a former Officer of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Christine Rose, also a Certified Genealogist, will offer four lectures covering inheritance records, military records, ways to avoid erroneous conclusions and tips for solving complex genealogical problems in 25 hours or less. Rose has written many genealogical research guide books and has been an instructor at the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

“This is a premier family history learning opportunity for Upper Midwest genealogists,” said Robin Panlener, President of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, sponsor of the event. “We invite family history researchers from Minnesota and neighboring states to experience the unsurpassed family history resources of the Minnesota History Center in Minnesota’s Sesquicentennial Year.”

Genealogists and family historians of all experience levels will be able to choose from 12 seminar offerings. Joe Amato, professor emeritus of history and rural studies at Southwest State University and Brigid Shields, Minnesota Historical Society reference librarian will give tips of telling family history stories. Amato is author of Jacob’s Well: a Case for Rethinking Family History.

Other classes will feature three other Certified Genealogists from Minnesota. Tom Rice will teach a class on using the internet to find unusual printed sources. Darlene Joyce will lecture on best practices for family history researchers, and J. H. Fonkert will present an illustrated talk on Midwest historical geography for genealogists.

The Friday evening program includes Minnesota Genealogical Society’s annual awards banquet. Dr. Annette Atkins, author of the Sesquicentennial retrospective, Creating Minnesota: a History from the Inside Out, is the featured speaker for the banquet. Atkins is Professor of History at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict.

Atkins, Amato and Rose will sign copies of their books at a 6 p.m. Friday reception preceding the banquet.

MGS will present its annual Service and Achievement Awards at the banquet.

25 August 2008

The Minnesota State Archives

The Minnesota State Archives is housed in the Minnesota History Center in downtown St. Paul. The Archives is part of the Library and Archives Division of the Minnesota Historical Society. The website for all of these parts is at www.mnhs.org. This includes the massive electronic catalog that enables researchers to find book, manuscripts, state and county records, and artifacts. Additional and important finding aids are "in-house."

To see what MHS might have that relates to your ancestral county just type keywords such as "Winona County" into the catalog search. On the State Archives page, click on recent acquisitions to see the monthly lists of acquisitions for the past year. These list are phenomenal.

A few exciting examples of acquistions, many of which are original records. In many cases, new acquisitions complement original records the state archives already has. Some acquisitions may not be immediately available as processing and cataloging occurs.

November 2007
Rural Credit Department. Contract for deed files (ca. 1920s-1995), county plat maps (ca. 1920s-1930s), and an index (1936) to the contract and deed files and the county plat maps. 4 boxes.

January 2008
  • St. Louis County Marriage License Records 1871-1944, on microfilm
  • Winona County Courts Records including plaintiff and defendant indexes 1854-1960, index to probate files 1856-1983, and civil case files
June 2008
Adjutant General. World War I bonus records, including warrants paid registers (ca. 1920-1924) which serve as a name index to the World War I paid bonus files, registers (undated) of World War I bonus payments and of Spanish-American War Veterans Relief Payments, and World War I veterans relief record (1931-1941) of the State Auditor. These records were created by the State Auditor, then used by the Adjutant General’s office to administer the World War I bonus program. World War I Bonus Disallowed/Rehearing Files (1921-1922) of the Soldier Bonus Board of Review. World War I Bonus Application Registers (1919-1924) of the Soldiers Bonus Board. 6 boxes, 4 oversize volumes, 1 oversize folder.

24 August 2008

Upcoming appearances

I took the summer off from lecturing and had planned lots of organizational and writing work. Then my son announced his wedding and I moved. So much for the organizing tasks. Now, this fall I am speaking in several states. The September seminars and conferences are:

September 3-6, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference
www.fgsconference.org and http://www.fgsconference.org/blog/
Haven't registered yet? Online and mail registrations have closed, but you can still register at the Pennsylvania Convention Center beginning Tuesday, September 2d from 3:00-7:00 p.m.

September 12-13, Tampa, Florida
Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa Fall Seminar
Includes a Friday Evening banquet to celebrate the Society's 50th Anniversary
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flfgs/ and http://fgstampa.blogspot.com/

September 19-20, St. Paul, Minnesota, Minnesota History Center
Star of the North 2008 Minnesota Genealogy Conference featuring several speakers
Minnesota Genealogical Society
The two day event includes a big banquet on Friday evening.

12 August 2008

Beyond the Web: Immigration History Research Center

I have to admit that I enjoy sitting at home in my pj's doing genealogical work online. Still, there are many repositories with one-of-a-kind records. One of these is here in Minnesota. The Immigration History Research Center is part of the University of Minnesota.

This repository focuses on the history of American immigration with materials on 24 ethnic groups from eastern, central, and southern Europe and the Near East. It includes newspapers, periodicals, church records and histories, photos, personal papers, genealogies, business papers, records of ethnic fraternal organizations, and oral histories. Some of the groups covered are Czech, Finnish, Polish, Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Jewish, Russian, Slovak, and Ukranian people. It is not limited to those who settled in Minnesota. Many of the records are in the native languages.

The IHRC website provides many details. A 1991 publication, Immigration History Research Center: A Guide to Collections described many collections (Susanna Moody and Joel Wurl, eds., Greenwood Press, 1991.) The website also has descriptions of many collections.

Some examples of records at the IHRC:
  • Order Sons of Italy in American, Alabama Grand Lodge Records 1923-1987
  • Holy Ghost Greek Catholic Church, Cleveland Ohio, Marriage Records 1909-1967
  • Milford Finnish Relief Committee Records, 1939-1941 [Milford, New Hampshire]
  • New York City P.S. 20 Alumni Association Records, 1958-1972
  • Jarven Kukka Temperance Society, Sparta and Gilbert, Minnesota, Records 1897-1921

11 August 2008

Register online for FGS Conference by August 22nd.

You can still be a part of the 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, Footprints to Family History, being held in Philadelphia, September 3-6. Four full days of lectures, luncheons, a banquet, and an Exhibit Hall with many vendors is not to be missed.

Registrations or changes to a registration can still be done online through Friday, August 22nd, 5:00 p.m. CDT. After that point, registrations and modifications will need to be done on site at the Philadelphia Convention Center beginning on Tuesday, September 2d at 3:00 p.m.

Visit the FGS Conference Website or the Conference Blog for more of the exciting details.

See you there! While at the conference, be sure to visit the FGS booth area and pick up information on the 2009 FGS Conference being held in Little Rock, Arkansas. The local host, the Arkansas Genealogical Society, is planning some very special events in the area of the Statehouse Convention Center.

07 August 2008

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Update

10 August UPDATE: all registrations for Course I can be done online. Thanks to the webmaster for fixing this!

I received this note today from the 2009 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (January 8-12) about the course that I coordinate at SLIG.

"For some reason, the popular Course 1 "American Records and Research: Focusing on Localities" with Paula Stuart Warren does not appear in the registration area of the UGA members section. It is listed in the non-member section. Our programmer is still working on solving this problem.

To register for Course 1, UGA members should email info@infouga.org to reserve a place. Then submit payment ($280 until Oct. 30th):
- by mail to UGA, PO BOX 1144, Salt Lake City, UT 84110
- or by credit card by calling our toll free number at 1-888-463-6842

For further info, please contact the Utah Genealogical Association."

24 July 2008

Ancestry.com launches 1891 Census of Canada

Ancestry has launched the 1891 Census of Canada, which is online for the first time. The 1891 Canadian census contains 4.5 million searchable names and 90,000 images of original census pages. Included is information from all 10 present-day Canadian provinces and its three territories. The 1891 census is fully indexed and searchable and can be accessed on Ancestry.ca, as well as on Ancestry.com at: http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=1274.

I have been searching for some of my ancestral surnames. Maybe I can find my great great grandfather's brothers!

21 July 2008

Recent genealogical press releases

Project cooperation between FamilySearch (Family History Library) and Ancestry.com (The Generations Network) including reindexing of the 1920 U.S. census.

Thinking about becoming a certified genealogist? The Board for Certification of Genealogists now has a full application and judge's comments online. If you are attending the FGS Conference in Philadelphia this September, visit the BCG booth in the Exhibit Hall and check the sample portfolios there.

Speaking of the FGS Conference: if you have just registered or haven't quite done that yet, you might want to gather a group of your genealogical society's members and become eligible for a rebate. Full details are on the FGS Conference website and on the Conference Blog.

FamilySearch has been posting many new indexes and digitized records at its website.

The Utah Genealogical Association has posted overviews of its ten courses and nighttime lectures for the annual week-long Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy to be held January 12-16, 2009.

Alive and breathing!

Yes, I have been silent. Working all day, moving, unpacking, and working on things for my son's wedding -- just not any more hours left for blogging right now. I love my new home and have not unpacked all the books yet. I attended a shower for my almost daughter-in-law a few days ago and had a great time. We had dinner at a German restaurant in Stillwater, Minnesota (Gasthouse Bavarian Hunter) and it was fabulous as usual. She loved her gifts. My 14 year old granddaughter wrote a very sweet note to her almost step-mother and we all had tears when it was read.

I will do a posting above this with some links to recent press releases about wonderful things in the genealogical world. This time you will have to read the links to get the full stories I don't have time to discuss right now. They are exciting things!

12 July 2008

Records Preservation and Access Committee

Where would we be without records to research? What if we lost access to the probate or land records of our ancestors? What if the birth or death records were suddenly closed to all except the person the record includes? What if the state legislature did not provide for retention of records before 1920 for your ancestral states?

The Records Preservation and Access Committee is a joint venture that helps preserve, protect, and advocate for access to records. The committee was started by the Federation of Genealogical Societies and today is a joint committee of representatives from FGS, the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, Board for Certification of Genealogists, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. These groups represent a total of 1.3 million genealogists. It's a case where our voices can be heard when access or preservation is threatened.

The committee has produced a meaningful brochure and you can view it at websites, including the FGS site. Instructions for ordering a quantity of these is included on the site. Order a quantity to distribute to records keepers and to fellow genealogists.

08 July 2008

British Ancestry?

I was asked to share this press release:

The International Society for British Genealogy & Family History (ISBGFH) is sponsoring the 8th Annual British Institute in Salt Lake City, October 6-10, 2008. The Institute will be held at the Crystal Inn, 230 West 500 South.

The week-long courses and the instructors are: David Rencher, CG, AG, FUGA – Finding the Place of Origin for Your Irish Immigrant; David McDonald, CG – Ecclesiastical Records in British Research; Barbara Baker, AG – Scottish Research Basics; Diane Loosle, AG and her team – Using Family Search to Find Your British Ancestors.

The five-day tuition for the courses taught by Rencher, McDonald, and Baker is $335 (members), $320 (alumni of the Institute) and $360 (non-members). The tuition includes individual consultations with instructors and on-site assistance in the Family History Library. The tuition for the course taught by Loosle and her team, is $199. All tuitions include the banquet to be held on Monday evening, October 6.

For registration and course description details, visit the website at http://www.isbgfh.org; or write to ISBGFH, P.O. Box 350459, Westminster, CO 80035-0459.

05 July 2008

School Records

One of the subjects I lecture and write about is the use of older school records in researching individual, family, and community history. A wealth of information waits in these records. School censuses can help fill in the gaps in federal and state census enumerations. In many cases, these records give detail on an entire family. A record of your ancestor's grades, days in attendance, and even books borrowed from the school library can fill in more on the life story of that person. Details on a teacher's own schooling or rate of pay can often be found.

Historic school records may be found in a variety of places today. They may still be in the actual school or school district offices. Perhaps they have been transferred to a county or state archive or historical facility. Two state archives with a bounty of school records from around their respective states are Minnesota and North Carolina. The Family History Library has not concentrated on filming school records, but some are in the library. The records from a religious or ethnic school may be with an archive for that religion or ethnic group.

Some records are stacked in box after box in warehouses and access is almost impossible. According to the July 1st edition of the Post-Journal, the Jamestown, New York, public schools now has its own archives to preserve such records in a controlled environment. If only more were preserved so well.

28 June 2008

The 14th annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

2009 will be the 14th annual week long SLIG held in Salt Lake City. The 2009 dates are January 12-16. SLIG lasts for 5 full days plus optional evening special lectures. The ten courses offered for 2009 are: American Research and Records, Research in the Gulf South, English Research, Research in German Speaking Areas, Colonial American Research, Effective Use of the Internet, Hispanic Research, Beyond the Library,, Skillbuilding for Professional Level Research, and Problem Solving. Yes, you do have to pick only one course!

Check out the Utah Genealogical Association's website for a description of each course and the coordinator for each. Check back later for the full class listing for each and for the names of all the instructors for the courses. The courses generally consist of 20 classroom hours and then you can walk or ride 2.5 blocks from the Radisson Hotel to the Family History Library and immediately put what you have learned to work. The friendships that have developed over the year are wonderful. Some return year after year. New students fit right in.

I coordinate and teach in Course I: American Research and Records: Focus on Localities. This is a two-part course with the alternate year focusing on Families. 1997 was the first year I taught at SLIG and have been coordinating a course since 1998. I wouldn't miss this special week! What else can you do in January? This course is educational and fun at the same time. A special bond develops between the class and instructors.

Course I is designed a bit differently from the others. 16 hours are classroom hours, some with hands-on work. There are optional FHL homework assignments to help you immediately apply the new knowledge. This course also offers 6 hours in the FHL with mini-tours and one-on-one consultations. The instructors for this course are Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA, Birdie Monk Holsclaw, CG, FUGA, Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA, Kory L. Meyerink, AG, FUGA (2), and D. Joshua Taylor.

Birdie and Josh will once again assist me in the FHL with the tours and consultations. It is a great feeling to help a student work on what to do next and then have that person come back and say "thank you, I found them." I will also be an instructor in the Beyond the Library, Gulf South, and Skillbuilding courses. This year's line up of coordinators and instructors that I already know about is impressive. All the full course titles are listed in the blog post immediately below this one.

SLIG 2009, January 12-16: Course I classes

I coordinate and teach in the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy's Course I: American Records and Research: Focusing on Localities. The lineup of classes for this course is below. Read the entry just before this one for more about SLIG in general, the instructors in this course, and the other courses.
  • Never Enough Time! Strategies and Organizational Tips & Tools for Busy Researchers
  • Answers in County Courthouse and Town Hall Record
  • Family History Library Labs on 3 afternoons: one-on-one help in the FHL
  • Greater Success through Source Citation
  • Becoming Americans: Finding and Using Naturalization Records
  • Homestead and Related Records: The Basic Processes
  • The WPA Era: What It Created for Genealogists
  • On and Off the Net: Locality Searching
  • How to Avoid Being Duped on the Internet
  • Homestead and Related Records: Maximizing the Bureau of Land Management Web Site
  • Vanity Sketches: Sources and Truths Behind Mugbook Entries
  • Genealogical and Historical Periodicals In Print & Online
  • Finding Ancestral Places of Origin in U.S. Records
  • Tic-Tac-Toe with Historic Legal Basics
  • Newspaper Research: The Dailies, Weeklies, and Beyond
  • Finding Immigrant Arrival Records
  • The U.S. National Archives: The Nation’s Attic
  • Wrap-up, Completion Certificate; Q&A

A genealogist on the move

Those of us who have the genealogy bug should never move. We have too much stuff. Over the next week, I am moving. Yes, again.

Since last August I have been living at my oldest son's home. There is plenty of room for me. I kept thinking that I would find a place to live sooner than this, so 90% of my many boxes of books were never unpacked. I also didn't need to unpack all my china and kitchen stuff for here. My son said that my couch and love seat will NOT be moving with me.

So, the bookshelves, printer, computers, back-ups, reference books, reference files, family files, client files, and a box of mysterious cables and cords will be traveling again.

I found a one level town home to rent. My commute to my main client's offices is now going to be 20-30 minutes instead of the sometimes 2 hours each way. I have loved the peacefulness of the country, the deer outside my office window, and being close to one set of grandchildren. The others are 2-1/2 hours away. I will be just minutes from a large shopping center, much closer to the airport, but still in a peaceful area with a park and woods nearby.

The main reason for moving is that my son is getting married in a month. I gain a wonderful daughter-in-law in the process. And 4 more grandchildren. I have known them for 3 years and love them all. The wedding will be in their large yard and has a Hawaiian theme. This means I can find a cool mother of the groom outfit.

There will be no change in my e-mail address.

19 June 2008

Genealogy and today's newspapers

I love to read news stories, obituaries, and press releases that mention words such as archives, indexes, genealogy, genealogical . . . you get the idea. I will continue to pass along such articles when I come across them.

A long-time friend died this week. Patrick Chandler, along with his late wife, Dorothy, was a volunteer extraordinaire for the Minnesota Genealogical Society Library. Pat's obit in yesterday's St. Paul Pioneer Press did mention his genealogy involvement. The name of the society was not quite correct, but at least it did mention genealogy.

A recent issue of the Shakopee Valley News carried an article about a group of volunteers, led by Betty Dols, who gave many hours to index newspapers and other items for the Scott County (Minnesota) Historical Society. I recall Betty telling me that at one time, her dining room table was covered with Scott County records. Now, these are found at the SCHS's Stans Museum in Shakopee. If your family was in the county or in surrounding areas, you should check out their indexing results on the website.

13 June 2008

Ancestry doubles size of newspaper collection

In a press release today, Ancestry.com announced that it has doubled the size of its newspaper collection:

"Ancestry.com has doubled the size of its newspaper collection - adding a billion names and 20 million images. Culled from a cross section of American newspapers, from large and small towns alike, this collection has newspapers beginning in the early 1800s and some extending into the 2000s. (Available years vary by newspaper.) As an example, the collection includes newspaper titles, such as:

* The Anniston Star (Anniston, AL)
* Modesto Bee and Herald News (Modesto, CA)
* Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC)
* Odessa American (Odessa, TX)
* Xenia Daily Gazette (Xenia, OH)
* Panama City Herald (Panama City, FL)
* Chicago Daily News (Chicago, IL)
* Delta Democrat Times (Greenville, MS)
* Reno Gazette (Reno, NV)
* Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, PA)
* Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR)
* And many more

Now through June 19th, the Ancestry.com newspaper collection is open to the public for free. Search the Ancestry.com newspaper collection at http://www.ancestry.com/newspapers. (Please note: Users will need to register as members of Ancestry.com to access the free newspapers. This free registration does NOT require a credit card. Those registering for a free membership account will be asked to provide an email address.)"

12 June 2008

Everton’s Genealogical Helper Adds New Online Edition!

Leland Meitzler asked me to post this press release for my readers.

New Online Edition of Everton’s Genealogical Helper will debut July 1! Subscribe today for only $10.00!

LOGAN, Utah, June 12, 2008. Genealogy Online, Inc., publisher of Everton’s Genealogical Helper, today, announced the publication of the Genealogical Helper in an Online Edition. The Online Edition is an identical copy of the 176-page paper edition – complete with hotlinks to the hundreds of website addresses found therein.

Launch Date – The new Online Edition will launch on July 1 – simultaneous with the home delivery and newsstand date of the paper edition of the July-August issue.

Free Access – Subscribers to the traditional Genealogical Helper will have 100% FREE online access to the magazine – with no extra fees whatsoever. See http://www.everton.com for sign-up information.

Online Edition subscriptionsEverton’s Genealogical Helper, Online Edition, will sell for just $12.00 per year! That is only $2 per issue! And it’s only $10.00 for subscriptions made before July 1 at http://www.everton.com or phone 1-800-443-6325.

Net Family History – An important feature of Everton’s Genealogical Helper is the magazine within a magazine entitled Net Family History. New information specific to using the Internet for genealogy is always found in this portion of the bimonthly publication. Extensive website reviews are always located here, as well as articles dealing with Internet-related activities.

Why an online edition? – Every issue of Everton’s Genealogical Helper now contains hundreds of website addresses. The Internet is where some of the most exciting genealogical resource advances are taking place, so it’s required that information about these resources be disseminated to the Helper’s thousands of readers in every issue. Everton’s Genealogical Helper, Online Edition, will allow readers to go from their paper edition to the hotlinked Online Edition and access any of the websites with just a keystroke or two – no more typing in those lengthy website addresses! The Online Edition offers more than just the links found in the magazine – it is the entire magazine itself!

Format & hostingEverton’s Genealogical Helper, Online Edition, will be in pdf format, readable by anyone, with any computer running an Adobe Acrobat Reader (Available at Adobe.com as a FREE download.) The Online Edition will be hosted by FamilyLink.com, Inc.

Why subscribe to the Genealogical Helper? – Subscribe to have access to the Helper’s how-to & historical articles, Net Family History (see above), genealogical sharing, extensive book and CD-ROM reviews & announcements, queries, the most complete event calendar available anywhere, and hundreds of ads detailing new products and services. In addition to these day-to-day features, you will also have access to the NEW updated, hotlinked Directory of Genealogical and Historical Societies – to be published in the Sept/Oct and Nov-Dec issues! Edited by Leland K. Meitzler, the Helper is guaranteed to help you extend your lines and fill in those blanks in your family tree.

WHAT A DEAL! – Your cost for a full subscription (the paper magazine & online access both) is less than 3 cents per page – delivered to your home, and now accessible online. Subscribe to the Online Edition alone for just over a penny a page! Subscribe by July 1 and it’s less than a penny per page!

Subscribe NOW at: http://www.everton.com or phone 1-800-443-6325.


About Genealogy Online, Inc.

Genealogy Online, dba Everton Publishers, is the publisher of Everton’s Genealogical Helper, now in its 62nd year of helping genealogists find their ancestors. Genealogy Online, Inc. also publishes the Handybook for Genealogists, 11th edition, a top-selling guidebook for family historians. Their website is found at: http://www.everton.com. Also see: http://www.GenealogyBlog.com.

04 June 2008

Amazing libraries around the world

A colleague from Massachusetts, Christine Sweet-Hart, posted an amazing link on a professional genealogists' discussion list. That link is to Curious Expeditions and the pictures of libraries and books is literally thrilling. I have only been to six of those libraries.

Christine warned that viewing this site would make us grab our passport and run to the airport. That is putting it mildly. Real libraries. Real books. Real art. Real craftsmanship. Wow! How many have you been to?

29 May 2008

African Renaissance Campaign for Family History

On one of the news services I subscribe to, I ran across an interesting article "South Africa: Genealogy Project to Connect Family History." Click on this article title for the whole story.

It comes from BuaNews (Tshwane) and states that "KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele is to officially launch the Family Tree Project aimed at facilitating research into family history and connecting family members."

The project, to be launched in Durban on Wednesday is part of the 10th Annual African Renaissance Festival. Mr. Mdebele is the provincial chair of the African Renaissance campaign. Schools will issue assignments about family history and part of the campaign will be to enable the collaboration between academics and family historians in documenting respective family histories.

I wish there were such programs in other parts of the world, including the U.S. It might be a more peaceful place once folks learned how interconnected we are. The good and the bad we find in our family is a fact of life and it helps us to be more humble.

26 May 2008

Memorial Day 2008

It was dark and dreary here today and I hope that didn't ruin any of the Memorial Day Celebrations. This morning I spoke with my Dad and said he was my favorite veteran. Dad served in the Army Air Corps in World War II. He was in the 1103rd Army Air Forces Base Unit.
He was discharged at a Staff Sergeant after serving as an aerian engineer working on aircraft. He received his training at Chanute Field in Illinois and other training in Provo, Utah and Jefferson Barracks in Missouri. Dad has wonderful stories, and yes, I have interviewed him and typed them up. I love hearing his stories about riding camels, seeing the Great Sphinx at Giza, pyramids, and more. He told about helping to train Russians, about being very ill and in a British Naval Hospital where he was visited by Jack Benny. At one place he was stationed, he and his buddies had a monkey. Dad has a hearing disability, likely from the noise of working on the aircraft.

Thanks Dad and thanks to all the other brave folks in the military today and in the past.

My German Fischers & Rohrs and My Youngest Son

This afternoon, I was doing some research in the digitized books at Google Books. I found some thing about my German family I hadn’t come across before. I knew that my step-Great Great Great Grandfather Gottfried Rohr and my Great Great Granduncle Frederick Fischer ran a tailoring establishment/clothing store in Watertown, Wisconsin. What I found on Google Books was an excerpt from W. F. Jannke III’s Watertown: A History (Arcadia Publishing, 2002). The author was relating stories about Watertown during the Civil War. In discussing events of 1861, Mr. Jannke reports, “in May, the firm of Fischer and Rohr, a tailoring establishment, were awarded a government contract to furnish uniforms for the Watertown Rifle Company.”

Several years ago on the Watertown Historical Society’s website, I had seen the images of the front and back of a Civil War token with the name of the store on it. There were actually two tokens on that website. I saw one on e-Bay many months ago but it wasn’t in my budget at the time and I told my youngest son about it.

Today, my oldest son checked his mailbox to see what had arrived in the last few days and it contained an envelope for me from my youngest son. I opened it to find the 1863 Fischer & Rohr tokens. Now, several hours later, I am still a little misty-eyed. Wow! Thanks, Pat. Also, how amazing I received it on the day I was working on that same family.

These tokens were actually used as money and the history surrounding them and the various types is quite interesting. Just type "civil war tokens" into your favorite search engine to learn more. This coin is of the "store card" token type and was intended to be used in the Fischer & Rohr establishment. Some of these tokens were political in nature and others were designed to be used as money to replace scarce coins.

24 May 2008

Some upcoming 2008 events and registration deadlines

May 30-31 Newberry Library, Railroad Ancestors Workshop. I am one of the several lecturers for this exciting event. Learn more about the Railroad Retirement Board and its records, how to search for railroad workers, indexes, databases, books, what the National Archives holds for RR research, employee records and more.

June 1 Registration deadline for a fantastic cruise Oct. 25-Nov. 1 with a large genealogy element! You must sign up via the genealogy section to be part of this element of the cruise. It features well-known and entertaining speakers John Colletta, Stephen Danko, Michael Leclerc, Paul Milner, George Morgan, Donna Moughty, Laura Prescott, and Paula Stuart-Warren. Learn while relaxing and have plenty of things for your non-genealogical traveling companion to do.

June 2 Deadline to save $50.00 on registration for 2008 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in historic Philadelphia. Check the FGS Website for more details and the Conference Blog also. The buzz is showing that this is a wonderful destination event.

Irish Newsletter Septs Wins NGS Award

At this month's National Genealogical Society Conference in Kansas City, winners were announced for many special awards. Among the winners was the Irish Genealogical Society International, which is based here in Minnesota. The IGSI quarterly journal, the Septs, won first place in the NGS Newsletter Competition under the category of Major Genealogical or Historical Society Newsletter.

Along with my congratulations, I want to add "you've come a long way, baby!" since the early 1980s when the typed newsletter was assembled on my dining room table for several years and before and after that in other members' homes.

IGSI is truly an international organization with members in all 50 U.S. states and ten other countries. Check out its website and then see how easy it is to join online. I had let my membership really lapse and just rejoined. The Septs and the website make this $30.00 fee very worthwhile.

The excellent IGSI library is at the Minnesota Genealogical Society's Library at 1185 Concord St. N., South St. Paul, Minnesota. The library is on the second floor and parking is free!

20 May 2008

Prizes for filling in 2010 census questionnaire?

I happened to see the front page of the USA Today newspaper this morning and saw this story headline "Census considers rewards for data." Of course I read the article which is also here. One of the persons commenting on the matter alluded to the problems of census cooperation that stems from the "fear and suspicion of government." Family historians already know that may be the reason for missing people and/or information on the early census enumerations.

Maybe if our ancestors had been given a store gift card or some monetary reward, none of them would be missing on the census. The article reported a concern for people filing multiple returns to obtain more prizes. At any rate, I thought the article was interesting and humorous at the same time. All that is needed is to turn everyone into a family historian and teach them about the other wonderful uses of the census. Surely, everyone residing in the U.S. would all cooperate. I wonder what could be offered to U.S. citizens residing in other countries? I am almost sitting on my hands to keep from commenting on the problems of the government and record keeping whether on paper or electronically.

I thought about the incentives that might have been offered to entice our ancestors to cooperate with the enumerator. What about a horse and buggy ride into town rather than having to ride horseback? Here are a few more ancestral incentives:
  • free horseshoeing for a year
  • discounts on meals at the town hotel
  • marriage by a circuit rider of your choice
  • one hot lead to where a mother lode of gold is located in California
  • five chickens
  • two bolts of non-scratchy fabric
  • two bins of coal
  • excavation of a new root cellar
  • new bonnet or suspenders in the latest fashion

11 May 2008

Minnesota is 150 years old today

May 11th, 1858 is the date of statehood for Minnesota. 150 years ago. Probably seems pretty young to those of you with New England and Mid-Atlantic roots. I grew up in historic Reserve Township in St. Paul, Minnesota and have been a lover of history from childhood. Today I spend much of my work time researching the original settlers of the land now called Minnesota. The Indians are a vital part of the history of the land. I know some of the descendants of those Indians and understand how important that land still is to them.

One of my great grandfathers, Michael Hanley, settled in Minnesota Territory before statehood. My children have several other ancestors who settled in the Territory before it became a state.

150 years ago does seem "recent" compared to the 164 year old house I visited today. I was in Raytown, Missouri, visiting the Rice-Tremonti Home. The house was built circa 1844 and today is on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is on the historic Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails. I was with a friend, Jan Davenport, who is a descendant of the Archibald Rice family. We spent time talking with Roberta Bonowitz, a 97 year young whiz about Raytown history, and Mick O'Neal, another Rice descendant. The three of them spent a couple hours pouring over family history details.

07 May 2008

Can't Attend the NGS Conference in Kansas City?

The National Genealogical Society Conference begins in a week, May 14-17. If you live in the Midwest or into the eastern plains states, it is a nice drive to Kansas City. Visit the NGS website for more details on the lectures, exhibit hall, and for details in case you haven't signed up and plan to do so at the door.

If you can't attend, consider purchasing conference lectures on CD. More than 120 of the lectures will be recorded and available for purchase as CD-ROMs beginning in June 2008 from JAMB Tapes, Inc. More details will be provided in the June issue of UpFront. (you can sign up for this at www.ngsgenealogy.org

Many lectures from the Richmond 2007 NGS Conference in the States are available now at http://www.JAMB-Inc.com. You can also access the JAMB-Inc. website via a link on http://ngsgenealogy.org. Individual CD-ROM's cost $12.00; a package of 10 or more may be purchased for $11 each.

Genealogy Cruise Sign-Up Deadline is Near

June 1st -- way back in January it seemed so far away. Have you been thinking of joining us on a Caribbean cruise? It would be a whole week away from the political ads just before election day! The dates are October 25-November 1, 2008. I have posted details about the cruise several times.

Check out more of the cruise info here. Due to fuel costs there is a fuel surcharge of about $35.00 per person. Don't let this date get away -- I promise you excellent learning, networking, and still time for a ton of other enjoyment on this cruise. The group of instructors offers something for everyone. And then there is the ship, Liberty of the Seas, which offers a wide array of restaurants, activities, amenities, and most of all, a chance for some good relaxation just before the winter holidays.

02 May 2008

Upcoming Lectures

What have I been doing lately since the posts here are slowing down? I was on the road for 2.5 weeks in April and now am working some long days on client research, article writing, and lecture preparation.

I am also posting to another blog that is for the FGS Conference this September 3-6 in Philadelphia. Under the Philadelphia link click on Blog for more details.

I hope to see many readers over the next few weeks:

May 3, Morris, Minnesota: Stevens County Historical Society, where I will be lecturing on American Indian Research. Click here and here for more info on this free event.

May 14-17, Kansas City, Missouri: National Genealogical Society Conference where I will be doing several lectures. The full schedule of events is on the website and you can still register online or at the door.

May 30-31, Chicago, Illinois: Newberry Library Workshop on Railroad Ancestors
I am one of four speakers on the subject. This is a free two day event.