31 May 2012

Mankato, MInnesota Family History Conference

In partnership with Minnesota State University, Mankato, and the Blue Earth County Historical Society, the Minnesota Genealogical Society presents this year's greater Minnesota genealogy conference June 22 and 23.  Friday kicks off with an evening social and program at Blue Earth County Historical Society.  Saturday's full-day conference at the university, "South Central Minnesota in the 1860s," is headlined by Stephen Osman's presentation, "Minnesota's Two Civil Wars."  

A total of 16 breakout sessions on a wide variety of topics are being offered. 

30 May 2012

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Registration Opens June 2!

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Registration Opens June 2! That's this Saturday!

One June 2, 2012, at 9:00 AM (Mountain Daylight Time) (11 Eastern, 10 Central, and 8 Pacific) the mad dash to register for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy will begin. There are eleven great courses to choose from in this Utah Genealogical Society (UGA) institute. Register at www.slig.ugagenealogy.org It's the perfect way to spend quality genealogy time next January 14-18 near the greatest genealogy library in the world.

At at this genealogy institute you choose one topic track and you get 25 hours of in-depth instruction and networking on that topic. Click here to see the full list of tracks and click on each title to see details on each. [I am coordinating and teaching in Course I, American Records & Research, and teaching in Courses 2 & 6.]

Many of the tracks fill quickly so you'll want to register right out of the gate. Early bird registration ends October 31, Tuition rates are as follows, note that there is a $65 additional cost for Problem Solving:

    UGA Member with Early Bird discount - $350
    Non-UGA Member with Early Bird discount - $400
    UGA Member after October 31, 2012 - $400
    Non-UGA Member after October 31, 2012 - $450

If you are a UGA member, check your log-in information in the website now. The webmaster will not be able to field log-in problems on June 2. If you are not a UGA member, join now! Membership is only $35, so you'll save yourself $15. If you cannot log-in on registration day please register as a non-member and then email info@ugagenealogy.org requesting a new invoice with the correct total.

Evening Sessions, etc.:
UGA is building a new registration system which will allow you to edit your order at any time. It's not quite ready, so until it is they will only be opening registration for the main tracks. Please note that later you can register for evening sessions, meal plans, parking passes, and more as soon as their new system is ready. SLIG registrants will receive an update via email.

Dining Options:
Each year UGA receives suggestions from the students regarding dining options. They heard you! Each morning registered students will be entitled to a complimentary continental breakfast at the Radisson hotel. This breakfast will include pastries and fruit, coffee, tea, juice, and water, and will be offered in the main Wasatch hallway on the second floor. There will also be two lunch plans for interested students. Watch for details later.

28 May 2012

Memorial Day: Honoring the Fallen

My family has been pretty lucky as far as returning family members who served in the United States military. My Dad, Father-In-Law, and my ex-husband all returned as did those in previous generations. My father did have some service related health issues but nothing too severe. As I watched TV today showing President Obama and others at the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, I shed some tears. Taps, the Star Spangled Banner, other music, and the bagpipes do it to me every time. I was also thinking about all the families who have lost family members while in service to this country and continue to suffer today.

In the last couple weeks I happened to drive by two houses that brought to mind two such veterans. I drove by the house on Randolph Avenue in St. Paul where my late uncle's mother and brother lived. I visited them many times since my grandmother lived 1/2 block away. Gerald Joseph Mueller died during the Korean war years. He was married to my Mom's sister, Jeanine Hanley. His remains have never been found. I don't remember him but always knew about him and I used to visit his grandparents in Buckman, Minnesota. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1017305

The next house was on Munster Avenue, also in St. Paul where Tom Kingston lived. I went to grade school with Tom and will always remember his red hair. Tom was killed in Viet Nam in January of 1968. I still remember receiving the letter from a friend back home and the feeling of shock. I was living in California at the time near a Naval Air Station were my husband served. He did not go to Viet Nam, but served on Adak in the Aleutian Islands. I imagine we will remember Tom fondly this October when we have our 8th grade reunion. I have visited the wall in Washington, DC and did cry as I touched Tom's name.

I am grateful to these two men who lost their lives while fighting to keep us free. But I wish no one had to fight in any war.

22 May 2012

Austin, Minnesota couple married in cemetery

I love this story in yesterday's St. Paul Pioneer Press. A couple in Austin in Southern Minnesota were married this past Saturday near their parents' graves in Austin's Oakwood Cemetery so their parents could be at the wedding. Their engagement began in the cemetery after the couple reconnected via Facebook.

Click here for the full story and a picture.

18 May 2012

Tracing your family history with the 1940 census and other tools

Join me and Mary Jo Webster from the St. Paul Pioneer Press at the St. Paul Public Library, Highland Park branch, for a free class next week. Mary Jo is a reporter and computer-assisted reporting editor for my hometown newspaper.

Mary Jo will talk about her first-ever experience in researching the free, online 1940 U.S. census and finding a neat capsule of her own family history. I will add more about the 1940 census, other censuses, and share tips on researching your family history via materials that are online and some that aren't. There are many free resources for starting to research your family history.

It's a free class on Wednesday, May 23d at 6:30 p.m.

Click here to see directions to the Highland Park Library: http://bit.ly/KxPIBg
Click here to see the library calendar http://bit.ly/MqfIPO

13 May 2012

GRIP early bird tuition deadline

Where has this year gone already! I just noticed that the early bird deadline for the 2012 Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is at the end of this month. Are we really at the half-way mark of May? There are limited open spots in three of the courses. You will be delighted no matter which course you take.

You save $20.00 if you register before June 1, 2012. GRIP takes place this coming July 22-27. Check out all the details at www.gripitt.org.

Early bird tuition for the one-week course includes daytime and optional evening sessions, all syllabus notebook materials, social activities, snacks, and a polo shirt. The cost is $380 paid by June 1, 2012 and $400 thereafter. The website also details info on dorm rentals.

09 May 2012

Have a genealogy question? Are you at the NGS Conference in Cinci?

Stop by the findmypast.com booth in the Exhibit Hall to get your burning genealogy questions addressed. Three top family history experts will be in the booth to assist you in your family history quest. The cost? FREE. The consultants are:

Wednesday: Debra Mieszala, CG
Thursday: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG
Friday: D. Joshua Taylor, MLS
Saturday: Debra Mieszala, CG

06 May 2012

Sultana Disaster Records online for FREE

I am proud to serve on the Board of Directors for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and also to be a contributor the the Stern-NARA Gift Fund and the Preserve the Pensions Project. Have you donated? Our donations are vital to making records available for all of us. This is last week's FGS Press Release about these records. Thank you to Fold3 too!

Free Access Provided by Fold3

May 4, 2012– Austin, TX: The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is proud to announce its recent participation in making the Sultana Disaster records available to genealogists and family history researchers. When the boiler exploded aboard the steamer Sultana on April 27, 1865, more than 1,700 people lost their lives. The records include lists of survivors, along with their military service information, as well as information on those who perished.

Through a grant from the Malcolm H. Stern-NARA Gift Fund, FGS has helped to bring this important Civil War record set to the Fold3 website. The fund is a nationally supported program to finance preservation and imaging of valuable research materials now preserved in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C.

In addition, FGS and NARA, with the help of the genealogical community, have begun an exciting project to digitize the War of 1812 pension files. There are 7.2 million pages in 180,000 pension files that have never been available in any other form before. The Preserve the Pensions Project is in progress to digitize and make every page of these information-rich files available as part of a bicentennial commemoration of this historic conflict. Learn more about this important preservation and digitization project at the Preserve the Pensions page (http://www.fgs.org/1812/) and get involved by making a donation today.

Here is the recent announcement from Fold3 about the Sultana Disaster database and the specific information to be found within the records:
When the boiler exploded aboard the steamer Sultana on April 27, 1865, more than 1,700 people lost their lives. Most of those aboard were recently released Union prisoners from Confederate prisons in Cahaba, Alabama, and Andersonville, Georgia. They were en route from Camp Fiske in Mississippi to Camp Chase, Ohio, but the explosion occurred only a few hours into the journey.
In addition to the faulty boiler, the ship was also grossly overburdened with 2,200 passengers on a vessel built to carry 376.

Records relating to the Sultana Disaster, April 1865, are now available on Fold3. They include lists of the former prisoners who survived the disaster, with military service information and brief comments on their injuries. There are also lists of those who perished, yet not of the civilian survivors or those who died.

The enormity of the disaster led quickly to investigations. By January 1866, a court-martial was convened to charge Captain Frederick Speed, the man who volunteered to coordinate the transfer of prisoners, with “neglect of duty to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.” There are 647 documents in the court-martial case with testimonies, witness accounts, and statements by the defense and prosecution. After "nearly six long weary months" the trial came to a close. Capt. Speed was the only person charged in the incident. He was found guilty, yet the charges were later dismissed by Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt.

The Sultana Disaster records can be accessed on the Fold3 website at http://www.fold3.com/title_797/sultana_disaster_april_1865/. The original publication was financed by The Abrams Foundation of Michigan through the Stern-NARA Gift Fund and the National Archives Trust Fund.

Librarian from the Library of Congress to speak in Northfield, Minnesota

I wish I could attend this presentation down in Northfield, Minnesota at Carleton College. Hopefully some of my blog readers will attend. If you feel like sharing about this event, I'd be happy to publish it on this blog and give you full credit.

"Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, will give a talk on digitizing library materials. His presentation, entitled “Living with the Real Thing: From the Original to the Digital,” will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Thurs., May 10 in the Carleton College Boliou Hall, Room 141. This event is free and open to the public."

Dimunation is a graduate of Carleton's St. Olaf College. Read more about him and the presentation in Carleton News. http://apps.carleton.edu/news/news/?story_id=841544

05 May 2012

Free expert advice at findmypast.com booth at NGS Cincinnati

findmypast.com is hosting an "Expert of the Day at its Exhibit Hall  booth at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati this coming week. (May 9-12)

Ask questions and receive expert advice from some of the nation’s leading genealogists. No appointment necessary! Visit one on one with the Expert of the Day for free at the findmypast.com booth.

Wednesday: Debra Mieszala, CG
Thursday: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA
Friday: D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
Saturday: Debra Mieszala, CG

About the Experts:

Debra Mieszala specializes in forensic genealogy, 20th century research, and the Midwest. She does genealogical research for the military to help locate family members of service members missing in past wars. A national-level lecturer and author, she has taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and other events. Debbie al so holds a certificate in paralegal studies.

Paula Stuart-Warren has been conducting research since the early 1980s and works full time in the areas of genealogical and historical research, lecturing, consulting, and writing. A board-certified genealogist since 1988, Paula is a firm believer in continuing education in genealogy and frequently participates in national and local conferences. Among her many activities, she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

D. Joshua Taylor is the Business Development Manager – North America for brightsolid online publishing, the creators of findmypast.com, and a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. Active in the genealogical community, Joshua is the current Vice President of Administration for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and has been a featured genealogist on NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?