31 October 2012

Minnesota Genealogy Ambassador Award

Earlier this month at the banquet during the Minnesota Genealogical Society's annual North Star Conference, I was presented with an award. It's the "Minnesota Genealogy Ambassador Award for representing Minnesota on the national genealogy scene and bringing honor to Minnesota genealogy."

It was an easy award to win and receive. Easy to win because I love Minnesota and the fantastic resources for family and social history. I love talking about my home state and those resources. I have been a member of the Minnesota Genealogical Society for 30 years (well, I did forget to renew for a time) and was one of the founders of the MGS library. Of course I promote MGS!

There are many other Minnesota residents who are also good ambassadors for the state, for Minnesota history, genealogy, and MGS. I am honored to be chosen.

30 October 2012

Fading Military Headstones at Fort Snelling.

Today's [Minneapolis] StarTribune carried a sad article about the fading writing on military headstones at Fort Snelling National Cemetery here in Minnesota. It has also affected burials in other cemeteries.

"Gail Nicklason noticed the letters on her mother's marble headstone were starting to fade. But the black letters on her father's side of the same stone remained bold and clearly visible, even though he had died the year before his wife. Nicklason noticed the lettering on a number of stones placed in Section 17 after her mother was buried in 2008 were fading, as well.

Turns out that is the plan. Fort Snelling officials say the black lettering, using a special type of water-resistant paint called lithochrome, was never expected to be permanent. As new sections are used throughout the national cemetery system, the new headstones will not have the lithochrome paint on them, part of a national policy established in 2009 to give more uniformity to cemetery sections."

Gail's mother was buried in January 2008. My mother was buried at Fort Snelling in January 2008 but in a different section. My father was buried there the next year. I need to visit the cemetery before the snow falls.

"was never expected to be permanent." Are you kidding me? Sad news. 

You may read the full story by clicking here.

23 October 2012

Minnesota Historical Society Hours: changed for the better

It's been really difficult to work at the Minnesota Historical Society in recent years due to the changed hours. There were too many days where the limited hours barely allowed you to get settled in, request a set of records or wait to make copies from microfilm, and boom, it was time to leave.

As of December 1, 2012 the hours will be better for researchers. We now have four almost full days for research plus the one evening that has not changed. I have researched at MHS for 30 years and remember when it was open all day, six days a week. Many researchers have complained and some of us were assured of a change more than a year ago. It has finally happened.

The great catalog, helpful guides, and finding aids may be found at www.mnhs.org

The new hours:

Tuesday: noon to 8pm
Wed. - Sat.: 9am to 4pm
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed

19 October 2012

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy discount deadline is looming

It's October and a great time to celebrate both Family History Month and American Archives Month.

October means I am busy preparing syllabus material for the 2013 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The Institute will be held January 14-18, 2013 in Salt Lake City with a welcome social and check-in on Sunday, January 13th. Do join us for that social so you can pick up your course syllabus. SLIG will be held at the Radisson Hotel which is in walking distance of the Family History Library.  

I coordinate and instruct in Course I:  American Research and Records: Focus on Localities and am also an instructor in courses 2 and 6. Course 1 has 22 registrants and room for more.

October 31 is the last day to register for the 2013 edition of SLIG with a savings of $50.00. You may still register after that date. For the full course lineup, list of evening classes, names of coordinators and instructors and more details: http://www.ugagenealogy.org/aem.php?lv=p&epg=27

You can read more about me and what I will be teaching at SLIG in these UGA blog posts:


18 October 2012

Fold3.com now has 100,000,000 images!

This recent press release from Fold3.com is reason to celebrate! Fold3 now has more than one hundred million images on the website. I know I have found some wonderful information on the website. It is a subscription website and well worth the cost. Fold3.com is also where the War of 1812 Pension Records are being housed for FREE. To keep them that way, please donate to the Federation of Genealogical Societies Preserve the Pensions Project. We've already raised enough funds to have almost 400,000 images on Fold3 from these original documents housed at the National Archives. Last month, almost 40,00 new images were added thanks to the donations of dedicated genealogists, historians, and others. Have you donated? You may send in a check or use your credit card at  http://www.fgs.org/cstm_PreserveThePensions.php.
This is the release:
Earlier this month, we reached a major milestone when the counter on the Fold3 home page spun to and exceeded 100,000,000 record images. Our digital partners—the National Archives (NARA), Allen County Public Library, FamilySearch, and others—helped Fold3 attain this significant event. We thank them and you, our members and fans, for your support and enthusiasm over the last six years
In January 2007, Footnote.com (Fold3’s predecessor) launched with an initial 4 million images. Many of the Fold3 Team members have been around since those early days, watching the titles roll and the images multiply at an increasingly steady pace, assuring that our visitors can access an impressive range of original military records online.
The first sets of documents on the site proved very popular and continue to be some of Fold3’s biggest hits today. They include:
Since those early days, Fold3 has added many more popular titles, including:
Here we are, one hundred million images strong, looking eagerly toward the next hundred million. At the pace our team is digitizing and scanning, it will certainly happen sooner than we think. You can catch up on all of Fold3’s significant achievements on our Blog.

10 October 2012

Family History Month tips from findmypast.com

This press release shares some great tips and links to more.
Happy Family History Month from findmypast.com! To celebrate our favorite month of the year, findmypast.com has compiled the following advanced search tips to help your readers uncover their storied pasts and keep growing their family trees. 

Expert tips from genealogist D. Joshua Taylor include:

·         Re-Examine your findings - Sometimes the answer to a question is waiting in records you have already discovered. Take time to analyze your findings and give everything another look.
·         Locate the Original Record - In some cases you might be looking at a transcription or abstract made from an original record. While every effort is made to ensure transcriptions are accurate, it is essential to examine a copy of the original record.
·         Search collateral lines - Focusing your search on an ancestor’s siblings often yields additional records that benefit your research.
·         Participate in a DNA Study - The science of DNA analysis can have great benefits for genealogists. Many individuals participate in DNA surname studies which combine genealogical research and DNA results to prove relationships between individuals and potential origins of particular surnames or groups.
·         Search for printed resources - There are thousands of records not yet available online that include important information for family history research. Printed resources include printed genealogies, local histories, record transcriptions and abstracts, and other materials. Search for these materials in libraries and other repositories through WorldCat to locate sources close to your own home.
Findmypast.com has also created a dedicated landing page findmypast.com/family-history-month with a downloadable family tree and downloadable family history questionnaire. Throughout the month Findmypast.com will be sharing daily tips on Facebook for genealogists and family historians. Facebook fans also have access to Facebook badges denoting their ancestry.

03 October 2012

U.S. National Archives fees increase

The National Archives issued a press release last month that I somehow missed. As of October 1, 2012 there are many increases and a few decreases in costs for copies in-person and by request.

Self-service paper to paper copies will be .25 in all NARA facilities. Microfilm to paper is up  by .10 to .60 each.

Copies of passenger arrival records have decreased from $25 gto $20.

A Civil War pension record has gone up by $5 to $80 and after 100 pages the cost is .70 per page.

The full fee schedule can be viewed here.