30 May 2013

St. Cloud, Minnesota Genealogy Conference, June 22

The Minnesota Genealogical Society and the St. Cloud Area Genealogists are hosting the St. Cloud Genealogy Conference on Saturday, June 22, 2013. It’s an all-day event and the cost is only $35 which includes lunch and snacks.

The program features two plenary sessions and two rounds of breakout sessions, with topics including researching at the National Archives, scanning images, finding European origins, and the newest changes at FamilySearch.org, plus two German research topics: reading German church records and German research on the web.

The location is the Apollo High School at 1000 N 44th Avenue in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

For more details and to register, visit the MGS website:  www.mngs.org

26 May 2013

Ancestral information NOW before it's too late

We all hear about interviewing the older generations of our family before they are gone. I have an additional task for your list of family history activities. Take pictures of the ancestral homes and businesses now. That's now as in NOW.

We don't know when the buildings might be destroyed by fire, floods, tornados, or by a wrecking ball. This afternoon I decided to drive past a couple places where my family had lived in the past. 1011 Portland Avenue in St. Paul looked just fine. This is where my maternal Grandmother Gertrude M. (Cook) Hanley lived for many years as a child.

But earlier I had driven up Marshall Avenue from the St. Paul Cathedral to take a look at 358 Marshall where the sisters of my maternal Great Grandfather John T. Cook had lived. Minnie, Ellen, and Catherine Cook had a nice home where members of the greater family were welcomed. I have written about this home several times. I have a faint memory of being in the home as a very young girl. My mother and grandmother told me about the many happy hours spent there.

As I drove west on Marshall I saw two fire engines with lights flashing. My heart sank and I hoped that the house wasn't on fire. It had been in less than ideal condition the last time I drove by there. Then I saw the fire engines were in front of homes in the lower address numbers. Whew!

A couple seconds later I was in the correct block and there was still shock. The house is gone and replaced by a big building. I had never stopped to take a picture of the home. I am kicking myself and feel sad about it. In its place is 370 Marshall. It was built in 2005. Had it really been that long since I drove past there?

I came home and did some online searching. 370 Marshall is a 68 unit upscale condominium building. I found one item on an older city council agenda:

Agenda of the St. Paul City Council
Wednesday, October 8, 2003

5. Letter from the Office of License, Inspections and Environmental Protection announcing a public hearing before the City Council on October 22, 2003, to consider the appeal of Real Estate Development Group to a decision of the Heritage Preservation Commission denying a demolition permit application to raze the house and garage at 358 Marshall Avenue in order to construct a six story 68-unit condominium building.


Take those pictures now or get someone to do it for you if the homes and businesses are not nearby. I will be taking many pictures of other homes and businesses in the coming months.

24 May 2013

FamilySearch Updates for genealogists

Another press released was received from FamilySearch this week. How often do you check the FamilySearch website's section of digitized records and indexes? When you visit the website click on Search and then scroll down the next page to "Browse All Published Collections" and then click on the country of interest. I plan to keep checking the Illinois county marriage records.
"FamilySearch has added more than 2.16 million index records and images this week from Argentina, Austria, Italy, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,152,830 index records and images from the U.S., Illinois, County Marriages, 1810–1934, collection, and the 244,523 images from the Spain, Province of Valencia, Municipal Records, 1611–1935, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org."

Check the full table of this week's updates at https://www.familysearch.org/node/2181

23 May 2013

MyHeritage offers free access to military records

Memorial Day weekend brings another press release about free access to military records. Enjoy!

"In honor of Memorial Day next week, MyHeritage is granting free access to millions of military records from our most popular collections. The records can be accessed from here.

The free offer ends on May 28.

The collections will help you journey back in time to some of the most important conflicts in world history, which impacted American families as well as millions of families worldwide.

Here is the link to our official blog post here - http://blog.myheritage.com/2013/05/memorial-day-free-access-to-us-military-records/ and an image is attached."

Click on "Search Now" in their blog post.

20 May 2013

Six weeks left to save on FGS Fort Wayne Conference

Just six weeks left to take advantage of the fantastic $50 savings on the 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference registration. If you register for the FGS Fort Wayne conference no later than July 1st, you will save $50 off the full four-day registration price.  The savings on a single day registration is $20. The conference has things of interest for all levels of genealogical experience.

If you have already registered, please let your genealogy co-horts and fellow society members know about the savings deadline. Consider registering soon for workshops, luncheons, and special events. All of these are showing fantastic registration numbers and some may fill soon.

It’s easy to go back to the registration page of the conference website, log in, and add luncheons, special events, the Farewell Brunch, donate to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Fund, or other items.

Check out the conference website at www.fgsconference.org

19 May 2013

Minnesota records live on FamilySearch

Have you recently checked the Minnesota category of the Historical Record Collections at FamilySearch? It has 22 section of material related to the state. Add a lot more when you check out the U.S. census records. Many have digitized images, some are record abstracts, and some are indexes. Check out the list below (and many others) at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=18. Check back at least every month to see if more had been added. Once you are on the page, check the last column to see when each collection was last updated.

18 May 2013

June 1: Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy registration opens.

SLIG Registration Opens June 1
The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is opening registration June 1, 2013 at 9:00 AM Mountain Time. So many great tracks for January 13-17, 2014!

Course 1
American Research and Records: Focus on Families
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA

Course 2
New York Research
Karen Mauer Green, CG

Course 3
Research in the South
J. Mark Lowe, CG

Course 4
Scottish Research

Course 5
Advanced Research Tools: Land Records
Richard G. Sayre, CG and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL

Course 6
Credentialing: Accreditation, Certification, or Both?
Apryl Cox, AG and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

Course 7
Producing a Quality Family Narrative
John Philip Colletta Ph.D., FUGA

Course 8
Researching in Eastern Europe
Kory Meyerink, AG

Course 9
Advanced Genealogical Methods
Thomas Jones Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Course 10
Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum
Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell

Course 11
Problem Solving
Judith Hansen, AG, MLS

Please visit the website for more information: www.slig.ugagenealogy.org
Email sligdirector@ugagenealogy.org with questions.

17 May 2013

2.5 Million Criminal Records Now Available Online for the First Time

Findmypast.com Launches UK Criminal Records dating 1770-1934

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 20, 2013)Findmypast.com, an international leader in online family history, today announced the largest collection of historical criminal records from England and Wales is being published online for the first time in association with the National Archives (U.K.).

More than 2.5 million records dating from 1770-1934 will be easily searchable and provide a wide variety of color, detail and fascinating social history, chronicling the fate of criminals ranging from fraudsters, counterfeiters, thieves and murderers and their victims.

With this new addition, findmypast.com World Subscribers will have access to mug shots, court documents, appeal letters, registers from the prison ‘hulk’ ships used when mainland prisons were overcrowded. The first 500,000 of criminal records are now available to search on findmypast.com, and the remainder is to be online

5 day Free access to military records on findmypast.com

This great news about five days of free military records access was sent by findmypast.com

"In honor of Memorial Day on May 27, and in remembrance of all who died while serving our country, findmypast.com will offer its collection of U.S. and international military records for free in the days leading up to the national observance.

With more than 26 million U.S. and international military records available, findmypast.com is encouraging people to explore and learn about the heroic efforts of their ancestors this Memorial Day. Record sets such as ‘Draft Registration Cards,’ ‘Casualties Returned Alive,’ ‘POWs’ and others will offer a captivating glimpse into the lives and experiences of our veteran ancestors.

The US and International military records will be available free of charge starting at midnight EDT on Thursday, May 23 until midnight EDT on Monday, May 27. Anyone can access the records by registering for free at findmypast.com." 

15 May 2013

First-ever New York State Family History Conference September 20 and 21, 2013.

This press release was received from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. I am honored to be among the speakers at this inaugural event. I have some brief New York ancestral connections, have researched that state for clients, and a fun research project on a relative's family has been all over the state.

NEW YORK, NY, March 19, 2013 -- The Central New York Genealogical Society and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society are cosponsoring the first-ever statewide genealogical conference in New York.  The two-day conference will be held on September 20 and 21 at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center Liverpool, just outside Syracuse, New York.  Preconference research activities will be available on September 19.  Attendees will have an opportunity to advance their skills in researching

New York families and to build general skills through 20 lectures in two parallel tracks; two luncheons and a dinner, all with riveting speakers; and exhibits by vendors and societies. The Conference Program and exhibitor information may be found on the Conference website, www.NYSFHC.org.

New York State poses numerous challenges for even the most experienced family history researcher.  The New York State Family History Conference will break down research barriers and provide a forum that brings people together to share their research knowledge and problem-solving experiences and to collaborate on key research issues. Future conferences will be scheduled at regular intervals.The earlybird registration fee for the two-day Conference (excluding meals and printed syllabus) is $115 until July 1, after which it will be $140; members of the CNYGS or the NYG&B receive a $25 discount. Purchase tickets in the online store at www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org

Conference speakers include the top names in New York genealogy:  Blaine Bettinger, The Journal of Genetic Genealogy;  Ruth Carr, New York Public Library (retired);  Sachiko Clayton, New York Public Library;  Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, NYG&B Record; Stefani Evans, CG, National Genealogical Society; James D. Folts, New York State Archives;  Karen Mauer Green, CG, NYG&B Record;  Eric Grundset, Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution;  Terry Koch-Bostic, National Genealogical Society; Michael Leclerc, Mocavo; Joseph Lieby, Palatines to America German Genealogical Society;  Maira Liriano, New York Public Library;  Kathleen Roe, New York State Archives;  Paula Stuart-Warren, CG; and  D. Joshua Taylor, findmypast.com.

Sponsors of the conference include: findmypast.com, Mocavo, the National Genealogical Society, the New York Public Library, the Office of Cultural Education/New York State Education Department, and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.

For more information on the host organizations, please visit their websites:

14 May 2013

Online Finding Aids from the Minnesota Historical Society

When is the last time you checked the wonderful online finding aids for many of the collections at the Minnesota Historical Society? Of course, there's the library catalog, general descriptions of collections, and paragraphs describing various types of records, but have you seen the detailed inventories for others?

MHS has many in-house comprehensive finding aids but has been posting some on its website.

A few examples:
  • Thomas Scantlebury and Family: An Inventory of Their Papers
    U.S.-Dakota War reminiscences of a soldier in Company H of the Seventh Minnesota Infantry, accompanied by three diaries (1853-1857) and miscellaneous family information relating in part to the establishment of New Auburn (Sibley County), Minnesota.

11 May 2013

Happy Birthday, Minnesota!

Why is it that some dates just stick in our minds? For me, one is the date of Minnesota statehood. On May 11, 1858 Minnesota became the 32nd state in the United States.

That's 155 years ago. One of my great grandfathers, Michael Hanley, had already arrived in Minnesota Territory. He is on the 1857 census as a farmhand in Winona County. He later lived in the city of Winona. His brother is also listed but in a different household.

The annual history tour that I take with my three youngest grandchildren will include Winona this summer. The 11 year old asked to visit all the addresses where his ancestors resided. I will be doing just that at 478 Wilson Street in Winona. I will also tell them about the Hanley family.

08 May 2013

Great genealogy events on my schedule and hopefully yours!

I am involved with several wonderful genealogy events that are taking place in the coming months. This means many registration deadlines. 
  •  May 14, 1:00 p.m., CDT, Friends of the National Archives - Southeast Region webinar. Join me from the comfort of your own home as I tell you about the wonderful things created by the WPA Historical Records Survey workers pre-WWII. You might be amazed at what they did for family historians. Register at www.friendsnas.org/webinarSch.htm
  • May 16, 7:00 p.m. St. Croix Valley Genealogical Society meeting at the public library in River Falls, Wisconsin. I will be presenting an interactive workshop on Research Planning. Pre-registration is not necessary. http://scvgs.wordpress.com/meetings/
  • June 7-9 is the 44th annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree plus the pre-event Family History and DNA day on June 6th. Last day for pre-registration is Friday, May 24th. I am attending the DNA day and taking part in six presentations at Jamboree. www.genealogyjamboree.org/

06 May 2013

"Five years later, Iowa still in need of state archivist"

My news feed had that headline to an article this morning. The article states "Recent data compiled by the Council of State Archivists, a national organization of state records executives, indicates that Iowa ranks near the bottom of the nation’s 50 states in its commitment to state records preservation. In fact, Iowa is the only state in the nation without a state archivist and no pending action to fill the nearly five year vacancy."

04 May 2013

Revisiting websites: Roselawn Cemetery, Roseville, MN

The value of rechecking websites you have visited before has proven quite valuable to me in recent months. I visited Roselawn Cemetery here in Roseville, Minnesota back in the 1980s after learning that my paternal Stuart great grandparents were buried there. I have written and lectured before at the surprise that was there. Alexander and Emma (Slaker) Stuart are buried with no headstones. The surprise is because Alex's occupation in Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, and Wisconsin was that of a tombstone carver. A distant cousin told me he did exquisite work. On that visit I never asked who owned the burial plots because silly me just assumed that the husband owned them.

My late night rechecking of cemetery websites to see what is new brought me to a burial index on the Roselawn website. I did a search for Stuart and found this:

Mocavo Announces Genealogy Karma

I received this press release on Friday from Mocavo about a brand new volunteer effort.

"Mocavo Announces Genealogy Karma

Back in 1999, a fantastic resource was established to bring together members of the genealogy community all around the world. The brainchild of Bridgett and Doc Schneider, Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) was created to help genealogists collaborate with the genealogy community to document their research, while also offering genealogists a way to give back to a community that had helped them in the past. RAOGK quickly turned into a global organization. The group’s volunteers were able to help thousands of genealogists make progress in their family history research.

02 May 2013

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh Savings Ends May 15th

It doesn't feel like May for some of us, but it truly is here. Are you thinking about attending the 2013 Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh? It was a blast last year. We had fun in the dorms, in the cafeteria, and worked hard in the classrooms. The reviews after last July's GRIP were fantastic!

There are still a few spots left in some courses. The week begins late afternoon on Sunday, July 21st and ends at noon on Friday, July 26th.

I coordinate and teach in Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging DeeperIn this course we have a lot of interaction and students have the opportunity to submit a problem of their own for discussion. Debbie Mieszala, CG, and D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS are the other instructors.

I am also teaching in the Bridging the 1780-1840 Gap: From New England to the Midwest coordinated by Josh Taylor.

Registration and payment no later than May 15th gives you a $35.00 savings. Check it out now at http://www.gripitt.org/