24 June 2013

Free Access to Irish Records on findmypast.com June 27-30

Have you investigated the offerings of findmypast.com? Here's a chance to research part of that website for FREE. This is from a press release provided courtesy of findmypast.com.

"On June 30, 1922, the Public Records Office of Ireland, located at the historic Four Courts in Dublin,

The fire has had lasting effects – still felt today – as Irish family history requires a unique approach to research than other heritages. To commemorate this anniversary and encourage exploration of Irish genealogy, findmypast.com will offer its full collection of Irish Birth, Marriage and Death indexes free of charge from June 27 to June 30. Anyone searching for their Irish ancestors can access the full Irish record collection by registering for free at findmypast.com.

Despite a great loss of records in the historic fire, there are still many opportunities to discover Irish heritage, with countless fascinating stories to be found from the records that survived."
caught fire during the Irish Civil War. Tragically a considerable amount of Irish records were destroyed.

20 June 2013

The Harvey Girls and the railroads

In my lecture about finding railroad records that might relate to an ancestor, I discuss some of the railroad-connected jobs in which the workers were not directly employed by the railroads. I love to do this lecture and open the eyes of researchers eagerly looking for records, sharing tactics to take in "tracking" them down, and tell about the myriad of finding aids that are available. My handout for this lecture includes many websites.

One of the occupations I discuss is the Harvey Girls. You may have seen the 1940s movie with Judy Garland or read the book from that era. These women worked in the hotels and restaurants of Fred Harvey that served various stops along the tracks of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. Did you know about Lesley Poling-Kemps 1994 book, The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West?

My news feed today showed a link to an article about a new exhibit and a documentary film at the U.S. National Archives at Kansas City, Missouri.  "A documentary capturing first-person accounts of the famous Harvey Girls will premiere Friday at the National Archives in Kansas City in conjunction with an ongoing exhibit there. The free film, “The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound,” will be followed by a panel discussion by the film’s producers and other scholars." Oh, do I wish I could be there in-person. The exhibit runs till next January 4th. I see a road trip in my future.
ad more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/19/4301648/harvey-house-documentary-premieres.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/19/4301648/harvey-house-documentary-premieres.html#storylink=cpy

To read the full articles in the online edition of the Kansas City Star, click here.

17 June 2013

Slovenian Consulate opens in my neighborhood of Roseville

It's not every day that a foreign country's consulate opens near me! It's practically in my backyard. The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia is in the home of Miro Medved who was named Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia.

"Slovenia, a country about the size of New Jersey, gained its independence in 1991 from communist controlled Yugoslavia. . . Medved said it was time to establish a consulate in Minnesota, where he said around 30,000 people of Slovenian descent reside."

I was aware that many Slovenians first settled in northern Minnesota on what is fondly called the Iron Range and were miners or in other occupations. The article related that many have moved to the Twin Cities metro area. It also told me that Minnesota's own U.S. Senator, Amy Klobuchar, is of Slovenian descent.

Yul Yost, a Slovenian-American, who lives in Roseville, . . . said he wanted to forge a network of Slovenians together living in Minnesota, so he and others organized the group Twin Cities Slovenians ten years ago. The group’s goal is “to honor Slovenian heritage interest through the sharing of fellowship, culture, history, music, language, literature and genealogy activities.”

Ah, that magic word, genealogy!

Read the full article in the May 28th Roseville Review.

13 June 2013

St. Paul's Pilgrim Baptist Church celebrates 150 years

Sasha Aslanian, a reporter from Minnesota Public Radio, has a wonderful story today about Pilgrim Baptist Church. The church is celebrating 150 year of existence. It was founded by former slaves.

Sasha relates ". . . Robert Hickman, an escaped slave from Missouri who 150 years ago led slaves traveling north on the Underground Railroad, a physical and spiritual migration that Pilgrim Baptist celebrates this month."

The name Hickman is definitely a recognizable one in St. Paul's black community. Unfortunately, when they arrived in St. Paul, members of the group were forced to separate with some going to different places in Minnesota. This sad occurrence may have solved a research mystery for me.

 " In 1866, Pilgrim Baptist Church moved to a permanent home in downtown St. Paul, making it the first predominantly black church in Minnesota. Church members celebrated with a baptism on the shore of the Mississippi."  Today the church is located on Central Avenue in St. Paul.

Robert Hickman, a 39 year old preacher is listed on the 1870 census of St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota (page 15/1097, line 6). The census entry states he was born in Missouri. Here is a view of his household on that census from Ancestry.com.

 Please click here to read the great story on MPR's website.

For more on Robert, read this website www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/hickman-robert-t-1831-1900

12 June 2013

Bus it to the FGS Conference from Minnesota

If you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin, why not consider riding to the Federation of Genealogical Societies August 21-24 Conference in Fort Wayne with a bus filled with eager genealogists? The conference theme is "Journey through Generations" and you have the opportunity to travel with others who understand that phrase!

Check the website of the Minnesota Genealogical Society for the full details. MGS has arranged for hotel rooms and the bus will deliver you to the convention center each day.

11 June 2013

2013 FGS Conference Early-Bird discount ends July 1

This press release is from the Federation of Genealogical Societies. I am on the FGS Board of Directors and am also National Conference Co-Chair for this event.

“Journey through Generations” – A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists

June 10, 2013 – Austin, TX.  Discounted early-bird registration for the 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will continue only until July 1. Early registrants receive a $50 discount for the full four days, or a $20 discount for any single day. Details at http://www.fgsconference.org

The conference will be held 21-24 August 2013 in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. This year’s conference theme is “Journey through Generations,” and the local hosts are the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) and the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI). Platinum sponsors are FamilySearch.org, FindMyPast.com and Ancestry.com.

The conference offers opportunities for all who are interested in researching their family history, with over 160 educational sessions on records, strategies, and tools for genealogists at all levels. The exhibit hall features over 70 vendors offering a wide range of genealogical products and is open and free to the public. 

Luncheons, workshops and special events provide additional opportunities for networking and learning. Make sure the get your tickets to these conference “extras” early to guarantee your spot.

See you in Fort Wayne in August!

Learn More and Stay Connected:

10 June 2013

Wisconsin Historical Society digitizes 3,000 maps

I love this! 3,000 of the 25,000+ maps held by the Wisconsin Historical Society are now digitized and online. I spent too much time already tonight looking at various maps for cities and towns where my ancestors resided.

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to access the maps and atlases and learn more about the collection.

08 June 2013

Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree

I really enjoyed the special genetics learning day at the Jamboree. The speakers, lectures, and comaraderie were great. I volunteered as a room monitor all day and tonight my feet really know I did that! I learned a lot about DNA testing from knowledgeable presenters in the rooms where I worked. I am convinced more than ever that I need to do this NOW.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. during a late afternoon break with Cyndi Ingle Howells and Elyse Doerflinger. Thank you to Cyndi for arranging the meeting.
Elyse Doerflinger, Dr,. Gate, and me

I met new friends and spent some time with long-time friends. That's an important part of these conferences. Also, that we ate too much! Looking forward to three more days in Burbank learning, presenting and having meetings. Hey fellow Minnesotans, the sun really does still exist.