23 November 2014

Paula's Genealogical Eclectic is moving to a new website

This is my last blog post on Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica. I will still be blogging but it will now be on .

That blogging will be just one part of my new website, Genealogy by Paula. If you have been a reader of this current blog, all the older content will be transferred to the new website.

I am able to share additional information with the new format. Be sure to bookmark the new website, continue to read my occasional posts, and peruse the tabs on the website for lots of added details.

See you over at GenealogybyPaula.com.

19 November 2014

Genealogy, Donny, David, and comedy all wrapped into one in February.

Today's Press Release from the Federation of Genealogical Societies. This means Valentine's Day begins with Keynote Presenter Donny Osmond, followed by fantastic genealogy lectures, and ending with music and comedy. So glad I have already registered for this February 11-14 conference! www.fgsconference.org/.

"American Idol finalist David Archuleta is teaming up with the popular comedy sketch group Studio C from BYUtv to perform at FGS and RootsTech. The two talents will be performing for the Closing Event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both will be featuring new original pieces for the event, including a new song written by David Archuleta and a never-before-seen sketch by Studio C. 

David Archuleta has sold more than 1 million albums and earned numerous awards. According to David, this gives him a chance to celebrate his family and the influence they have had on his music. His father was a jazz musician who introduced the family to jazz, as well as gospel, pop, rock, and soul. His family’s heritage and history helped craft Archuleta’s unique style. 

“Music was always a part of my life growing up. My mother was also big on dancing and would teach my older sister and me to dance to traditional music,” he remembers. “I can’t think about celebrating my family without thinking about celebrating music.”

The sketch comedy group Studio C from BYUtv has grown to become a household name for people across the nation of all ages, but especially among teens and millennials. Since its launch in October 2012, its loyal fan base has helped grow the show’s online presence to more than 70 million YouTube views to date. 

David Archuleta and Studio C will be performing for thousands of attendees at the Closing Event on the final day of FGS and RootsTech, February 14, 2015. To reserve your ticket to see David Archuleta and Studio C, register today for FGS 2015"

A county clerk's 'Genealogy Corner' gets national recognition

If you have heard me at seminars, you know that I often say things similar to "these records are so good because I don't have family in that locality" or in that particular set of records.

I have several localities where I wish my family had settled just because of the great information online from the county or city. A few of these are:
Then my news feed delivered news of another county with a great genealogy service and that has received a national honor from government colleagues. The Collin County [Texas] Clerk and staff have been "awarded the 2014 Best Practices Award from the National Association of County Recorders, Elections Officials and Clerks (NACRC)."  Just two of the online databases for this county are:
  •  Marriage indexes, dating back to 1864
  •  Birth indexes, dating back to 1903 with some delayed birth records from the 1800
Read the full article from the McKinney Courier Gazetter by clicking here. To access the county's Genealogy Corner click here.

You may have already guessed that I have no ancestral connections to Collin County, Texas! Dangitall.

12 November 2014

2 days left to register: Nov 22 genealogy seminar in Tennessee

It's been a while since I did presentations in Tennessee. That changes on November 22, 2014 when I will be the speaker for the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society's all-day seminar. I will be presenting four topics and will be around all day to help audience members with genealogy questions. These are my topics:

  • Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking
  • The Three Rs: Reading, 'Riting and Research in School Records
  • The WPA Era: What It Created for Genealogists
  • Controlling Chaos: Organizing your Genealogical Materials

The event takes place near Nashville, in Brentwood. You must register by November 14th to be assured of a seat. The brochure and registration information is here: http://mtgs.org/calendar/2014%20Seminar%20brochure.pdf

07 November 2014

Free weekend at Findmypast!

 From a Findmypast press release:
Explore Findmypast’s billions of historical records for FREE this Veterans Weekend
Free access to all Findmypast’s historical records throughout Veterans Weekend and a  Live Broadcast to be held on Saturday afternoon featuring an expert panel of historians and genealogists
This Veterans Weekend, we want to help everyone find their First World War ancestors and learn more about their family history.
So we’re delighted to announce that this Veterans Weekend, we’ll be opening up our archives and giving unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world. That means that between 7am on Friday, November 7th and 7am on Monday, November 10th (EST), absolutely everyone will have access to all our historical records, including:
  • Global record sets that include census, birth, marriage, and death records from the 1600s to the present. 
  • Millions of local newspaper pages from around the globe spanning 1710 to 2014. 
  • Largest collection of local records from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland dating back to 1500.
  • Military records dating from 1760, encompassing the U.S. Civil War, World War I and World War II.

06 November 2014

Join us LIVE on your computer tonight for Connect with FGS

How much can you learn about the upcoming February 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in 30 minutes? Join Cyndi Ingle, J. Mark Lowe, and me online tonight!

We are part of the inaugural edition of Connect with FGS. It is hosted by Caroline Pointer and Linda McCauley. Cheryl Hudson Passey is one of the FGS conference ambassadors and she will be on the show, too.

We are on live at 9 ET, 8 CT, 7 MT, and 6 PT.

You can watch all our smiling faces on Connect with FGS live from the FGS YouTube Channel or from the FGS Google+ Event.

For more details visit the FGS Voice blog and also learn how to view the program later. http://voice.fgs.org/2014/10/fgs-launching-monthly-hangout-on-air.html

The Voice blog also carries many other conference, FGS, and general genealogy news.

04 November 2014

Beyond online: important genealogy guidebooks for your shelves

This past weekend I promised the audience at the South Dakota state archives that I would post a list of some basic genealogy guidebooks that are important to beginning and even more advanced researchers. If you are only checking online resources and yet wondering what else there might be, these guides will fill you with tons of ideas and places to look. This is not a list of all that is available

1.    Croom, Emily Anne. Unpuzzling Your Past. 4th Ed. “Expanded, Updated and Revised.” Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2010.

2.    Eichholz, Alice, ed. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources. 3d ed. Provo, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 2004 [Overview guide to all of the states. [Online edition is part of Ancestry’s free Wiki <www.ancestry.com/wiki>.]

3.    Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 3d ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000.

4.    Hinckley, Kathleen W. Your Guide to the Federal Census. Cincinnati: Betterway Books, 2002. [Includes case studies, appendices, glossary, forms, hints, and more. The best census guide! Out of print but in many libraries.]

5.    Morgan, George. How to Do Everything Genealogy. 3d ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. [Update will be out in 2015!]

6.    Rose, Christine and Kay Ingalls. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy. 3rd ed. New York: Alpha Books, 2012.

7.    Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. 3rd ed. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006. Now online at Ancestry's wiki <www.ancestry.com/wiki>

03 November 2014

Registered for the NE Illinois Lake Co Genealogy Seminar 8 Nov?

I am home from a successful full day of presentations at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, South Dakota. It's the home of the state historical society and the state archives. The audience was extra friendly as was the staff.

This next weekend I am off to northeastern Illinois to do a full day seminar. It's 8 November at the Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center. The Lake County Genealogical Society is the host. Debbie Mieszala, CG and Daniel Hubbard, Ph.D. are also presenting lectures that same day.

My four lectures are:
  • Your Anytime Library: Success in the Virtual Stacks
  • Research Reports for Ourselves: More than a Research Log
  • Midwestern Gems: Back Issues of Genealogical, Historical, and Sociological Journals
  • Major Midwestern Archives and Their Records
The lectures and syllabus material is recently updated just for the attendees.

You may register at the door, but as with other day-of-event registrations, lunch and syllabus is not guaranteed for those who did not preregister. Caterers and printers usually need several days advance notice of the total numbers. My advice? Get there plenty early. It's a nice meeting place. Another reason to attend is that I have been told there are some really nice door prizes, vendors, and a silent auction.

The details are here: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~illcgs/lcigs%20flyer%202014%20final.pdf

28 October 2014

U.S. National Archives free online lectures today

Today is the first of three days to join the free U.S. National Archives 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair. It runs on YouTube on October 28, 29, & 30. The first lecture each day begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. There are four presentations each of the days.

It's live and there is an opportunity to ask our questions at the end of each talk. No need to register, just log in online. To learn the schedule and obtain the handouts: http://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair/

27 October 2014

FGS free talk show online debuts Nov 6 with 3 "interesting" guests

Want more information about attending a big FGS genealogy conference? Join me, Cyndi Ingle, and Mark Lowe on Connect with FGS that debuts November 6 at 9:00 p.m. EST. We are all speakers at the 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference being held next February in Salt Lake City in conjunction with RootsTech. Caroline Pointer and Linda McCauley host the show.

Connect with FGS will be a 30 minute FREE show broadcast on the first Thursday of the month as a Google+ Hangout and also on the FGS YouTube channel. Between now and February it will focus on the FGS 2015 conference scheduled for February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, but other FGS news and events will also be discussed.

Mark recently posted on Facebook that we will have a crazy time on this hangout. Yes, we will! It will be informative about FGS and the conference but I think we each might have some ideas up our sleeves. Will 30 minutes be enough for us? Will Caroline and Linda be able to rein us in?

To learn more about this new monthly event, check out the free FGS Voice blog

For more about the conference https://www.fgsconference.org/

Brief genealogy news from the past week

I am in the midst of packing to move in a few weeks and am doing three seminars in other states in the next month so my blogging may be limited. I still have some neat things to share and decided to blog about them in brief. 
  1. From time to time I see newspaper articles about generous individuals that are preserving the memory of downtrodden people whose death and burial may have gone largely unnoticed or marked. The Chicago Tribune carried such an article last week about Barry A. Fleig and the Cook County Cemetery at Dunning in the Chicago area. You might need a subscription to view the story. The Newberry Library's genealogy blog posted about the results of his work on the Dunning Cemetery. Learn more about this project and do a search of the database at http://www.cookcountycemetery.com/. According to that website "With over 38,000 burials spanning some seventy years, it served as an institutional cemetery for the Cook County institutions. These consisted of the County Poor house and farm opened 1854, the Insane Asylum opened 1869, the infirmary opened 1882, and the Consumptive hospital (TB), opened 1899 and was the official Cook County potters field serving the poor and indigent of the county."
  2. The Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC no longer charges non-members to use its library. It's a beautiful place full of books, periodicals, films, databases, traditional library tables, and great staff. Most of the books are on open shelves and the browsing is fun. www.dar.org 
  3. This Friday, October 31 (also known as Halloween!) is the last day for the $50 registration discount for the January 2015 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Three courses still have a few seats. www.infouga.org

24 October 2014

Hmmm. Genealogy and personal cremation urns?

According to a story in today's Bring Me The News, a firm located here in Eden Prairie, Minnesota is urging people to designing an eternal vessel “as unique as the life it represents." As in a specialty urn for your beloved family member's ashes after cremation. Not only is it a specialty item, these are done via a 3-D printer!

"Requests so far have included urns in the shape of a guitar, a car, a piano, and a cowboy hat, as pictures on the firm’s Facebook page show."

Is this a product for a family historian? We like to remember our dear departed relatives for more than just a date and place. We want to know more about the, what they did, and how they lived. We ask our older relatives about their hobbies, favorite things, and what they like to do. Might we want to keep our loved ones' ashes in a container specially designed for them?

Might they design a model microfilm reader or a scanner for a genealogist? How about an urn designed to look like an archival box, laptop computer, or DNA kit? How about a tombstone shape with all the proper information on it?

Read the full story here: http://bringmethenews.com/2014/10/24/firm-uses-3-d-printers-to-create-personal-cremation-urns/

My Nov. 1 free full day of presentations in Pierre, South Dakota

Next Saturday, 1 November 2014, I will be presenting two genealogical workshops at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, South Dakota. The workshops are free and open to the public. Free parking is available. Registration begins at 9 a.m. CDT. Come for both or stay all day.  Call (605) 773-3804 for more information.

9:15-12:00:  Research Rewards in County Courthouse and Town Hall Records

It’s more than looking for land, probate, birth, death, and marriage records. The records found in courthouses and related repositories fill in many details about the lives of our ancestral families and the communities and time periods in which they lived.   

Courthouses, town halls, and other repositories of local and county records all across the U. S. are treasure troves of records for family history research. Learn about tax, divorce, naturalization, deeds, criminal and civil court records, vital records, and even the scallywags in the family. Today the records might have been transferred to an archive, historical society, may be on microfilm via the Family History Library, or even online. Learn what these records hold, and how to find and access them and indexes. The examples used in the lecture span a wide variety of localities. Part of the presentation covers  readily available finding aids that determine the existence of specific records, help locate some of these records no longer in the courthouse, and that open a whole new world of research materials. This lecture focuses on historical rather than current records and on the county and town level records but not state and federal records.

1:15-4:00  Lord Preserve Us! Church Records for Family History Research
From the beginning of our country, many of our ancestors belonged to an organized or semi-organized religion. For those who did, the records which have survived until today can often be
 a goldmine of details. Names, dates, relationships, places of new and former residences, burial location,

23 October 2014

Kandiyohi County Minnesota township records

The October 22 edition of the Minnesota Historical Society's Local History News carried a story about another important use of the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants. The Kandiyohi County Historical Society recently microfilmed township records for six of the county's townships and the films are available the county historical society in Willmar.

For more on this project: http://legacy.mnhs.org/projects/2834

In Minnesota we are fortunate to have these records which include birth and death information. Usually this is in the format of a register book rather than separate certificates. These exist from roughly 1870-1953.

Records for some townships around the state are in the state archives collection at MHS. www.mhs.org Others are in historical societies, town halls, and county courthouses. I don't know of any comprehensive list of these. Some of the records no longer exist due to a variety of reasons. My hope is that each is soon stored in a place with the proper conditions to preserve them.

22 October 2014

Donny Osmond and Cyndi's List. A connection.

Now that Donny Osmond has been named as one of the keynote speakers for the joint Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and RootsTech 2015 conference, I have a story to share. It's not exactly my story but I have permission from Cyndi to share it.

I am pretty sure you all know about Cyndislist.com. Many years ago at a genealogy conference, Donny Osmond was there to promote a genealogy service. He was introduced to Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi's List. Of course, she was very happy to meet him. The surprise was that he was impressed to meet THE Cyndi of Cyndi's List.

Fast forward to this upcoming February and, as mentioned in my previous post, Donny is the keynote speaker for Saturday morning, February 14th during the conference. PLUS Cyndi is one of the FGS speakers for this upcoming February 11-14, 2015 huge family history event.

I wonder if we can orchestrate another meeting of these two nice people who love family history?

Register for this great 4 day event at the FGS conference website https://www.fgsconference.org/. Then for just $39 more you can add the RootsTech side. A win win win win.

FGS & RootsTech Sat. Keyote speaker is Donny Osmond.

Just received a press release from FamilySearch about the Saturday, February 14th keynote speaker. How appropriate that it will be Donny Osmond on Valentine's Day. I will add more details later. Now will you quickly register for the 2015 conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and RootsTech?

Just visit https://www.fgsconference.org/ to quickly register for this exciting family history conference. Then check the box to add RootsTech to that registration. Then work on your packing list and your "to do" list for the Family History Library. Soon, FGS will be adding a list of more hotels to the lodging page on the website. There is definitely room for everyone.

I had a feeling that was going to be today's big conference announcement. Hurray!

FGS Conference 2015: Connect. Explore. Refresh.

I am officially registered for the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2015 Conference. It is being held earlier than usual to take advantage of a one-time joint opportunity with RootsTech in Salt Lake City. I hope February 11-14 is already on your calendar. 
I have not missed a FGS conference since 1990. That is 24 years of great education, networking, shopping and even lots of fun. Yes, I am hooked. I even became a volunteer at many of these conferences. Now I am on the FGS Board of Directors. Really hooked on FGS.
The 2015 theme of Connect. Explore. Refresh. really tells why I love these conferences.
During all those years I have connected with many other genealogists, librarians, vendors, and others who are now my friends. They have shared valuable research advice, names of people to contact, and have held my hand through some tough times. I didn't make all these connections right away, but these developed as we recognized each other at subsequent conferences. I hope to add more of my readers to that list of friends after this coming February in Salt Lake City.

Attending a FGS conference allows me to explore in two main ways. I love exploring topics that are presented in lectures I might not have a chance to attend elsewhere. I often choose to attend a session on something totally different from my areas of research or experience. Exploration equals enlightenment. Then there is always the large hall filled with vendors of all kinds. They demo and sell software, books, subscriptions, magazines, office supplies, preservation materials and much more.

I find that the lectures, vendors, fellow genealogists, luncheons, and other parts of a conference allow me to hit the refresh button in my research. When I return from a FGS conference I am able to continue my research with a refreshed energy and new knowledge. It's an energy that's difficult to express, but it's a new level of excitement filled with paths to try.

Where exactly shall we meet in the Salt Palace Convention Center next February? The program, hotel info, and many more details are here: https://www.fgsconference.org/.  Online registration is a breeze on that same website. 
If your chosen hotel is full, check http://www.visitsaltlake.com/ for many more lodging places. Rumor has it that additional choices will soon appear on the FGS conference website. This is already a popular conference.

20 October 2014

NUCMC and its cousins: "missing" manuscript locators

Recently on Facebook, I promised Sue Hawes of Maine that I would tell her more about NUCMC and access to all those wonderful manuscript descriptions. I thought others might also appreciate this information. It's a long post so you will need to follow the "Read More" at the end of ths main page post.

This blog post contains some content from my seminar handouts and presentations that include details about manuscripts, finding aids, and the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) and its newer cousins. These are frequently requested lectures and I love watching the eyes of the audience as they realize what they might be able to locate for their own families. In case you are wondering how to pronounce NUCMC, that’s easy: nuckmuck.

NUCMC & its Cousins

Did you ever wonder if a family bible might be in a historical society somewhere? Maybe that missing set of Justice of the Peace records is in an archive in a distant state. Where are the records of the fraternal organization that Uncle Sylvester joined? Might the records of the local midwife still be in existence?

These are manuscripts. These are original records. You may be scratching your head trying to find such items. Of course you check the historical society and archives websites of the counties and states where the person or family resided. Yet, any of these records could be in a distant state. We are fortunate to have several finding aids that assist us in locating these records no matter where they might be housed.

What will finding aids tell researchers?

A typical descriptive entry includes: collection title, years it covers, number of items, volumes or boxes, total linear or cubic feet, name of repository, descriptive highlights, and if there are other  finding aids. Many entries tell how the collection was acquired, i.e. by donation (and by whom) or by purchase. The descriptions often include places, names, subjects, and related collections.

The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections
An important finding aid is the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC), a cooperative

19 October 2014

Salt Lake Genealogy Institute savings deadline October 31

How can it be past the middle of October already? I do see the leaves changing and the weather is definitely cooler. The 2015 edition of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is rapidly approaching. It takes place January 12-16.

The early bird deadline for the 2015 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy ends on Friday, October 31. Register now to take advantage of the discount. Most of the tracks have sold out; only a few spaces remain! Find more information about available classes and register on the UGA website.

There is still availability in the following courses:

12 October 2014

Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives serves researchers!

The Great Falls Tribune [Montana] has a wonderful article about the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives, the holdings, and the mission of the repository. This is the way I wish all localities felt about historical researchers. That's what a genealogist does. We are searching for the history of our ancestors, collateral family, and the place in which they lived.

The article does have a few errors, but overall it is really great! I still have no connections to the area, but wish I did!


p.s. The Butte-Silver Bow archives website is https://buttearchives.org/

10 October 2014

Just might be 300+ reasons to attend SLIG 2015

The annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is getting closer. January 12-16, 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of SLIG. Those 300+ reasons in the title of this blog post? It's networking with more than 300 fellow genealogists all gathered in the same place and willing to talk about family history research. Time before and after each class, during meals, and at the Family History Library is perfect for the usual networking. The Hilton Hotel has many great spaces for just sitting and talking about families and research. I wonder which students will make the most family or research locality connections this year?

SLIG Early-bird deadline October 31st

Don't let the savings deadline pass you by. Easy registration at http://infouga.org/ There is still some availability in the following courses:

07 October 2014

Vermont middle schoolers learn history in a cemetery

In Sharon, Vermont, middle schoolers are doing schoolwork in a cemetery.  "An abandoned cemetery is turning into a classroom for middle-schoolers at the Sharon Academy in the Upper Valley. They’re mapping the grave sites, researching the people buried there, and creating a website for genealogists who might not be able to visit the plots in person."

This makes history real. It gives these students a respect for their community, history, and for the cemetery. I wish all schools had classes like this.

Read the article here:

03 October 2014

Findmypast only $5 for October, Family History Month

This information was received in a press release from Findmypast.com:
Celebrate Family History Month with a special offer from Findmypast

2014 has already been a record breaking year at Findmypast, and we’re ready to celebrate! Family History Month 2014 is an opportunity for us to share our amazing collection of records, significant moments in history, and the characters we’ve discovered along the way.

The ground breaking projects we’ve launched in 2014 have added millions of names to our database. 100in100 gave us 100 record sets in 100 days, and a total of 38,400,460 new worldwide records. Our digitization effort with the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library to put the PERiodical Source Index, or PERSI, online for the first time is well under way with over 23,000 images already available. Our England and Wales National School Admission Registers and Log-books was a collaborative project working with 25 archives and schools, and included more than 2.5 million historical records. 

Join the celebration! For the month of October, we will be offering 30 days of our World subscription for just $5.00 using promotional code USFHM14. Simply enter the code at checkout to explore all of our

01 October 2014

Northern Pacific Railway employee records on Ancestry.com

During the railroad records webinar I did this evening under the auspices of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, I mentioned some Northern Pacific Railway employee records that were on Ancestry.com. I had several questions about where to find these and I have posted the direct link below.

The originals are at the Minnesota Historical Society as are many other Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railway. The personnel files are not complete for either railroad but do include some subsidiary lines, too. As I shared during the webinar, these files include many people working from Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest and who were born in many other states and countries,.

NP employee records at Ancestry: http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2157

Yes, I am on YouTube courtesy of Mocavo

I have done a couple regular Fireside Chats with Mocavo.com chief genealogist, Michael Leclerc. These are available at http://www.mocavo.com/fireside.

The dates for these two are November 14, 2013 and April 25, 2014. 

At the FGS Conference this past August, Michael interviewed me and several of my colleagues. The first batch of those can be viewed under the September 30th, 2014 date on the list of chats. It is also on YouTube.

Free railroad records webinar tonight, Oct 1.

It's tonight! A free webinar on railroad records to kick off the great month of October that is both American Archives Month and Family History Month. This free webinar is available to anyone. Join us on your computer, tablet, or other device. It is sponsored by the Minnesota Genealogical Society.  The topic is railroad records and how to find them. It's been about 20 years that I have been researching and lecturing on this favorite topic.A detailed handout is available to registrants.
Wednesday, October 1
Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking  (Webinars)
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

29 September 2014

ChicagoAncestors.org gone for a while

From the Genealogy Blog of the Newberry Library, the outdated code for the ChicagoAncestors.org website is the issue that has resulted in the suspension of the website. Ouch. I guess I will put off some of my Michael and Laura (Dow) O'Brien research for a while.

A new site will be up in a few months and they do promise that the content has been preserved.  Please hurry!

The library's post is from Saturday, September 27: http://www.newberry.org/genealogy-blog

25 September 2014

SLIG Early-bird savings registration ends October 31

Early-bird savings registration ends on October 31, 2014!

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) will be held January 12-16, 2015. All courses and events will be held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center Hotel. Labs, if applicable, and research facilities will be available at the Family History Library. Registration: http://www.infouga.org/aem.php?lv=r&eid=12
Early-bird registration ends on October 31, 2014.

Hotel: http://www.infouga.org/aem.php?eid=12
Stay at the Institute hotel, the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, in order to obtain the full institute experience and have access to special events and networking with the instructors and other attendees. SLIG’s reduced rate is $129/night (reduced from $269/night). This rate is set for up to four people in a room. The rooms are spacious and a two-queen room can comfortably accommodate four people.

2015 Tracks with some open seats

Resources and Strategies for US Research, Part I (Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS and three other instructors)
This course provides in-depth study of 19th-21st century U.S. resources and methodologies for utilizing them. Analyze content, origin, location, and develop tools and strategies to interpret records. Plus a FHL computer lab and one-on-once consultations at the FHL for this course only.

Beyond the Library: Research in Original Source Repositories (John Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA)
This course explores repositories of original historical sources: archives, courthouses and manuscript collections. The purpose of this course is to take the mystery and trepidation out of using original source repositories.

Finding Immigrant Origins (David Ouimette, CG)
This course covers the key historical sources and research methodologies for family historians tracing immigrant origins. We explore chain migration, ethnic migration paths, surname localization, DNA evidence, cluster genealogy, and other tools to help find your immigrant’s ancestral village.

Advanced Research Tools: Post-War Military Records (Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA)
Wars by their nature create records; however records are created in the aftermath of war also. There is the pension application file(s) or a bounty land application file(s). But there is so much more in addition to these records. There is pension law, payment ledgers, payment vouchers, public and private claims, correspondence, state claims, soldiers homes, and burial records.

I look forward to seeing you at SLIG in January 2015!

23 September 2014

Easy & free access to Mississippi Valley Historical Review

In my September 21st blog post, I mentioned The Mississippi Valley Historical Review. I had a couple inquiries about where to find this journal. The answer is simple and many old issues can be accessed via your home computer for free. Several of those are listed below. You can also check Worldcat.org to see if a library near your home carries all back issues. A large public, historical, or university library may also have the back issues. I am in favor of those in-person visits because you may find other gems that are not yet digitized. Issues that are out of copyright may have a cost to use online.
  • Archive.org
  • Books.Google.com
  • HathiTrust.org
  • JSTOR.org
I found these three interesting articles for free on JSTOR:

22 September 2014

Free Railroad Records Webinar

On Wednesday, October 1, I will be presenting a free webinar for the Minnesota Genealogical Society.  The topic is railroad records and how to find them. It's been about 20 years that I have been researching and lecturing on this favorite topic.
Wednesday, October 1
Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking  (Webinars)
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Instructor: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA

If we didn’t have the railroads many of our ancestors might not have migrated across this country. Great grandpa would have been jobless. Aunt Susannah would not have visited the nieces and nephews. You might not have inherited a railroad watch. How else would your Grandfather from Ohio have met your Grandmother in Kansas? And we would not have the fun of searching for a payroll stub, railroad timetable, accident report, retirement record, personnel file, picture of Grandpa’s steam engine, or learning about the part the railroad played in the settlement of the old home town. This session shows how to determine which railroad you need to research and locate finding aids to determine what records might exist today and where they are located.
Cost: Free!

21 September 2014

New journal focuses on Midwestern history

About 27 years ago I discovered bound back issues of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review while browsing the stacks at the Macalester College library in St. Paul. I spent many hours reading through them. Then I reached a point where this publication became The Journal of American History and the focus changed to nationwide rather than the regional publication I had loved. There is nothing wrong with JAH but I still wanted something more closely aligned with the middle of the country that wasn't directed only to one state. The original title existed from 1914-1964.

Fast forward fifty years to 2014 and a new publication of regional interest has emerged, Middle West

19 September 2014

Findmypast launches new Irish and British collections: 14,000 records

Findmypast launches over 14,000 new records as the first installment of their new Findmypast Fridays.

This press release was received from Findmypast.com today.

We are proud to announce the launch of our first ever Findmypast Friday! Every Friday from now on, we will be bringing you thousands of new records to explore over the weekend on our dedicated Findmypast Friday page. We promise to bring you new, and often exclusive, record sets every single week.

This week’s Findmypast Friday, we’re excited to release a new collection of Irish parish and cemetery records as well as British marriage and baptism records. If you have family from the Irish counties of Donegal, Fermanagh, Tyrone or Wicklow or from Eastbourne, East Sussex in the UK, these records will be of particular interest.

Compiled by genealogist, author and professor of history, Dr. David R. Elliott, the new Irish records collection includes a variety of parish registers from County Fermanagh as well as cemetery records for Donegal, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Wicklow.

13 September 2014

Minnesota Genealogical Society webinar proposals

The Minnesota Genealogical Society is now hosting webinars and accepting proposals for the 2015 educational year. According to the press release:

"The Minnesota Genealogical Society invites proposals for our 2015 genealogy webinars. The webinars are via our GoToWebinars.com account on the 1st Wednesday of February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October, November, and December. The MGS Education Committee especially encourages proposals for presentations with content relating to Minnesota and Upper Midwest resources and important Upper Midwest ethnic groups, including, but not limited to, Swedish, German, Norwegian, French Canadian, and Yankees. . . ."

For full details and the submission form:http://mngs.org/upload/files/Webinar_2015_RFP.pdf

Proposals must be sent no later than 9 October 2014.

12 September 2014

Genealogist and Great Grandmother all in one

Last week I posted about the birth of my first great grandchild. I spent yesterday afternoon with the latest addition to our family, itty bitty Lucas. He is under 6 lbs and is so light to hold. My granddaughter commented recently that being a young great grandmother is neat since I get to spend many years with him.

That made me think about my children and their great grandparents.

My oldest son had 4 great grandparents living when he was born. One, my Grandpa Mike died when my son was 4 1/2 months old and never got to meet his first great grandchild as we were living in California and Grandpa was back in Minnesota. However, my son did spend time with three other great grandparents. He was 6 when two of them died.

My daughter also got to know those two grandparents as she was 4 when they died.

Then there was my Grandma Gert who lived until she was almost 99. My oldest son was 31 when his GGG

11 September 2014

Hula hoops, Barbie dolls, books, and my childhood at MHS

A current and popular exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society is Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s. This brought back memories of my own childhood. Tents made out of blankets hung from the clotheslines, blow-up swimming pools, trikes, roller skates, books, Colorforms, and more.

I was lucky to have my paternal grandmother, Olga Theodora (Carlsen) Stuart, aka Grandma Toots, who introduced me to the world of Nancy Drew and I eagerly looked forward to the next book she would bring me. I thought about Grandma Toots a couple times this past summer when I stopped at a lake to read. She used to read in scenic spots, too. My other favorite place to read as a child was at night in bed under the blanket using a flashlight.

I had an early hula hoop, Barbie doll, slinky, and other neat 1950s toys because a neighbor worked for a toy distributor. They always had neat toys at their house, too. I wonder what those toys would be worth today?

 The toys exhibit is open at MHS through January 5, 2015. More details are at www.mnhs.org

10 September 2014

Tewksbury, Massachusetts Almshouse records digitization

One of my favorite lectures I present at history and genealogy events is titled Tho’ They Were Poor, They May Have Been Rich In Records. The wealth of information that is available often leads to more family history than you ever thought possible including details on religion, birth, death, burial, divorce, children, and more. The lecture and slides includes how to find such records and show many examples from across the country of what records contain. Even family members you don't think of as poor may have spent time in such places.

Imagine my excitement this morning when I opened an email from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and read The Weekly Genealogist. One section jumped out at me: "Tewksbury Almshouse Records Available Online." Several paragraphs followed including this: "The Tewksbury [Massachusetts] Almshouse intake records, 1854-1884 (bulk 1860-1884), have been digitized and placed on both the Digital

07 September 2014

Two genealogy conferences in one place!

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is having its conference a bit earlier in 2015. February to be exact and in Salt Lake City!

FGS and RootsTech are teaming up for a one-time special genealogy event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, February 11–14, 2015. FGS and RootsTech will share the huge expo hall, general sessions, activities, and more while each conference offers their own program of sessions. FGS sessions will focus on methodology, records, ethnic research, and migration for honing your research skills and society issues to motivate and inspire society volunteers. RootsTech will offer a program of technology-based solutions for the genealogy needs of both individuals and societies.

I hope to see you there for this amazing event. Reserve your hotel room now. Don't forget that multiple light rail lines in the Salt Lake City area means you can also stay at outlying hotels.

Read the full details here https://www.fgsconference.org/ and register for the FGS conference online. Add RootsTech for only $39. 

The greatest savings on the registration cost is available only through September 12th! Anyone with an interest in genealogy, history, and family history is welcome.

06 September 2014

Researching Old Ship Logs

How cool is this! Volunteers are combing old ship logs to learn weather details for The Old Weather project. It is a way to fill in the gaps of our climate knowledge.  It also tells the story of the humans involved in the shipping industry and the human enjoyment and suffering of those on the ships.

"Mariners have long kept meticulous logbooks of weather conditions and descriptions of life onboard, and the National Archives in Washington, D.C., has pages and pages and pages of them recorded by sailors on Navy and Coast Guard vessels. Along with the basic weather observations, the logbooks contain amazing stories of adventure, survival and mystery. A bouquet of dried flowers was sandwiched in one logbook. Another log describes a 1,600-mile overland journey to bring reindeer to some stranded whalers. And then there are the logs of the USS Jeannette. Its journey began in San Francisco in 1879, an ill-fated attempt to find an open-water passage to the North Pole. Two months later, the Jeannette was surrounded by ice north of Siberia."

Read the full article here: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/09/03/ship-logs?from=environment

05 September 2014

Minnesota and beyond: seeking families and descendants of 46,000 adopted children since 1865

I love neighborhood newspapers. The Park Bugle serves the St. Anthony Park, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, and Como Park areas of St. Paul, Minnesota The September issue I picked up this week carried an article with joyous news of importance to many people. It concerns the families of children adopted through two organizations located here in Minnesota. 

The Children's Home Society is celebrating 125 years of service. It has joined with Lutheran Social Services in a celebration being billed jointly as “Family Reunion: Celebrating 275 Years of Adoption.” The event takes place on Sunday, September 21st.

One special part the article states is "Everyone is welcome, but organizers are issuing a special invitation to

Genealogy Immersion January 2015 in SLC

Check your calendar. I bet it's pretty empty for next January. Why not sign up for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy that takes place 12-16 January 2015. SLIG is moving to a different hotel with more classrooms and more space in each room. It has on-site restaurants, a Starbucks takeout area, and places to sit and talk with fellow students.

If you register today (and before 31 October 2014) you save $50 off registration. Join the parent of SLIG, the Utah Genealogical Association, and you save even more if you register now rather than after Halloween.

I am once again coordinating the United States Records and Research course. 2015 is Part I and Part 2 is offered in even numbered years. These do not need to be taken in any specific order and some genealogists return for a refresher when a number of years has passed! Plus the session content and the syllabus are always being updated by the instructors.

This course offers greater understanding of records, learning more unusual resources, one-on-one consultations at the Family History Library, a computer lab session, and some surprises. 

 Click here for the full intermediate course lineup. 

To learn more about SLIG: http://www.saltlakeinstituteofgenealogy.com/

And here: http://www.infouga.org/cpage.php?pt=42

04 September 2014

War of 1812 Pensions: 362,206 more pages funded for digitization!

During the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in San Antonio, last week, there was a special event that helped raise the funds to digitized 362, 206 more pages of the War of 1812 pension files.

Digitize and make them searchable, free, and printable to anyone forever. What a nice phrase.

The FGS 2014 Celebrity Fun Walk was extremely successful. If you hadn't heard about this, it was a fun event with many donations given on behalf of these four amazing individuals. The power of the four genealogists who woke up before sunset to walk from the convention center to the Alamo was amazing. The power of the community donations was wonderful. With all that was raised on behalf of Judy Russell, Josh Taylor, Kenyatta Berry, and Ed Donakey, plus the matching funds and other items, the total is almost $85,000.

Check out the Preserve the Pensions blog for more details and photos. 

The campaign isn't finished yet. There are many more files to be digitized. About 61,000 pages were digitized last month but that's only into the H surnames. Urge your fellow genealogists, historians, authors, military experts, and others to contribute. The Illinois and Indiana genealogical societies are once again providing matching funds for donations made through them. Check their society websites for details.

Registration Savings on North Star Genealogy Conference in Minnesota

Sunday, September 7th is the last day to register and save money on the 2014 North Star Conference. This is the Minnesota Genealogical Society's annual conference. The featured speaker for 2014 is Judy Russell, JD, CGSM , CGLSM , who is known as The Legal Genealogist.  Judy will present four lectures during the October 3-4 event. Several other speakers will also present sessions, including some woman named PaulaStuart-Warren.

Lunch is included in the registration price, and each attendee will receive tickets for door prize drawings. The location is Colonial Church in Edina, a Minneapolis suburb. The church  has plenty of parking and free Wi-Fi.

The full conference brochure is here. Register on the MGS website http://mngs.org/

On Thursday evening, October 2, MGS and the DNA Interest Group host Judy Russell for "DNA Goes Genderless." This requires a separate registration.Visit http://mngs.org/ for details.

Judy's description of this presentation: "Until 2010, genealogists could only use DNA to help prove ancestry if they could find sons of sons of a male ancestor or daughters of daughters of a female ancestor to test against each other. With the advent of autosomal DNA testing, DNA has gone genderless: it's now possible to test a male descendant of a man or woman against a female descendant. Learn more about this exciting addition to the toolkit of 21st century genealogists."

01 September 2014

My first great grandchild on Labor Day!

It will always be a special family joke that my first granddaughter gave birth to my first great grandchild on Labor Day!

Lucas arrived this morning. I feel giddy. I had no trouble sleeping through it all. I had the phone on silent and slept 12 hours upon my return from the FGS genealogy conference in San Antonio. I woke up to many missed phone calls and text messages. Those messages included photos of Mommy, Daddy, and Baby. Then I opened Facebook to see the first photo had already been posted there by the Daddy. I had instructed her that the baby could not arrive while I was out of town. She waited!

I am guessing my granddaughter won't be working at the paying job on Labor Day.  However, this was a much better paying Labor Day for her. 

I have added the details to RootsMagic already. That's a genealogy software program that I have started to use. I know that family who read this won't know what that means. What an honor to add the newest generation.

So anxious to see and hold the latest addition to our family.

10 August 2014

Next up: FGS Conference in San Antonio

I have a two week break from presentations right now but I have plenty to keep me busy and earning a living.

Next up on my travel schedule is the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in San Antonio, Texas from August 27-30. I have given up editing and writing the conference blog but it still exists and is filled with helpful information that you need in advance of this event that will draw people from all over the U.S. and from some other countries. Click here to view the conference information and to read the blog. Be sure to save time for the Exhibit Hall!

Juliana Smith has written a post on Ancestry.com's blog that reinforces the benefits of attending such conferences along with many tips that will help you prepare for the upcoming FGS conference. Click here to read her excellent post.

02 August 2014

Update on stolen Chaska Moravian Church Records

A few days ago I blogged about the volumes of records being stolen from an area church. Sometimes the media doesn't get the whole story. Then there is me who assumed the story was correct. I wasn't about to call the church and bug them when I know they are already being overwhelmed. Maybe I should have.

Another local TV station (KSTP) reports  "[Pastor] Eder says the Moravian Church is very much into their history. The stolen book, volume three, dates back to 1902. Two other volumes of records are stored in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania."

That answers some questions yet it still means one important volume was stolen. 

01 August 2014

New book for German researchers: Hanover Military Records Guide!

I received this press release today. Sounds like a MUST HAVE if you have Hanover ancestral roots!

Lind Street Research Publishes a New Guide for finding German Military Records
for the former Kingdom of Hanover

INVERNESS, ILLINOIS, August 1, 2014 – Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Certified GenealogistSM and German research expert, is proud to announce the publication of Guide to Hanover Military Records, 1514–1866, on Microfilm at the Family History Library. Military records for the former Kingdom of Hanover in Germany can include a soldier’s date and place of birth, his father’s name, and widows’ pensions. This publication is the only English-language guide to this gold mine of information for genealogists. With this guide, a researcher can quickly determine all available records for a regiment and time period and know where to find them in the Family History Library’s (FHL) microfilm holdings in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The records in this collection span 130 rolls of FHL microfilm and go beyond simply listing names of soldiers. In addition to the typical details in the muster rolls, transfers to and from other companies provide clues to additional muster rolls to review. The many other types of records in this collection include regimental journals, pension data, marriage consents, field church books, and even horse muster rolls, including physical descriptions of the horses and the names of the soldiers who rode them, and much, much more.

Easy to use, this guide is organized chronologically and includes brief historical overviews at the beginning of each major section. The book explains the history of the former Kingdom of Hanover and includes a detailed explanation of how to use this guide, demonstrated with examples.
This guide book is a must-have for anyone researching ancestors from the former Kingdom of Hanover in Germany.

McMillin has produced a thorough, detailed guide to the soldiers’ records, geography, and military history of the Kingdom of Hanover. Her book is the key that unlocks the puzzle of which microfilm your ancestor’s military record is found among the 130 Hanover military microfilms at the Family History Library.” -- Ernest Thode

“Until now this collection has hardly been touched by family historians, mostly because of the difficulties associated with locating the…microfilms. It’s an incredibly helpful work.” – Baerbel Johnson

The 400+ pages of this guide will save any genealogical or historical researcher dozens of frustrating hours trying to find valuable information in this collection. Although painstakingly detailed, it is ridiculously easy to use.” -- Michael Lacopo

Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, Certified Genealogistsm has had a life-long passion for genealogy. In 2006, Teresa founded Lind Street Research, a company dedicated to helping clients trace their German ancestry. Since then, she has helped many people discover their family history. Teresa also writes family history books and is a popular speaker for local and national genealogical societies, sharing her knowledge with the genealogical community. 

Visit www.hanovermilitary.com for more details
Contact:           Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG
Teresa S. McMillin, CG

CG or Certified Genealogist is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certified genealogists after periodic evaluation.

30 July 2014

KARE 11 reports Chaska Moravian Church books stolen

It's been a tough news day here in my area. One horrific story has been the shooting and death of a suburban police officer. That has affected my thinking all afternoon. My heart aches for his family and fellow officers.

Then I checked the local news channels websites to see if the suspect had been found and so far that news is negative. I saw another story that caught my eye. Definitely not as horrific, but still sad. A local news channel (KARE) has reported that thieves broke into a Minnesota church and among other items stole the church record books. These books from the Chaska Moravian Church are a big part of the history of the church and the area in Carver County, Minnesota.

KARE11 reports "Sometime in the late evening hours of Monday, July 14th, Reverend Eder discovered thieves broke into the church office and took a locked safe containing $50, but even more valuable to the church were four handwritten ledgers containing birth, wedding and death records dating back to 1920. The leather bound books contained important genealogy information of members from the early years all the way to a baptism performed two weeks ago."

I just checked several catalogs including those of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Family History Library and didn't see any evidence that these record books were ever microfilmed. The Moravian Church Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania does appear to have something from the first two record books. That means two of the stolen items are the only locations of the valuable information. Now I wonder if it is microfilm, photocopy, index, abstract, or what else? The inventory is not clear.

Read the full KARE story here plus the video of the newscast announcement.

Some record abstracts are posted on this website. Debbie Moe did an even greater service at the time by providing this information.

Update to police officer death: the suspect has been apprehended.

28 July 2014

Genealogical Research Institute of Pennsylvania 1 & 2!

I am home from a successful week at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh that was held at LaRoche College. I had a classroom full of wonderful and sharing people in the course I coordinate, “Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper.” The homework project for the week turned out to be one that featured many twists and turns. One newspaper article even called the family "notorious!" We were able to spend time discussing many of the students' own research problems and I hope they follow up on the great research suggestions we all shared. Sometimes it just takes a different set of eyes and experience to help solve an issue.

I also taught in the “Becoming an Online Expert: Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives" that is coordinated by Josh Taylor and had fun sharing the ins and outs of searching on Ancestry.com and on public library websites. I appreciate the great presentations by Debra Mieszala, CG and D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS in the intermediate course.

I made some new friends last week and some of them are even attending a course in Orchard Lake! They are hooked on the institute experience.

The next offerings of the week-long institute are July 20-25, 2014 in Pittsburgh and August 3-8, 2014 in Orchard Lake, Michigan (a beautiful suburb of Detroit). I will be repeating the “Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper” and will also be teaching in the “Bridging the Gap: New England to the Midwest, 1780-1840.”

There are still some openings in the Orchard Lake week. Visit http://www.gripitt.org for more details.

16 July 2014

You may still register for the FGS Genealogy Conference in San Antonio!

I just had someone ask me if they could still register for the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) conference in San Antonio, Texas.

That answer is easy: YES!

One other question that I usually receive since I am a member of the FGS Board of Directors is whether this is just a conference for genealogical societies. Another easy reply: NOT AT ALL!

Anyone may register and you don't need to belong to a genealogical society. Though, I would then ask why that person doesn't belong to a society where they reside and also where the ancestors resided. Whether you are just starting out with your family history research or have been researching for a long time, there are helpful presentations, networking, vendors, speakers, topics, fun events, plus the beautiful and famous San Antonio River Walk just steps from the convention center and hotels.

Check the conference information, speaker and topic lineup, hotel details (a second large hotel was added), luncheons with special speakers, evening events, workshops, exhibit hall participants, and more at https://www.fgsconference.org. Be sure to click on the Blog and read updates and important details, too.

If you register now, you will soon get online access to the full syllabus. Each conference registrant will receive notice in early August that the conference syllabus of lecture handouts is online and ready to read. Be sure to print the sections for lectures you plan to attend. Many speakers refer to specific points, have the URLs in there, and you may want to add additional notes on some of the points.

29 June 2014

One billion family history records from FamilySearch at our fingertips!

You may have already seen the stories about this but I still have to write about it. I can't even fathom one billion images.

This past week, "FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) announced the online publication of its one billionth image of historic records at FamilySearch.org, a feat that took just 7 years to accomplish."

I still love to touch original records in libraries, courthouses, historical societies, and archives, but I also love to sit here at my computer, with no shoes on, and my mug of spring water next to me, while I look at digitized records of my ancestors that are available online.

I have viewed records from all over the U.S., England, Canada, and other places. According to FamilySearch, the billionth image was published in FamilySearch.org’s growing Peru civil registration collections.

To read the full story on the FamilySearch blog, click here.

To search the indexed images, visit FamilySearch.org and click on Search. When you are on the actual search page scroll down to the list of country names and pick one to see what is online for your ancestral interest.

26 June 2014

Bill Forsyth from ProQuest wins Distinguished Industry Achievement Award at ALA Conference

It's wonderful to see a major award given to someone with a connection to the genealogy industry. It's even better when that someone is a person you know and respect.

The first paragraph of today's press release about this says: "ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Reference and User Services Association, (RUSA), a Division of the American Library Association, announced William (Bill) Forsyth, director of product management for ProQuest, is the recipient of the Genealogical Publishing Company award. The award, $1,500 and a citation donated by the Genealogical Publishing Company and sponsored by the History Section of RUSA, was created in 1992 to encourage, recognize and commend professional achievement in historical reference and research librarianship. Mr. Forsyth's outstanding contributions to the field sustain the importance of genealogy in historical research. He is a widely recognized expert in genealogy and a frequent speaker. Mr. Forsyth is an active member of RUSA, completing a two-year term as Chair of the Local History Committee and will begin a new term as a member of the Genealogy Committee. He also serves on the Records Preservation and Access Committee and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists."

Bill is a great supporter of many efforts in the field of genealogy. He is THE person with whom the Federation of Genealogical Societies works to put on Librarians' Day at the annual FGS Conferences. His employer, ProQuest, sponsors the Librarians' Day. He is a joy to work with and as a former FGS conference co-chair, I know how important the day is and how easy he is to work with.

For more about the 2014 Librarians' Day visit that page on the FGS Conference website. All librarians are welcome and it's a great place to meet many others from across the nation. https://www.fgsconference.org/program/librarians-day/

To read the full press release click here.

25 June 2014

APG Young Professional Scholarship award details

From a press release sent by APG. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone thinking about the field of professional genealogy.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) is now accepting applications for the APG Young Professional Scholarship. Requirements have been revised to reflect current economic and educational trends and to be more inclusive of young parents, military personnel, home school candidates, students, and those currently employed between the ages of 18-29. The scholarship goes to a student and/or young professional who aspires to a professional career in genealogy. The scholarship includes a registration for the APG Professional Management Conference (PMC) and a stipend of up to $1,000 to defray costs of travel and lodging at the conference. The winner will be announced in August 2014 for attendance at the APG PMC 2015, which will take place in Salt Lake City on 8–9 January 2015.

“It is exciting to see so many young people involved in genealogy, and we are thrilled to be able to support an up-and-coming professional genealogist with this scholarship,” said Kimberly T. Powell, APG President. “Our APG Professional Management Conference offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the business of genealogy and explore advanced genealogical topics, while networking with other professionals. We look forward to receiving many applications.”

See the blog posting at www.apgen.org for the application. The submission deadline is 22 July 2014.

23 June 2014

July 1st deadline: Jimmy B. Parker Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2015 Scholarship

Hopefully you have seen the news about this scholarship on the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy’s website or read the press releases in social media outlets. The deadline for submitting essays for this award is just days away, July 1st.

Full tuition to SLIG 2015 will be awarded to the student whose essay and application exemplify the culture of giving back to community, lived by Jimmy B. Parker. The scholarship will be awarded by a committee comprised of SLIG committee members and the family of the late Jimmy B. Parker. I know from personal experience, the Jimmy was a great guy and he loved genealogy.

Applicants are asked to submit the following via email to luanadarby @ gmail.com:
1.      A one-page essay detailing how attending SLIG will help you prepare to give back to the genealogical community.
2.      A short biography, including previous volunteer and research experience.
3.      The name of the course you would like to attend.
4.      A letter of recommendation from someone who has benefited from your volunteer service.

The Salt Lake Institute runs from January 12-16, 2015 and the winning student will have their choice of the following tracks:
1.      The Family History Law Library (with Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL and Rick Sayre, CG, CGL)
2.      Beyond the Library: Researching in Original Resource Repositories (John Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA)
3.      Finding Immigrant Origins (David Ouimette, CG)
4.      Advanced Research Tools: Post-War Military Records (Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA)
5.      Advanced German Research (F. Warren Bittner, CG)
6.      Resources & Strategies for United States Research, Part 1 (Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS) (Intermediate level)
7.      From Confusion to Conclusion: Writing Proof Arguments (Kimberly Powell and Harold Henderson, CG)
8.     Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum (with Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell)
9.      Advanced Genealogical Methods (with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS)
10.  Getting Started with Genetic Genealogy (Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL)
11.   Diving Deeper into New England – Advanced (D. Joshua Taylor, MA)
12.  Advanced DNA Analysis (CeCe Moore and Angie Bush)

Applications and essays are due by July 1st and the winner will be announced July 15th. Please note that this scholarship extends to those that have already registered for a SLIG course as well.

Calling all genealogists! FGS San Antonio Conference BIG savings deadline

The end of my summer includes attending and speaking at the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in San Antonio, Texas. Air conditioned comfort in the convention center and hotel and lovely walks along the famous River Walk.

The best part for right now is that if you register for the conference no later than July 1st, you save $55.00 off the full four-day price. That savings can then be used in the large Exhibit Hall or on a couple luncheons.
I have also registered for the two big evening events that sound like a lot of fun.

Yes, I am on the FGS Board of Directors and have a special interest in the FGS Conferences, but I attended them long before I was on the board. As you have heard me say over and over, it's a time for education, networking, fun, and a buying spree in the Exhibit Hall. I keep reading the conference website and conference blog to plan my first-ever trip to San Antonio. When I return home from San Antonio, I will have another amazing first-time experience but that story will be for another day.

See you there. https://www.fgsconference.org/

12 June 2014

Deatils on 2 days till registration for 2015 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Yes, it's just two days until registration opens for the 2015 edition of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy aka SLIG. In 2015 SLIG is moving to the Hilton Hotel, just down West Temple 2.5 blocks from the Family History Library. Education first and then research at the FHL. How perfect!

Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. MDT. That's 8 for the Pacific coasters, 10 for the Midwest, and 11 for the Easterners.

I coordinate and teach the United States Records and Research, Part I. If you attended in 2014 you took Part II. Thus 2015 should be of interest to you if you didn't take the other part of the course in 2013.

Other instructors in this course are John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA, Debbie S. Mieszala, CG, and D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS. We are working on some great learning and class involvement. We update the lectures and syllabus each year. If you took this course many years ago, you might be interested in attending again as much has changed over the years.

This beyond- the-basics course provides in-depth learning on 19th-21st century U.S. resources and the methodology for using them. We probe deeper into the content, origin, location, and interpretation of records. Informative and interactive classroom hours delve into significant records and strategies that take you beyond basic research tools both online and off. On-site Family History Library support and a computer lab from course instructors provide one-on-one assistance and guidance with your own research. Hands-on work is a big part of this course.

I suggest taking this two part course (the order doesn't matter) before taking more advanced courses. In this course you will interact with the instructors and other students, learn a lot, advance your own research, and we will also have some laughs and overall just enjoy the week.You will leave the course more confident in your own knowledge, understand where more records are located, and being able to interact with others to advance your own research.

Some suggested prerequisites: Experience researching in a variety of repositories, familiarity with FamilySearch.org and other family history websites, reviewing at least two basic genealogy guidebooks, and previous class room learning related to family history. You don't need to fill all these prerequisites, but whatever you bring to the week will help with your own education.

For the full lineup of individual sessions in this and other SLIG courses, visit www.infouga.org and be ready to hit those computer keys to sign up online this Saturday morning.

SCGS Jamboree: Manuscript Finding Aids: Locating Migrating Family Records

I had a great time presenting three sessions and networking with a gaggle of genealogists this past weekend at the Southern California Genealogical Society's annual Jamboree in Burbank.

SCGS reports "Attendance at the 2014 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree was 1388 onsite attendees and an average of about 450 remote attendees who viewed each streamed video session."

My Friday session on Manuscripts and Finding Aids was live-streamed and may still be viewed online as can others from the series until July 5th. Visit the Jamboree Blog for current details on this and other facets of the live streamed presentations.

11 June 2014

2014 FGS Genealogy Conference in San Antonio!

I just spent some time catching up on the FGS Conference Blog. After so many years of editing or at least writing posts for the conference blog, I thought I would miss it a lot. In reality, it was time to let others handle it and they are doing a great job for the 2014 conference that will be held August 27-30 in San Antonio, Texas.

I have registered for the conference, have a hotel room, and am about to make my airline reservation. Don't forget that July 1st is the end of the discount registration time and it's a $55.00 savings off of full conference registration! Don't miss a great four days of learning, networking and an event that has something for every level of genealogical experience.

Check here for all the conference details: https://www.fgsconference.org/

Check here for the conference blog that is always a must for extra conference new, information, and last minute details. https://www.fgsconference.org/blog/

I am a member of the Board of Directors of FGS and I hope to meet new friends in San Antonio and renew some acquaintances.

04 June 2014

Reminder about SCGS Jamboree free live-streamed sessions

14 genealogy sessions to watch free in your jammies, on your porch, in your office, or while wearing an evening gown or tuxedo if you wish! The 14 sessions are being presented at the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree and made free online with the support of Ancestry.com.

I hope you can watch them all. I will be presenting one at 4:00 pm. PDT on Friday.  That's 6:00 CDT for my Midwestern family and friends.

FR027 - Friday 4:00PM - Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA - "Manuscript Finding Aids: Locating Migrating Family Records"

Tomorrow, June 5th, is devoted to DNA lectures and there is a fee to watch those from your home. Well worth it, though! I attended the DNA day last year and it was superb. 

A full list of the presentations is here.

02 June 2014

That pesky 1890 census and the disastrous fire

How often do you wish that the United States 1890 census still existed for your ancestral areas? Sure, several thousand entries still exist and may be found on microfilm and various websites. I wrote about this census back in 2009 on this blog. It bears mentioning again because I have seen many new genealogists asking where to find that census or suggesting that someone go search it.

One of the pieces of advice I gave in the earlier post was to read a series of articles in the National Archives' publication, Prologue. The three part series by Kellie Blake "First in the Path of the Firemen" The Fate of the 1890 Population Census is filled with details on the fire, subsequent destruction of damaged portions, and also about the 1890 veterans census. For the veteran's census the articles detail why it was taken, that many were missed, and more about the loss of the enumerations for the states from A through part of Kentucky. 

Read Part I of Kellee's articles here.  The link to Part II is at the end of Part I.  

01 June 2014

Historic and unique barns in Minnesota

I love to just get in the car and drive out of the city on county roads and highways rather than always being on the interstate. The great variety of barns that I see is one reason, though I do not descend from a family of farmers. One of the first genealogy lectures I attended way back in the 1980s was about types of barns that were built by our ancestors. Last month as I drove on I-94 through Wisconsin, I noticed that one of my favorite barns had either collapsed or was being torn down. It was always a beacon with it's lower level windows lit up in the very early morning hours.

One online news source here in Minnesota has been running a series of articles about places, things, and heritage in general pertaining to history in Minnesota. This past March it was about barns and if you want to share in my joy at reading this it's on Minnesota Post. Unfortunately, I missed the exhibition that the article discusses.


24 May 2014

Memorial Day in my own family and Preserve the Pensions

This Memorial Day weekend is a time to think about all the brave men and women who have been in the military service of the United States and gave their lives for us. I am especially thinking about one Korean War serviceman, Gerald J. Mueller, from Buckman, Minnesota. Jerry was married to my Mom's only sibling, my Aunt Jeanie. Jerry never came home from the war. I was a toddler when he was declared Missing in Action (MIA). I remember his Mom, Grandparents, and two half-brothers. I recently reconnected with one of those half-brothers when we were both commenting on a Facebook page for Old St. Paul [Minnesota].

There are many websites that list the various MIA's from 20th century wars. Unfortunately some records from the past century's wars, especially up through WWII were lost in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis back in 1973. I shudder whenever I think about that loss. It's horrific enough that we lost so many military personnel in various wars and add to that with the loss of their records.

We have the chance to make sure the same never happens to some of our earlier military records. The War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land applications are housed at the National Archives in Washington, DC.  The National Archives has faced many years of decreased budget and decreased staffing. The Federation of Genealogical Societies has been spearheading the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project.

As of now, 35% of the funds have been raised. That does leave 65% more to go. If you donate $25, that amount is matched by Ancestry.com. If FGS, genealogists, historians, service personnel, hereditary organizations, and others raise the full amount, all those records will be digitized and online for FREE forever.

I just checked and more than 1 million digitized images are already online for free at Fold3.com. These encompass War of 1812 service anytime between 1812 and 1815. WE did this!

The search capability is helpful. Search by given name, surname, both names, geographic place, date, or topic. I searched for several surnames and found great details. Then I searched for the term Indian and found many pension records for Native Americans that will be helpful in a work project. The next search was for a couple towns where my own ancestors lived in Wisconsin and I found affidavits from men living in those towns in the pension records for other men.

We can't let these records sit and chance further deterioration. They need to be digitized NOW. Please donate today. Please visit the Preserve the Pensions page on the Federation of Genealogical Societies website.

Donating is painless. There are several methods. I have made a few donations over the past couple of years and am proud to say I am a member of the Preservation Patriots who have donated $250 or more. Why not make one or more donations over the next few months and join me and many others who feel these records must be preserved. Any amount is welcomed. Donate Now. Please.