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From the Genealogy Blog of the Newberry Library, the outdated code for the ChicagoAncestors.org website is the issue that has resulted in the suspension of the website.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.