30 August 2012

A Labor Day Present from Ancestry.com

Here's a bit of good news for your upcoming holiday weekend (besides the very welcome "threat" of rain headed for St. Louis) ...

Ancestry.com is celebrating Labor Day weekend by opening up, at no charge, all their United States census records from Wednesday, 29 August until the end of Monday, 3 September. You can search, save, and print as much as you like. To take advantage of this generous weekend gift, go to www.ancestry.com/census . Have fun!

27 August 2012

Family Tree Maker Users Group

Many of you already know that we have had to cancel both the Family Tree Maker Users group and the class that was scheduled for Wednesday, 29 August, due to Stephen Comfort-Mason's recent surgery. You will be delighted to know that Stephen continues to do well, and we look forward to his returning to the StLGS office before too long. Until that time, no further meetings or classes for Family Tree users are on the calendar. Once Stephen is able to be up and about, he will get the group going again. In the meantime, if you have any questions or just want to wish him well, you can contact Stephen at <technology@stlgs.org>.

21 August 2012

Jefferson County Library Places Historical Photographs Online

The Jefferson County (Missouri) Library seeks to spark interest in Jefferson County history by sharing its historical photographs on Flickr, a popular photo-sharing service. The wide range of photographs offers a compelling look at how Jefferson County residents lived and worked in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Currently, the collection features more than 300 photographs. They are arranged in sixty-eight sets. The images showcase the rich legacy of Jefferson County towns, schools, churches, organizations, and agricultural heritage.

“People enjoy viewing historical photos of their home town,” explained Christine Merseal, Genealogy Library Specialist of the Northwest Branch, who went on to say, Individuals have donated these photographs over the years to the library. Local historian Della Lang has been a major contributor. She has donated wonderful images of the past. The library has also obtained photos from patrons who have one or two pictures of an ancestor in front of a one-room school house or a photograph of their family farm.”

The Special Collections department at the Northwest Branch is seeking additional photographs to add to their online collection on Flickr. A signed release of any photograph donated is required. Please contact Christine Merseal at 636-677-8186 or cmerseal@jeffcolib.org. Currently, the Jefferson County Historical Photo Collection can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/jeffersoncountylibrary/sets/ and linked to the Jefferson County Library website at www.jeffersoncountylibrary.org

(Thanks to Christine Mearsal for sharing this information with us!)

16 August 2012

State Archives Praises Census Volunteers

The Missouri State Archives sent out an official press release on Wednesday, 15 August, announcing the opening of the index to the 1940 census. The press release states that the index was created "largely through the efforts of Missouri State Archives volunteers, in conjunction with FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world, as well as the St. Louis Genealogical Society, the Missouri State Genealogical Association and smaller societies from across the state." After downloading images of the actual census pages, volunteers entered information into a web-based computer application created by FamilySearch. The 218 volunteers who registered with the Missouri State Archives entered more than 1.6 million records, "earning the honor of the number one, most productive indexing group in the entire country. Incredibly, an index to the 3.8 million people living in Missouri in 1940 was created in just over three months."

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan added, “Our volunteers did an outstanding job creating this index. Thanks in large part to their efforts, Missourians and family historians around the world can now easily search for every person living in Missouri in 1940 and then view digital images of the original pages on which they are found. It is truly an amazing resource for those attempting to learn more about their family or community history.”

The 1940 census is free and now completely searchable. You can click here for direct access to the census via the Missouri Digital Heritage website: http://www.sos.mo.gov/mdh 

For an interesting page of famous Missourians in the 1940 census, you can click here: http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/census1940_famousmo.asp

And, although the census indexing project is over, the Missouri State Archives still could use volunteers to help on other projects. You can call 573-526-6711 or send an e-mail to archvol@sos.mo.gov if you are interested.


14 August 2012

Reminder: August Monthly Meeting, 14 August

Do you have Illinois ancestors? The August monthly general meeting features Diane Walsh, CG, who will talk about laws and record keeping practices pertaining to civil birth, marriage, death, and divorce in Illinois from 1790 to the present.
Tuesday, 14 August
7:00 p.m.
St. Louis County Library Headquarters
1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
All the general meetings are free and open to the public. Hope to see you there.

11 August 2012

Announcing "Ask Your Questions Day," 15 September

What’s your roadblock? Technology? You can’t find Grandma’s maiden name? You’ve searched the passenger list indexes and still can’t find your family? Do you have a question about the society website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, office research room, First Families program, or other resources? We have the perfect event to help StLGS members get answers.
      St. Louis Genealogical Society is sponsoring an Ask Your Questions Day for members only on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at the society office. We will have experts available on the following topics: researching African American, German, Irish, Italian, Jewish, and other ethnicities; genealogical computer programs including Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, and The Master Genealogist; StLGS blog, News Flash; Facebook; Twitter; handheld scanners; the StLGS website; First Families; and the StLGS Research Room.

How do you participate?
  • No later than 1 September 2012, e-mail <publicity@stlgs.org> or call the StLGS office at 314-647-8547 with a specific question and to request an appointment. You will need to be specific so we can match you to the correct expert.
  • You will have twenty minutes with your expert to answer your question.
  • We will schedule the time and do an e-mail or telephone confirmation.
  • Please arrive at the office at least ten minutes early.
We hope that if you have research questions, you will sign up and come in so we can assist you. See you then!