26 August 2018

Gleanings from Some Interesting Websites

First, this week, a clarification, as we didn't mean to be misleading in the last blog. It is only the hotel registration that is currently open for the 2019 National Genealogical Society conference in St. Charles, Missouri. If you are thinking about attending from out of town, we urge you to book your room as soon as possible. Two of the conference hotels are already sold out! Please check the new conference page on our website https://stlgs.org/2019-ngs-conference-journey-of-discovery for a link to the NGS site for more information and/or to register.

Now, we want to highlight a few interesting tidbits we've come across online.
  • Do you have Michigan ancestors? The State Archives of Michigan and the Michigan Historical Center are working with seventy of the eighty-three Michigan county courts and FamilySearch to index and place online an index to naturalizations from 1812 to 1985. In fact, they already have quite a bit available online at their site, Seeking Michigan. Click here to learn more about the project and then explore the entire website to see what is happening with Michigan records.
  • Looking for some help with early counties? How about an interactive map of the changing county boundaries throughout the country over time? Thank the Newberry Library in Chicago for this wonderful gift! The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries may grab hours of your time, since it includes all the territories and states over centuries. Click here to access it and then have fun!
  • Are you a fan of Google Books? Are you occasionally stymied over the fact that there is no easily discoverable set of tools for narrowing your searches? Many thanks to genealogist Judy Russell for sharing this tip. To find the advanced search options on Google Books, look at the top right of the screen and find the "Tools" button. When you click on it, you will get more search options, which may make your searching a lot easier. See below:
Notice the whole new line of search options. Now, you can click on each of those tiny down arrows and explore the options under all of the four topics.

20 August 2018

Genealogical Musing with Fran

 (Thanks to former StLGS president, Fran Behrman, for being our guest writer this week.)

Hello from St. Louis. So glad that you have entered the “blogosphere” with us. This is the place to get all the news from StLGS. Obviously you know how to get here, but when you talk with others, please mention us and how to reach us. I just met someone the other day who had no idea about our blog and I was glad to share what it is all about with them. In the earlier years of StLGS we sent a newsletter  every month to our members alerting them to society happenings and events, but this blog as well as our Facebook and Twitter accounts and, of course, our website www.stlgs.org have become the way we communicate today. So we are glad you are here and hope you will spread the word.

The DNA seminar that we sponsored at the end of July was a sellout, and we thank everyone who came to learn how to interpret information from their DNA test results. Our speaker, Diahan Southard, was outstanding!

At the end of the day it seems that all roads, including using DNA, lead back to good old-fashioned genealogy research. Yes, you have to do your own research to see who on those online trees connects to your family in exactly which way.

Well, I say, YEAH! Nothing is better than a new research adventure. Yes, an adventure! Where else can you spend time traveling, researching, exploring, and meeting wonderful people all in the name of research?

I recently had the opportunity to go back to the roots of my paternal line in this country, New York City. If I ever win the mega, mega lottery (never play so I don’t know how it will happen) then I will buy a place in New York City. I have been there many times and it never disappoints. Records and history show my ancestors arrived in New Amsterdam/New York as early as 1653 and were notorious in a number of ways that makes it somewhat easy to find articles and papers about them. Remember when we go hunting for our ancestors,we never know what we will find.  It is always exciting to walk on the same ground as our ancestors and seek out their stories. We are all descendants of emigrants and I wonder if I would have been brave enough to leave my homeland and start all over in a foreign country. Don’t know. What about you?

What is your favorite family story? So many! Each ancestor does have a story and all are worth finding and chronicling.

We are gearing up for hosting the 2019 National Genealogical Society Conference. Hotel registration is now open for those of you who will be traveling here from out of town. Please check the new conference page on our website https://stlgs.org/2019-ngs-conference-journey-of-discovery for a link to the NGS site for more information. I hope that all of you will have the opportunity to attend this exciting event, spending time meeting, sharing, and generally relishing the opportunity to mingle with others who share our passion for genealogy.

Glad you are staying in touch with us and as always, happy hunting!

13 August 2018

Legacy of the Civil War

As we've done our genealogy, we often find soldiers in the family. Perhaps you had Civil War soldiers and have thought about how difficult it must have been for them, particularly those families who found themselves on opposite sides during the long years of conflict.

Did you know that the Civil War . . .
  1.  Set the stage for the organization of modern hospitals?
  2. Led to improved use of anesthesia and safer surgical techniques?
  3. Saw the first organized ambulance and nurses' corps, eventually becoming the foundation of the American Red Cross?
  4. Led to the foundation of more than seventy National Park Service Civil War sites?
  5. Was the beginning of mass production of canned food?
  6. Encouraged the development of left and right shoes, each shaped differently?
  7. Was the first "modern war" using repeating rifles, machine guns, submarines, hot-air balloons, soldier's ID tags, land mines, and ironclad ships?
  8. Led to the system we now have in place of national cemeteries for veterans, homes for veterans (becoming the Veterans Administration), and pensions for widows and orphans?
  9. Encouraged the use of national paper currency and was the impetus for our federal income tax?
  10. Left us with slang we still use today, for example, carpetbaggers, deadlines, horse sense, and greenback.
These are just a few of the lasting effects of the Civil War. Curious to know more? There are many websites where you can learn about the war's impact on our ancestors' lives and how we still are influenced by that war today. Here are a few you might like to look at:

"The Civil War: Facts, Events, and Information about the American Civil War: 1861–1865" http://www.historynet.com/civil-war

"How the Civil War Changed Your Life"

"The Civilian Experience in the Civil War"

09 August 2018

Correction on class schedule

We have an error in our prior post about the StLGS classes. The Citations class is August 18 at 1:00 p.m. and the PERSI class is September 9 at 1:00 p.m.  Both classes are at our office. For more information go to https://stlgs.org/education/classes.

08 August 2018

Some August Programs of Interest

The "Citations" class and "PERSI" class have been updated with the correct dates.
StLGS Monthly Meeting: "Non-Genealogical Websites for Genealogists" by Bob Goode
Saturday, 11 August, 10 a.m., auditorium, St. Louis County Library Headquarters
Open to all, free, no pre-registration required

StLGS Members Only Special Event:"Ask a Genealogist Day" 
Tuesday, 14 August, time by appointment,  StLGS office (4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood)
Pre-registration required. For more information, click here.

Next StLGS Classes: "Citations: A Hands-on Experience" by Viki Fagyal
Saturday, 18 August, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., (4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood)
Free to StLGS members, $30 to non-members. Pre-registration required; call 314-647-8547

"PERSI: The Periodical Source Index" by Carol Whitton
Sunday, 9 September, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., StLGS office (4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140, Maplewood)
Free to StLGS members, $30 to non-members. Pre-registration required; call 314-647-8547

  St. Louis County Library Classes: "Finding Ancestors in U.S. Census Records" by Larry Franke
Monday, 13 August, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Florissant Valley Branch, 195 New Florissant Rd.
Free and open to all but pre-registration is required. Click here.

"History's Attic: Walking in St. Louis in 1875," presented by Missouri History Museum staff
Thursday, 16 August, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Cliff Cave Branch, 5430 Telegraph Road
Free and open to all but pre-registration is required. Click here.