29 October 2018

Voter Registration Records Could Help Your Research

Voter Registration Records

Dennis Northcott, associate archivist at the Missouri History Museum's Library and Research Center (MHMLRC), gave a presentation at our last monthly meeting that served as a great reminder of how helpful certain underused records can be. One of the sources that Dennis mentioned was voter registration records. Keep in mind that many of these records no longer exist, and the earliest are limited to white males of voting age. After 1870, blacks could vote; after 1920, women could vote. All voters had to be U.S. citizens. Between 1907 and 1922, women derived their citizenship from their husbands. They had to be married to naturalized or native citizens to be eligible to vote.

Residents of St. Louis City and County were required to register to vote in each presidential election. For St. Louis City, what survives are registers and index cards on microfilm in the History & Genealogy Department at St. Louis County Library Headquarters. However, the county records have not fared so well. An employee rescued the original books from St. Louis County before they were destroyed and donated them to the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center. Their collection of hundreds of books begins with January 1924 and goes until 1936.

The 1924 Voter Registration is of special interest because women were, by this time, registering to vote in greater numbers, as a result of the Nineteenth Amendment having passed in 1920. Often women are under-represented in public records, but these books now become a wonderful resource for finding them.

According to the MHMLRC staff, “Entries in these books usually contain a name; address; state or country of birth; race; term of residence in the precinct, county, and state; age; and signature. Some entries also include the name of the court where the individual was naturalized and the date of naturalization.” In addition, there are notes/comments that can yield additional valuable information such as a move or a death.

To find a St. Louis County resident, you first need to have a street address, which you may be able to locate in a census or city directory. Once you have that, you can go to the MHMLRC to use the books or you can contact the library’s staff, who can help you with a look up. Send an email to dpn@mohistory.org. Remember, this collection does NOT include St. Louis City.

The StLGS website has an article on these records at http://stlgs.org/research-2/government/voter-registration.

Not all cities or states have kept voting records. The example above is from Chicago, 1890. 

If your ancestors were not in St. Louis, here are some resources that might help you on Ancestry.com. Also check your particular city or state to see what may be available for areas of interest.
  • Alabama Voter Registrations, 1867
  • Arizona Voter Registrations, 1866–1955
  • California Voter Registrations, 1866–1898, 1900–1968
  • Chicago Voter Registrations, 1888, 1890, 1892
  • Kansas Voter Registration Lists, 1854–56
  • Leavenworth, Kansas Voter Registration, 1859
  • Missouri, Jackson County, Voter Registration Records, 1928–1956
  • New York City Voter List, 1924
  • Savannah, Georgia Voter Records, 1856–1896, 1901–1917
  • Texas Voter Registration Lists, 1867–1869
In addition, there are lists from New Zealand, Ontario (Canada), the U.K., and Russia for limited years.

Visit our website at www.stlgs.org.

22 October 2018

Genealogical Musing with Fran

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

Hello, and welcome to the StLGS blog. If this is your first time to visit us, then welcome, and we  hope you will become a regular visitor and tell other genealogists about us. For our regulars, welcome back and thank you for your continued support.

The Fall Speaker Series, Google Strategies for Genealogy, on Saturday, 20 October, was outstanding! I remember back about ten years ago that we had a program on using Google and I went, and it blew my mind away with what I didn’t know about “Googling.” Yes, it is both a noun and a verb. But isn’t that the way it has been with technology? We are always catching up. Some who know me well will say that I was left behind and will never catch up. Probably so, as I still am in love with my vinyl records and turntable, index cards and card file cabinet, pencils and paper. But that being said, I am an avid Google user. So often I have said “Just Google it!” It is my first and true go-to website, which is exactly what our featured speaker, Lisa Louise Cooke, emphasized.

Don’t know about you but I can remember life without the internet. It seems impossible to think that there was a time that this resource didn’t exist with its instant information and communication. What will be the next new way to get and give information? There was no telephone, television, internet, or any of the mass communications of today when I was born. Our first television was as large as a side-by-side refrigerator. The telephone––you had to ask the telephone operator to connect you and the line was shared by many. Wow! Now I can sit down and type this message and just forward it to you through this magic media. What is next? Are flying automobiles coming?

[Editor's Note: Yes, flying automobiles are coming! Here is just one example of what might be in our future, the Terrafugia Flying Car, introduced in 2012 at a New York auto show. "This flying car is said to be capable of getting 35 mpg when on the road and up to 400 to 450 miles when in the air. The Terrafugia seats two people and also comes with four wheels, two wings, air bags, and a parachute, if you purchase one, but they are not cheap as they have been priced at $279,000." Photo and quote via Wikipedia Commons. Photo by LotPro Cars, The Terrafugia Flying Car@the 2012 New York International Auto Show, Uploaded by Mark Warren, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19065243]

Keeping up is so very hard to do and that is why StLGS hosts programs such as Google Strategies for Genealogy.

Don’t you love the searching! The hunt! The new discoveries! Where else does the Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie in us get to come out and play? Wouldn’t life be just ordinary without our genealogical pursuits?

I want to close with a short story. My grandparents both came from small towns in southern Missouri to start life anew in the town where I grew up. He was alone, a bachelor with one eye and a pocket full of money. (I don’t know where the money came from but have papers to prove it existed and when asked how he lost his eye, he would just smile.) She was a widow with four boys under the age of ten years, and she came with her two sisters and their husbands. There were jobs and a new community. These two people with different backgrounds found each other, married, and made their house a true home where I was privileged to spend many an hour learning from both of them. Oh, the memories of the wonderful times we all shared. It was when my daughter had to do a family tree project for school that I realized how little I knew about the lineage of my grandparents. And so it began! You would think after all these years I would be finished, but really, is anyone ever finished with genealogical pursuits?

I do hope that you too are having fun and making new discoveries, and if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to StLGS. Happy hunting!

Visit our website at www.stlgs.org.

15 October 2018

Genealogy News Near and Far

Long-Lost Census Records Discovered from Perry County, Missouri

For decades, people in Perry County, Missouri, knew there was a gap in the 1880 census in Enumeration District 99, Union Township. The problem was that no one knew where the pages had gone; they were just missing. Recently, however, the pages have turned up in a most unexpected location.

According to the Missouri State Archives, in 2015, the state began to work with the Missouri Historical Society "to digitize and make publicly accessible all Missouri's non-population schedules. Through this project, Archives staff identified the population schedule pages mixed in with those from the state's 1880 agricultural schedule."

For those of you unfamiliar with non-population census schedules, throughout much of the history of the census there have been separate counts of mortality, agriculture, manufacturing, and other important topics that reveal many details about our ancestors not found on the general population pages. However, not all of these censuses were indexed and made accessible until recently. It appears that the Perry County pages were misfiled by U.S. Census Bureau officials before the pages were bound and stored, which explains why no one knew where they were.

To learn more about Missouri's special censuses and/or to view the missing Perry County pages,
click here to go to the page on federal census records on the Missouri Secretary of State's website.

Some Talks of Interest in October

St. Louis Community College Continuing Education presents: "Missouri's Statehood and Its First State Capital" by Dorris Keeven-Franke
Missouri History Museum, Forest Park, lower level
Tuesday, 23 October at 10:30 a.m.
Free, but registration required via the Community College; call 314-984-7777

The St. Clair Genealogical Society presents: "Cemetery Myths and Symbolism" by Teri Bromley
Belleville Public Library (121 E. Washington Street), Belleville, Illinois
Wednesday, 24 October at 6 p.m.
Free, no pre-registration required

12 October 2018

StLGS Special News

 Fall Speaker Series

The Fall Speaker Series, Google Strategies for Genealogy, scheduled for Saturday, 20 October, has now sold out. Online registration is no longer available and no walk-ins will be accepted. We are excited that this event has proven to be so popular but sorry not to be able to accommodate late registrations. Looking forward to seeing many of you there, and, for those who can't make it, we have many more special events and programs scheduled for next year. Stay tuned!

StLGS Voting

Ballots for this year's StLGS election were mailed electronically last week to members who receive the Quarterly journal through email and via postal mail to those who don't. For some reason, however, some people, especially those who use AT&T and its subsidiaries for their email, did not receive their instructions for voting. We think the problem is that the letters, sent from our MailChimp provider, were misidentified as spam and never delivered after we sent them out.

If you did not receive a ballot and/or have not yet voted, we hope you will do so. Even though the election is uncontested, your vote shows your support for our candidates. You can cast your vote easily by clicking here.

You will need your member number for the ballot. You can find your number at the top of the mailing label of your Quarterly, on your membership card, or at the top of the MailChimp letter you received announcing the summer Quarterly. If you no longer have that email, the fall Quarterly will be emailed this week, so you can wait a few days and get your member number when your new MailChimp letter arrives.

Voting closes on Thursday, 1 November, so please cast your votes by then.

08 October 2018

Google Strategies for Genealogy: How Many Do You Know?

Do you use Google for your Internet searches? Is that all you use it for? Did you know that behind that mild-mannered façade, Google is a powerhouse?

Do you know what to do:
•    At history.google.com to help with your genealogy searches?
•    To improve your results for your genealogical questions?
•    To set Google Alerts?

Do you know:
•    What symbols or functions to use to improve your searches?
•    How to go straight to free fully digitized books?
•    How to get foreign language books and the best way to translate them?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then we hope you will be with us in two weeks as we host Google expert, Lisa Louise Cooke, for our annual Fall Speaker Series. Lisa says, “I like to think of Google as the Uber of web content," and with Lisa's help, you can:
•    Learn to create a free map collection in Google Earth and customize your genealogy research.
•    Learn to use layers on your maps.
•    Explore the 3D Viewer and display historic map overlays.
•    Save Places, and much, much more!

Not yet registered?

StLGS Fall Speaker Series
: Saturday, 20 October 2018

"Google Strategies for Genealogy" by Lisa Louise Cooke

Orlando Gardens, 8:30 a.m.
Four lectures ("Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames," "Create a Free Google Map Collection for Your Research," "Google Books: The Tool You Should Use Everyday," and "Reconstruct Your Ancestors' World with Google") plus lunch; pre-registration encouraged to insure choice of lunch. Pre-registration savings extended until Sunday, 14 October. Save $10 by registering early.
Click here for more information, directions to the venue, and/or to register.

Visit our website at www.stlgs.org.

02 October 2018

October StLGS Events

October is a busy month for your society! We are looking forward to seeing you at one or more of these exciting events:

StLGS Fall Speaker Series: Saturday, 20 October 2018
"Google Strategies for Genealogy," by Lisa Louise Cooke; Orlando Gardens, 8:30 a.m.
Four lectures ("Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames," "Create a Free Google Map Collection for Your Research," "Google Books: The Tool You Should Use Everyday," and "Reconstruct Your Ancestors' World with Google") plus lunch; pre-registration encouraged to insure choice of lunch. 
Click here for more information, directions to the venue, and/or to register.

StLGS Monthly Meeting: Saturday, 13 September 2018
"Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center," by Dennis Northcott, associate archivist; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 10:00 a.m.; free, open to all, no
pre-registration needed.
Click here for more information.

Irish Special Interest Group Meeting: Tuesday, 23 October 2018
"Griffith's Valuation," by Mike Bridwell, librarian; St. Louis County Library Headquarters Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.; free, open to all, no pre-registration needed.
Click here for more information.
StLGS Class: Saturday, 6 October 2018
"Using Reunion 12 (for the Mac)," by Bob Goode; StLGS Office, 1:00 p.m. Free to StLGS members; fee for non-members; pre-registration required at 314-647-8547.

StLGS Class: Sunday, 21 October
"Beginning German Research," by Carol Whitton, CG; StLGS Office, 1:00 p.m. Free to StLGS members; fee for non-members; pre-registration required at 314-647-8547.