The National Register of Historic Places: Saint Paul, Minnesota and beyond

This past weekend involved a drive through my hometown of Saint Paul, Minnesota. I love to drive by all the beautifully preserved homes on Summit Avenue and nearby streets. Then a posting on a Saint Paul page on Facebook got me thinking about the National Register of Historic Places for my city and county. With the links below, I’m sure you can find similar lists for your current and ancestral localities. I have read some of the applications and these include details on people, buildings, and organizations. I love looking at the photos of libraries, historical societies, and courthouses in addition to the homes.

The National Park Service pages include these statistics: “Since its inception in 1966, more than 95,000 properties that Americans believe are worthy of preservation have been listed in the National Register. Together these records hold information on more than 1.4 million individual resources–buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects–and therefore provide a link to the country’s heritage at the national, state, and local levels.”

Catching up on my genealogy presentations

In June, I spent a week as a faculty member of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. 10-12 hours each day of online teaching and consulting and follow-up research on students’ questions. It was both an exhilarating and exhausting week.

Now I am catching up on research and reports for client plus working on handouts and PowerPoint slides for my August-October presentations. All will be done virtually. I have also updated my speaking calendar. Each date has a live link for the sponsoring organization so that you can register for the webinar or other presentation. is the page where you can click to see the calendar. 

Info from press releases in the genealogy world

I’ve been extra busy with teaching and client work the past month and in a particularly good way. I occasionally post information I receive from press releases and other emails. The world of genealogy grows all the time!


Today I spent some time investigating this week’s crop of additions to British newspapers on Fmp. The press release said “It’s a bumper week of releases with 13 new papers and updates to six others. Brand new additions include:Aberystwyth Observer covering 1869, 1874-1884, 1887-1895 and 1899-1910

Censor or Satirical Times covering 1846

Dissenter covering 1812

Douglas Jerrold’s Weekly Newspaper covering 1846-1851

Emigrant and the Colonial Advocate covering 1848-1849

English Mail covering 1860

Evening Star (London) covering 1843

Fleetwood Express covering 1889, 1896-1917 and 1919-1920

Jewish Record covering 1868-1871”

You can always read their blog to learn about weekly new and updated material on their blog:


The Genealogy Guys Learn subscription education site is on sale at 25% off from July 1st through July 31st for $74 for the first year’s subscription (new members only). Our regular annual subscription price is $99 and this sale price of $74 is a 25% savings! Genealogy Guys Learn currently offers 35 video and 20 written courses with new content added every month. Courses range from beginning to advanced topics. A complete list of current courses and new topics coming soon can be found at  To enroll:


You can now confirm or reject a Theory of Family Relativity™ on MyHeritage. This functionality was widely requested by their DNA users. “Our Theory of Family Relativity™ feature incorporates genealogical information from all our historical records and family tree profiles to offer theories on how your DNA Matches might be related to you. While the theories presented are often accurate, sometimes, they are incorrect. Before now, there was no way to confirm or reject a theory. Now there is! This new functionality will allow MyHeritage users to systematically review their theories and mark the ones they’ve already looked at so they can focus on new ones.”  Click here for more details.

National Archives (United States)

An email from NARA stated: “Did you know the National Archives Catalog contains over 140 million pages of digitized historical records and more than 27 million descriptions of the records in our holdings? And new pages and descriptions are being added to the Catalog each week!” Click here for more details.

Minnesota’s Brainerd Lakes area and photos galore

“The Brainerd Public Library was awarded in 2014 a local Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grant through the Kitchigami Regional Library System to start the Brainerd Lakes Area Historical Photo Scanning Project.” this is how an article in the Brainerd Dispatch on June 14th began. What a neat project! Photos were contributed by individuals, businesses, and organizations and then scanned. The Brainerd Public Library and the Crow Wing County Historical Society cooperated in the project.

I had family in the area and have vacationed many times in this beautiful lakes country as a child, with children, with grandchildren, and with friends. The article drew me in completely with the large photo from 1948 showing a Northern Pacific Railway car that was surrounded by many dozens of railroad workers. If you know much about me, you know that railroad history and railroad records are one of my history and genealogy passions.

If you have family from that area, read the article here. If you don’t have family in the area, read the articles and maybe work to get such a project started where you reside or in an ancestral area?

“Lost” Essex County Massachusetts 1810 census rolls discovered

All those boxes and volumes of records still in libraries, archives, historical societies, and courthouses do hold long-lost treasures. I advocate for ordering a box or volume and simply looking through the contents. NOT one specifically related to your family, but just for your own knowledge and experience. I spent years going through some files at the U.S. National Archives (NARA) and was shocked to find the proof of an adoption of a brother for one person. It was not what I was seeking at the time. I was able to present that proof in person and there were tears of joy. Share the knowledge of what you find so that records can be fully described, transferred to the appropriate repository, and hopefully be digitized so that others may find them.

A friend in the archival field often related stories of “found” records. Missing or overlooked old documents in places they should not be. An email from the U.S. National Archives today tells of one recent discovery made 221 years later.

Instagram Post Leads to Recovery of 1810 Census Rolls

“WASHINGTON, June 14, 2021 — Local 1810 census records from Massachusetts, long missing from the collection of census records of the time, are finally in Washington, DC, after a 221-year delay, thanks to a social media post.

A National Archives employee scrolling through Instagram saw a February post from the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) Library that connected archives, genealogy, and Black history, using the 1810 Essex County census record book.

Family researchers and history scholars can now view the digitized version through the National Archives Catalog. . . “

Read the full news from NARA:

Indigenous Preservation in Hawaii

Cool things!

12 Native Hawaiian Programs Awarded $1.18 Million in Federal Grants

“Twelve Native Hawaiian programs based in Hawaiʻi have been awarded federal grants totaling $1,181,486 to help preserve the indigenous history, heritage and culture of Hawaiʻi, US representatives Ed Case (HI-01) and Kaialiʻi Kahele (HI-02) announced today.

The grants are administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent federal agency, through its Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services program. The Institute’s mission is to advance, support and empower America’s museums, libraries and related organizations. The Institute is the primary source of federal support for the country’s libraries and museums. ” 

Read more:

Born on this land but Native Americans had to be granted the right to citizenship

My first blog post was on 2 June 2007. My life has been blessed with many freedoms and passions. Today I choose not to recap past blog posts, but to talk about something that still blows my mind. As many of you know, I have been involved in deep research in original records related to many Native American Tribes in the U.S. I have worked with Tribes, individuals, law firms, and in Tribal offices. I have spent many weeks at the National Archives in D.C and other locations and at many state archives uncovering materials long ignored. The information from many of these is heartbreaking to read. Today also marks a sad anniversary.

It was 2 June 1924 when the Snyder Act granted full U.S. citizenship to Native Americans born in the U.S. Absorb that for a few minutes. Native Americans born on the land where they had lived before others invaded their land, were granted citizenship on that land. Even though the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution gave all U.S. citizens the right to vote no matter their race, it didn’t apply to Native Americans. Even after 1924, not all states allowed Native Americans that granted right. Those are the basics of this. but please read more on these websites:

Here we are in 2021 and many Native Americans still struggle for the right to vote, access to voting, and to receive ballots. Stupid. Shameful. Awful. Illegal. Biased. Hateful. I will stop there, but there are many stronger words I have uttered.

A Ramsey County Commissioner political campaign and my great grandfather

Long ago, my paternal Aunt Dorothy (Stuart) Gustafson told me a story about her mother. My Grandma Olga Carlsen and her sisters helped distribute campaign literature for their father, Chris Carlsen. The girls rode bikes from place to place to help him. His full name was Nels Christian Carlsen, a proud Danish man, who settled in Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota in 1881. He had seven daughters to help with his campaign. Dorothy had no further information on what year, what office, or the results.

As a new genealogist many years ago, I learned of an index at the then Minneapolis public library to The Minneapolis Journal newspaper. At the library, I checked all my Minnesota surnames in the index cards and didn’t find much. I was not sure if checking for the common name Carlsen or Carlson would yield any good results. Oh, was I wrong and learned a lesson about looking for every doggone name. I did find that Christian Carlsen ran for Ramsey County Commissioner. The newspaper ran the result of various political races. There was his name and the vote totals. He came in last. Last place.

I imagine there was some sadness in the Carlsen home on the east side of Saint Paul but that was nothing compared to sadness the next month. Three days before Christmas of the same year, daughter Clara, age seven, died. Chris, wife Betsy, and the other six daughters lived full lives.

The following are parts of that article from The Minneapolis Journal, 10 November 1906, page 7, column 4, from Chronicling America.

Statehood day for Minnesota, May 11, 1858. Genealogists, what was it before?

I have lived in Minnesota for all of my life except for one year. In the state, I have lived in four different cities and have lost track of how many abodes! Minnesota (or parts of what it is today) resided in many places, too. The home of the Native Americans who first populated the land has been under France, England, Spain, Northwest Territory, Michigan Territory, Illinois Territory, Wisconsin Territory, . . . but the land never moved. It was part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. In 1849 when Wisconsin became a state, the land now known as Minnesota became Minnesota Territory. The territory also included part of what is now South Dakota and North Dakota. Then came May 11, 1858 and statehood was granted by Congress.

If you only discovered the statehood date and learned history forward from that date, you would miss a considerable amount of history and some records that are found elsewhere. 87 counties today. Each has a story just like each current and past inhabitant.

Now I am going to make a note to find and remember the names of counties that no longer exist.