My upcoming genealogy presentations: on land, at sea, and from my office

From now through the end of October I will be presenting classes and seminar in my home state of Minnesota, Illinois, on a cruise, in South Dakota, and in California. I hope to see many of my readers at these events. Let’s be sure to support our genealogical organizations as they word hard to provide education.

For registration details for any of these, click on the highlighted phrases. I am already receiving inquiries for 2017 and 2018 presentations so don’t delay asking for my seminar information packet.

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A few important basic genealogy guidebooks

I promised a couple groups of genealogists that I would repost a list of books. Genealogy guidebooks are an important part of our genealogical education.The list below is a sampling of basic genealogy guidebooks that are important to beginning and also for more advanced researchers.  If you are only checking online resources and yet wondering what other records there might be, these guides will fill you with tons of ideas and places to look. This is not a list of all that is available.

1.    Croom, Emily Anne. Unpuzzling Your Past. 4th Ed. “Expanded, Updated and Revised.” Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2010.

2.    Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. 3d ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000.

3.   Morgan, George. How to Do Everything Genealogy. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2015.

4.  Rose, Christine and Kay Ingalls. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy. 3d ed. New York: Alpha Books, 2012.

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Federation of Genealogical Societies announces conference locations through 2020!

FGS is wowing everyone with this announcement!

FEDERATION OF GENEALOGICAL SOCIETIES ANNOUNCES

UPCOMING  NATIONAL CONFERENCES FOR 2019 AND 2020

August 16, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the FGS 2019 National Conference will be held August 21-24 in Washington, D.C., and the FGS 2020 National Conference will be held September 2-5 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We are extremely excited for all our upcoming conferences and look forward to visiting Washington, D.C., and Kansas City in future years,” says FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “From 2016 to 2020, our conference venues are steeped in both history and research resources and make perfect settings for genealogists and family historians.”

This announcement extends the upcoming FGS conferences schedule to the year 2020 and includes:

·       FGS 2016 National Conference and 40th Anniversary in Springfield, Illinois

·       FGS 2017 National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

·       FGS 2018 National Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana

·       FGS 2019 National Conference in Washington, D.C.

·       FGS 2020 National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri

Each conference will be joined and hosted by a local genealogical organization. The Illinois State Genealogical Society will welcome FGS this year in Springfield and the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society in 2017. Local hosts for future conferences will be announced at a later date.

Currently, registration is still open for the FGS 2016 National Conference “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories” to be held August 31-September 3, 2016, in Springfield, Illinois. Register at https://www.fgsconference.org/ and help celebrate our 40th Anniversary in the Land of Lincoln.

 

I am on the FGS Board of Directors and love this future planning! I hope to see you in less than 2 weeks in Springfield, Illinois!

 

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Old Car Show “in” a cemetery? Roselawn, I approve!

UPDATE  18 August: The car show has been cancelled. The pressure to not do other things like this got to the cemetery board. It makes me sad.

I love watching house buying shows on cable TV. I laugh every time the realtor or buyer mentions the negative feature of a house being across the street from a cemetery. I would definitely buy that house.

I have been to picnics in a cemetery, have driven through them with my children and grandchildren, and have growled at the ones with awful or non-existent records. I love cemeteries that have great upkeep, have a chapel, have ceremonies to honor military personnel and others buried there, and love creative cemeteries. They really aren’t as scary as they seem. Many are places of beauty. Some have concerts. Our ancestors (while they were still alive!) may have had picnics or family gatherings at the local cemetery. One here in Minnesota shows movies. Cemeteries are just one part of life (and dying?) and need to be utilized for more things.

Roselawn Cemetery (a mile from me) is hosting a car show. Not exactly in the cemetery, but on land adjacent. At first, I shook my head. Then I realized it would bring people to a place they usually don’t visit unless there is a funeral, would introduce children to a cemetery in a happier situation, and might even bring future business to the cemetery. I have ancestors and other relatives buried at Roselawn. I like to think that Great Grandpa Alexander Charles Stuart approves of this. After all, he spent much of his life associated with cemeteries. He carved many a cemetery headstone and created great cemetery stone sculptures in his profession. Those stones are in cemeteries in Wisconsin, Kansas, and Minnesota and maybe other states, too. [Side note that I have posted about before: Alex and his wife Emma do not have tombstones. They died quite poor.]

I bet there are many guys and some women buried in Roselawn that would love to inspect the old cars and trucks.

p.s. Roselawn is a beautiful cemetery, has a Cass Gilbert designed chapel, and the website is fantastic!

Roselawn car show

 

 

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Researching Midwestern River People

The title above is for one of my presentations at the 2016 Federation of Genealogical Society’s annual national conference that begins later this month. It is being held August 31 through September 3 in Springfield, Illinois. Everyone with a interested in family history is welcome. For full details and registration: https://www.fgsconference.org/

The topic of river people is one created out of love. A dear friend who I met because we both volunteered to do things for the Minnesota Genealogical Society was a river person. Her husband was a riverboat pilot and Ann Peterson did considerable river research. When she passed away far too young, I decided to create the lecture incorporating what she taught me and then proceeded to learn more.

I grew up a block from the Mississippi River in Saint Paul and only love the river,  the people, and the research only a tich less than railroad research. Then, there is the Native American research. Gee, I can’t choose a favorite.

All this river love made me sit up and take notice when Tara Calishain of Research Buzz fame posted on Facebook that Tulane University has made accessible to the public a new online guide to the Steamboat Image Collection. Thanks, Tara! The rest of you should really be reading ResearchBuzz.

Now back to the info from Tulane: “The collection, made up of more than 60 linear feet, preserves thousands of images of riverboats including sternwheelers, sidewheelers, tugs, packets, showboats, and more.”

The majority of the images are not yet online, but a guide is supposed to be.

Read the Tulane press release.

Read the online guide to the collection. If only I could find this guide on the website, I would give you the link!

Now we have another reason to go to New Orleans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Archeological dig in County Roscommon, Ireland provides details back to 1200

Imagine knowing details about the town in which your family lived back about 1200 a.d. An archeologist from Saint Louis University , history professor Thomas J. Finan, is providing us those details. Along with his students, he has spent time for 13 summers excavating the site of “Purt Na Carce (“Port Nah Carr-rick”). It is in County Roscommon in northwestern Ireland, about 60 miles north of Galway. These days, it’s commonly known as Rockingham.”

It’s not one of my Irish counties, but it is still fascinating to me.

Read the entire article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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Federation of Genealogical Societies partners again with the National Park Service on a new database

Another new preservation venture for the genealogy world under the auspices of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Park Service.

“The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Park Service’s Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park announce a partnership to develop a searchable database of more than 130,000 soldiers of the U.S.-Mexican War.
The database will allow descendants of U.S. soldiers to connect to their personal history and help Palo Alto commemorate and tell the stories of these soldiers. After the database is developed, unit histories, digitized documents, and information on U.S.-Mexican War soldiers will be added. Efforts will also be made to include names and information about Mexican soldiers in this war.”
I am a proud member of the FGS Board of Directors and am excited that FGS is continuing partnerships with the National Park Service. The previous partnership was the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System database project which resulted in FGS volunteers completing data entry for more than five million names. Those oft-used results are at NPS Civil War website
For full details on the new partnership, please visit the FGS Voice Blog and please plan to contribute time to this worthwhile project.
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National Park Service: Buffalo Soldiers Study

Many Buffalo Soldiers interacted with Native Americans in Nebraska, South Dakota, and other places. In my research, the names of some have been found. I am glad to see that in many places, both private and government, attention is being given to these soldiers.

According to the National Park Service’s website, “The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a study of alternatives to commemorate and interpret the role of Buffalo Soldiers in the early years of the national park system, recommend ways to enhance historical research, education, interpretation, and public awareness of their stewardship role in the national parks, and identify ways to further connect the Buffalo Soldiers story to the development of national parks and African-American military service following the Civil War. The NPS would like your help to enhance our understanding of the Buffalo Soldiers story, current efforts underway to tell the story, and potential opportunities to improve public awareness.”

Click here for more details.

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Lyfmap is hitting the big time news in the StarTribune!

Lyfmap has been noticed by the media! Thank you Star Tribune and James Lileks. I especially liked the article because it was published on my birthday! Click on the StarTribune link to read what James had to say about Lyfmap.

Today is a good time to share your Twin Cities memories and photos. We have positive things to share. We need those right now. Once you are signed up you can read the genealogy blog and ask questions about how to trace your family history or what to do next if you have already started! http://www.lyfmap.com/

Need ideas of what to share? Tell the story of a house, business, or of the family that lived or worked in those places. Add photos you may have. I added a 1940 photo of all the kids in my mother’s 8th grade class at St. James school in Saint Paul.

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