June is a busy genealogy month

I began blogging on June 2, 2007. I had already been blogging for several years about the Federation of Genealogical Society’s conferences. I was hoping to do an overview post about past posts and changes in this blog over the years. Instead, we are busy gearing up for the graduation party for my youngest granddaughter. My other hours have been filled with creating and updating a long list of presentations in three genealogical institute courses for this June. I created a list of my titles and a time grid for myself and thought I should just post the list here. I may not do much blogging in June, but I will still be busy with client reports and teaching. I’m not the only faculty member in these courses. Each has some fantastic, knowledgeable, and experienced presenters.

June 12-16, TIGR (Texas Institute of Genealogical Research) “Researching Families of Mexican Descent on Both Sides of the Border.” Course Coordinator: Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS. My presentations in this course:

  • Developing Step-by-Step Research Plans (Joint session with Course 6 – Researching African Americans Before and After the Civil War in the U.S. Coordinator:  Ari Wilkins)
  • Incorporating Manuscripts into Your Research
  • Working in the United States: Railroads
  • Working in the United States: Farms and Ranches

June 18-23 “Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills.” Course Coordinator: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA. My presentations in the course:

  • Analyzing Documents Workshop: Parts 1 & 2
  • The WPA Era: A Free Boon for Research
  • Vital Records Data and Substitutes: More than Names and Dates
  • Original Manuscripts: Finding Aids Online and Off
  • Twentieth‑ and Twenty‑First‑Century Research: Rich Resources 
  • Going Deep into State Archives and Historical Societies 
  • Civil & Criminal Court Records 
  • Institutional Records: The Good, The Bad, and The Painful
  • Post Military Service: Often Overlooked 19th & 20th Century Records 
  • Student Group Project Reporting and Analysis  

June 18-23The Spirit of the Inland Seas: Research in the Great Lakes Region.” Course Coordinator: Cari Taplin, CG®. My presentations in this course:

  • Naturalization and Citizenship in the U.S. & Canada 
  • Tracing French Canadian Ancestors and Their Connections 
  • Researching in Ontario

Every Memorial Day

I’ve posted before about grieving for two military casualties. I was typing today’s stories and deleted my words. Maybe it’s my need for more sleep or my age but thinking about Jerry and Tom seemed sadder today. I kept the stories brief. I am grateful that my Army Air Corps father and Army father-in-law survived WWII and that my husband survived the Viet Nam era.

I was 2-years old when my Uncle Gerald J. Mueller was captured and killed in February of 1951 in a North Korean POW camp while serving in the Army. Jerry was only 21 and married to my mom’s sister, my Aunt Jeannie. They had already suffered the loss of their newborn son. I don’t remember Jerry, but his story came back to life in 2017 when his remains were identified and returned to Minnesota. Jeannie never stopped asking me if I could research any more information on him. https://www.kesslermaguire.com/obituaries/Gerald-Mueller

The other loss was a grade school classmate. Our 8th grade graduating class at St. Therese here in Saint Paul only had 45 students so a loss early on had extra impact. I was living in California in January of 1968 when another classmate sent me a letter telling about Tom Kingston’s death in Viet Nam. Tom was a 20-year-old Marine. Another reason it hit hard was that I was a Navy wife and living just off a military base, not knowing the path forward of my husband’s service. https://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/28088/THOMAS-L-KINGSTON/


A few days ago, MyHeritage announced an update to its Theory of Family Relativity™ which “is a groundbreaking feature that can save you hours of work trying to understand your connection to your DNA Matches. It harnesses billions of data points across MyHeritage’s huge database of family trees and historical records to provide you with plausible theories about how you and your DNA Matches are related. In addition to this update, we’ve made some improvements to the DNA section of the website, all of which are detailed in the blog post.” That blog post is worth reading. I spent a bit of time this week on my matches and the Theory of Family Relatively. I found some nice links to Danish and Swedish cousins.

One included a link to a man whose ancestral Carlsen family one lived in a building in Saint Paul now owned by someone who I visited yesterday. I visited that building for a haircut. Yes, I have told my hairdresser the connection. I have to remember to tell her about my many connections to the cemetery across the street from her building.

Now, if I could get some DNA connections to my German and Scottish ancestral families. The Irish, English, French Canadian, and Scandinavian connections are growing. C’mon relatives.

The 1931 census of Canada debuts June 1st.

It’s likely I have relatives scattered across Canada on the pages of the 1931 Canadian census. Many will be in Quebec and Ontario. Some I am particularly interest in, were back and forth between Massachusetts, New York, and Quebec. Among the family names are Connolly, Reinhardt, Copping, Jones, Dow, Daoust, and others. I’m almost as excited as I was for the April 1, 2022, release of the 1950 U.S. census on which I was enumerated with my parents.

From Library and Archives Canada, “By law, the personal information in this census can only be made public 92 years after the census was completed. As a result, access will be made available on June 1, 2023.”

I have paid attention to the form used in enumerating the residents of Canada and what each column will contain. The form below is taken from https://ccri.library.ualberta.ca/assets/schedulesen/1931_form_1a.jpg

Use that link to enlarge the image. To learn more about the census, the progression of work to make it appear online for us, the indexing plans, and other details, check the links below the form.

Library and Archives Canada: https://library-archives.canada.ca/eng/corporate/website-updates/pages/census-1931.aspx

Library and Archives Canada Blog: https://thediscoverblog.com/2023/05/11/why-we-are-excited-about-the-1931-census/

Manitoba Genealogical Society: https://mbgenealogy.com/2023/05/05/1931-canada-census-comes-available-june-1/

University of Toronto: https://mdl.library.utoronto.ca/collections/numeric-data/census-canada/1931

Minnesota Historical Society website issues update

Information on the website update from the Minnesota Historical Society’s May 24 “Local History News.” The new website has some issues and hopefully this will clear those up. I’m happy to see the People Records Search and the Newspaper Hub will still be accessible during the possible month of restrictions.





U.S. National Archives Awards $6.5 Million in Grants for Historical Records Projects

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2023 – Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall has awarded 47 grants totaling $6,510,701 for projects in 27 states and the District of Columbia to improve public access to historical records. The National Archives grants program is carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York, NY

$150,000 to support a project to conserve, process, digitize and make available online 67 linear feet from the Jewish Labor and Political Archives: the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Collection, Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America Collection, and the Jewish Labor Committee Collection. (RH-103536)

Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma, WA

$126,823 to support a project to re-house, digitize, and make publicly available the photograph archive of the Tacoma News Tribune (established 1883), the state’s second-largest newspaper. The Library will also update the primary source sets and lesson plans for K-12 students to include digital surrogates from the Tacoma News Tribune photo morgue and create a public  exhibit. (RH-103549)

Nebraska State Historical Society, Omaha, NE

$148,492 to support History Nebraska’s project  to convert its existing collection descriptions by migrating approximately 1,400 government record and manuscript finding aids from non-EAD documents into ArchivesSpace; oversee the migration of the remaining 1,500 finding aids in the collection; and link the finding aids to born-digital and digitized assets to Preservica, which currently contains over 470,900 digital assets. (RH-103576)

Westchester County Historical Society, Elmsford, NY

$75,875 to support a project to digitize the McDonald Papers (1,100 annotated) handwritten transcriptions of 407 interviews with participants and eyewitnesses to the Revolutionary War recorded between 1844 and 1850. (RH-103590)

National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, Minneapolis, MN

$124,311 to support a project to digitize 20,000 pages of records (1852-1945) related to at least nine Quaker-operated boarding schools from six states held in the collections at Swarthmore College and Haverford College. This group of records are from Quaker-operated boarding schools and Quaker organizations include enrollment papers, financial information, correspondence, administrative records, and photographs. (RH-103611)

For the full list please check https://www.archives.gov/nhprc/awards/awards-5-23-1. I can already hear your excitement at the variety of projects!

U.S. National Archives and the military record loss in the 1973 Fire

My lunch break today was accompanied by an informative online presentation about the U.S. National Archives location at St. Louis and the disastrous 1973 fire that destroyed many records. It was a helpful presentation. I have attended presentations and read articles about the fire, but this one seemed to hit me more today. This summer marks 50 years since that awful fire. My Dad was in the Army Air Corps in WWII as a flight engineer. I need to obtain his records that still exist and those they can recreate. I will also send in the stories he told me about his service, wartime illness, hospitalization on a British ship, meeting Bob Hope during that hospitalization, and a few other tidbits. His timeline could help the archivist with the search for records.

Watch today’s presentation at any time on YouTube or check the presentations slides on the NARA website. The was no handout for the session. The URLs for viewing are below.

Learn more about the series: https://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-series/2023

View the National Archives YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@USNationalArchives

Extensive syllabus prep: some upcoming genealogical presentations

The last few weeks have been extra busy with syllabus preparation for upcoming presentations. Some of those are listed below. Click on the links or blue organization titles to learn more and to register. 

  • May 31, 2023. Free Webinar. 10:00 a.m. CDT, Noon PDT. Chula Vista Genealogical Society of Chula Vista, California. I will be presenting “The U. S. National Archives: The Nation’s Attic” which is accompanied by a helpful handout.

  • June 11-16, 2023. TIGR: Texas Institute of Genealogical Research sponsored by the Texas State Genealogical Society. A virtual week-long educational experience.

I am an instructor in Colleen Robledo Greene’s
Course 5 – “Researching Families of Mexican Descent on Both
Sides of the Border”
week-long genealogy course.

I’m presenting a joint session for this course and Ari Wilkin’s Course 6 – “Researching
African Americans Before and After the Civil War in the U.S.” 


        ·        I am the Coordinator and lead instructor in the course “Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills.” It’s a 5-day course filled with instruction, an extensive syllabus (almost 200 pages!), hands-on work, problem solving, and discussion. Full course details and other instructors https://www.gripitt.org/courses/digging_deeper/

·        I am an instructor in a separate course that week, “Spirit of the Inland Seas: Research in the Great Lakes Region ” coordinated by Cari Taplin, CG.


  • August 8-19, 2023. Two-day in-person institute. Midwest Genealogy Foundations: Migration and Settlement, sponsored by the Minnesota Genealogical Society. I am an instructor presenting two sessions on “Midwest Archives and Repositories” and “Railroad Records and History.” More details and registration https://mngs.org/midwest-migration-institute.

Interior Department and NEH to Preserve Federal Indian Boarding School Oral History and Records 

This will not be an easy project and I am sure that is already evident to those involved. Some who will be working on this were the students themselves or had older family members who attended these schools.

The reading of the painful comments of boarding and day school superintendents, teachers, and others about the children forced to attend these schools is not a nice experience. For about a ten-year span of time, I read much of the correspondence between the schools, parents, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs for several schools. It caused many tears. I still do some research in the records of a couple schools and in some cases, the records no longer exist. I’d be willing to bet that is not always because of a fire, flood, tornado, or other calamity. While some records have been digitized by the U.S. National Archives (NARA) and some genealogy website partners, it does not include the many folders of correspondence. Neither are the records that do exist found in one repository or in one location of NARA.

A press release tells more about this preservation project.

For more on this project https://www.neh.gov/news/doi-neh-partner-preserve-federal-indian-boarding-school-oral-history-and-records