30 July 2014

KARE 11 reports Chaska Moravian Church books stolen

It's been a tough news day here in my area. One horrific story has been the shooting and death of a suburban police officer. That has affected my thinking all afternoon. My heart aches for his family and fellow officers.

Then I checked the local news channels websites to see if the suspect had been found and so far that news is negative. I saw another story that caught my eye. Definitely not as horrific, but still sad. A local news channel (KARE) has reported that thieves broke into a Minnesota church and among other items stole the church record books. These books from the Chaska Moravian Church are a big part of the history of the church and the area in Carver County, Minnesota.

KARE11 reports "Sometime in the late evening hours of Monday, July 14th, Reverend Eder discovered thieves broke into the church office and took a locked safe containing $50, but even more valuable to the church were four handwritten ledgers containing birth, wedding and death records dating back to 1920. The leather bound books contained important genealogy information of members from the early years all the way to a baptism performed two weeks ago."

I just checked several catalogs including those of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Family History Library and didn't see any evidence that these record books were ever microfilmed. The Moravian Church Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania does appear to have something from the first two record books. That means two of the stolen items are the only locations of the valuable information. Now I wonder if it is microfilm, photocopy, index, abstract, or what else? The inventory is not clear.

Read the full KARE story here plus the video of the newscast announcement.

Some record abstracts are posted on this website. Debbie Moe did an even greater service at the time by providing this information.

Update to police officer death: the suspect has been apprehended.

28 July 2014

Genealogical Research Institute of Pennsylvania 1 & 2!

I am home from a successful week at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh that was held at LaRoche College. I had a classroom full of wonderful and sharing people in the course I coordinate, “Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper.” The homework project for the week turned out to be one that featured many twists and turns. One newspaper article even called the family "notorious!" We were able to spend time discussing many of the students' own research problems and I hope they follow up on the great research suggestions we all shared. Sometimes it just takes a different set of eyes and experience to help solve an issue.

I also taught in the “Becoming an Online Expert: Mastering Search Engines and Digital Archives" that is coordinated by Josh Taylor and had fun sharing the ins and outs of searching on Ancestry.com and on public library websites. I appreciate the great presentations by Debra Mieszala, CG and D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS in the intermediate course.

I made some new friends last week and some of them are even attending a course in Orchard Lake! They are hooked on the institute experience.

The next offerings of the week-long institute are July 20-25, 2014 in Pittsburgh and August 3-8, 2014 in Orchard Lake, Michigan (a beautiful suburb of Detroit). I will be repeating the “Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper” and will also be teaching in the “Bridging the Gap: New England to the Midwest, 1780-1840.”

There are still some openings in the Orchard Lake week. Visit http://www.gripitt.org for more details.

16 July 2014

You may still register for the FGS Genealogy Conference in San Antonio!

I just had someone ask me if they could still register for the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) conference in San Antonio, Texas.

That answer is easy: YES!

One other question that I usually receive since I am a member of the FGS Board of Directors is whether this is just a conference for genealogical societies. Another easy reply: NOT AT ALL!

Anyone may register and you don't need to belong to a genealogical society. Though, I would then ask why that person doesn't belong to a society where they reside and also where the ancestors resided. Whether you are just starting out with your family history research or have been researching for a long time, there are helpful presentations, networking, vendors, speakers, topics, fun events, plus the beautiful and famous San Antonio River Walk just steps from the convention center and hotels.

Check the conference information, speaker and topic lineup, hotel details (a second large hotel was added), luncheons with special speakers, evening events, workshops, exhibit hall participants, and more at https://www.fgsconference.org. Be sure to click on the Blog and read updates and important details, too.

If you register now, you will soon get online access to the full syllabus. Each conference registrant will receive notice in early August that the conference syllabus of lecture handouts is online and ready to read. Be sure to print the sections for lectures you plan to attend. Many speakers refer to specific points, have the URLs in there, and you may want to add additional notes on some of the points.

29 June 2014

One billion family history records from FamilySearch at our fingertips!

You may have already seen the stories about this but I still have to write about it. I can't even fathom one billion images.

This past week, "FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) announced the online publication of its one billionth image of historic records at FamilySearch.org, a feat that took just 7 years to accomplish."

I still love to touch original records in libraries, courthouses, historical societies, and archives, but I also love to sit here at my computer, with no shoes on, and my mug of spring water next to me, while I look at digitized records of my ancestors that are available online.

I have viewed records from all over the U.S., England, Canada, and other places. According to FamilySearch, the billionth image was published in FamilySearch.org’s growing Peru civil registration collections.

To read the full story on the FamilySearch blog, click here.

To search the indexed images, visit FamilySearch.org and click on Search. When you are on the actual search page scroll down to the list of country names and pick one to see what is online for your ancestral interest.

26 June 2014

Bill Forsyth from ProQuest wins Distinguished Industry Achievement Award at ALA Conference

It's wonderful to see a major award given to someone with a connection to the genealogy industry. It's even better when that someone is a person you know and respect.

The first paragraph of today's press release about this says: "ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Reference and User Services Association, (RUSA), a Division of the American Library Association, announced William (Bill) Forsyth, director of product management for ProQuest, is the recipient of the Genealogical Publishing Company award. The award, $1,500 and a citation donated by the Genealogical Publishing Company and sponsored by the History Section of RUSA, was created in 1992 to encourage, recognize and commend professional achievement in historical reference and research librarianship. Mr. Forsyth's outstanding contributions to the field sustain the importance of genealogy in historical research. He is a widely recognized expert in genealogy and a frequent speaker. Mr. Forsyth is an active member of RUSA, completing a two-year term as Chair of the Local History Committee and will begin a new term as a member of the Genealogy Committee. He also serves on the Records Preservation and Access Committee and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists."

Bill is a great supporter of many efforts in the field of genealogy. He is THE person with whom the Federation of Genealogical Societies works to put on Librarians' Day at the annual FGS Conferences. His employer, ProQuest, sponsors the Librarians' Day. He is a joy to work with and as a former FGS conference co-chair, I know how important the day is and how easy he is to work with.

For more about the 2014 Librarians' Day visit that page on the FGS Conference website. All librarians are welcome and it's a great place to meet many others from across the nation. https://www.fgsconference.org/program/librarians-day/

To read the full press release click here.

25 June 2014

APG Young Professional Scholarship award details

From a press release sent by APG. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone thinking about the field of professional genealogy.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) is now accepting applications for the APG Young Professional Scholarship. Requirements have been revised to reflect current economic and educational trends and to be more inclusive of young parents, military personnel, home school candidates, students, and those currently employed between the ages of 18-29. The scholarship goes to a student and/or young professional who aspires to a professional career in genealogy. The scholarship includes a registration for the APG Professional Management Conference (PMC) and a stipend of up to $1,000 to defray costs of travel and lodging at the conference. The winner will be announced in August 2014 for attendance at the APG PMC 2015, which will take place in Salt Lake City on 8–9 January 2015.

“It is exciting to see so many young people involved in genealogy, and we are thrilled to be able to support an up-and-coming professional genealogist with this scholarship,” said Kimberly T. Powell, APG President. “Our APG Professional Management Conference offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the business of genealogy and explore advanced genealogical topics, while networking with other professionals. We look forward to receiving many applications.”

See the blog posting at www.apgen.org for the application. The submission deadline is 22 July 2014.

23 June 2014

July 1st deadline: Jimmy B. Parker Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2015 Scholarship

Hopefully you have seen the news about this scholarship on the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy’s website or read the press releases in social media outlets. The deadline for submitting essays for this award is just days away, July 1st.

Full tuition to SLIG 2015 will be awarded to the student whose essay and application exemplify the culture of giving back to community, lived by Jimmy B. Parker. The scholarship will be awarded by a committee comprised of SLIG committee members and the family of the late Jimmy B. Parker. I know from personal experience, the Jimmy was a great guy and he loved genealogy.

Applicants are asked to submit the following via email to luanadarby @ gmail.com:
1.      A one-page essay detailing how attending SLIG will help you prepare to give back to the genealogical community.
2.      A short biography, including previous volunteer and research experience.
3.      The name of the course you would like to attend.
4.      A letter of recommendation from someone who has benefited from your volunteer service.

The Salt Lake Institute runs from January 12-16, 2015 and the winning student will have their choice of the following tracks:
1.      The Family History Law Library (with Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL and Rick Sayre, CG, CGL)
2.      Beyond the Library: Researching in Original Resource Repositories (John Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA)
3.      Finding Immigrant Origins (David Ouimette, CG)
4.      Advanced Research Tools: Post-War Military Records (Craig R. Scott, CG, FUGA)
5.      Advanced German Research (F. Warren Bittner, CG)
6.      Resources & Strategies for United States Research, Part 1 (Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS) (Intermediate level)
7.      From Confusion to Conclusion: Writing Proof Arguments (Kimberly Powell and Harold Henderson, CG)
8.     Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum (with Angela McGhie and Kimberly Powell)
9.      Advanced Genealogical Methods (with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS)
10.  Getting Started with Genetic Genealogy (Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL)
11.   Diving Deeper into New England – Advanced (D. Joshua Taylor, MA)
12.  Advanced DNA Analysis (CeCe Moore and Angie Bush)

Applications and essays are due by July 1st and the winner will be announced July 15th. Please note that this scholarship extends to those that have already registered for a SLIG course as well.

Calling all genealogists! FGS San Antonio Conference BIG savings deadline

The end of my summer includes attending and speaking at the 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in San Antonio, Texas. Air conditioned comfort in the convention center and hotel and lovely walks along the famous River Walk.

The best part for right now is that if you register for the conference no later than July 1st, you save $55.00 off the full four-day price. That savings can then be used in the large Exhibit Hall or on a couple luncheons.
I have also registered for the two big evening events that sound like a lot of fun.

Yes, I am on the FGS Board of Directors and have a special interest in the FGS Conferences, but I attended them long before I was on the board. As you have heard me say over and over, it's a time for education, networking, fun, and a buying spree in the Exhibit Hall. I keep reading the conference website and conference blog to plan my first-ever trip to San Antonio. When I return home from San Antonio, I will have another amazing first-time experience but that story will be for another day.

See you there. https://www.fgsconference.org/

12 June 2014

Deatils on 2 days till registration for 2015 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Yes, it's just two days until registration opens for the 2015 edition of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy aka SLIG. In 2015 SLIG is moving to the Hilton Hotel, just down West Temple 2.5 blocks from the Family History Library. Education first and then research at the FHL. How perfect!

Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. MDT. That's 8 for the Pacific coasters, 10 for the Midwest, and 11 for the Easterners.

I coordinate and teach the United States Records and Research, Part I. If you attended in 2014 you took Part II. Thus 2015 should be of interest to you if you didn't take the other part of the course in 2013.

Other instructors in this course are John Philip Colletta, Ph.D., FUGA, Debbie S. Mieszala, CG, and D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS. We are working on some great learning and class involvement. We update the lectures and syllabus each year. If you took this course many years ago, you might be interested in attending again as much has changed over the years.

This beyond- the-basics course provides in-depth learning on 19th-21st century U.S. resources and the methodology for using them. We probe deeper into the content, origin, location, and interpretation of records. Informative and interactive classroom hours delve into significant records and strategies that take you beyond basic research tools both online and off. On-site Family History Library support and a computer lab from course instructors provide one-on-one assistance and guidance with your own research. Hands-on work is a big part of this course.

I suggest taking this two part course (the order doesn't matter) before taking more advanced courses. In this course you will interact with the instructors and other students, learn a lot, advance your own research, and we will also have some laughs and overall just enjoy the week.You will leave the course more confident in your own knowledge, understand where more records are located, and being able to interact with others to advance your own research.

Some suggested prerequisites: Experience researching in a variety of repositories, familiarity with FamilySearch.org and other family history websites, reviewing at least two basic genealogy guidebooks, and previous class room learning related to family history. You don't need to fill all these prerequisites, but whatever you bring to the week will help with your own education.

For the full lineup of individual sessions in this and other SLIG courses, visit www.infouga.org and be ready to hit those computer keys to sign up online this Saturday morning.

SCGS Jamboree: Manuscript Finding Aids: Locating Migrating Family Records

I had a great time presenting three sessions and networking with a gaggle of genealogists this past weekend at the Southern California Genealogical Society's annual Jamboree in Burbank.

SCGS reports "Attendance at the 2014 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree was 1388 onsite attendees and an average of about 450 remote attendees who viewed each streamed video session."

My Friday session on Manuscripts and Finding Aids was live-streamed and may still be viewed online as can others from the series until July 5th. Visit the Jamboree Blog for current details on this and other facets of the live streamed presentations.

11 June 2014

2014 FGS Genealogy Conference in San Antonio!

I just spent some time catching up on the FGS Conference Blog. After so many years of editing or at least writing posts for the conference blog, I thought I would miss it a lot. In reality, it was time to let others handle it and they are doing a great job for the 2014 conference that will be held August 27-30 in San Antonio, Texas.

I have registered for the conference, have a hotel room, and am about to make my airline reservation. Don't forget that July 1st is the end of the discount registration time and it's a $55.00 savings off of full conference registration! Don't miss a great four days of learning, networking and an event that has something for every level of genealogical experience.

Check here for all the conference details: https://www.fgsconference.org/

Check here for the conference blog that is always a must for extra conference new, information, and last minute details. https://www.fgsconference.org/blog/

I am a member of the Board of Directors of FGS and I hope to meet new friends in San Antonio and renew some acquaintances.

04 June 2014

Reminder about SCGS Jamboree free live-streamed sessions

14 genealogy sessions to watch free in your jammies, on your porch, in your office, or while wearing an evening gown or tuxedo if you wish! The 14 sessions are being presented at the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree and made free online with the support of Ancestry.com.

I hope you can watch them all. I will be presenting one at 4:00 pm. PDT on Friday.  That's 6:00 CDT for my Midwestern family and friends.

FR027 - Friday 4:00PM - Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA - "Manuscript Finding Aids: Locating Migrating Family Records"

Tomorrow, June 5th, is devoted to DNA lectures and there is a fee to watch those from your home. Well worth it, though! I attended the DNA day last year and it was superb. 

A full list of the presentations is here.

02 June 2014

That pesky 1890 census and the disastrous fire

How often do you wish that the United States 1890 census still existed for your ancestral areas? Sure, several thousand entries still exist and may be found on microfilm and various websites. I wrote about this census back in 2009 on this blog. It bears mentioning again because I have seen many new genealogists asking where to find that census or suggesting that someone go search it.

One of the pieces of advice I gave in the earlier post was to read a series of articles in the National Archives' publication, Prologue. The three part series by Kellie Blake "First in the Path of the Firemen" The Fate of the 1890 Population Census is filled with details on the fire, subsequent destruction of damaged portions, and also about the 1890 veterans census. For the veteran's census the articles detail why it was taken, that many were missed, and more about the loss of the enumerations for the states from A through part of Kentucky. 

Read Part I of Kellee's articles here.  The link to Part II is at the end of Part I.  

01 June 2014

Historic and unique barns in Minnesota

I love to just get in the car and drive out of the city on county roads and highways rather than always being on the interstate. The great variety of barns that I see is one reason, though I do not descend from a family of farmers. One of the first genealogy lectures I attended way back in the 1980s was about types of barns that were built by our ancestors. Last month as I drove on I-94 through Wisconsin, I noticed that one of my favorite barns had either collapsed or was being torn down. It was always a beacon with it's lower level windows lit up in the very early morning hours.

One online news source here in Minnesota has been running a series of articles about places, things, and heritage in general pertaining to history in Minnesota. This past March it was about barns and if you want to share in my joy at reading this it's on Minnesota Post. Unfortunately, I missed the exhibition that the article discusses.


24 May 2014

Memorial Day in my own family and Preserve the Pensions

This Memorial Day weekend is a time to think about all the brave men and women who have been in the military service of the United States and gave their lives for us. I am especially thinking about one Korean War serviceman, Gerald J. Mueller, from Buckman, Minnesota. Jerry was married to my Mom's only sibling, my Aunt Jeanie. Jerry never came home from the war. I was a toddler when he was declared Missing in Action (MIA). I remember his Mom, Grandparents, and two half-brothers. I recently reconnected with one of those half-brothers when we were both commenting on a Facebook page for Old St. Paul [Minnesota].

There are many websites that list the various MIA's from 20th century wars. Unfortunately some records from the past century's wars, especially up through WWII were lost in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis back in 1973. I shudder whenever I think about that loss. It's horrific enough that we lost so many military personnel in various wars and add to that with the loss of their records.

We have the chance to make sure the same never happens to some of our earlier military records. The War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land applications are housed at the National Archives in Washington, DC.  The National Archives has faced many years of decreased budget and decreased staffing. The Federation of Genealogical Societies has been spearheading the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project.

As of now, 35% of the funds have been raised. That does leave 65% more to go. If you donate $25, that amount is matched by Ancestry.com. If FGS, genealogists, historians, service personnel, hereditary organizations, and others raise the full amount, all those records will be digitized and online for FREE forever.

I just checked and more than 1 million digitized images are already online for free at Fold3.com. These encompass War of 1812 service anytime between 1812 and 1815. WE did this!

The search capability is helpful. Search by given name, surname, both names, geographic place, date, or topic. I searched for several surnames and found great details. Then I searched for the term Indian and found many pension records for Native Americans that will be helpful in a work project. The next search was for a couple towns where my own ancestors lived in Wisconsin and I found affidavits from men living in those towns in the pension records for other men.

We can't let these records sit and chance further deterioration. They need to be digitized NOW. Please donate today. Please visit the Preserve the Pensions page on the Federation of Genealogical Societies website.

Donating is painless. There are several methods. I have made a few donations over the past couple of years and am proud to say I am a member of the Preservation Patriots who have donated $250 or more. Why not make one or more donations over the next few months and join me and many others who feel these records must be preserved. Any amount is welcomed. Donate Now. Please.

22 May 2014

Genealogy lectures live streamed from Jamboree

There's nothing better than attending a genealogical conference or institute for great knowledge, camaraderie, networking, and on-the-spot help. There are many great educational opportunities. I would love to meet many readers in just 2 weeks at the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree but I do realize that some have family, work, health, and budget limitations.

However, the SCGS is offering a great array of Jamboree presentations via live-streaming right in your own home. The first day has a fee and the three following days are free.
You'll find a complete list of the sessions, with links to the registration pages and as well as registration information on the Jamboree website and also on the right hand column of this blog.

Here are the specifics:

Family History and DNA Conference - June 5, 2014
-Five streamed sessions, 10:00am to 6:00pm PDT
-Pay for view, $30 per session
-All-Day Pass $130 includes complete DNA syllabus
-Requires a two-step registration process
-Sessions available for 30 days after initial webcast
-Sessions will not be available in the SCGS webinar archive
  • CeCe Moore: "Real World Stories from the Desk of a Genealogy DNA Detective"
  • Diahan Southard: "Lab Tour: How Your Data is Generated"
  • Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD: "Using Autosomal DNA to Explore Your Ancestry"
  • Dr. Maurice Gleeson: "Which DNA is Best for You?"
  • Tim Janzen, MD: "Advanced Techniques for Use of Autosomal DNA Tests to Break Through Genealogical Brick Walls"

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree - June 6-8, 2014
-14 streamed sessions over three days
-Initial webcast provided free of charge
-Cost is partially underwritten by Diamond Sponsor Ancestry.com
-Many sessions will eventually be available in the SCGS webinar archive for viewing by members

Friday, June 6 - Four sessions 1:00pm to 6:30pm PDT
  • Judy G. Russell JD, CG, CGL - "Dowered or Bound Out: Records of Widows and Orphans"
  • Blaine Bettinger PhD, JD - "DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard"
  • Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA - "Manuscript Finding Aids: Locating Migrating Family Records"
  • F. Warren Bittner, CG - "Proof Arguments: How and Why"
Saturday, June 7 - Six sessions 8:30am to 6:00pm PDT
  • F. Warren Bittner, CG - "Elusive Immigrant!"
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL - "Staying out of Trouble: The Rights and Responsibilities of Today's Genealogist"
  • Michael Leclerc - "Researching Your New England Ancestors"
  • Bennett Greenspan - "The Future of Genetic Genealogy"
  • Dr. Maurice Gleeson - "Researching Your Irish Ancestry"
  • Cyndi Ingle - "The Internet: A Genealogist's Printing Press"
Sunday, June 8 - Four sessions 8:30am to 3:30pm PDT
  • D. Joshua Taylor - "Resources of the DAR: Beyond Revolutionary War Soldiers"
  • Dawn Thurston - "How to Write a Personal History that Captures your Interesting Life"
  • Dr. Maurice Gleeson - "Ireland and the Slave Trade"
  • Denise Levenick - "Dirty Pictures: Save Your Family Photos from Ruin"
Please help us spread the word about this outstanding educational opportunity for family historians and genealogists from around the globe. Share this news with your cousins, friends, society members, and followers.

18 May 2014

Recordings of my genealogical presentations

I have received several requests asking how someone might hear my lectures. The most requested ones are railroad research, research planning, research reports for ourselves, NUCMC, and the WPA. Of course, your society may engage me as a speaker. Just email me PaulaStuartWarren at gmail.com for my info packet with all the details.

Many of my lectures (and those of many other speakers) have been recorded and the recordings are available for purchase. These recordings keep me company when I am driving long distances in my car.

Not all presentations are suitable for recording. This may include lectures that depend heavily on the visuals, first-time lectures, or those presented in workshop format. All recordings are copyrighted and intended for individual listening. Any other use must be only with permission of the speaker and may require a fee.

Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording  available in CD and download formats. Fleetwood has recorded the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2011 Springfield, IL, 2012 Birmingham, AL, and 2013 Fort Wayne, IN conferences.

JAMB Inc.  available in CD formats. JAMB has recorded a variety of national and state level conferences for several years.

If you wish to purchase the accompanying handout for any of my recorded lectures, please send me an email for details.

Paula is interviewed on the Genealogy Guys Podcast

While I was at the Ohio Genealogical Society's conference in Sandusky, Ohio earlier this month, I was interviewed by Drew Smith for the Genealogy Guys Podcast that is hosted by Drew and George G. Morgan. We covered several topics including railroads, research planning, and genealogical institutes. I was able to mention my own railroad connections and love of railroads. Drew is a great interviewer. At the end I loved hearing that George picked up several tips from my railroad lecture at that conference.

You can listen to the entire May podcast at http://genealogyguys.com. My segment is at the end, but the rest of the podcast is very worthwhile.