Saturday, May 29, 2010

Honoring Those Who Served - May 29, 2010

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Dedication ceremony of Charles Garrison Veteran's Memorial
Adrian, Bates County, Missouri
May 29, 2010

LT Charles Garrison, United States Navy
MIA Korea 1954

They Shall Not Grow Old
They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon

Friday, May 28, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge 21

Week 21: Examine the website of your state or provincial archives. Take some time to push all the buttons and click all the links. What did you find? Bloggers can write about the site’s high points and share the information with their readers

I love this challenge as it gives me an excuse to spend more time on one of my favorite genealogy websites, The Missouri State Archives.

The Missouri State Archives is the official repository for state records of permanent and historical value. Its mission is to foster an appreciation of Missouri history and illuminate contemporary public issues by preserving and making available the state's permanent records to its citizens and their government.

The organization and operation of the Missouri State Archives falls under the office of the Missouri Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan. We are very fortunate to have such a person in charge of safeguarding our State's history. The archives provides a beautiful research facility in Jefferson City, valuable educational programs throughout the year as well as their online, digital initiatives. The Missouri State Archives website made the list for Family Tree Magazine's 101 Best websites in 2008 and 2009!

Among the many jewels this site has, the two crowning jewels are the Missouri Death Certificates and Missouri Digital Heritage. Online images of death certificates are available for 1910-1959...for free! You may look up by last name and county, find the person you are looking for and download the PDF directly to your computer. No fee, no copy cost, no mailing cost and best of waiting!

It is easy to get lost for hours in the Missouri Digital Heritage project. There are online exhibits detailing various historical events in the state. You may search or browse historical maps, plat books and civil war letters. The Missouri Soldier's database covers the War of 1812 up to WWI, there is information on the culture, transportation and agricultural lives of those living in Missouri. The photograph and images collection is immense and should not be missed.

I have this site bookmarked on my toolbar and visit on a weekly basis if not more. As much time as I have already spent on this website (hours and hours) I still have not viewed all of the collections available. If you have any Missouri connections, you will definitely want to visit and save this site.

Honoring Those Who Served - May 28, 2010

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In November 2009 I had the opportunity to visit the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The displays of equipment, supplies and stories were amazing. There were areas set up through out the museum with audio interviews from service men and women. Those interviews brought the events to life. The photos I've included are just a glimpse of what the museum has to offer.

Across the street from the main museum building is the Solomon Victory Theater. This is a beautiful, state-of-the-art 4D theater. Yes, 4D! The movie shown is called Beyond All Boundaries and is narrated by Tom Hanks. Simply phenominal! More than worth your time and the ticket price. If you have the opportunity to visit the museum and view the movie, do not miss it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge 20

Week 20: Play with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Government Land Office (GLO) Federal Land Records ( web page. This is a great resource. Your task this week is to explore the land patents and land surveys sections. Input some search terms and see what pops up. Don’t be afraid to click links and see what happens. You’ll be surprised by what you find.

The BLM Land Office Records site, contains three data sets: Federal Land Patents, Federal Land Status Records, and Federal Survey Plats and Field Notes. Each set of records does not contain information from all of the same states and not all states are covered. More information is being added so don't forget to check back often. The FAQ's will cover most of your questions, be sure to review those first. You will want to spend more time on the Visitor's Center tab to get more detailed review of the data sets.

I was able to find a Land Patent record for one of my Greenstreet lines (my husband and I both have Greenstreets). I would really like to get hold of some of the Survey Plats, but was unable to find anything at this point. This site is a valuable resource to fill in some of the gaps you may have in your ancestor's time lines. I'm looking forward to visiting the site again after more records have been added to the collection.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge 19

Examine the “Genealogy and Military Records” page on the National Archives page. (Non-U.S. folks: examine the military records information from your country’s national archives.) Click the links and read everything you can. If you’ve ordered a military file before, read this page again and refresh you memory so you can help others. Authors of genealogy blogs can write about records they’ve received, comment on the National Archives page, or ask questions of their readers via their blog.

I have written to the National Archives requesting military records in the past. I wrote about it in this post. I've also requested military documents for one of my Dad's brothers and did receive a reply but no medals. Medals are reissued to next-of-kin. My Uncle never married, had no children, his parents and both brothers are deceased. They would not recognize me as next-of-kin though.

I do need to spend more time on the site looking at the images and seeing what information I can find for the Mexican Expedition. My grandfather served in the Army during the Expedition but I have had little success finding information. What information I did find was from a book published by his fraternity that talked about "their brother's on the border".

I get lost very easily on the NARA site, but that's not a bad thing. The things I find while lost are always interesting! The volume of information is unimaginable and the thought of even a 1/4 of that information being digitized is a great dream!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Cow

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This one kept a close eye on me as I took my Tombstone Tuesday photos! :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Challenge 18

This week's challenge is to "Dip your toe in the social networking pool" and blog about how the various sites are useful to our genealogical research.

No dipping was done here, I dove in head first! I knew about social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I had read a few blogs and subscribed to news feeds, but my participation was one-sided as a receiver and very limited. I spent time searching for interesting and valuable genealogy news though Google, going site by site by site. I enjoyed the information and the stories but getting to them was tedious and I figured I was missing a lot.

In July of 2009 curiosity prompted me to check out Twitter. I set up my account and immediately put genealogy in the search box and was AMAZED at the number of Tweeters that said genealogy was a hobby for them. Once I started following a few people, the social networking pool went from being a backyard swimming pool to the ocean. I follow and regularly tweet with others across the United States as well as in England, and Australia.

Twitter was the medium that allowed me to broaden my level of friends on Facebook and increase the number of blogs I was reading. Each time a tweet came across with notification of a new blog post I clicked and followed. The same happened with Facebook, I would see the join me on Facebook tweets and I would join. The exposure to new and not so new technologies through Twitter has been impressive. I had no idea what a blog reader was, I was getting blogs through RSS feeds to my email. I didn't know about Tweetdeck or Hootsuite until I saw mentions of others using those applications also.

The beneficial part of these social network sites is the networking opportunities. There are comments floating out there (from the Snooty-Patooties) that Twitter and Facebook are silly and have no benefit to genealogy research. Wrong! The information posted from commercial sites is very valuable. I now know who has a conference coming up in my area, who is publishing or making available new research material immediately. And the information comes to ME, I don't have to go searching for it. How can receiving information in a timely manner be silly?  On Facebook my friends post comments and photos about research trips as well as family photos.  How can getting to know others that share your passion be silly?

There is NO END to the amount of information that can be gleaned through all of my "social" contacts now.  If I have a research problem, question or road block all it takes is a 140 character tweet and the offers for help come rolling in.  I see nothing but value to social networking in genealogy.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

MoSGA 2010 Annual Conference - August 13 & 14 2010

Complete conference details have been published. If you are struggling with research in Germany you will want to attend for sure! 2009 was the first year I attended a MoSGA conference and I enjoyed the educational sessions as well as time in the exhibit hall.

Details I can add about the location of the conference, Jefferson City Missouri, is that it's serviced by AmTrak's Missouri River Runner and has several historical attractions. I took AmTrak from Kansas City to Jefferson City last year for the conference and I really enjoyed it. Those of you in the Northeast and Eastern states probably think "what's the big deal?" Look at an AmTrak route map for the Midwest and you will see why it's a novelty for us in the heartland to travel by train.

The train depot is 5 blocks from the hotel. What the hotel doesn't mention is that it's 5 blocks UP hill! The train station is just feet from the Missouri River at the bottom of the bluff. I would catch a cab if I did it again. The Missouri State Archives is an easy walk from the hotel, about 3 flat blocks!

Also within walking distance is the Missouri State Capitol Complex, which is situated on the bluff above the Missouri River. In the Capitol building there are permanent exhibits as well as visiting exhibits.

I am looking forward to attending again this year and hope to see you there!