Tuesday, October 18, 2016

NEW SLPL WEBSITE

Our new website is up and running.


This blog has moved to a new address--see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

HISTORIC CEMETERIES

Our Fine Arts Department is thrilled to begin the second half of their lecture series, "Architecture Around the World", in September. This series is a partnership between the St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Steedman Architectural Library of SLPL.

First up will be Amanda Burke of the Missouri State Preservation Office speaking on "Historic Cemeteries: Maintenance, Documentation, Restoration, and Funding". It will be held on Tuesday, September 27. The Steedman Room will be open for viewing starting at 6 p.m.; the talk will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Historic Cemeteries talk poster

NOTE: Because of the Fantasy Maps exhibit in our Carnegie Room, this talk will be held in the "Training Room", a room that located on the same (second) floor as the Steedman Room and Fine Arts Dept.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

DPLA PRIMARY SOURCE SETS

While Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture via primary sources, I think they will prove useful for anyone beginning to explore a covered topic. Materials are drawn from the online exhibits of libraries, archives, and museums across the United States, and can include letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more. Each set includes a topic overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide with discussion questions and classroom activities.

I took a closer look at the U.S. History category. Numerous topics are included that may interest genealogists, among them:
  • Full Steam Ahead: the Steam Engine and Transportation in the 19th Century
  • The Great Migration (1910-1930)
  • The Homestead Acts
  • The Underground Railroad and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
  • The War of 1812
  • The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878
  • Women in the Civil War
  • World War I: America Heads to War
  • World War II: Women on the Homefront

Additional Primary Source Sets cover:
  • World History
  • African Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • Latino Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Migration
  • Women

Information of this sort can prove very useful as we try to solve research roadblocks, or flesh out a dry-as-dust family history. Take a look!




HAPPY DAYS

Ancestry.com includes many data collections of interest to genealogists. One that is likely to interest many of our genealogists is Happy Days, the official newspaper of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps.

The CCC was created by Congress in 1933. It provided jobs for unemployed, single men (most 17-25 years of age). These men worked on conservation projects like road and trail building, tree and shrub planting, erosion control, and also responded to natural disasters like floods and forest fires. By time the program ended in 1942, the CCC had established work camps in every state, and provided employment for 3 million young American men (and 8,500 young American women, who toiled in camps known by their slang name, "She-She-She" camps).

Sign for CCC companies in the Badlands

Happy Days was a privately owned newspaper that was available for purchase in CCC camps, or could be mailed to the folks back home. It cost 3 cents per week if purchased in a camp exchange, 5 cents per week if mailed back home. This Ancestry.com record set includes weekly issues from 1933 through 1940. It is browsable only (not indexed at this time).

Happy Days was intended to serve as a source of information and entertainment for CCC enrollees. Each issue included articles on camp work projects and accomplishments, camp leisure activities like sports, involvement of CCC enrollees in disaster relief, and hanges in the CCC administration and higher-level personnel. Each issue also included editorials and a few advertisements.

Each issue also includes black and white photos, illustrations, and several cartoons drawn by staff artists. The photos can picture camp buildings, recruits engaged in camp work projects and leisure activities, and CCC officials and higher-level personnel. Photos of individuals are generally labeled; group shots are generally not labeled. Photos are generally fairly good quality, although contrast can be poor at times.

Monday, September 12, 2016

COLLAGE OF CAPE COUNTY

Our genealogy collection concentrates on the State of Missouri, and states and countries that furnished large numbers of migrants to Missouri. As part of that research focus, we collect printed genealogical materials for various Missouri counties, including family histories, record compilations, county and local histories, and publications of county genealogical and historical societies.

One newsletter we receive is Collage of Cape County (Cape Girardeau County Genealogical Society). This quarterly newsletter originates from the society’s headquarters in Jackson, Missouri. Newsletters are sixteen pages long (fifteen pages of content and one page for mailing info). Contents generally consist of family stories, transcriptions of county records, plus a list of recent society acquisitions and an index for the issue at hand.

Issues of this newsletter for 2011-present are available in the Genealogy Room. Our collection also includes several Cape Girardeau County histories and record compilations, which you can locate by searching our Catalog for these terms (case does not matter):

cape girardeau county missouri genealogy
cape girardeau county missouri history

CCHS MUSEUM NEWSLETTER

Our genealogy collection concentrates on the State of Missouri, and states and countries that furnished large numbers of migrants to Missouri. As part of that research focus, we collect printed genealogical materials for various Missouri counties, including family histories, record compilations, county and local histories, and publications of county historical and genealogical societies.

One newsletter we receive is CCHS Museum Newsletter (Chariton County Historical Society). This quarterly newsletter originates from the society’s museum in Salisbury, Missouri. Newsletters are ten pages long (nine pages of content and one page for mailing info). Contents generally consist of transcriptions of newspaper articles, short articles about Chariton County history, plus a list of society acquisitions and pubications.

Issues of the newsletter for 2012-present are available in the Genealogy Room. Our collection also includes several Chariton County histories and record compilations, which you can locate by searching our Catalog for these terms (case does not matter):

chariton county missouri genealogy
chariton county missouri history

AUDRAIN COUNTY AREA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER

Our genealogy collection concentrates on the State of Missouri, and states and countries that furnished large numbers of migrants to Missouri. As part of that research focus, we collect printed genealogical materials for various Missouri counties, including family histories, record compilations, county and local histories, and publications of county historical and genealogical societies.

One newsletter we receive is Audrain County Area Genealogical Society Newsletter. This quarterly newsletter originates from society headquarters in Mexico, Missouri. Newsletters are eight pages long (seven pages of content and one page for mailing info). Contents generally consist of material reprinted from local newspapers, but can also include queries plus info about society meetings, events, officers, new members, and deaths of long-time members.

Issues of the newsletter for 2007-present are available in the Genealogy Room. Our collection also includes several Audrain County histories and record compilations, which you can locate by searching our Catalog for these terms (case does not matter):

audrain county missouri genealogy
audrain county missouri history

Thursday, September 1, 2016

FREE GENEALOGY CONFERENCE!

That's right, folks--this upcoming conference is free (including lunch!). They would not refuse a generous donation from you, but that will be a matter for you and your conscience to sort out. Now, I am one of the presenters, so of course this will be a quality affair...

ANCESTRY.COM FREE WEEKEND

Access to occupation records on Ancestry.com will be free now until September 5, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET (they do require registration for a free temporary Ancestry account). After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the occupation records using an Ancestry paid membership. You may view a full list of occupation records via the search page (they’re including federal and state censuses in the list!).



Remember, you can access Ancestry Library Edition for free any time at Central Library or any of our branches!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

ANCESTRY.COM SPOTLIGHT: U.S. NAVY SUPPORT BOOKS, 1901-1902, 1917-2010

Navy support books are "yearbooks" for naval units based on land rather than onboard ship. For example, this collection includes books for the U.S. Navy Preparatory School, Navy ROTC programs at various colleges and universities, U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School, U.S. Naval Training Centers, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, mobile construction battalions, recruiting depots, naval air stations, and others.

Content of support books varies. Some contain labeled individual head shots or group photos of unit members, while others contain only candid (unlabeled) photographs of unit members at work and play. Some contain photos documenting significant events in the history of that naval unit, and most include short biographies of prominent currently-serving officers. Photos are sometimes color, sometimes black and white (sometimes both types in one support book). A majority of these books date from World War II era forward.

It is possible to search or browse these books. The following searches are possible:

  • First & Middle Name
  • Last Name
  • Keyword
  • Year (covered by Support Book)
  • School, Station, or Unit

You can also browse by:

  • Location (state or territory)
  • City
  • Year (covered by Support Book)


I browsed through a Support Book for the Parris Island Recruit Depot (South Carolina), 1973. This 128 page item includes a photo and bio sketch of the commanding officer, an historical sketch of Parris Island, and a photo essay (in color) concerning the training of Marine Second Battalion, Platoon 226. This unit began training on 19 March 1973, and graduated on 5 June 1973. The photo essay begins with the arrival of these recruits at Parris Island, and ends with their graduation ceremony. These photos are not labeled, but are generally sharp and clear, so that it would be fairly easy to identify recruits of interest. Next are labeled black and white head shots of training officers and enlisted men, followed by labeled head shots of graduating recruits.


ANCESTRY.COM SPOTLIGHT: U.S. Navy Cruise Books, 1918-2009


This data collection within Ancestry.com contains U.S. Navy cruise books for various ships and years from 1919 to 2009. It includes volumes in the Navy Department Library, which owns the nation’s largest collection of cruise books. You can locate this collection by searching in Ancestry’s Card Catalog using Navy in Title or Keyword.

Cruise books are similar in some ways to high school yearbooks. They are put together by volunteers on board ship to commemorate a particular deployment. They generally include a history of the vessel in question, plus labeled portraits of high-ranking officers. There is generally a biographical sketch of the current commanding officer. Some cruise books also include portraits of sailors and other personnel aboard the ship, accompanied by the individual’s surname and naval rate. When provided, portraits are generally organized alphabetically by surname within each division or department. Other features usually include candid photographs (often not labeled) of crew members at work and recreation.

I browsed through a cruise book for the U.S.S. Missouri (BB 63, 1946). It included a section on the commissioning of the vessel, a history of its cruise, and a special section on the acceptance of the Japanese surrender on the vessel, which was anchored at the time in Tokyo Bay. There is also a section on President Truman’s visit to the U.S.S. Missouri while it was anchored in New York Harbor after its return from the Pacific.



Cruise books are not official Navy publications, so the Navy does not sell or republish these books. This can make copies of some cruise books, especially older volumes, rare and difficult to locate.

This collection is searchable by ship name, ship ID, year, and name of crew member.

Given that photographs are often unlabeled, it may be necessary to page through cruise books for vessels on which a sailor was stationed should an index search prove unsuccessful. You can sometimes discover which vessels a WWII-era sailor was stationed on using a separate Ancestry.com data collection, U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949.

Friday, August 26, 2016

YOUR GENEALOGY TODAY (JUL/AUG 2016)



Your Genealogy Today 2:3 (Jul/Aug 2016) includes a number of articles of likely interest to our genealogists.   

Picture This! (p. 13) discusses use of photos on blogs, websites, and in printed publications. The short answer to “Can I use this photo?” is it all depends…

Breaking through Brick Walls with Bricklayers’ Union Records (pp. 14-20) discusses resources available for persons researching bricklayer ancestors in the U.S. and Canada.

America Discovers America: the Federal Writers’ Project (pp.24-26) looks this 1930s work relief program that employed thousands of writers, editors, historians, and researchers, and produced more than 1,200 publications.

Finding the Reeds (pp. 31-35) shows how census records can be used to help track the movements of a family that rarely stayed in one place for very long.

How to Approach Family History Research Like an Historian (pp. 38-39) demonstrates how genealogists can employ techniques similar to those utilized by professional historians in order to create more engaging and better-documented family histories.

INTERNET GENEALOGY (AUG/SEPT 2016)




Internet Genealogy 11:3 (Aug/Sept 2016) includes a number of articles of likely interest to our genealogists.
 
Researching Northern Ireland (pp. 7-11) outlines the steps and sources that helped one researcher trace his McGinn family ancestors.
 
Tippling and Temperance in the Family (pp. 13-16) looks at records associated with alcohol and the temperance movement that researchers may find useful when taking a closer look at the lives of certain ancestors.
 
The International Classification of Diseases: a Key for Deciphering Death Certificates (pp. 18-21) looks at this system of medical coding that can sometimes assist the researcher in determining cause of death.
 
A First Look at rootstrust (pp. 22-26) is a review of a new desktop genealogy application that works cross-platform, i.e., with all major operating systems.
 
Create Your Own Online Family Archive (pp.47-49) demonstrates how genealogists can use Omeka.net to upload, organize, and share video and audio files, images, and information with others on the web. A basic personal account is free, although users can choose pay options that provide additional themes, storage, and programmatic options.

INTERNET GENEALOGY (JUN/JUL 2016)




 
 
Internet Genealogy 11:2 (Jun/Jul 2016) includes a number of articles of likely interest to our genealogists.
 
Free UK Genealogy (pp. 12-13) looks at three valuable free websites that offer lots of information, including indexes of births, marriages, and deaths, historic parish registers, and 19th century English and Welsh censuses.
 
Tell Their Stories! (pp. 14-16) discusses how FamilySearch.org is helping researchers to preserve and share the stories of their ancestors’ lives.
 
Online Genealogy Sources for Researching the Great Depression (pp. 18-21) enumerates some easily accessible records that can help you flesh out the lives of Depression-era (1929-1941) American ancestors. For example:
  • 1930 U.S. Census
  • 1940 U.S. Census
  • State census (1935 available for a few states)
  • School census (exist for a few states)
  • City directories and telephone books
  • Civilian Conservation Corps records
  • Farm Security Administration photos
  • Office of War Information photos
  • Historic American Buildings Survey
  • Federal Writers Project
  • State Emergency Relief Program database (OK)
  • Old Age Pension database (ID)
The author provides a description of and URL for each of these potential genealogical gold mines.
 
Supreme Court Cases and Your Family History (pp. 42-44) looks at legal reference materials that may offer research results of great interest to family historians.

FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE (JUL/AUG 2016)





Family Tree Magazine 17:4 (Jul/Aug 2016) includes a number of articles of likely interest to our genealogists.

The End of the Paper Trail (pp. 21-26) provides 12 strategies for reducing your paper clutter and sharpening your genealogical focus.

Getting There from Here (pp. 27-32) shows you how to efficiently tackle research problems by determining your destination and mapping out a route to get there.

Workbook: Local Histories (pp. 33-42) demonstrates how to locate and make the most of county and local histories in your family research endeavors.

Ancestry Boutique (pp. 42-47) looks beyond the big collections on Ancestry.com (like census records and the public trees) to highlight nine lesser-known “specialty” databases. Included are tips on using the Card Catalog, and tips on doing effective keyword searches.

On the Right Track (pp. 54-61) provides research tips and useful websites for tracking down elusive South American ancestors.

Genealogical vs. Genetic Family Trees (pp. 62-63) explains the differences between these types of trees, and dispels some of the more common misconceptions about genetic trees.

Export Your Tree from Family Tree Maker (pp. 70-71) demonstrates step-by-step how to export a family tree file from Family Tree Maker 2012 or Family Tree Maker 2014.


AMERICAN SPIRIT (JULY/AUGUST 2016)




American Spirit 150:4 (Jul/Aug 2016) includes a number of articles of likely interest to our genealogists.

Photosharing Etiquette (p. 10) provides five guidelines for sharing images on the web.

The Regulation Movement (pp. 26-30) details conflicts in colonial North Carolina between farmers and corrupt local officials over British laws, policies, and taxes. The conflicts took the form of petitions for reform, disruption of local courts, and even an honest-to-goodness battle (1771).

Playing in the Colonies (pp. 32-35) looks at toys and games colonial-era children used to amuse themselves.

Marylanders at the Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill (pp. 41-48) discusses a little-known battle in South Carolina that pitted colonial patriots against Loyalists and British regulars. The author believes that the battle deserves wider recognition since it helped set the stage for eventual Patriot victory in that state.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

WHAT'S IN YOUR DNA?



Registration is now closed--thanks to all who registered!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

THE CIVIL WAR ONLINE


The following magazine articles are available online to our cardholders in the History Reference Center database.

5 REBELLIOUS LONG ARMS. Civil War Times (August 2016) Vol. 55, Issue 4.

Southern arms manufacturers turned out thousands of serviceable, reliable muzzle-loading muskets to issue to Rebel troops, including the five discussed in this article.

TEMPEST AT COOL SPRING. Civil War Times (August 2016) Vol. 55, Issue 4.

Union pursuers caught up with Confederate soldiers under Jubal Early’s command along the Shenandoah River in July 1864. A bloody contest ensued.

THE SOUTH'S ACHILLES HEEL. Civil War Times (October 2016) Vol. 55, Issue 5.

How did the South’s agricultural strength become a devastating weakness? R. Douglas Hurt, head of the History Department at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, tackled that question in his 2015 book Agriculture and the Confederacy: Policy, Productivity, and Power in the Civil War South (UNC Press). His research is the first comprehensive look at the topic since 1965. A Civil War Times staffer interviews Hurt in this article.

THE DARK TURN. Civil War Times (October 2016) Vol. 55, Issue 5.

It has become fashionable among scholars to emphasize the "dark side" of the Civil War. Troubled by what they consider a literature gone stale with sanitized questions and topics, these historians seek to revitalize the field by examining the conflict's often disturbing underside. The “overlooked” war, they note, featured brutality, atrocities, cowardice, vicious guerrilla activity, and physical and psychological wounds that left many veterans profoundly damaged.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

CENTRAL LIBRARY HIGHLIGHTS--AUGUST 2016

Click on image for larger version.

ARDENNES 1944: THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE

http://downloadables.lib.overdrive.com/25243BB9-84E9-4343-882D-F50C84B489B3/10/50/en/ContentDetails.htm?id=25F7AA13-0A14-4C6E-A5A5-6715A35B2E4E
Click on image to be taken to Overdrive page for this eBook.

Monday, August 1, 2016

WHAT'S IN YOUR DNA?

Click on image for larger version.

You may register for this program via our Calendar of Events.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

YOUR GENEALOGY TODAY (May/June 2016)

Your Genealogy Today (May/June 2016) contains several articles of likely interest to our genealogists:

The Genealogical “Hail Mary” Search: The author notes that many persons researching German ancestors have trouble discovering the name of the place in Germany where those ancestors lived. He believes that some of those persons could solve that genealogical riddle by making use of surname distribution maps. Such maps will prove especially useful for persons researching ancestors with uncommon surnames, although they offer the potential to help anyone researching an elusive German ancestor. The author discusses three online surname distribution maps (two free, one subscription).

Gaelic Prefix Surnames: If you have puzzled over some of the surnames you’ve encountered while researching ancestors from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, this article should at last set you straight. Now you’ll know the meaning of the surname prefixes Ap, De, Fitz, Gil, Kil, and O’; and the (surprisingly slight) difference between Mac and Mc.

Solving Mysteries in Cemeteries: The author notes that cemeteries are often critical sources of information for genealogists. Knowledge about gravestone iconography and conventions can sometimes lead to breakthroughs that jump start our genealogical research.

Interpreting DNA Test Results: First the bad news: it can be difficult to determine the relationhip between two persons who are not immediate family members using only the results of a DNA test. The author notes that first cousins can often vary greatly in terms of how many centimorgans (cM) they share. But DNA tests can provide a good place to begin your research--and traditional genealogical research methods can then help you convert possible relatives into definite relations. 

AMERICAN ANCESTORS (Spring/Summer 2016)

American Ancestors (Spring/Summer 2016) contains several articles of likely interest to our genealogists:

Choosing the Right Genealogical Software for You: The author believes that choice of genealogical software is very much an idiosyncratic decision. Features on a given program that you consider crucial for a genealogy application may well be dismissed by another user as “bells and whistles.” The author does note some essential features that every genealogy application ought to have, and then provides a handy Genealogical Software Comparison Chart.

Becoming More Expert in Genealogy: The author explains how a change in perspective has made genealogical research easier for him. While “brick walls” used to be a source of great frustration, he notes that they seem easier to solve now that he views them as a chance to become “more expert” on a particular genealogical topic. He discusses several approaches he’s developed that usually help him solve genealogical riddles.

Using Satellite Imagery to Connect the Past with the Present: a Case Study: The author notes that advances in technology mean that genealogists have numerous mapping tools that they can use to provide family histories with a unique visual dimension that can’t be conveyed by words alone. He illustrates his point by discussing how he used various mapping tools to research his mother’s Danish-Prussian lineage.

First to Enlist: Researching a Family Civil War Story: We’ve all got (or have heard) genealogical tall tales: Great-Grandma was a Cherokee princess; our family name was changed at Ellis Island; our family is related to (name a celebrity) in some fashion. Such tales are usually fairly easy to disprove, but sometimes doing so requires a fair bit of research. The author discusses his quest to determine if his great-great uncle was the first man to enlist in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MAPS AND CARTOGRAPHY @ YOUR LIBRARY

Has our Fantasy Maps exhibit made you curious about maps and mapmakers? We've got lots of maps at the Library, and numerous books about the people who make them--click on the image for more information.

USING THE LIBRARY IN YOUR JAMMIES

Click on the image to find out how you can access Library materials from your easy chair.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NEW ENGLAND BOUND

Click on image to be taken to this eBook's Overdrive page.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

NEITHER SNOW NOR RAIN

Click on image to be taken to this eBook's Overdrive page.

CONNECTOGRAPHY

Click on image to be taken to this eBook's Overdrive page.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

USING THE SLPL CATALOG TO DO GENEALOGY SEARCHES

Let’s assume that you are researching ancestors who lived in Madison County, Illinois. How should you go about finding materials in our collection that might aid in that endeavor?

You can find our online catalog here. Click on Catalog, and you will be taken to a page that has a navigation bar with these fields (each has a drop-down menu) near the top of the page:

  • Everything     All Fields     [Search box]     Search     Advanced Search
Everything allows you these choices:
  • Library Search
  • Downloadables
 All Fields allows you these choices:
  • Author
  • Subject
  • ISBN
  • Title
  • Local Call Number
Search allows a Basic Search. You can then:

Limit Search Results
  • Books
  • Serials
  • Other
  • Electronic Resources
  • Microform    
You can also opt to do an Advanced Search, which allows you these options:

Find items that have:
  • All these words:
  • This exact phrase:
Don’t show items that have:  
  • These unwanted words:
Additional limits:
  • Format type
  • Language
  • Preferred pick-up      
Doing a Basic Search for genealogy gives these results (search terms are in italics):
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>genealogy----- 15,260 results
  • Everything>>>Subject>>>>genealogy------ 10,074 results
  • Everything>>>Title>>>>>>genealogy------- 1,155 results
These results tell us that changes in drop-down menu choices can in fact bring about major changes in our search results.

Let’s try to locate some items that may help us research those Madison County, Illinois ancestors (remember, case does not matter in our search terms).
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois genealogy----- 17 results
  • Everything>>>Subjects>>>madison county illinois genealogy----- 13 results
As you can see, it’s probably best when searching for genealogical materials relating to a particular county to stick with Everything and All Fields.

Changing one of our search terms can change our search results:
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois genealogy----- 17 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois history----- 10 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois maps----- 6 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois biography----- 5 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois family----- 3 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois newspapers----- 2 results
You can also do this more general search:
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>”madison countyillinois ----- 83 results
As you can see, it fetches more search results, but includes many reports of government offices that may not be of interest to the genealogist.

By the way, search terms provided above can also be used when searching Worldcat.org,  should you choose to cast a wider net (Worldcat.org searches the catalogs of 10,000 libraries worldwide, including SLPL).

Saturday, June 11, 2016

INTERNET GENEALOGY (JUNE-JULY 2016)

Internet Genealogy 11:2 (June-July 2016) offers several articles of possible interest to our genealogists. Of special interest:

Online Genealogy Sources for Researching the Great Depression (pp.18-21): A discussion of some easily accessible records that can help you flesh out the lives of Depression-era (1929-1941) American ancestors. For example:
  • 1930 U.S. Census
  • 1940 U.S. Census
  • State census (1935 available for a few states)
  • School census (exist for a few states)
  • City directories and telephone books
  • Civilian Conservation Corps records
  • Farm Security Administration photos
  • Office of War Information photos
  • Historic American Buildings Survey
  • Federal Writers Project
  • State Emergency Relief Program database (OK)
  • Old Age Pension database (ID)
 The author provides a description of and URL for each of these potential genealogical gold mines.

YOUR GENEALOGY (MARCH-APRIL 2016)

Your Genealogy 2:1 (March-April 2016) offers several articles of possible interest to our genealogists. Of special interest:

World War II from the Battlefield (pp.13-18): You may already have obtained your relative’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF)—or discovered that one does not exist for your persons of interest. There’s no need to stop there, however: there are almost certainly additional records created about military unit or units he or she served in that can shed additional light on the military career of the veteran in question. Such records can include:
  • Army and Army Air Corps Monthly Personnel Rosters
  • Army and Army Air Corps Morning Reports
  • Army Air Corps Accident Reports
  • Army and Army Air Corps Missing Air Crew Reports
  • Navy and Marine Corps Muster Rolls
  • Army After-Action Reports
  • Marine Mission Reports
  • Naval War Diaries
  • Naval Deck Logs
  • Air Force Award Cards
The author explains what each type of record contains and where they can be located.

The New York Municipal Archives (pp.41-44): I expected an article about the numerous and varied holdings of this venerable institution, but what I got was actually an account of the author’s search for information about his elusive Jewish ancestors. That said, the article is in fact quite entertaining and does provide information about some of the resources available at this amazing archive.

FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE (MAY-JUNE 2016)

Family Tree Magazine 17:3 (May-June 2016) offers several articles of possible interest to our genealogists. Of special interest:

Hiding in the Census (pp.16-22): Can’t find your ancestor in the U.S. census? You’re not alone! An expert offers seven tips to help you surmount common obstacles faced by persons using the census.

Private Property (pp. 28-32): As you surf the Web, you may be attracting hackers and trackers the way fragrant cheese attracts mice. Here are ten tips that can help you surf safely and securely.

Military Service Records (pp.33-40): This month’s Workbook is a very helpful guide to 18th and 19th century American military records, especially Compiled Military Service Records (CMSRs). What are they; what do CMSRs for veterans of particular wars contain; and where can these records be found? Included are a list of important websites and a Military Service Records Worksheet.

Mapping It Out (pp.42-49): Are you researching ancestors from Poland, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic? If you need help with geography and cartography, you’ve come to the right place! This article looks at each country in turn, explains its geographic and administrative divisions, and notes online sources for historical maps and gazetteers.

Estimating Relationships with Shared Centimorgans (pp.56-57): The title may sound like gibberish to you now, but after reading it you will likely find it much easier to estimate degree of kinship based on the amount of centimorgans (a unit for measuring genetic linkage) you share with a potential cousin.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

PROQUEST LIBRARY GUIDES

ProQuest is the parent company for many of the reference databases St. Louis Public Library subscribes to. To name but a few:

*  Ancestry LE
*  Fold3.com
*  HeritageQuest Online.com
*  Historical Newspapers (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
*  Sanborn Maps

Some of these, like Ancestry LE, can only be used at Central Library or our branches. Others, like Fold3.com and HeritageQuest, can be used from home by persons with valid SLPL cards. 
http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/article240098943.asp
ProQuest provides lots of training materials that can help you become a better, smarter user of their products. Go here to get started: 

http://proquest.libguides.com/genealogy_home

REFERENCE USA

ReferenceUSA is the premier source of business and residential information for reference and research. ReferenceUSA offers the most up-to-date data available in the market. In fact, their business and consumer databases are continuously updated from more than 5,000 public sources. With their help, you will be able to:

*  Find jobs by job skills, location, and industry
*  Find business opportunities
*  Research business executives
*  View historical market trends
*  Track down addresses and phone numbers
*  Discover news articles for research

St. Louis Public Library subscribes to ReferenceUSA, so persons with a valid SLPL card can use it from home.
 http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/article240098943.asp
 Click on image to be taken to our reference databases landing page.

Friday, May 20, 2016

ELECTRONIC CITY HALL

https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/city-laws/
Click image for more info.

SETTING AND USING YOUR PIN

http://stlouispubliclibrary.net/slpl/library/article240091686.asp
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LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR...

http://www.slcl.org/using_the_library/library_cards
If you can get a free card with any of the above libraries, you are also eligible to get a free card at the other two libraries, thanks to the magic of reciprocal borrowing agreements...

Monday, May 16, 2016

HERITAGEQUEST ONLINE

If you are actively researching the history of your family, you may already be aware that the Library subscribes to HeritageQuest. a genealogy reference database. Unlike Ancestry.com, however, HeritageQuest can be accessed from home by persons with a valid Library card.

If you haven’t accessed HeritageQuest either here at the Library or from home recently, however, it’s probably time for a second look. They recently made significant additions to their already substantial database, and some of that material may be just what you’ve been looking for.

Recent additions include a number of map sets:

U.S. Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918: You can do a name search, or browse by state and county.

U.S. Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898: You can do a name search, or browse by state, principal meridian, and township and range.

Their map coverage also includes the Map Guide to the Federal Census, 1790-1920, and U.S. Enumeration District Maps and Descriptions, 1940.

If you are researching immigrants, HeritageQuest now includes numerous collections of foreign records. Coverage is most extensive for European countries, as you might expect, but there is also significant coverage for other continents/geographic areas, including Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, Africa, India, and Asia.

European countries with significant coverage include Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Channel Islands, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Wales.

Foreign records are generally searchable (as opposed to browse only), but are ordinarily recorded in the native language, and are best searched using name and location spellings commonly used in that language.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

OLDER AMERICANS MONTH CELEBRATION

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Friday, April 22, 2016

VETERANS WRITING WORKSHOP

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

CALLING POETS & WRITERS!

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

BUILDING INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS

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MEET CHRIS GRABENSTEIN

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WATERCOLOR EXHIBIT

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CENTRAL CINEMA

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BLANK SLATE AUTHORS MEET & GREET

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

VETERANS WRITING WORKSHOP RECEPTION

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ARCHITECTURE AROUND THE WORLD

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BEER, BRATS, & BASEBALL

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AUTHORS @ YOUR LIBRARY

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

GERMAN GENEALOGY RESEARCH

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A previous post on this blog includes additional details.

You can register online for this free event here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Friday, February 12, 2016

GERMAN GENEALOGY RESEARCH: BEYOND THE BASICS

Saturday, March 05, 2016
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Central Library – Auditorium (basement level)

This program, co-sponsored with the Germanic Genealogy Group of the German American Heritage Society of St. Louis, will be a day-long seminar comprised of classes on different aspects of German genealogical research.   The speaker for all four classes will be Roger P. Minert, Ph.D., A.G.

Schedule

8:30-9:00    Open for Registration Check-In

9:00-9:15    Opening Remarks and Introductions

9:15-10:30  First Session:  Cemeteries in Central Europe

10:30-11:00 Break

11:00-12:15 Second Session:  Deciphering Handwriting in German Documents

12:15-1:30   Lunch (at our café, or several lunch options on nearby Washington Avenue)

1:30-2:45     Third Session:  Communicating with Agencies and Individuals in Europe

2:45-3:15     Break

3:15-4:30     Fourth Session:  German Census Records

Please enter through the Locust Street entrance as this event begins before Library hours.

You can register online via our Events Calendar, or call us and we can register you for this special event (314-539-0385). Registration is required!


Downtown restaurants list: http://www.diningstl.com/Downtown.htm

There will be limited free parking available for this seminar on our surface lot at 15th and Olive Streets (NW corner). The gate will be up, so you won’t need to get a token to leave that lot after the seminar. Remember, though—first come, first served—and parking is no longer free at meters on Saturdays (so car pool or use Metro-Link if at all possible).

Other parking options at Central Library: http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/central_parking.asp


Questions, or to register: cmillar@slpl.org or 314-539-0385.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

SLPL REFERENCE DATABASES--BIOGRAPHY

INTRODUCTION: For the benefit of its cardholders, the Library maintains subscriptions to many high-quality web-based reference products not openly offered on the Internet.

Access to this premium web-based content is one of the privileges of holding a St. Louis Public Library Card. Some content is only available on reference computers at Central Library and our branches; some databases (like those listed below) are also available from home using just your library card and a PIN (more info on PINs).

http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/article240098943.asp
Biography: Search over 300,000 biographies on more than 220,000 people from nearly 80 respected Gale Group sources.

Discovering: Search in-depth reference content for the core curriculum areas of Literature, History, Biographies, Science, and Social Studies.

MAPS OF MISSOURI

http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/article240109024.asp
Click on image to view this free online exhibit.

CELEBRATING THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION (1904)

http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/article240109024.asp
Click on the image to view this free online exhibit.

AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES

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