Saturday, August 16, 2014

NEBRASKA --- host to the Family History Expo

In less than a month, the Midwest Family History Expo will be coming to Kearney, Nebraska.  It begins at the Holiday Inn Convention Center on Sept 12th at noon and ends at 4:30 pm on Sept 13th.

There will be vendors and exhibiters and speakers and people talking GENEALOGY.  You won't want to miss out on this event.  I will be speaking on both days.  My topics are:  Organizing Your Genealogy Mess (and who doesn't have a mess?); Prose on the Prairie:  Letters, Dairies and Journals; Nebraska Homestead Records Online; Westward Migrations:  Midwest to the Plains States; Annulments, Separations and Divorces; Am I an American Now? --Becoming Naturalized.

James L. Tanner will be at the Expo to give you all kinds of advise about, Ancestry, Google and  If you have German ancestry, you won't want to miss Ruth Ellen Maness, AG who speaks about German websites, research in German records and even about Scandinavian church records.

Artlene Eakle returns to speak on New England research, immigration/emigration records and the Scots-Irish.  Brad and Sharon Monson will be lending their expertise about proving your pedigree, tips for beginners, Google and scanning photos and documents.  In addition,
Beth Sparrow of Nebraska will be speaking about Find A Grave and USGenWeb.  There are others along with a great panel discussion, Museums and their Genealogical Value.

Get your reservations made and mark your calendar.  This will be an event you will not want to miss. See you in Kearney in September.

Ruby ... bound to be gold in this event!  
Holiday Inn
110 S. 2nd Avenue
Kearney, NE 68847 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Nebraska ... where genealogy gold shines!

The horse trotted north out of Kansas and we are now in Nebraska.  Feels like home!  The saddle bag has been lightened.  All of my books, Genealogical Research in Nebraska, revised edition, have been sold.  The mouse suggested that I make a digital copy of it for sale on my web page.  We arrived here in Nebraska much lighter, so it's time to mine for genealogy gold.

First things first!  Genealogical Research in Nebraska, revised edition contains over 545 pages.  There are hundreds of URL links and the mouse said your mouse should be able to click on any of them and find gold.  You can purchase that in PDF format on my website, Genealogy Works,  for $24.95.  Hurry and do this so you can follow me around looking for Nebraska gold!

I suppose the best place to start is the Nebraska State Historical Society at 1500 R Street in Lincoln, NE.  The mouse suggested we get there before the Huskers begin their football season because that society is located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.  There might not be a place to tie up my horse if we wait too long.
Nebraska State Historical Society

What a great surprise that I have found a list of Nebraska newspapers on microfilm.  They also have the Nebraska newspapers there on microfilm.   Then I discovered their Photo Collections.  They consist of Prairie Settlement, Nebraska Memories, Willa Cather Archives, Omaha Indian Heritage and Plains Indian Ledger Art.  There's a lot in that building, so best you look for yourself.

My next stop is at the Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library.  It is at the Union College campus at 3800 S. 48th Street in Lincoln, NE.  The Lincoln-Lancaster Genealogical Society (LLCCS) library collection is there.  Take a peak at what is in that collection and you will undoubtedly find some gold nuggets.

The trip here from Kansas has done me in.  I will let you know about more nuggets in a few days.

Ruby --- mining for genealogy gold in Nebraska

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nuggets in those digital books

I am about to leave Kansas.  The horse and mouse decided to spend another day resting.  That gave me plenty of time to get my two books into digital format and ready for genealogists to buy and download.  Both books are in PDF format and can be read with Adobe Acrobat.

Iowa Genealogical Research contains 418 pages.  It sells for $22.95 in digital format.  Be sure to follow the directions and put it in the cart before paying for it.  There are hundreds of URL links that will keep researchers very busy.

Genealogical Research in Nebraska, revised edition contains 545 pages.  It sells for $24.95 in digital format.  Follow the directions for purchasing it also.  This books contains hundreds of URL links.

Stay tuned for my travels ... the horse and mouse are ready to take off again.

Ruby --- mining genealogy gold and leaving nuggets in digital format.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Kansas Has Genealogy Gold

My trusty companions, the horse and mouse, have turned me south and west of Michigan.  We crossed some a mighty big rivers and ended up in Kansas.  This state promises to be interesting and should keep me busy all weekend.

So far I have been looking for gold at the Kansas Historical Society.  They have a section devoted to Kansas Memory.  The mouse clicked on Osborne County and discovered all kinds of photographs and documents.  Now the mouse wants to click on all of the counties!  The Historical Society's Kansas Digital Newspaper program is interesting.  There are over 200,000 Kansas newspapers available (free) at Chronicling America-Library of Congress.  The horse and mouse are excited that we are turning east and heading to Washington, DC.  There is no need since all that gold is right here for the mouse to find.

There is still gold nuggets to be found in Topeka, so I hunker down to start diggin'.  I discovered the Kansas Military Index and it was shining nice and bright with gold.  I am jumping for joy because there are indexes to all kinds of military records, such as the Kansas 19th Cavalry Enlistments, 1868-1869. There is also an index to Civil War veterans in Kansas.

I met up with another genealogist who was mining for gold.  She whispered that I should look for nuggets in Osborne County, Kansas.  It seems that the library there has some buried nuggets just waiting for genealogists.  The horse, mouse and I head for the Osborne Public Library in the town of Osborne.  It is a nice looking place and I hitch the horse up to a sign that is for handicapped.  Sure enough there is gold in that library.  I discover the digitized newspapers that begin in 1876.

Dodge City seems like an interesting place that just might have gold.  I hope I don't have to fight off gunslingers to get to it.  The Kansas Genealogical Society has a library there.  They are joined by the Kansas Society Daughters of the American Revolution in depositing gold there.  I stumble across an index to obituaries and jump for joy.  They begin in 1870.  There is just enough here for me to stick around Dodge City for days.

See you next week!

Ruby ... finding genealogy gold in Kansas

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Michigan ... where there's Genealogy Gold

I can't leave this state yet until I find more gold.   It is shimmering through the trees and the rocks.  Makes a person want to just stay forever.

A gal named Kim gave me a tip on finding some gold, so the mouse and I set off real quick to see what was there.  Sure enough that gal Kim was right!  It didn't take the mouse long to find The Dibean Michigan Marriage Index.  It's full of gold!  Every county in Michigan is listed, along with corrections and additions and new marriages.  Even the mouse bounced around with joy.

Then I discovered gold at the Michigan Department of Health.   It was their Genealogical Death Indexing System where I found it.  There are only thirty years worth of information on it, 1867-1897, but I found some nuggets.

As long as the stable boy tends to my horse, the mouse and I travel along the trails of Michigan.  It was on one of those travels that I discovered more nuggets at the Michigan County Histories and Atlases.    The mouse whispered in my ear that I should let it click on "Browse Michigan County Histories and Atlases."  The diggin' is so good there I was shouting and doing a happy dance.

I may never leave this beautiful state.  There is a Western Michigan Genealogical Society that has Online Searchable Databases.  The mouse said he would just take over and let me rest a spell.  So I leaned back on my saddle bag and let him lead the way.

After a hearty meal of  stew and biscuits, the mouse and I took off for a place called Brighton.  It was there I discovered more nuggets at the Brighton District Library.  They have indexes to marriage notices, obituaries, marriage records, cemetery records and death notices and records.

You will have to just stick with me through all this traveling around.  I may stay in Michigan a bit longer and then you may find me somewhere else.

Ruby ... still mining gold in Michigan

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Finding Genealogy Gold in Michigan

It was fun spending a few days in Tennessee.  The horse and mouse won and have forced me to leave for Michigan.  That's a bit further north and you won't believe the gold I've found.

They have what is called a Michigan Genealogical Council.  The mouse showed me all kinds of links at what is called a sidebar.  I hardly knew where to begin.  First I clicked on Michigan Genealogical and Historical Societies.  A big bunch of those so people in Michigan must like to do genealogical research ... what I call diggin' for genealogy gold.  It is such a large state with so many societies, I hardly knew where to look, but I settled for the Jackson County Michigan Genealogical Society.  Pure gold there!  They have death indexes 1886-1899 and death indexes 1900-1901.  There's also a township map and I discovered all kinds of gold there such as a listing of documents and resources for the individual townships.  I may be here for a while.

The mouse doesn't stay still for long, so clicked on Research Tools.  Looks like a lot of genealogy gold there also, everything from libraries and archives to newspapers and finding aids.  There I discovered the Archives of Michigan; Michigan Historical Center.  I love indexes so clicked on Indexes.  Sure enough there I discovered Seeking Michigan that everybody along the trail has talked about.  You can search all kinds of things there.

That Seeking Michigan is a bit tricky, so let me give you some advise.  Go to the top right hand corner and you'll see Advanced Search.  Have your little mouse click on that.  Up will come some search boxes and also the names of all their collections.  That's gold ... death records 1897-1920, Civil War manuscripts, Civil War records, maps, plat maps and a whole lot more.

There is so much here I have decided to put the horse in a stable, grab my saddle bag and mouse and head out to see what gold I can find.  I expect there will be lot of it in Michigan.

Ruby ... finding genealogy gold!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Genealogy Gold in Tennessee

After wandering all over this country, I decided to stay in Tennessee for a while and dig for gold.  The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a good place to spend my time.   It is located in Nashville, but my clever little mouse discovered it for me.

I have discovered the Family Bible Records Online.  The volunteers have scanned over 1,500 family Bible records that are located in the Tennessee State Library and Archives.  All the names within the Bible record are indexed.  Because the south can be difficult for researchers to locate birth, marriage and death records, this a great online resource.  Thanks mouse!
Bible Record - Family Bible Records Online

With a click of the mouse I discovered Research & Collections.  There is everything imaginable there, such as military records, land records, maps, early legislative records, birth and death records, supreme court records and the list goes on.

The Tennessee USGenWeb site is stuffed full of things to read and research.  I am looking for some gold in cemeteries, so stopped off at the TNGenWeb Cemetery Database.  I discovered a listing of cemeteries in Carter County, but was so happy to click on the map showing the location within the county.    Some of the cemeteries have listings of headstones and information.  Turned that horse around and trotted from Nashville to Carter County.  I will need to compare this to FindAGrave.
Carter County, Tennessee Cemetery Map 

Look for gold at the TNGenWeb Historical News Portal.  You can check the name index or browse by county.  Before you dig, check out the Newspaper Map.

Now that I am wandering around Tennessee,  I have settled down for a spell in Stewart County.  They have a USGenWeb page also.  This is going to keep me busy for a few days.  There are family records, cemetery records, historical documents, photographs.  Might as well turn the horse out to pasture and bunk down here.  See you in a couple of days!

Ruby .... digging for genealogy gold in Tennessee

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Adventures Diggin' for Genealogy Gold

The other day I heard that there is genealogy gold in South Dakota.  I made a trip to Pierre, South Dakota and dropped in at the South Dakota State Archives.  They dug that building into the side of a hill and from where it is located, people can watch wagon trains ford the river and head for the gold fields in the Black Hills.  That hole in the hill has a lot of genealogy gold buried in it, such as a Newspaper Index and the Index to the Civil War Veterans taken in 1885.  I just happened to have relatives who were in Dakota Territory in 1870, so I looked them up on the 1870 Agricultural Census.

I could have stayed in that building in the hill for a long time, but decided I needed to drift south to Kansas.  The Kansas Historical Society is in Topeka.  Plopped my bags down with relatives and took off on a run to see what I could find.  I discovered gold in Kansas Memory.  I clicked on Atchison County and up came 347 memories ... everything from photos to documents.  
Carpenters Building a House
Kansas Memory

From Kansas I crossed the mighty Mississippi and set off for Ohio.  Somebody in my travels told me I should go to the State Library of Ohio in Columbus.  That's one big city, but I have a mouse and it didn't take me long to find my way to genealogy gold.  Buried there is information about their Digital and Special Collections.  They open the door to other places in Ohio and before I knew it, I was looking at City Directories.  With the help of that little mouse, I was looking at the 1825 Hall Cincinnati Directory.  Now that is really genealogy gold!  I threw that old directory into my saddle bag and decided to see what else I could find.  There's even more genealogy gold.  I discovered the Ohio Public Records Index (deaths). started clicking and before I knew it, the horse needed fed and watered.  

I took off for Delaware.  It's a small state, but the records there are enormous.  My journey took me to Delaware Public Archives.  The mouse led me to their Digital Archives.  There are a lot of new-fangled names like eBooks and PDFs.  I kept clicking and discovered what they call PDF files for five volumes of the Delaware Archives-Military.  Talk is that my great, great, great grandfather served in the Revolutionary War from Delaware.  This might be a big help!  

The mouse is tired, my saddle bag is full and the horse needs a rest.  I'll be off somewhere else tomorrow, so stay tuned. 

Ruby --- mining for Genealogy Gold! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another Day of Mining for Genealogy Gold

There is definitely gold in the states.  And you thought there was gold only in California?  Nope, you are wrong.

I just discovered gold in Connecticut, of all places!  The Connecticut State Library has a great digital collection.  The Connecticut State Library Digital Collections has many images and collections, but I found the Account Books, Diaries, and Journals to be very helpful.  It is thrilling to discover a nugget buried somewhere and such is the case of digital images of Capt. N. Lyon's Cash Book No. 2, ca 1856-1861.  He kept the cash book while serving in Co. B, 2nd Infantry of the US Army.  If you think cash books and account books are mundane, think again.  Something like this may be the only place you'll be able to place an ancestor at a given time.
Capt. N. Lyon's Cash Book No. 2

Miners expect to find gold and other minerals in Montana.  The Montana Historical Society has a digital collection in the Montana History Project.  This consists of diaries, letters, documents, brand records, county histories, maps, military enlistments and even state prison records.  Since I got lost looking for Badger Creek, it seemed like a good idea to check out the Montana Place Names web site.  I entered Badger Creek (Glacier) as a place name and presto there appeared a topographical map showing me exactly where I need to stake my claim and start mining.

I heard there was gold in Wyoming, so decided to check out the Wyoming State Archives.  There might be newspapers there that I can check for information on diggins.  Found them at the Wyoming Newspaper Project.  Those people have been busy.  They have converted over 800,000 newspaper pages into digital format.

Spending more time in Wyoming before moving on.  Keep checking on my mining progress as I bring you news as to what I'm finding.  So far I have been striking gold!

Ruby --- the mining genealogist!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Finding Genealogy Gold

Genealogical research is like looking for gold.  Maybe the first attempt you don't strike it rich and maybe not even on the second attempt.  However, any good miner will tell you to keep trying but to also change your location.  There are treasures in all kinds of locations, particularly on Internet.

In a self-challenge I have been looking for gold in state archives, state libraries and state historical societies.  I have struck pay dirt and feeling philanthropic this morning, I have decided to share my luck with you.

The Maine State Archives has an extensive index to Revolutionary War Land Grants and Pension Applications.  While it is only an index, there is identifying information as to where the records are located.  There a lot more on their web page, so explore!

Working with land records and the land laws, I was pleased to learn more about Missouri's land history.  The Missouri State Archives through Missouri Digital Heritage allows you to search Missouri Land Patents.  The actual deed is not shown on the web site, but with click of the mouse you can locate sufficient information to send for a copy of it for $1 from the Missouri State Archives.  If your ancestor is listed, that's pay dirt!

Because I have an abundance of North Carolina ancestors, I am always interested in what I can locate  in that state.  Taking a trip through the State Library of North Carolina's web site, I decided to dig deeper.  I learned that they have free digitized NC Newspaper online.  Actually there is a lot  more mining to do there because I have noticed more digital images at DigitalNC.

I decided to try my luck in the deep south in Mississippi.  The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is an excellent place to explore.  Right away the Digital Archives caught my eye.  Browsing through the list of topics, I spotted Confederate Pension Applications (Mississippi).  That looked like a great place to dig.  Confederate pensions were granted only through the former Confederate states and not by the federal government.  Every good miner has to do their preliminary work, so I had my tools at hand ... names, locations, dates and more.  Browsing the images of the pension applications is easy because they are in alphabetical categories.  Once again I strike it rich!

This miner is getting tired and it is time to pull out my maps, clean up my tools and begin another day.  Look for more news of my findings of genealogy gold.  I don't even mind if you move in on my location and look for your own gold.

Ruby .... the genealogist and miner!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lost, but never forgotten

It was a very warm Nebraska afternoon as people gathered at Fort McPherson National Cemetery south of Maxwell, Nebraska.  The cemetery is a short distance from the military post of the same name that was built to protect people on their way west along the trails, as well as make sure that freight got safely westward also.

The cemetery is full of knowns and unknowns, many of whom died in military skirmishes in western Nebraska.  As forts closed on the western frontier, the dead were brought to Fort McPherson National Cemetery for reburial.  Names of many were lost to time.   Many wars are represented on the tombstones.

Through the timeless efforts of the Missing in America Project, the remains of veterans are being identified, not only in Nebraska but in many other states.  The purpose of the MIA project is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of American Veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations.  They provide honor and respect to those who have served our country by securing a final resting place for those forgotten heroes.  The Nebraska Missing in America Project was responsible today (30 May 2014) for bringing five urns to the cemetery for burial in the columbarium.
Half-mast flag at Fort McPherson National Cemetery

As the flag flew at half mast, the gun salute echoed through the valley and taps sounded throughout the cemetery, there was a narrative about the five veterans  They were ...

Hazel Wood  1917-2013  US Army WAC, WWII
Floyd Emil Johnson  1931-2014  US Army, Korea
Gary L. Hirschman  1952-2011  USMC, Vietnam
Charles Warner  1946-2013  US Army, Vietnam
Reginal Thomas Prim  1950-2014  US Navy, Vietnam

All of the above named veterans were lacking relatives, but they were honored by a multitude of people who became self-proclaimed relatives, even for a small period of time.   They gave their lives that all of us could be present to pay respect to them, but also to all of those buried in the cemetery ... the known and the unknown.  May they all rest in peace.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Family History Expo - Casper, Wyoming

Genealogists will gather for two days of classes, research assistance and networking in Casper, Wyoming on the 27th and 28th of June.   The Family History Expo event will be held at the Parkway Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, 123 West E Street in Casper.

More than 25 classes will be held with Holly T. Hansen and Arlene H. Eakle as the keynote presenters.  If you are researching Germanic and Scandinavian ancestry, you won't want to miss the classes taught by Ruth Ellen Maness.

Go on a treasure hunt with me as I present the class, Treasures in Genealogical Research.  I will also offer classes pertaining to becoming naturalized and immigrant women.  Think you know everything about the 1940 US Census?  I will share some great tips and suggestions for using the census.  And finally ... is your genealogy in a mess?  I'll give you some great suggestions and ideas about cleaning things up in my class Organizing Your Genealogy Mess.

We are roping in the genealogy cowboys and cowgirls in Wyoming.  Be sure you check out the Family History Expo web page and pre-register for this great event.  Then you can get back in the saddle and start looking for your ancestors!  See you in Casper!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Family History Retreat

Genealogists love to visit with each other about genealogy.  They also listen and look for helpful information and ideas for doing research.  You can combine all that into my fantastic retreat to be held on 6-7 June (next month!) at Colby, Kansas.  

The Family History Expos is holding a retreat at the City Limits Convention Center, 2227 South Range Avenue in Colby.  Attendees will receive many benefits from their registration, including meals and accommodations, admission to the Prairie Museum, a 12 month subscription to Digital Mag, a research kit, Expo CD as well as professional instruction by their professionals.  Holly Hansen and Arlene Eakle will guide attendees toward successful avenues of research and help you hurdle over those brick walls. 

There will be a field trip on Friday to the courthouse, cemetery, churches, library and museum.  Also on the agenda is a time to network together.  On Saturday there will be classroom instruction and research skill building.  I will show up about noon on Saturday to present a program on the Homestead Records Online.  

For more information about this great event, be sure to check the agenda and register at Family History Expos or call 801-829-3295.  I hope to see many eager genealogists at the retreat.  Let's have some genealogy fun!  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Genealogical Research in Nebraska

My first book about Nebraska was published in 2011.  To add more information plus updated URLs and addresses, I have written Genealogical Research in Nebraska, revised edition.  It is now available for purchase at my web page.

The book contains 537 pages on history, genealogy, records and resources of Nebraska.  There are over a thousand URL links to web pages.  Each county is detailed with courthouse information, libraries with collections, information on genealogical and historical societies, research centers and museums.  The chapters are:

Nebraska Settlement and Statehood
Trails, Roads and Forts
Ethnic Groups and Settlements
Native Americans
Courts and Records
Land Laws and Records
Nebraska's Large Repositories
Census Records
Religious Records
Steamboats and Railroads
Orphan Trains
Wars and Military Records
Farming, Ranching and Records
Federal Records of Nebraska
Nebraska Counties
Nebraska Publications and Histories
Family History Centers
Maps, Atlases, Directories and Gazetteers

From the dreams and travels of explorers and mountain men, Nebraska Territory played host to thousands of people migrating in search of adventure, wealth, land and religious freedom.  The dawn of each day brought countless wagons filled with the hopeful, clanking across the land as they followed the trails westward.  Eventually the wagons were replaced by strips of steel that were laid across the state.  This would link the United States coast to coast and also change the way of life, economy and settlement forever.  Nebraska became a state in 1867 and with great expansion and abundance of land, became a prime area for settlement.  Some pioneers stayed and others moved on.  Regardless, their mark was already made in Nebraska records.

The book sells for $32.95 plus $5.00 postage and handling.  It is spiral bound which means you can easily use it by your computer or research notes.  It is the most up to date compilation about doing research in Nebraska.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Why Iowa is Special

Iowa was my home for a while.  I found it fascinating geographically, historically and genealogically.    I enjoyed looking at the fields of soybeans, changing to their golden color in the fall, farm yards with squealing pigs and rolling hills of terraced farming.  Often I would imagine how my ancestors (and yours) saw the land when they first arrived when Iowa was a territory and then a new state.  Unbroken ground ... a new life ... a challenging life.

Having spent so many years in Nebraska, I soon realized that things were a bit different in Iowa when doing research. Some courthouse records are referred to differently and some are the same.  Nebraska's recording of names of parents, including mother's maiden names, does not particularly hold true in Iowa.  You may luck out and find the names!  Naturally the records are older in Iowa than in Nebraska.

One major difference is in the census records.  Those records, although some are not completely extant, begin in 1836.  Iowa took state enumerations every few years, making it very easy to keep track of your Iowa ancestors.  Combine that with the federal census and you have a wonderful profile of your ancestor, including migrations and family additions or deaths.  The last census taken in Iowa was in 1925.  Because of the information contained in that census, it is extremely valuable to researchers. You are lucky if you can identify ancestors or relatives on that enumeration because it lists names of parents, including mother's maiden name, along with place of birth and marriage and ages if living.

These are just some of the items that you can read about in my new book, Iowa Genealogical Research.  The book contains 416 pages and is spiral bound.  It is a great reference book for anybody doing research in Iowa.  There are hundreds of URLs for Internet sites, along with addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers.

This is the link to order the book online,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Iowa Genealogical Research

Today I received the shipment of my new book, Iowa Genealogical Research.  It is long last for sale! The book contains 416 pages, endnotes, and thousands of Internet URLs and is spiral bound.  The chapters are:

Settlement and Statehood
The Mormon Trail and Settlements
Ethnic Settlements
Native Americans
Iowa's Large Repositories and Archives
Courts and Records
Iowa Counties
Census Records
Religious Records
Transportation ... Steamboats and Railroads
City Directories
Orphan Trains
Institutions and Hospitals
Wars and Military Records
Genealogical Societies, Historical Societies and Museums
FamilySearch Centers
Iowa Libraries
USGenWeb, USGenNet and Genealogy Trails
Iowa Publications and Histories
Maps, Research Addresses

There are examples of documents in the book, which enhances the reader's knowledge of records that can be found pertaining to Iowa.  If you are researching in Iowa, this book is a must for your genealogy library.

The book sells for $29.95 plus $5 shipping/handling.  You can order it online at my web page Genealogy Works.