Saturday, November 21, 2015

6 New Genealogy Quick Look Resources

Free Indexed Collections - Midwest Genealogy Center 
Keeping the family researchers in mind, the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) has taken on a large indexing project entitled Quick Look.  The librarians and volunteers at MGC are once again helping genealogists everywhere to keep our promise: “leave no stone unturned.”  This time MGC has indexed, by name and by date, the following collections for easy online access. No library card needed, no fee, just a community service project that makes it easier for us to find “Great-Uncle Bob” or in my case Great-Aunt Mattie (see below).

What Is Indexed?
The following six collections have been indexed. For information on each collection visit the List the Collections page.
  1. Book Indexes to “some books” in MGC's reference collection.  This Book Index will take you directly to the MCPL Catalog entry for holdings and location of the book that holds your ancestor’s name.
  2. Independence Examiner Newspapers: 1900-1959
  3. Kansas City Social Registers Blue Books: 1924-1962
  4. Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times (newspapers): 1975-2006
    Be sure to review the List the Collections page for information.
  5. The Kansas City Call Newspaper: 1995-2001. This is a great resource for African American families. Know that African Americans across the Midwest reported deaths to “The Call”. In Kansas we have successfully located obituaries as far as Hutchinson.
  6. U. S. Railroad Retirement Board: 1936-2010. You can search the index to over 1.5 million pension records from the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board for free online.  These pension files are held at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Atlanta. 
1-2-3 to Obtain Copies
The goal is to get a copy of whatever document is available - obituary, book page, RRB claim, etc. By providing the holding repository with the indexed information, they will be able to locate, copy and forward a digital or email copy of the information.  Note: RRB claims will be photocopied and mailed if available.  It's pretty simple, since you will just follow the screen prompts for your next steps. 

Mattie Singleton was my grandmother’s sister. I really knew little about her and have never seen her obituary. Would Quick Look have her obituary indexed?

  1. Search Index.

    Once a person of interest is located, researchers can request the actual document from the holding location.
  1. Analyze / Identify Options

    Her obituary was in The Call Newspaper
    Her birth date and death date was indexed
    Her burial place was provided
    Her parent’s and daughter’s names verified her to be the correct Mattie Singleton.  Note: This will only be entered if it was in the obituary.
  1. Submit Request

    If your request is for MGC, print copies are only 10 cents per page, but I prefer digital copies emailed to me - free!

    For a RRB Claims package, you will be directed to the National Archives at Atlanta website.  Here’s information on what will be needed to request a claim folder. But be sure to check the index first.  Plus you are guiding the NARA staff to the Record and Claim ID,  and Claim Location which usually results in a much quicker turn-around. 
Search Tips?
  • Researchers will want to visit the HomePage for Search Tips.  
  • Railroad Retirement Board Pension (RRB) Claims index will be most effective if you have a birth and/or death date for your ancestor as additional identifying information is not provided in the index. You will find only the surname followed by the first initial with a birthdate  to be indexed.
Although request retrievals are free (you only pay for copying), I suggest giving a donation - a token of appreciation - to MGC, a public library branch of Mid-Continent Public Library. Let them know we love their efforts and their support to our success.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Monday, November 9, 2015

Research University MO. Student Protests 1959-2015

Across America, Students joined in the efforts
“Injustice for One is Injustice for All.”
 Although University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. students may believe that the current protests are unprecedented, it is far from being so.  MU's student body and student athletes have historically fought against racism, and injustice on both the local and national level.  Columbia, MO., shadowed by St. Louis to the east and Kansas City, MO to the west, has historically been a popular location for racial change and protest against injustice. 

3 Places to Research Student Protests History - Columbia, MO
Accounts of student protests for racial change can be found as early as 1959  - five years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In The State Historical Society of Missouri historical researchers can locate papers of the Columbia Chapter of Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.).  C.O.R.E.’s philosophy was “nonviolence in the fight to end segregation and discrimination.” The Columbia MO. chapter, members predominately local students and faculties, was most active from 1959 - 1964, over fifty years ago. The student driven organization fought the issues of segregation, discrimination and on-campus racism through “pickets, boycotts, demonstrations, fastings, and sit-ins.”

Few realize that in Columbia, MO there are two other change-makers: Stephens College and Columbia College. And in the past, standing as a collective group, students from these three campuses fighting and protesting racial issues and injustice has proven effective.

  1. Collection C2508, The Congress of Racial Equality Papers, contains constitutions of the national and local C.O.R.E., minutes, membership lists, clippings, and correspondence. It is not comprehensive, but a great source for Missouri researchers.
  2. Stephens College Archives, Columbia MO.
  3. Newspaper Research
 For information on St. Louis CORE chapter visit Dagen, Margaret and Irvin History of St. Louis Core Collection, 1941 - 2000, collection S0661 at the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Kansas City researchers may wish to begin by reading Leon Mercer Jordan, The Founder of Freedom, Inc. This manuscript can be located at the Missouri Valley Special Collections in the Missouri Public Library.

Student Fasting

Even students fasting for change, is not new in Columbia, MO.  There was a rather long and lengthy fasting movement involving the Stephens College women student body and the students from Mizzou in 1965, as well as their faculties. At that time the students were protesting U.S. involvement in Viet Nam, again under the banner of “injustice for one is injustice for all.”

Athlete Involvement
Even fifty years ago the athletes were pivotal participants in on-campus change.  One basketball player, self proclaimed “progressive white student” from south St. Louis, John Logsdon was the president of the Columbia, C.O.R.E. chapter, 1962 - 1963. Of course race relations has improved since Logsdon’s presidency of C.O.R.E.  In a reflective article written 13 Nov 2013, entitled Columbia’s Core, John speaks of the one black person, Malvin West (BS BA ’62) that was shunned in 1960: “No white student in the class would sit next to him.”  It was Malvin who invited Logsdon to his first C.O.R.E. meeting.

About Core
Logsdon’s account of the Columbia MO. C.O.R.E. chapter states that active students were “half black, half white; many of the white members were women from Stephens College.”  C.O.R.E was a national organization founded in 1942. Chapters of C.O.R.E worked and supported many other civil rights groups to desegregate public facilities, organized Freedom Rides, participate in the March on Washington, 1963, but in Columbia, MO, the local efforts concentrated on campus segregations at University of Missouri and student racism.   

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New 2016 Civil War Presentations

Southern Claims Commission's "Interrogatories" (partial)
Many are already planning for 2016 workshop schedules.  Here are two new presentations offered by Kathleen Brandt, a3Genealogy.  Workshops can be tailored to your interest (state interest, i.e. "What's available in Missouri? -any state or event, i.e. Black History Month, etc.)

Claim It!  - Civil War Treasures
Southern Claims Commission Records / Slave Claims Commission Records

Researching slave-holders in bordering states or your slave-ancestors? The Southern Claims Commission Records and Slave Claims Commission Records are rich in genealogical treasures (to include Missouri). These collections of property claims hold the names of claimants / slave owners, names of slaves and last slave owner, and accounts from witnesses that often tell family secrets. You may uncover family letters, Bibles, wills, personal accounts and more.

Audience:  Civil War Veteran Research
                   Slave Research

7 Tips and Hints to Post-War Research of Civil War Soldiers
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) & other Civil War Union Veterans’ Association Records

Was your Civil War ancestor one of the 400,000 plus G.A.R members? Finding these
G. A. R. records and other state-held Civil War Union Veterans’ Association records can be challenging.  Learn strategies and resources to ferret out your Civil War soldiers’ post-war memberships to the GAR (1886 - 1956) and other popular veteran associations. These records may include parent’s names, dates of births and deaths, and “new” military information. 

Audience:  Civil War Veteran Research
                   Slave Research - ancestors may have join integrated or segregated post.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Genetics and Genealogy

Can DNA Uncover Health Hints?
Staying abreast of the trends in genealogy can be daunting, but is definitely necessary for the serious family historian or professional genealogist.  

Why Now?
In 2004, the Surgeon General, in cooperation with other agencies, launched the Surgeon General's Family History Initiative to encourage all American families to learn more about their family health history.  Thanksgiving has been declared National Family History Day, allowing for updates and information to be shared at an annual family gathering. There's even a "My Family Health Portrait Tool" to enter your family health history and learn about your risk for conditions that can run in families. But can genetics and genealogy really paired?  The answer is yes. 

What is Medical Genealogy?
Medical Genealogy, Genetics for Genealogists, and Family Health History are all names we hear when referencing tracing and documenting one’s family medical patterns.  It is  not just the application of genetics applied to traditional genealogy; therefore, I prefer the term “Medical Genealogy” as I believe this keeps the family historian focused.  (How many geneticists do you know who are genealogists or family historians?).”

“Medical Genealogy is the practice of tracing and recording family health patterns that are unique to your family (hopefully to include three generations) in order for the family practitioner to analyze.
Defined by Kathleen Brandt - a3Genealogy,
 Not an official definition, 2010. 

Although genealogists and family historians are quite talented, we don’t want to cross the lines of diagnosing based on family history, or predicting life spans or early deaths based on information and patterns.  Our job is to recognize patterns and document them.

What Traits and Health Analysis Discovered via DNA?
As a community, we can begin by gathering family data and creating a helpful family health tree. You may also want to include the 23andMe limited health analysis approved by FDA standards, using DNA. Know that only 23andMe include the following reports:

Carrier Status: are you a carrier for an inherited condition? This includes cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Anemia, Hereditary Hearing Loss, Sj√∂gren-Larsson Syndrome and more. To see the list of possible reports from A - Z visit the All Carrier Status Reports. You may also find it interesting that some genes are most notable within ethnic groups. This is a great place to visit to learn about common diseases if you are of French Canadian , Ashkenazi Jewish, Danish, Finish of African heritage. 

Food Preference: Most would agree that DNA can affect lactose intolerance, and muscle composition. It's not far fetched to believe that DNA can affect alcohol flush reaction, but can DNA really affect caffeine consumption? According to 23andMe the answer is yes.  Learn more at Wellness Reports (scroll down linked page.)

Traits Report: Of course genetics play a part in your "likelihood of having certain characteristics" to include the color of your hair and facial features, but the list of 23andMe Traits reports include  whether an individual will have asparagus odor detection.  Yes, Asparagus Odor Detection! There are over 20 traits reports.  

Although interesting, much of this DNA scientific finding is not helpful unless you are digging into your medical genealogy.

What is a Family Health Tree?
The Surgeon General website has provided Access the My Family Health Portrait Web Tool, that “helps users organize family history information and then print it out for presentation to their family doctor.” 
Using this tool, genetic genealogists may create an At-a-Glance Medical Tree.  Once you’ve gathered your data/information, by following the symbols that are defined (or add some of your own), this tree can be a breeze, and useful to the entire family and can be reviewed by your geneticists if necessary.

Where to Find Data/Information? 
  • The Information needed to complete a “family health tree” is probably in your files.  Take a close look at the cause of death on death certificates or obituaries.
  • Review medical records - we often get a copy of veteran medical records.
  • Take note of patterns: premature deaths, infertility patterns in women, birth defect patterns (I have seen some noted on census records), sibling patterns of illnesses, etc. 
The Goal
In the end you should have a tree completed like the one above.  Your family and doctor will appreciate the family research. 

Happy National Family History Day!
(adapted from Medical Genealogy, Nov 2010)

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spanish-American War/Philippine Insurrection

6 More Places to Locate Records
So you’ve checked with the microfilm, M860, General Index to Compiled Military Service Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers, and M881, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. And, your ancestor is listed as having served in the Spanish American War (1898) or Philippine Insurrection (1899 - 1902).

So you filled out National Archives Trust Fund (NATF) Form 86 Military Service Records and the patented response of “No. We are unable to locate the file you requested above. No Payment is required” is in your mailbox. Why?  We know the compiled military service records and the carded medical records of volunteers for those who served in the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection should be in Washington, D.C Archives I.  (See An Overview of Records at the National Archives Relating to Military Service).  But, your ancestor’s files can’t be “located!”

Where Are The Records?
Many years have passed since the 1898 - 1902 era and this war…well… barely made the history books requiring the typical researcher to piece together disjointed service record information with troop information to recreate their ancestor’s military experience. We have found Spanish American War records in the most obscure places. Learn more about the Spanish American War (1898) and Philippine Insurrection (1899 - 1902) 

1. Adjutant General's Office
In many cases soldiers were called up from the National Guard to serve in this war. So you will want to begin with the Adjutant General’s records for the states of enlistment (and discharge if different state). Many of these records are no longer housed at the Adjutant General’s Office but one key to a successful search is knowing your ancestor’s specific infantry, regiment and company.
Four key searches:
  • Adjutant General records (not all states)
  • Hathi Trust collection which includes additional states.
  • National Archives RG 94.
  • Adjutant General’s Office for hints on archival locations. 
2. Troop Activities
It is possible your ancestor served under more than one troop. The key to following an ancestor’s movement within the military may be told by following the troop's activities. Be sure to keep an eye out of where did the troop go and where /when was unit discharged. You may wish to begin with RG 391: 

3. Pension Application Files
If your ancestor lived past 1922, a veteran, widow or dependent pension application file may be included. Review NARA, RG 15.7.3 Pension application files based upon service in the Civil War and Spanish-American War("Civil War and Later").

4. Bibliography Search for Record Keeping Hints
Here's a bit of information that may give you a lead. The Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection, 1898-1902 by Mark Barnes is our go-to book on this topic: Be sure to check the bibliography for hints to where author got information.  

5. State Archives
Certificate of Disability for Discharge
Some state archives hold volumes of textural (not microfilmed) Spanish American War records.  New Jersey State archives “has 122 volumes of Spanish-American War records.” For an easy access to these records, be sure to reference catalog for your ancestor’s state.  Where as Kansas Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection records may be found at the Kansas Historical Society.

6. Spanish American War Centennial Website
Have you reviewed the Spanish American War Centennial Website?  This site is great for battle reports and accounts, and gravesite recordings. The Unit Profiles, Rosters, and Photos have proven to lead researchers to bringing down brickwalls.

Kathleen Brandt

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Press Release: Research Job Opportunities

Five Open Positions - Genealogists

a3Genealogy research jobs are assigned based on clients' needs. Research applicants must meet the following requirements: 1) expert in research topic 2) familiarity with local repositories and 3) location requirement

a3Genealogy  research jobs are assigned based on clients' needs. Research applicants must meet the following requirements:
1) expert in research topic
2) familiarity with local repositories and 3) location requirement

Job Assignments:
Local/onsite repository research at courthouses, churches, and other local repositories as specified on the Job Description. Each researcher will be issued a Job Description that must be signed and returned upon accepting job. 

Researcher Locations Needed
= Indicates Job Closed
£  Kane County, IL
T  Hampden County, MA   - Job Closed
T  St. Joseph County, MI
T  Lucas County,  OH
T  Wood County, OH

Researcher must present traceable citation/sources for each document plus research list of repositories for negative searches. GPS standards preferred. 

We have in office assistance should you need administrative assistance, or if we can help you be successful with this search.  

Start Package 
In addition to the signed Job Description (Agreement) the a3Genealogy  Privacy Act Statement must be agreed upon.  Know that we comply with the Federal Tax Laws set for 1099 consultants and will request the completion of W9 in order to comply. 

Send resume with pricing structure to:

Updated 19 Sept 2015

Kathleen Brandt

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rival Research Ohio vs Michigan

Library of Congress
The Toledo - Michigan Strip Records
When a war fails to produce even one casualty, and  the only shots fired were warning shots up in the air, not much is written on the conflict. Researchers are accustomed to finding an abundant of documents on wars but the Toledo War, also called the Toledo- Michigan War, or Michigan-Ohio War, 1835-1836, is mostly unknown.  This bloodless war stemmed from the pending ownership of the Toledo Strip.

Researcher Woes
Our ancestors may have settled in the Michigan Territory as early as 1805, with a large settlement encouraged by the 1812 War. But Michigan was not admitted to the Union until 1837. Of course Ohio had been admitted into the Union in 1803, two years before the establishment of the Michigan Territory. For information on the conflict read Settlement of Michigan Territory, George N. Fuller, written in The Mississippi Valley Historical Review.  Additional history can be found in ‘Governor In and Over the Territory Michigan,’ Michigan History Fall 1975, 153:170.

This conflict however has caused family researchers scrambling on both sides of the strips to find ancestral records. To add to the confusion, know that the settlers moved from one county to another and rarely stayed loyal to a community. 

A-B-Cs to Follow the Conflict

Toledo Blade, 26 Apr 2003
A.  Where's your Ancestor?
The first challenge is to locate your ancestors’ movements throughout the region. Starting with a full cluster of family unit names, we suggest you follow the Territorial Papers.  Territorial Papers were full of appeals, petitions and memorials to Congress where our pioneer ancestors signed their names for the records. 

B.  Who has Records / Documents?
Contact local, county and state repositories for possible deeds, wills and probates and land records. Know that they are rarely where you expect, and as usual counties shifted boundaries. 

C.  Star Record Group?
Many of the settlers served in the 1812 war. may have digitized your ancestors’ records.  Interestingly, the soldiers or widows petitions often include births and names of each child. It may also include full names of previous wives or subsequent husbands.  In one case we uncovered that both the husband and oldest son died in war.  These records were the key to unscrambling a pesky common surname research project. The same widow’s pension produced information on the marriage county and date, leading us to obtaining a copy of the original marriage record.

7 Key Research Suggestions

  1. The Territorial Papers of the United States, v.10. 11 and 12
  2. Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections  vols. 36 and 37.  Other volumes may also be relevant.
  3. U. S. Serial Set. Petitions and memorials were uncovered in the files of the Senate and House of Representatives.
  4. Detroit Gazette. A nice collection for issues published between 1817 to 1827  has been digitized by Google News. There is also a splattering of 1828 issues.
  5. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library
  6. Western Michigan University Archives.
  7. Michigan- Toledo Strip Land Grants / Patents.  Using the “Michigan-Toledo Strip” Meridian for both Ohio and Michigan may give information on your ancestors’ residence and migratory path.
Expand Your Research
Nearby Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin repositories also proffered relevant documents.
Kathleen Brandt - A Wolverine!
Accurate Accessible Ancestors