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 were 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