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

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