26 January 2015

Hotel Update

Photo courtesy of Historic St. Charles

St. Charles hotels during the NGS 2015 Family History Conference
Guest rooms are going quickly, with many hotels sold out. Some rooms are still available at the Ameristar Casino.

Ameristar, available by shuttle to the convention center, has a separate hotel entrance, shops, excellent restaurants, and an unique water feature all available before entering the casino floor. Entering the casino is optional. This hotel has smoking and non-smoking guest rooms.

Call Ameristar directly for reservations 636-940-4301


Land and Law Library Workshops

The conference program includes four special interest workshops. A separate fee is required for each workshop which includes special material and handouts not included in the conference syllabus.  Each workshop has limited seating.

Register soon if you want to participate in these workshops. The DNA workshop is currently sold out.

Thursday, 8:00–11:00 a.m.
Township & Range Land Workshop
Ruth Ann Hager, CG, CGL, will outline the nuances of the township and range grid, explain how to read and write the data, plus show how to locate your ancestor’s property.

Thursday, 2:30–5:00 p.m.
Metes & Bounds Land Workshop
Vic Dunn, CG, will explain metes and bounds land measurement, demonstrate how to plat the land survey, and show how to determine the location of this survey on a current map.

Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, will provide information and hands-on exercises on the use of DNA in this all-day workshop sponsored by BCG Education Fund.

Saturday, 8:00–11:00 a.m.

Irish Law Library Workshop
David Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, will show you how to locate the names of your Irish ancestors in an Irish law library, information often not available anywhere else.

Workshops can be added at the time of registration or follow the add items instructions in your conference registration confirmation e-mail.


22 January 2015

Repositories-St. Louis Public Library Genealogy Room

Genealogy Room, St. Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103
Contact: 314-539-0385 or webref@slpl.org.

Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10 AM-9 PM; Fri-Sat: 10 AM-6 PM; Closed Sunday.

The Genealogy Room, St. Louis Room, History & Geography Room, the Rare Books & Special Collections Department are all located on the 3rd Floor of Central Library.

Our collection focuses mainly on Missouri and on those states and countries that furnished large numbers of emigrants to Missouri (that is, most states east and south of Missouri, plus Germany, France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom). 

The Genealogy Room’s collection consists of books, periodicals, city directories, and telephone books, microfilm, and vertical file materials (mostly newspaper clippings or family history materials that could not be bound). The book collection includes thousands of family histories in book form plus numerous local, county, and regimental histories. The microfilm collection includes city directories, census records, passenger records, some military records, plus various vital records, cemetery records, and newspapers for the St. Louis City and County area. Most of these materials have been cataloged and can be searched via our online catalog: http://www.slpl.org/.

We also have extensive map and heraldry collections.  The map collection includes topographic maps, Sanborn fire insurance maps, highway maps, land ownership maps, county plat maps, and atlases, Missouri and Illinois county highway maps, St. Louis ward maps, and city maps (domestic and foreign).  There is also a large series of sheet maps of WWII-era Europe, plus there are numerous atlases and gazetteers in our book collection.

Reference computers in the Genealogy Room provide access to Ancestry Library Edition, Fold3.com, HeritageQuest Online, and numerous other reference databases.

The Library also has extensive collections on St. Louis history, including its government, neighborhoods, architecture, artists, and authors.  A huge Local History Card File and the Local History Vertical File are located in the St. Louis Room.  The Special Collections Department has large photograph and postcard collections, plus a large collection of 1904 World’s Fair materials (books, guidebooks, periodicals, photographs, and ephemera).  That department also owns collections of St. Louis imprints, cuneiforms, illuminated manuscripts, miniature books, and several old Bibles, including a King James Bible (1611).

You do not need a library card to use our materials in-house, and there is no use fee for out-of-town residents. You may use pen or pencil in the Genealogy Room (pencils only in Special Collections). You may bring personal belongings into the Genealogy Room, but we reserve the right to search bags / briefcases as necessary. You can bring bottled water or soda (no cans or other open containers), but may only eat in the café area (see Amenities).

Our photocopier and microfilm machines can be used to make paper copies, or you can bring a flash drive and save to it on either type of machine. You may also use cameras (without flash) to make photographs for personal use (you must obtain prior permission from us to use such images in print or electronic publications). You may bring your laptop or tablet, and free wi-fi is available in the Genealogy Room.

We prefer to be notified in advance if you plan to bring a group of 10 or more persons to the Library (314-539-0385).

The library is located in downtown St. Louis at the corner of 13th and Olive Streets.  On weekdays there is parking at meters and on pay-per-day lots. Meters are not checked after 7 PM on weekdays.  We also have limited free parking for customers on a lot we own at 15th and Olive Streets (directly behind the Campbell House Museum). You can pull right onto the lot, but must get a parking token from the Olive or Locust Street Circulation Desks in order to exit from the lot.

Located in the west wing of the Locust Street Atrium (1st Floor), Urban Eats Café features many of the same tasty foods and drinks with an ethnic twist that St. Louisans have come to love at Urban Eats’ south city location. Other places to eat are also available within easy walking distance of the Library.

More information
More about the Library: http://www.slpl.org/

Our blogs: http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/blogs.asp

Our genealogy newsletter: http://gfh.slpl.org/

Our obit index and other indexes: http://indexes.slpl.org/

More on our parking lot: http://www.slpl.org/slpl/library/central_parking.asp

More about Urban Eats: http://hgdept.blogspot.com/2014/08/urban-eats.html

Find Places Downtown: http://www.downtownstl.org/places/

Explore St. Louis: http://explorestlouis.com/


19 January 2015

Space planning for the conference

Certain speakers and topics are in great demand at NGS conferences. We try to plan so that all attendees are able to attend their chosen lectures. However, there have been a few times in the past that the rooms could not hold all the attendees wishing to attend a particular lecture.

We are  asking you, the conference attendees, to help us plan with greater accuracy by letting us know the sessions you intend to attend. The confirmation e-mail you received after registering for the conference will guide you to Space Planning. There you may indicate the sessions you plan to attend. Your responses will help us to determine appropriate room sizes for the lectures. Please read the note in red at the top of the page for additional information about lecture rooms.

The Session Selection web page is a tool which will help us improve your conference experience. Session Selection is for planning purposes only. You do not have to attend the sessions you select if you change your mind. In addition, selecting a session does not constitute registration for, or guarantee, a seat in any regular session.

The Session Selection web page is for regular sessions that are included with registration. It does not apply to meals and other social events that require separate fees. Seats are guaranteed in all events when a separate fee was paid.

If every attendee will take a few minutes to mark their selections, NGS can more accurately predict audience sizes, determine room assignments, and improve the conference experience for all.


15 January 2015

Speaker Profile-Janis Minor Forté, B.S., M.A.

Janis is an award winning researcher, writer and lecturer. In September 2014, she received the James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture Award for her lecture, “Researching the Digital Library on American Slavery.” She is profiled in Speak!, the newsletter of the Genealogical Speaker’s Guild (GSG).

Friday, 9:30 a.m., F418 – “Digital Library on American Slavery: Locating Pre-Emancipation Documents of Individual and Community Life (DLAS)”
This lecture will demonstrate how to access and copy court petitions and legislative actions which identify slaves by name, their owners, and the slave family.  Participants will receive and overview of the DLAS, and its digitized collection of legislative and court petitions. All audience levels.

Saturday, 11:00 a.m., S425 - "Slave Tags:  The Governmental System of Licensing, Labeling and Marketing of Humans Souls"
The Slave Tag was used throughout the south from 1767 to 1865.  The legislation mandated the public wearing of a slave tag while selling their owner’s goods in the open market. This lecture will provide an overview of the legislation which governed this system. All audience levels.

Saturday, 4:00 p.m., S455 - “They’re Not on the Census:  Using Non-Traditional Sources to Identify Slave Owners”
Traditional family history research utilizes federal/state censuses and vital records as tools of study.  These records present dilemmas for most African American researchers, as prior to 1870 their ancestors are generally not identified by name in these documents. This lecture will present examples of documentable sources to overcome the pre-emancipation identity barriers. All audience levels. 

Janis Minor Forté, B.S., M.A.


12 January 2015

BCG Education Fund Workshop

Putting Skills to Work
Tuesday, 12 May, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., $110

This intensive day of learning focuses on skills and research standards needed by all genealogists. The BCG Education Fund designed the workshop for intermediate and advanced practitioners and combines class discussion with hands-on exercises. The registration fee of $110 includes two sessions, syllabus, and lunch. Limited to sixty students.

NGS conference registration is not required. The workshop usually fills up quickly so register early.

Barbara J. Mathews, CG, FASG, will address "Evidence Analysis, Correlation, and Resolution: The Heart of the Genealogical Proof Standard." The session will cover weighing and correlating sources, evidence, and information for successful resolution of investigations.

Barbara Mathews is a lineage genealogist specializing in colonial Connecticut and Massachusetts. She represents the Board for Certification of Genealogists on the Records Access and Preservation Committee, and is Civil Records Co-Director for the Massachusetts Genealogical Council (MGC). Her white paper co-written for MGC, “Framing a Discussion on Vital Records Access,” provides an historic look at government policies involving ID theft, financial fraud, and vital records. She is currently working on a book about the descendants of the fourth colonial governor of Connecticut for the Welles Family Association. Barbara mentored ProGen Studies Group 7, GenProof Studies Group 6, and currently mentors ProGen Studies Group 21. She is a substitute instructor for the Boston University genealogical certificate program and a contributor to the BCG blog SpringBoard. Barbara is a former BCG Board member and former Education Fund Trustee.


Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, will focus on "Tested Strategies for Efficient Research Reports." Committing findings to paper should be part of every research process. This session will demonstrate how to develop a sharable work product.

Elissa Powell, a western Pennsylvania researcher, is immediate past-president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. She is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), instructs for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate course and at the Salt Like Institute of Genealogy. She is coordinator of the Professional Genealogy course for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University. Elissa is a frequent lecturer at national conferences as well as at venues across the United States. In 2010, she was the recipient of the National Genealogical Society’s President’s Citation for her broad support of the genealogical community.


Sponsored by the BCG Education Fund, an independent charitable trust, http://www.bcgcertification.org/educationfund/.


08 January 2015

St. Louis Genealogical Society–Local Host Society

The 2015 NGS Conference local host society, St. Louis Genealogical Society (StLGS) is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization with members in forty-nine states and five foreign countries. Founded in 1968, StLGS is the largest local genealogical society in the United States, renowned for excellence in programming, resources, classes, and membership services.

StLGS offers free monthly genealogy programs. At the annual Family History Conference, attendees learn from national and local speakers and have access to vendor booths. The Society features a variety of activities including the Speaker Series, institutes, and an annual research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

StLGS members receive the Quarterly journal and a monthly newsletter, News n’ Notes. Everyone is encouraged to subscribe to the society blog, StlGS News Flash, Facebook, and Twitter.

StLGS volunteers preserve historical records such as cemetery, church and synagogue records, marriages, and census and make the information available to researchers through indexing projects, data on the Society website, and publications. Volunteer indexing opportunities are available in the office or in the comfort of member’s homes.

StLGS has a comprehensive website, continuously updated. In addition to schedules of events and classes, the site contains information on hundreds of thousands of past St. Louis area residents. The Online Store area offers books, CDs, and other publications for sale. An exclusive Members-Only section features many family history resources and unique databases including the Robert Parkin Manuscript Collection, maps, and other local records. The society indexed more than 1.6 million St. Louis City and County cemetery records and all are available to society members on the website.

For more information, visit the Society website, http://www.stlgs.org.