Warm weather is finally here--Yay! It’s the perfect time for vacations, road trips, and finding your ancestors. As every genealogist discovers at some point, travel is sometimes necessary to help with your research. Some records or artifacts can only be viewed in person, and that means travel. Regardless of the distance, genealogy trips are a great way to get out there. Maybe you will get an opportunity to travel to another country or just the next state over to find the missing link for your ancestor.
While working with one of the Midwest Genealogy Center’s archival collections, the Titus Family Collection, I came across an interesting bit of history. In the course of my transcription of letters written by Private Square Holt during the Civil War, I came across a reference to a “gun that fired a thousand pound shot.” This description intrigued me, so I decided to look into the gun and to find the history of this “monster” cannon.
June 6, 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day for “Operation Overlord” or the beginning of the Battle of Normandy. The name “D-Day” simply meant the “Day” day. The weather played an important role in the choice of day. A clear day was needed to prevent poor visibility for both the air crews and choppy seas for the landing parties, so the weather on June 6, 1944 made it the perfect invasion day.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a woman’s organization rich in history since its founding almost 125 years ago. In addition to helping preserve our nation's history, this organization is also dedicated to assisting with community and volunteer activities. Since DAR is also a lineage society, they are involved in the practice of genealogy and provide access to many types of genealogical materials. The Pioneer Chapter of Independence, Missouri will soon be celebrating its 100th year anniversary.
County Histories Offer a Wealth of Historical Context
You’ve gathered names and dates while filling in a family tree chart, so what is the next step?
If your goal is to create a clear picture of your family’s life in generations past, try browsing through MGC's books to find county histories! You never know what you may find, even things that can lead you in unexpected directions.
Running into brick walls trying to find death information on an ancestor? Have you just about had enough of coming up with nothing? Well, MGC is here to help! We have lots of resources that just might hold the information you need.
I always felt a little cheated that there was not a book already written about my family. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved doing all the research. But when I hit a brick wall, it would be nice to open up a book and find all the answers inside. One day I found a book right here in the library that had some of the answers that I had been looking for.
MGC’s Archival Collections…Now with Digital Access!
The Midwest Genealogy Center has exciting news to share! We have begun to add digital archival collections to our website. Digital archival collections will help provide wider access to genealogists, especially those who don’t live close to MGC. These collections will be online and accessible through any browser. If you find images that you want, they can be downloaded to a computer and saved. Items such as letters, record books, photographs, and more will be easier to read and use during research.
Using Newspapers to Enhance Your Genealogical Search
An abundance of genealogical information can be found in newspapers, but many genealogists only think of newspapers to find obituaries. However, obituaries are not the only type of information you can find about your family. Maybe your father was the star quarterback on his high school football team. Maybe you have a famous ancestor that was a celebrity or politician like Harry Truman. Since the Midwest Genealogy Center is located in President Truman’s hometown, I just had to mention one of Independence, Missouri’s most famous citizens.
In 2000, the United States Federal Census reported that almost 43 million Americans claimed German ancestry, making them the largest ancestry group in America. That is a lot of history to be shared, and we can help you find and make sense of your German ancestry with many of our resources. For instance, did you know that you can piece together more than just your ancestry? Understanding the history behind why your ancestors came here is just as important.