Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Germans in America" on local PBS station, 4/6

A few minutes ago I received an email from G-SIG (German Special Interest Group, a cooperative effort of the St. Louis Genealogical Society and the German American Heritage Society of St. Louis) with news that "Germans in America" will be airing on the local PBS affiliate next Sunday at noon. It looks like the series will air over the next month.

It was mentioned that in Part One the MUENKS family is mentioned. One of the MUENKS girls married an EBERT, so I may see some cousins on TV next week.

Goethe-Institut USA

KETC, Channel 9

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Haunted Place

From The Razor.

My "Midland Accent"

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

This test doesn't go far enough. Those from St. Louis have some peculiar pronunciations. I know I do. So, I don't think it's entirely accurate to state I don't have an accent. In fact, I probably tend to sound more country than I really am.

While I'm not as exaggerated as some, when describing Highway 44 I do tend to say it as "farty-far." And I'm pretty typical for around here when I say "warsh your hands" rather than the way it should be.

(As seen on Genea-Musings.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Research checklist

Finally. After putting this off for too long, the research checklist I've had in my head is finished and on paper. This isn't necessarily a finished version, though. Depending on the era and location(s) that someone lived, the checklist may have to be altered. And I will eliminate many of the items for collaterals who I cannot devote hours to.

Here's an example with the type of information I look for on my ancestors.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

FamilySearch Record Search

Yesterday was a good day for online resources. Not only did I find out that the Missouri Archives got caught with death certificates through 1957, I read via The Ancestry Insider that FamilySearch Labs had uploaded images for "Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records 1729-1956." My RICK ancestors spent a few years in this area, so off I went to log in.

This is probably the first time I spent more than about 30 seconds looking at Record Search. Before, none of the available records really interested me. I mean, I'm subscribed to Ancestry so the census records were redundant, though the clarity of the images I did look at were nice. So I was essentially new to the Record Search experience, and I've got to say I really liked it. The area for the image is nice and large, images loaded fast and the controls and navigation were easy to use. My only complaint or suggestion: when going from page to page, I wish the image would load at the top left (as if reading a book) and not remember where the user was on the screen for the previous image. Admittedly this may not be much of an issue once everything is indexed, but it probably wouldn't hurt to make this an option left up to the user's discretion.

Several of August and Magdalena (M√úLLER) RICK's children were baptized while they lived in St. Clair County, Illinois, and though I had already found all of this information on local microfilm, I hadn't previously printed out every record. Now I have these records from St. Joseph and St. Pancratius in digital form, which I now strongly prefer.

This is going to be the resource five or ten years from now.

And 1957!?

I overlooked an important aspect of the update to the Missouri death certificate database: the Archives and volunteers not only filled in the gap between 1940 and 1944, they also added 1957's deaths (following the 50 year rule).

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

MO Deaths: Done!

A few days ago I was at the Missouri Secretary of State's web site, just checking to see if another year of death certificates had been finished. It had seemed to me that there was a delay in getting the next batch online, as the last update (1939) had been in November/December of 2007.

Well, I got home tonight and Craig had blogged that the project is done. For those not keeping score, the Archives just uploaded the final five or six years worth of certificates that had been missing. Amazing.

Not to take away from this big news, but I'm actually kind of curious to see if the Archives decides to introduce another big, high profile project that could again utilize the energy and devotion of an army of volunteers. Maybe something like a statewide index to wills and probates, or deeds. Those kinds of resources exist on a local or county level, but they're not always published and rarely online. Having an index up to, say 1910 or 1920, would be extremely helpful.