Monday, July 30, 2012

1940 Census Update - Missouri now searchable on

Last Wednesday (July 25, 2012), updated the status of Missouri to "Completed" for the 1940  Census. Definitely a reason to celebrate.
Shameless exploitation of
some of my family!

They've added some nifty new features to help you stay on track as you zoom in for a closer look at images. For one, when viewing the page image, the person you click on is highlighted, along with the entire household.  Plus, once the image is enlarged to the point where you longer see the names on the left or the column headings at the top, sidebars appear with the names and column headings much in the fashion of an Excel spreadsheet.

I would like to say I appreciate all the hard work that has taken place to make this available to the public, along with the new features. BUT......... I really hope this index is a work in progress because it is riddled with errors. Fortunately there is a "Submit Alternative Information" option for each person.  I submitted 8 "alternatives" (5 name changes and 3 relationship changes and it would be 11, if gender was an option!) for the household in the first image.
Compare the transcribed information
to the original  handwritten copy above.

I understand handwriting can be difficult to read but I'm not sure the transcriber even had a firm understanding of cursive writing, relationships, or gender.  How hard is it to correctly interpret M or F? Since when does "Father-in-law" look like "Daughter"? If this information was double-checked, to say I'm appalled is an understatement.  This isn't just one instance of a "bad" page.  I searched for other branches of the ol' family tree in this Census and found similar errors in other households, e.g., incorrect name spellings, ages, and relationships!

There is still hope though! is involved in providing another index and currently shows Missouri as 100% indexed but not yet searchable due to conflicting information that is currently in arbitration.  Let's hope their index is more accurate and reliable and shames into an overhaul of their 1940 index because this shoddy work is causing me to question the validity of their transcriptions of other databases.

When I find out the Missouri Census is searchable, I'll provide an update.  In the mean time, good luck searching, you'll need it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

We've upgraded! - New microfilm machine

The library is the proud owner of a new microfilm machine!  An updated and more streamlined model of the previous machine, this is definitely less intimidating and easier to use according to patrons that have already taken some reels for a spin.

One of the best features is the vertical screen.  No more scanning and scrolling up and down each page since the entire page is visible (and legible!).

This new machine still provides remote access from your home, school or office. The information can easily be sent to your printer or email account or saved to your computer or flash drive. To arrange an appointment to use the library's microfilm machine remotely, contact the library at 573.686.8639 or by email. If you're close by, stop in and give it a try some time.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New items - "Show Me, Rosie!" and "A Time for Heroes"

I'm pleased to announce the addition of two items to the Genealogy Reference Collection.  Both titles were published by the Missouri State Society - Daughters of the American Revolution.

The first is "Show Me, Rosie! Missouri's Working Women in the Second World War".  It provides brief portraits of women in Missouri with war jobs in the 1940s.  It was donated by Sylvia Bullington in honor of the Daughters of the American Revolution - Poplar Bluff Chapter.
Next up is "A Time for Heroes : the Ancestors' Stories", a compilation of Revolutionary histories submitted by DAR descendants currently living in Missouri.  This item was placed in memory of Therma Glass, past Chapter Regent, by the Poplar Bluff Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Monday, July 9, 2012

NOW SHOWING at Rodgers Theatre!!! (in July 1965)

Attendees of the Rodgers Theatre during the second and third weeks of July would have seen movies featuring many classic stars, including Bob Hope, Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Elvis Presley, Maureen O'Hara, Sean Connery, and Audie Murphy.

Feel free to share your "reviews" of the movies or memories of your visits to the Rodgers Theatre, whether you were just escaping the hot summer afternoons or going on a hot date, in the comment section below. Don't forget to check their website for upcoming performances and the progress of the renovation.

Rodgers Theatre July 1965

Movies showing at the Rodgers Theatre for
the weeks of July 11th and July 18th.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 236th Birthday America!! - Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

Were your ancestors already residing on this side of the Atlantic when this amazing document, the Declaration of Independence, was drafted?  Or did they arrive later, benefiting from the courageousness of the colonists to stand up to one of the most powerful nations the world has ever known?  Either way, we live with the legacy of 1776 not only being a pivotal moment in our history, but world history.  If you're not sure when your family tree took root in the US, it's never too late to start searching at the library or online.  Maybe that rebellious streak you have was inherited from an ancestor that was a contemporary rubbing elbows with some "trouble makers" like Jefferson, Washington, or Franklin!

If it's been a long time since you've read the Declaration, below is an easy to read transcription to brush up on the details.  If you've NEVER read it, please do!

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
   Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall,  George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
Column 4
   Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
   Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple
   Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
   Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

**This transcription is from the website on Charters of Freedom page.