Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1962 Death Certificates Now Available Online At The State Archives

In less than 72 hours, volunteers of the Missouri State Archives have managed to index all Missouri death certificates for 1962!  Yep, it's that time again, over 42,000 new documents just became available and are waiting to be researched.  While not receiving the fanfare of last year's release of the 1940 Census, the latest batch of death certificates are now available to the public for research.

To the non-genealogist, the idea of using death certificates in research may seem morbid, but this is (usually) the last record created documenting the life of a relative, aside from an obituary and possibly probate records.

Personally, I've found choosing just a county and a year (in this case, 1962) one of the best ways to search for information.  Using this method, I can browse the index and discover surnames of interest for individuals I might not have been aware of previously and is a great work around for spelling errors on the original document or a mistake in the trascription process.

These single sheets of paper can be a treasure trove of information.  The majority contain the date, place and cause of death, along with date and location of birth.  If the "informant" providing the information was close to the deceased, parent's names (including the ever-elusive mother's maiden name!!), spouse's name, address of usual residence, occupation, and social security number might be available.  Other information included is the funeral home taking care of the arrangements along with the date and place of funeral and burial.

The Missouri State Archives website explains:
"The Missouri Death Certificate Database, containing death records created after 1910 and over 50 years old, makes that information available online through a searchable index that links to a digitized image of the original death certificate. The index can be searched by first name and last name, county, and by year and month.  Once a name is selected, a digitized image of the original certificate can be retrieved."
Once retrieved, the image may be printed and/or saved to your own computer in PDF format.  The best part? It's FREE!!  To begin your search, go to: Missouri Death Certificates Database.

If you have questions or comments about these records, please contact the Missouri State Archives at  For death certificates less than 50 years old, contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services through their website here.

Until the 1963 death certificates are released and indexed next year, happy hunting and good luck with your research!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

First Wednesday Computer Classes February & April

Mark your calendars! The regular computer class held the first Wednesday of each month will be mobile device oriented for the genealogy crowd.  If you have an iPad, iPhone, or Android device bring it along or play with one the library owns.  Not into genealogy? No problem! Ideas being presented in the February 6th class will have other practical uses for the non-genealogists.

Please sign up by calling the library (573-686-8639) or stopping by prior to the date of the class since space and available devices are limited!

February 6th, 10 AM, Conference Room - Genealogy on the iPad

iPads are changing the way genealogists go about researching.  No longer are the bulky binders and messy folders of loose, random notes necessary.  Find out how going digital can help streamline and organize your research whether your travel destination is near or far. Don't have an iPad? Many of these ideas easily translate to use on other smartphones and tablet devices!

April 3rd 10 AM, Conference Room - App Training

Genealogy - there's an app for that!  That's right, has an app for you to carry around those thousands of cousins you've collected over the years in the palm of your hand and access them with the touch of finger.  Attend and find out how!  Works for iPad/iPhone and Android devices!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Take Two And Call Me In The Morning - Historical Flu Pandemics

The news lately is filled with stories of the latest flu outbreak across the US.  These outbreaks, called pandemics (or wide spread epidemics), crop up from time to time.  There have been four influenza pandemics since the "Spanish flu" of 1918/1919 when an estimated 50 million people died. Other pandemics occurred in 1957/1958, 1968/1969, and 2009/2010.  For additional information on these individual pandemics and other years a potential pandemic was feared, visit the government's website: Pandemic Flu History.  This site contains links to additional resources, including a PBS documentary, information from the National Archives, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

If during your research you encounter numerous death dates occurring close together in a family or community, disease might be the common denominator and but not necessarily from influenza.  Malaria, yellow fever, small pox, measles, and dysentery are but a few other possible diseases that might have swept through your family's community.  If death certificates are not available to determine cause of death, try checking newspaper reports for any mention of local outbreaks or an obituary might possibly provide a clue as to the cause of death and the duration of any illness.

When studied on a larger family scale across generations, "medical genealogy" can provide clues to health risks that run in families, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, etc and can indicate increased risks of developing those conditions.  That's why doctors often ask if there is a family history of certain conditions.  Communicable diseases such as the flu would not fall into these often genetically linked conditions unless the immune system was already compromised but it's still a good idea to know your medical background for your own personal well being.

May you enjoy good health and success as you continue your research!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Scots in Georgia and the Deep South, 1735-1845

The Butler County Genealogical Society has donated Scots in Georgia and the Deep South, 1735-1845, in memory of Henry Allen. His widow, June, currently serves as the president of the BCGS.

I hope you find it immensely useful in your research as the library continues to work in cooperation with the BCGS to bring you additional, unique resources to the library's genealogy collection.

Below is's description of what you can expect from this newly available resource on your next trip to the library.  
   "During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the area now known as Georgia was a buffer zone between British-governed South Carolina and Spanish-governed Florida. Settlement of the region by the British did not take place until 1732 when James Oglethorpe established the colony of Georgia as a refuge for English debtors, paupers, and discharged prisoners. Scottish immigration to the colony commenced almost at the same time, however, and was made up of two distinct categories of immigrants: Lowlanders and Highlanders. Lowlanders immigrated for purely economic reasons, as farmers and later as merchants; while Highlanders were recruited to the colony for strategic purposes, basically to guard the southern frontier from Spanish incursions.
  "Somewhat later, at the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763, the Spanish withdrew from Florida. The removal of the Spanish threat and the acquisition of new lands by the British led to an influx of settlers, including Scots, into Florida and as far west as Mobile. Many of the earliest settlers in the area were former Scottish soldiers and indentured servants, awarded land on the condition that they develop it and settle other immigrants on the land within a few years.
  "This new work by the prolific Scottish author David Dobson contains the names of several thousand Scots who immigrated to Georgia and the Deep South, settling in the area sometime between 1735 and 1845. Based on probate records, court records, family papers, newspapers and journals, naturalization papers, church registers, gravestone inscriptions, printed sources, and census returns, the information provided in this book is of a broad and mixed character, generally giving some or all of the following details: name, place and date of birth, occupation, place and date of settlement in Georgia or the Deep South, and names of wives and children.
  "If you're looking for a Scottish ancestor who hasn't shown up in any of Mr. Dobson's other books, this could be your answer."

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Midwest Genealogy Center & to host conference

If you're up for a road trip to Blue Springs / Independence, MO in March, this should be an excellent conference to attend!  Pricing and registration information is available by clicking here.

Sponsored by and the Midwest Genealogy Center, Ancestry Day will be held on March 16, 2013, from 9:00 to 4:30 p.m. Ancestry Day will feature sessions taught by staff members, Anne Mitchell and Lou Szucs, and staff from the Midwest Genealogy Center focusing on all levels of genealogy research. Held at the Adams Pointe Conference Center in Blue Springs, Missouri.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Sessions include How to Use, Getting the Most from, Military Records at and Fold3, and Using for Finding Family in Local History Sources. The day will end with Stump the Experts, a panel discussion featuring staff from Midwest Genealogy Center and the Ancestry experts.

A welcome reception at the Midwest Genealogy Center [3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, MO] is offered on Friday, March 15, 2013, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., for attendees to network and meet the Ancestry speakers. Limited space is available. Register now for this free event.

Make your Ancestry Day an Ancestry Weekend. The Midwest Genealogy Center is offering FREE classes and events on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, as well as being open for research. Check for information on location and hours.

Early Bird Registration is $30. After March 1, 2013, $35. Refunds given up to March 9, 2013. If you have questions, please call 816.252.7228 and ask for Angela or Janice or email them at