Wanderings From Your President



May you ask the right question of the right person at the right time.

Many of us do not have “older” relatives left to ask questions.  I do have a 96-year-old cousin whose mind is still pretty sharp and a brother who is 83 that can still give me some answers.  What I am getting at is that Leo asked me what one of my uncles on my dad’s side did and a certain cousin and I could not say for sure.

My grandfather Larsen had 11 children and 42 grandchildren.  That’s a lot of people to try to remember what they did.  I need to look at census records again and see how much I may have missed when I first copied them.

So, we had 4 days last week when we could make a quick trip to Minnesota to see what we could do.  Interesting!!  The 4 of us cousins who could meet on the spur of the moment did come up with some answers.  Questions we asked were how much schooling, military service and jobs they had.  (We were after only 2 generations, our Mom & Dad and all their siblings and only 1st cousins.) 

A new Minnesota marriage resource may be found at http://moms.mn.gov/.  It covers most counties since their formation up to the present time.

On December 15th Ancestry.com changed over to a new format that will give tablet and smartphone users better access to their databases.  Given past experience its “look” will probably be quite different.

A sobering thought is the fact that genealogy records and genealogical record-keeping have become increasingly electronic and how increasingly vital these records are in “the pursuit, preservation, and presentation of our family histories and stories.”  The Allen County Public Library posed some thoughtful questions about how we are managing our electronic files.  Are we bringing more order to them than to some of our paper files?  Have we planned for what will happen to our primary, working electronic records and databases?  Have we planned for what will happen to our electronic records after our deaths?  How will those tending to our estates deal with e-files that they can’t see and don’t know exist?

Indexes to over 1.5 million railroad pension files from the Railroad Retirement Board housed at the National Archives are now available online for free.  They span the years 1936 to the early 2000’s.  To access the indexes go to the Genealogy Quick Look page of the Mid-Continent Public Library:  http://quicklook.midwestgenealogycenter.org/.

I hope everyone is having a good winter and looking forward to spring.