Fold3 is Offering Free Access to its Black History Collection Through Feb 28, 2018

The following teaser is from the Fold3 blog.

In recognition of Black History Month, Fold3 is making the records in its Black History collection available for free through the end of February.

Whether you’re searching for your ancestors or looking for primary documents to help with other research, the Black History collection gives you access to more than a million documents, records, and photos that help to capture the African-American experience during five eras of American history: Slavery, The Civil War, Reconstruction & Jim Crow Laws, World War I & II, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Read the full blog.

Thanks to Dick Eastman for the heads-up.

The National Genealogical Society Has Moved to Falls Church Virginia

The National Genealogical Society Has Moved
The following news release was received from NGS a while back:

FALLS CHURCH, VA, 31 JANUARY 2018 — The National Genealogical Society (NGS) moved to a new office in early January 2018. NGS didn’t go far, just five miles from Arlington to Falls Church, Virginia. The new space is smaller but technologically more up-to-date. The staff are still unpacking boxes and making sure the historical files are intact, so please have patience in the coming weeks as they complete all the tasks associated with moving an office.

NGS is on the move in other ways too. It will be tackling another big project in the coming year, upgrading and updating its website. The new website will give members and the genealogical community fresh educational content to help everyone achieve their research goals and build strong and accurate family trees. Look for enhanced functionality, including a more robust search engine, new content, easier navigation, and improved integration.

NGS also has new publications and online courses planned for 2018, as well as research trips, and a blockbuster family history conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 2-5 May 2018.

Make sure you update your contact lists with NGS’s new mailing address: 6400 Arlington Blvd., Suite 810, Falls Church, VA 22042-2318 USA. The telephone numbers remain the same. Tel. 703-525-0050 or 800-473-0060.

R.I.P. Pat Gooldy

Pat Gooldy and Leland K Meitzler – photo taken in Illinois a few years back.

My dear friend, Pat Gooldy, passed away in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 15, 2018. Pat and her husband, Ray, spent many years as the proprietors of Ye Olde Genealogie Shoppe. I would visit with them when we attended the many conferences over the years – and usually ended up going out to eat with them after we got packed up. Even though they were much older than I, Ray and Pat would ALWAYS stick around the exhibit hall and help me pack up after the function was over.

Ray and Pat did a lot of publishing of genealogy records, as well as how-to guides, during the pre-internet era. Many of their titles became obsolete with the internet revolution, as most of their transcribed records are now online – often available at no charge. But during all those years before the internet, the Gooldy’s materials were of prime importance to genealogists everywhere. Besides publishing, Pat was a great teacher. She taught elementary school for most of her life, and would teach genealogy classes at seminars and conferences on the weekend.

Ray and Pat operated Ye Olde Genealogie Shoppe from 1974, and exhibited at conferences all over the mid-west (and often further) until Ray’s death. David Carroll (Pat’s grandson) would often drive their van, and help set up and tear down the booth. David looked after his grandmother as Pat continued to operate the business, gradually cutting back until she was only selling her products on the internet. The website,, is still online, but I understand that its functionally isn’t fully operational any longer.

Ray passed away the 29th of July 2002, and is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Ellettsville, Monroe County, Indiana. Pat was buried there on December 20, 2017.

The following is copied directly from the bio page at the website. I am including the info in its entirety here, as I’ve got a pretty good idea that this info will disappear once the website goes away – which I’m sure it will. Whatever happens, I’d like the memory of Pat and Ray to live on in some way. R.I.P – Pat and Ray.

Pat and Ray Gooldy

Pat is a retired elementary school teacher, having received her bachelor’s degree from The Unversity of Indianapolis and her master’s at Butler University. She specializes in the design and introduction of new forms/charges as well as the indexing, compiling and editing genealogical records.

She has compiled and edited, with Charles M. Franklin, the Index to Testators of Indiana Wills to 1880. Her talk on “21 Things” has been so well received, she has compiled the charts that illustrate it into a booklet used by many instructors in basic courses for fledgling genealogists. As an Alumna of the National Archives Institute on Genealogical Research, she took on the project of editing and publishing The Lost Soldiers 1784-1811 with Barbara Wolfe; who compiled it from the original seventeen rolls of microfilm. Pat’s geographical area of interest is Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other “feeder states” into the Old Northwest Territory.

Her favorite ancestor is the lady who was fined a penny for verbal abuse {and threats of physical mayhem) to another “lady” making unwelcome overtures to her husband. Ray retired from the U.S. Army in June of 1972 after over twenty years of service. He is a native Hoosier from Ellettsville, Monroe County, Indiana. He moved to Indianapolis after he and Pat were married in May of 1968. Ray graduated from Ellettsville High School before he entered the army. Ray has edited and published The Index to Mexican War Pension Applications by Barbara Wolfe. He is also co-author, with Pat of The Manual for Indiana Genealogical Research, Manual for Illinois Genealogical Research and The Directory of Illinois Genealogical Societies. He has also compiled Kentucky, a Brief Genealogical Guide, An Aid in Researching the Bluegrass State and Researching Church Records in America, an aid to genealogists for finding their ancestors by use of church records. His special interests are genealogical instruction, newspaper research, and the Old Northwest Territory.

Both Pat and Ray are graduates of the National Archives Institute on Genealogical Research and the Kentucky State Archives Institute on Genealogical Research. They have both been appointed as Honorary Kentucky Colonels by the governor of Kentucky for their work in preserving Kentucky genealogical records. They are listed in Who’s Who in America for their contributions in the field of genealogy.

Ye Olde Genealogie Shoppe now publishes over 500 titles in the field of genealogy research publications and has forms, charts and maps to aid genealogists in their research. Their website features surname indexes for most of their publications.

May 4, 1932 – July 29, 2002
Walter R. “Ray” Gooldy, 70, of Indianapolis, IN died early Monday, July 29, 2002, at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, IN. Born May 4, 1932 in Ellettsville, IN, he was the son of Donovan Oral and Catherine Lois (Frantz)Gooldy.

A retired Army Veteran of over twenty years service, he had served more than twelve years in Germany, two years in Korea and two and one half years in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He retired in June of 1972.

He and his wife owned and operated Ye Olde Genealogie Shoppe in Indianapolis. He had written seven books to assist genealogists, given hundreds of speeches, and furnished commercial displays for seminars all over this country from Florida to California and from Minnesota to Texas. He was a member of many genealogy organizations including the Association of Professional Genealogists. He was a founding member of the Franklin Twp.(Marion County, IN) Historical Society and the Indiana Genealogy Society.

He was appointed a “Kentucky Colonel” by the Governor of Kentucky for his service in the publishing of over 150 books on Kentucky County Records. Among many awards he especially prized and felt honored by was the Illinois Genealogical Society’s award for service on behalf of Illinois genealogists.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia Van Treese Gooldy of Indianapolis; one daughter, Sherida Lynn Altman of Oregon; two brothers, Roger Gooldy of Michigan and Jerry Gooldy of Ohio; one sister Alice Finley of Indiana; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and one daughter, Donna Rae Mowbray.

Services were held at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2002, at Chandler Funeral Home in Ellettsville, IN. Burial was at the Presbyterian Cemetery in Ellettsville where military graveside rites were conducted by the Veteran’s Honor Guard. On that day Ray became one of six straight-line generations of Gooldys buried in that cemetery which is located just 200 feet west of the land on which he grew up the 1930s through the 1950s.

The Franklin Times, As Early as 1909, Now Digitized and Available FREE Online

The following excerpt is the the Digital North Carolina blog.

More issues of the Franklin Times, provided by our partner, Louisburg College, are now available online. The issues are from the years 1912-1944 and 1963-1972, and join previously digitized issues from 1909-1911. Established in 1870, the Franklin Times covers news in Louisburg, North Carolina, as well as statewide and national news of note. The Franklin Times continues to publish issues on a weekly basis both online and in print form and is distributed throughout Franklin County.

Search for your ancestors in the Franklin Times.

Read the full article.

A New Database With the Names & Details of Every Person Who Traveled on The SS Great Britain: 1843-1933

The following excerpt is from a fascinating article about an 18-month project during which the names and details of every person who traveled on the British SS Great Britain were logged in a database. The database currently has 33,251 people in it! The article was posted February 10, 2018 at the website.

After 18 months of painstaking work, volunteers at the SS Great Britain have unveiled a huge new database that holds all the names and details of every single person that ever traveled on the ship throughout its lifetime – both crew and passengers – offering an insight into their life on board.

It is hoped that the database, called Global Stories, will enable every single visitor to the SS Great Britain to find at least one link to someone who was once on Brunel’s world famous ship – whether that’s by name, ancestry, nationality and more.

The Global Stories project began as a database for researchers to find out more about the people who traveled on the ship during the 19th century, but once Arts Council England funding was secured, it transformed into a database that everyone could make use of.

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the Heads-Up.

She Reads that Which Cannot be Read

A “commonplace” book from the 17th century. BEINECKE FLICKR LABORATORY/CC BY 2.0

There’s an article posted at Atlas Obscura about Linda Watson and her company, Transcription Services. She specializes in reading the unreadable. Following is an excerpt from the article.

ON ANY GIVEN DAY, FROM her home on the Isle of Man, Linda Watson might be reading a handwritten letter from one Confederate soldier to another, or a list of convicts transported to Australia. Or perhaps she is reading a will, a brief from a long-forgotten legal case, an original Jane Austen manuscript. Whatever is in them, these documents made their way to her because they have one thing in common: They’re close to impossible to read.

Watson’s company, Transcription Services, has a rare specialty—transcribing historical documents that stump average readers. Once, while talking to a client, she found the perfect way to sum up her skills. “We are good at reading the unreadable,” she said. That’s now the company’s slogan.

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Be Safe – See Shortened URLs Without Opening Them

We run across more and more shortened URLs these days, and often can’t tell if they’re safe just by hovering your curser over them, as you can with most URLs. But there are ways to check them out without having to “Click” and pray…

The following teaser is from a very useful blog posted at

If you ever come across a link in email or on a website, always hover your mouse cursor over it to see the destination URL at the bottom of the browser to ensure it’s safe. But, this trick doesn’t work with shortened URLs that are quite common these days on social media websites.

However, this also doesn’t mean you have to facecheck every short URL and risk your security. There are multiple ways to check what’s behind a shortened URL without opening it…

Read the full blog at

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

New Kindex Features Released

I received he following news from Kindex on February 13, 2018:

Today we are excited to announce the release of a major update to Kindex archival software, with several new features that will make creating searchable family archives faster and easier. We’ve maximized space, improved archive organization, and enhanced record navigation and transcription. Read about it | Watch the video

Wow, has it been a year since Kindex won the People’s Choice Award at the RootsTech Innovator Showdown? With RootsTech 2018 just around the corner, here’s a sneak peek of what we’ll be up to.


We can’t tell you all the details now, but trust us, it’s going to be great. If you want more affordable (or even free) options for your family archive, and need some motivation to continue adding and transcribing family records, you’ll want to stay tuned for this announcement at RootsTech 2018.

23andMe DNA Tests – 20% Off for Valentine’s Day – Order Today

Get 20% off each 23andMe DNA kit at Get to the heart of what makes your Valentine unique. Order today. Offer ends Feb 14. Click on this link or the illustration below to order.

I’ve taken the 23andMe DNA test, and have learned all kinds of things about my DNA and my health risks. The test also tells me how much Neanderthal DNA I’m carrying! They offer an “Ancestry Service” test – on Sale for $79, and well as their “Health + Ancestry Service” test – on Sale for $159.

23 Pairs of Chromosomes. One Unique You. Get your DNA story at

Note: GenealogyBlog has an affiliate relationship with 23andMe, and receives a small portion of any sale made by clicking on the links on this site. Thanks for your support.

Bundle of Three Recent Genealogy Guides on DNA, Travel & Organization – 30% off Thru Friday, Feb 16

Family Roots Publishing has purchased quantities of three recently-published genealogy guides from Moorshead Magazines, bundled them, and cut the price 30% for quick sale. The guides cover the topics of DNA Research, Genealogy Travel, and Genealogy Organization.

FRPC has priced the bundle at 30% off – making it just $20.90 (plus $5.50 p&h) Reg. $29.85.

The three publications are:

Click on the links to see each item at it’s own webpage. Use your back-arrow to return to this page and purchase the bundle.

Free Valentine’s Day Access to Marriage Records at

The following news release was received from MyHeritage:

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, MyHeritage has a special gift for all our users. For a limited time, we are providing free access to love-related records in our massive historical records collection. No Data subscription is required, so you may search many US States, European and worldwide collections for your ancestors’ marriage records!

Access is open through midnight, [Thursday] February 15.

What can you find in these wonderful records? In many marriage records, you will see the names of bride and groom, their birthdates, ages, places of residence, their parents’ names. Places of birth may be there, occupations of bride and groom, as well as religious affiliation. Each state and country has different requirements for that information so it may well be different.

To access these collections, visit our marriage records on this SuperSearch page – or click on the above illustration.

The collections include marriage records for many US states, including Illinois, Maine, Texas, Kentucky, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania and for other major US cities that were ports of entry to millions of immigrants, such as New York City. The NYC License Index runs from 1908-1929 with Marriages from 1950-1995. Boston Marriages 1700-1751 and nearby Cambridge vital records. Other New England records include early Connecticut marriages.

Internationally, some exciting collections include:

  • Piotrków Trybunalski Poland 1808-1870 marriages
  • London Marriage licences, 1521-1869
  • Scotland, selected Banns and Marriages c1650-c1855
  • Irish Marriages 1771-1812
  • Netherlands Banns and Marriages, various cities, from 1575-1938
  • Norway Marriages 1660-1926. Other Scandinavian marriage records include Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.
  • And, down under, for Australia: Victoria marriage index 1837-1942, and Australia, Marriages, 1810-1980
  • For those with Latino roots, take a look at the records for Mexico (1570-1950), Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, Panama. The Caribbean 1591-1905 is represented by Barbados.

Enjoy your search!

REMEMBERMyHeritage is running an Autosomal DNA Test sale through Valentine’s Day – offering the tests for only $59 with the purchase of two kits. One kit is just $69. Click here to order. This sale ends at midnight February 14! See for all the details.

RootsTech 2018 Announces Free Online Broadcast Schedule

The following broadcast schedule has been announced for RootsTech 2018. It’s got some great presentations – available for FREE over the Internet. Read down through the list of the programs and the presenters. You’re sure to recognize a lot of the names! For those of you who are attending in person, Patty and I look forward to seeing you there.

Salt Lake City, Utah (12 February 2018), Mark your calendars! RootsTech, the world’s largest family history and technology conference, happening February 28 to March 3, 2018, announced its free live online streaming schedule. It will broadcast 19 of its popular sessions, including former Olympic gold-medalist Scott Hamilton; Brandon Stanton, founder of the Humans of New York photo blog; host of the popular PBS show Finding Your Roots, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Natalia Lafourcade, and Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International. The live broadcasts give those unable to attend in-person a sampling of the show’s marquee content. Interested viewers can watch the select broadcasts live at No registration is required to view the live streams.

“RootsTech 2018 offers over 300 sessions for those able to attend in-person,” said Tyler Stahle, RootsTech marketing manager. “However, the 19 sessions we will live stream for free will expand the show’s reach and give more people the opportunity to participate remotely in this world class conference.” In 2017, streaming sessions garnered more than 50,000 views, and that number continues to grow each year.

The free streamed sessions will include the popular general sessions and a sampling of technology and family history presentations appealing to varied interests.

RootsTech Live Streaming Schedule

Watch at No registration is required to view the live streams. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST).

RootsTech Streaming Schedule
(Watch at No registration is required to view the live streams. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST).

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

9:30 a.m.
Family History in 5 Minutes a Day

Explore 20 ways to effectively do your family history in as little as 5 minutes a day.
Deborah Gamble

11:00 a.m.
DNA: One Family, One World

(Sponsored by Living DNA)
A new project by Living DNA is mapping the world’s DNA, building one world family tree through genetics. Gain insight into how this will impact your family history.
David Nicholson

1:30 p.m.
Organizing and Preserving Photograph Collections

Step-by-step direction in organizing, preserving, and cataloging photo collections for future generations and identifying, digitizing, and sharing collections using family trees and social media.
Ari Wilkins

3:00 p.m.
Finding the Answers: The Basics of WWII Research

Fire destroyed many US military and civilian service records. Alternative record sources exist to reconstruct service history. Learn how to research World War I and II records.
Jennifer Holik

4:30 p.m.
Wednesday General Session and Innovation Showcase

Steve Rockwood explores where industry giant, FamilySearch, has been and is going. Introduction of the all-new RootsTech Innovation Showcase.
Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch International

Thursday, March 1, 2018

8:30 a.m.
Thursday General Session

Brandon Stanton started Humans of New York, a photography and storytelling blog. HONY has built a devoted following of over 20 million fans across several social media platforms.
Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York

11:00 a.m.
MyHeritage DNA 101: From Test to Results

(Sponsored by MyHeritage)
Learn about the MyHeritage DNA service and how the process works, from taking the test to the lab analysis. Learn about MyHeritage DNA’s over 40 ethnicities and how to optimize your DNA matches.
Yaniv Erlich

1:30 p.m.
Google Photos: Collect, Organize, Preserve, and Share

Google Photos is a powerful, free app for storing, organizing, and sharing. Learn how to edit and create photo projects and automatically add your photos to the app from digital devices.
Michelle Goodrum

3:00 p.m.
Unlocking Roman Catholic Records

The Catholic Church is essential for uncovering the lives of millions of immigrants from many nationalities. See how findmypast and the Catholic Church are working to make these records easily accessible.
Brian Donovan

4:30 p.m.
A Gift of Life: Who’s Writing Your Story?

Only you can tell the real stories of love, loss, forgiveness, and change. Don’t leave the task of finding the answers of your life’s history to someone else. Take the time to write your life story.
Deborah Abbott

Friday, March 2, 2018

8:30 a.m.
Friday General Session

Scott Hamilton is the living example that good guys CAN finish first! He is an Olympic champion, cancer survivor, television broadcaster, speaker, author, husband/father, and eternal optimist!
Scott Hamilton, Olympic Skater

11:00 a.m.
findmypast’s British and Irish Hidden Gems

(Sponsored by findmypast)
Explore some of the wonderful collections that can help you break down your British ancestry brick walls, go back further in your family research, and add untold color and detail to your family story.
Myko Clelland

1:30 p.m.
Finding the Right DNA Test for You

DNA testing is becoming an integral tool, but what is it and what does it do? How can DNA actually help your genealogy? If you are brand new to genetic genealogy, this is the class for you.
Jim Brewster

3:00 p.m.
How Not to Leave Your Genealogy Behind

Nobody wants their genealogy research to end up in a landfill. Hear a few horror stories of genealogy materials destroyed and how you can avoid those mistakes.
Amy Johnson Crow and Curt Witcher

4:30 p.m.
Finding Elusive Records at FamilySearch

Learn new skills and techniques used by the experts and lesser known record identification tools and features of the FamilySearch website.
Robert Kehrer

Saturday, March 3, 2018

8:30 a.m.
Saturday General Session

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of popular PBS Finding Your Roots series, and Natalia Lafourcade, one of the most successful Latin American pop singers, will keynote this opening session.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Natalia Lafourcade

11:00 a.m.
Civil Registration Indexes of England and Wales

England and Wales national indexes and recent innovations at the General Register Office have opened up new possibilities and completely new indexes.
Audrey Collins

1:30 p.m.
Advancing Your Genealogy Research with DNA

(Sponsored by Ancestry)
Learn what new tools AncestryDNA has to advance your research and get more out of your DNA results.
Anna Swayne

3:00 p.m.
Pain in the Access: More Web for Your Genealogy

Library, archive, government, and specialized websites have much to offer. Discover these sites and strategies for getting more online data.
Curt Witcher

About RootsTech
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Minnesota Historical Timeline, 1612-1858

The following article was written by my good friend, William Dollarhide, and was taken from his book, Minnesota Censuses & Substitute Name Lists, 1830-2002.

The area of present Minnesota east of the Mississippi River was included in the formation of the United States per the Treaty of Paris of 1783. The western area of Minnesota was part of la Louisiane Française, 1717-1762; part of Spanish Louisiana, 1762-1802; part of (Napoleon’s) Louisiana, 1802-1803; and part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, when the rest of Minnesota became American territory. This historical timeline of Minnesota identifies the main jurisdictions and how they evolved. The goal here is to give genealogists a sense of the jurisdictions in place at the time an ancestor lived in Minnesota. Understanding the jurisdiction where the records may be located today is half the battle in genealogical research.

1612-1615. French explorers Etienne Brule and Samuel de Champlain were the first Europeans to see the Great Lakes. Brule explored Lake Huron in 1612. He was followed by Champlain in 1615.

1682. French Louisiana. René-Robert Cavelier (Sieur de LaSalle) erected a cross near the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, after floating down river from the Illinois Country. He claimed the entire Mississippi Basin for Louis XIV of France, for whom Louisiana was named. All of the rivers and streams flowing into the Mississippi were part of the Mississippi Basin and included in the Louisiana claim.

1717. French Louisiana. The Illinois Country was officially added to the French Louisiana jurisdiction within New France. At that time la Louisiane Française extended from the Wabash River, down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to include several ports on the Gulf of Mexico. Any trading posts or forts north of the Highlands (Terra Haute) were administered as part of French Québec.

1763. Treaty of Paris. This was the end of the French and Indian war. (In Europe it was called the “Seven Years War.”) At the 1763 Treaty, the French surrendered all their claims in North America. Spain acquired the former French areas west of the Mississippi, renamed Spanish Louisiana. Great Britain gained all of Québec, which they immediately renamed the Province of Canada. Britain also gained control of the rest of North America east of the Mississippi River. They named their entire area British North America.

1774. Québec Act. In response to increased American colonial rebellions, the British sought to solidify loyalty from their French communities in British Canada. The British Parliament passed the Québec Act, which restored the name Province of Québec, allowed the French Canadians to retain French laws and customs, and permitted the Catholic Church to maintain all of its rights. Taken from the original clams of the thirteen colonies, the entire region of the Old Northwest was added to Québec, now under British rule.

1783. The Treaty of Paris recognized the United States of America as an independent nation and defined its borders from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. Although the settlements in the Great Lakes region were to be included within the United States, British military forces continued to maintain control over parts of the Great Lakes area for several years after the Revolution. Notably, Fort Detroit remained in British control until 1796. And, Prairie du Chien, on the Mississippi River at the mouth of the Wisconsin River, was a strategic post that did not become American until after the War of 1812. The Isle Royale in Lake Superior was a mustering point for the British and their allied Indians, and also remained in British control until after the War of 1812.

1784. Ohio Country. Connecticut, Virginia and Massachusetts relinquished their claim to lands in the Ohio Country. Title transferred to the “public domain” of the United States Government. Connecticut retained ownership of the “Western Reserve” on Lake Erie, then sold the tract to the Connecticut Land Company in 1795.

1787. Jul 13. Northwest Territory. The Ordinance of 1787 established the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, and defined the procedure for any territory to obtain statehood. Present states carved out of the original area of the Northwest Territory include Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and that part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River.

1800-1803. Louisiana. In 1800, Napoleon gained title to Louisiana again after trading Spain a duchy in Italy. However, Napoleon’s troops in the Caribbean were under siege and unable to provide any help in establishing a French government in Louisiana. Several months later, when American emissaries showed up trying to buy New Orleans, Napoleon offered the entire tract to them. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson urged Congress to vote in favor, and the U.S. purchased the huge tract from France, doubling the size of the United States.

1804. Louisiana District. The Louisiana Purchase was described legally as “the drainage of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.” In 1804, Orleans Territory and Louisiana District were created. Louisiana District included that portion of present-day Minnesota west of the Mississippi River.

1814. Treaty of Ghent. The War of 1812 ended, freeing up American settlement of the Old Northwest.

1818. Anglo American Convention. At this treaty with Britain, the northern U.S. boundary was set at the 49th parallel, from the Lake of the Woods (now Minnesota) to the Continental Divide. The land cession from Britain to the U.S. included the Red River drainage of present western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. Left out of the 1818 treaty line was the U.S.-British boundary line east of the Lake of the Woods to Lake Superior (now called the Northwest Angle), a line that was not finally settled until the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842.
– Also in 1818, the northern portions of both Illinois Territory and Indiana Territory were added to Michigan Territory, which now stretched across the Great Lakes region from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River, including the part of present Minnesota east of the Mississippi.

1819-1824. Fort Snelling. The first American presence in the Minnesota area was at Fort St. Anthony, founded by the U.S. Army in 1819 at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers (between present St. Paul and Minneapolis). The first steamboat to navigate the Mississippi into present Minnesota arrived at Fort St. Anthony in May 1823. The fort was renamed Fort Snelling in 1824, to honor its first commander and architect.

1832. Henry Schoolcraft discovered the source of the Mississippi River in present central Minnesota, a lake he named Itasca.

1836. Wisconsin Territory was created in 1836, taken from Michigan Territory. Its area included the lands of present Wisconsin, and extended west to the Missouri River, including all of present Minnesota.

1838. Iowa Territory was created, reducing the western area of Wisconsin Territory to end at the Mississippi River. Fort Snelling, on the west side of the Mississippi River, was now in Clayton County, Iowa Territory.

1840. Federal Census. Population within the areas of present Minnesota included a few residents of St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory, and Clayton County, Iowa Territory. A few fur traders located in Lake Pepin Precinct (near present Wabasha) were named in the census. But, the 96 inhabitants of Fort Snelling, also in Clayton County, Iowa Territory, were counted but not named.

1844. Iron ore was discovered in the Mesabi Range, the first of several more iron ranges that would become known as the Iron Range of Minnesota, the largest iron ore mining district in the U.S.

1848. Wisconsin became a state with the same boundaries as today. After statehood, the residents of the area between the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers (present-day eastern Minnesota) were left without a territorial government or legal system. About 4,500 people were living in the area of the present Minnesota counties of Benton, Ramsey, and Washington. They immediately began petitioning Congress to become a territory.

1849. Mar 3. Minnesota Territory was created by Congress, with St. Paul as the territorial capital. The original area included the area of present Minnesota, extending west to the Missouri River, including that portion of present North and South Dakota east of the Missouri River.

1856. St. Paul – The Tourist Trap. After the completion of the Rock Island Railroad in 1854, Mississippi steamboats were making regular trips with “pleasure parties” between Rock Island, Illinois and St. Paul, Minnesota. St. Paul had become somewhat of a summer resort destination for southerners. Grand hotels were built, and in 1856, the local newspaper noted that 56,000 tourists had visited St. Paul by steamboat.

1857. Minnesota Territory Census. Congress was expecting a petition for statehood from Minnesota Territory, who claimed a population sufficient to meet minimum requirements (over 60,000). Congress was skeptical about the numbers, due to known balloting frauds in Minnesota Territory, where thousands of fictitious voters had elected several members into the territorial legislature. In a rare move, the federal government mandated a territorial census to be taken, financed by the federal government, but using local census takers. The 1857 Minnesota Territory census was a huge success for the territory, and with the figures of over 150,000 people counted in 1857, Minnesota’s petition for statehood sailed through Congress the following year. In the early 1930s, historian Robert J. Forrest was examining the original 1857 census pages and made a remarkable discovery: the census pages included thousands of names of persons living in seven counties in southwest Minnesota – seven counties that had no population in 1857. Further research revealed that seven paper counties (Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, and Rock) had no population, but Democrats had fabricated census schedules complete with names, ages, occupations, etc. Having previously stuffed ballot boxes with made-up names of voters, the census schedules were fraudulently created to cover their ballot fraud. For the history of this bogus census, see Robert J. Forrest’s article, “Mythical Cities of Southwestern Minnesota,” in Minnesota History, Vol. 14 (1933), pp243-52. In spite of some interesting anomalies, the 1857 Minnesota Territory Census is complete, microfilmed, digitized, and indexed online at, both real and bogus names included.

1858. May 11. Minnesota became the 32nd state admitted to the Union, with boundaries the same as today. St. Paul was the state capital.

1860. Federal Census. Minnesota’s first statewide federal census revealed a population of 172,023 people. The areas formerly part of Minnesota Territory west of the Red River were enumerated in the 1860 federal census as Unorganized Dakota.

Further Reading:

DNA & Your Genealogy – A Great New Resource! – 20% off Thru Feb 16, 2018

I got copies of the new Tracing Your Ancestors: DNA & Your Genealogy over a month ago, but have been so busy I’ve not had time to review the book until now. Published in a saddle-stapled format by Moorshead Magazines, this 66-page guide to DNA research is the one of the most readable and easy-to-understand of all the DNA-related guides that I’ve seen. When I finally got some time to read, I found that I read the entire publication, and understood most of what I was reading! Which is saying something… DNA has become key to our research, and whether we like it or not, we’d better all get on board with it, as it’s become the key to unlock brick walls that we may have thought we’d never overcome.

Written by Dr. Maurice Gleeson MB, the book is written about the science – for those of use who thought we’d just stick with the humanities! I can’t recommend a guide more – especially if you are just getting into using DNA in your research. The guide is inexpensive, while giving you the knowledge that you need to be off and running with your DNA genealogy research. Dr. Gleeson was born in Dublin where he trained as a medical doctor. He is currently a psychiatrist, a pharmaceutical physician, a part-time actor and a genetic genealogist. That said, he’s also a great writer!

This 66-page DNA guide is the most easy-to understand DNA Guide published to date. Heavily illustrated, this guide is for the rest of us!

FRPC is offering this guide at 20% off – making it just $7.96 – as a Valentine’s Day Special. The sale price is good through Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Buy it at 30% off by purchasing as a bundle with Moorshead’s Organizing and Travel publications during the same sale period.

The following is from the Table of Contents:


  • Preamble
  • What’s in you closet?
  • Why turn to DNA?
  • What Companies offer DNA tests?
  • What can you get from a DNA test?
  • The three main DNA tests (and what they can do for you)
  • Which DNA test is best for me?

Some Basic Science

  • A closer look at chromosomes
  • The two different types of DNA Marker
  • The Human Evolutionary Tree

Y-DNA – Tracing Your Direct Male Line

  • The types of Y-DNA test
  • Understanding your Y-DNA results
  • Your Place on the Tree of Mankind
  • Why join a Surname Project
  • Anatomy of a Surname Project
  • Further study & resources

Mitochondrial DNA- Tracing Your Direct Female Line

  • Some more basic science
  • Applying mtDNA to your genealogy

Autosomal DNA – Some More Basic Science

  • What is asDNA?
  • The mechanics of atDNA transmission and inheritance
  • Recombination (Crossing Over) – shuffling the pack
  • Independent Assortment – random sorting of chromosomes
  • How much DNA do I share with my relatives?
  • Genetic Population Admixture Estimates (“ethnic makeup”)

Autosomal DNA – connecting with Genetic Cousins

  • Secrets of Success
  • Analyzing Autosomal DNA Matches
  • Step 1 – Where does the common ancestor sit on your tree?
  • Step 2 – Is the common ancestor obvious?
  • Step 3 – Generating a shortlist of possible candidates
  • Step 3.1 – Maternal or Paternal ancestor?
  • Step 3.2 – A match on the X?
  • Step 3.3 – Eliminating lines of unlikely ethnicity or nationality
  • Step 3.4 – Using phasing to eliminate ancestral lines
  • Step 3.5 – Other techniques to eliminate non-contenders
  • Step 4 – Working with Triangulation
  • Triangulation with 23andMe
  • Triangulation with FTDNA
  • Triangulation with Ancestry
  • Triangulation in practice

Using DNA to Help Adoptees

Additional Online Information

Click on the following link to order:

Tracing Your Ancestors – DNA & Your Genealogy; by Dr. Maurice Gleeson MB; 2018; 66 pp; Soft Cover, Saddle Stapled; ISBN: 978-1-926510-08-8; Item #: MM028 FRPC is offering this guide at 20% off – making it just $7.96 – as a Valentine’s Special. The sale price is good through Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Buy it at 30% off by purchasing as a bundle with Moorshead’s Organizing and Travel publications during the same sale period.