Annals of Iowa now online

You can access the Annals of Iowa online now. The publication is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of history published by the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Issues published from 1863-1969 and 2006-2013 are online at:

This article was published in the Fort Dodge Republican in September 1863. It was posted in the Annals of Iowa in January 1905.


I did a couple of searches, using the “in this journal” option. You can download a PDF of the whole article, with a cover page and end page. It’s another resource for Iowa history.

Genealogy Do-Over

Is Your Genealogy Ready for a “Do-Over”?


With each new year, many consider making changes in their lives such as losing weight, getting more exercise, etc. Even genealogists like to get in on the act and in 2015 there’s a special online educational program that can help you get rid of “bad research habits” and learn some new tricks.

The Genealogy Do-Over™ is the brainstorm of genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee and since its announcement in mid-December 2014, has attracted over 1,000 participants from around the world. And the best part? The entire 13-week program which starts on January 2, 2015, is FREE. Visit the Genealogy Do-Over at to see the announcement and the latest news.

Genealogy Do-Over: A New Journey of Genealogical Discovery

Here is the short summary of Genealogy Do-Over as Thomas sees it:

I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (*certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on a long-distance trip will be retained).

Since genealogists started their research 10, 20 or 30 years ago (or more), much has changed in the areas of genealogy research methodology and education. Many now realize the need to collect facts and track them properly, including the use of source citations. Many understand the process of analyzing evidence and proving facts to reach a conclusion. In essence, as Thomas puts it: “I know a lot more about the ‘process’ of genealogical research and I want to put it to use.”

How Does the Genealogy Do-Over Work?

The Genealogy Do-Over journey is constructed of 13 mileposts or journey markers spread out over 13 weeks. Participants can choose any pace they want, and even spread the topics out over the course of a year. Or some may decide to drop some of the less important tasks and add different topics. The goal is to do whatever it takes to ensure that a firm footing to finding ancestors.

A synopsis of the planned route – the Schedule of Topics – can be found at As each week progresses, participants will continue researching and add more and more skills and areas of focus including citing sources, tracking searches, building a research toolbox, creating an educational plan, researching offline as well as online, and more.

By the end of the 13 weeks – or 13 journey markers – the group will have covered a firm foundation in genealogy and family history research. For individual participants, some focus areas may differ; participants have the freedom to add or remove content from their own Genealogy Do-Over plan. As Thomas says, “This program has to work for you and not something that you dread each week or that you find you are working against.”

What’s the Cost? What’s the Catch

There is no price. A journey that could very well revolutionize the way you’ve been doing genealogy research is priceless. When you join the Genealogy Do-Over (see below), you’ll receive weekly updates about the current topics, you’ll be part of an active and passionate collaborative group sharing genealogy tips and tricks, and more. Legacy Family Tree is hosting a FREE webinar entitled My Genealogy DO-Over – A Year of Learning from Research Mistakes ( presented by Thomas MacEntee on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.

Here’s How to Be a Part of the Genealogy Do-Over

Visit the following sites to get involved and set out on your own Genealogy Do-Over journey in 2015!

Schedule of Topics – Genealogy Do-Over

Week 1 – January 2-8, 2015

  • Clean house
  • Prepare to research
  • Review the Golden Rules

Week 2 – 9-15 January 2015

  • Setting Research Goals
  • Conducting Self Interview
  • Conducting Family Interviews

Week 3 – 16-22 January 2015

  • Tracking Research
  • Conducting Research

Week 4 – 23-29 January 2015

  • Managing Projects and Tasks
  • Tracking Searches

Week 5 – 30 January-5 February 2015

  • Building a Research Toolbox
  • Citing Sources

Week 6 – 6-12 February 2015

  • Evaluating Evidence
  • Reviewing Online Education Options

Week 7 – 13-19 February 2015

  • Reviewing Genealogy Database Software
  • Digitizing Photos and Documents

Week 8 – 20-26 February 2015

  • Conducting Collateral Research
  • Reviewing Offline Education Options

Week 9 – 27 February-5 March 2015

  • Conducting Cluster Research
  • Organizing Research Materials – Documents and Photos

Week 10 – 6-12 March 2015

  • Reviewing DNA Testing Options
  • Organizing Research Materials – Digital

Week 11 – 13-19 March 2015

  • Reviewing Social Media Options
  • Building a Research Network

Week 12 – 20-26 March 2015

  • Sharing Research
  • Reviewing Research Travel Options

Week 13 – 27 March-3 April 2015

  • Securing Research Data
  • Reviewing the Journey

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Online resources

There are many online resources for family history research, both pay and free. Some pay sites have ways you can access them for free.

Heritage Quest can be accessed through the Fort Dodge Public Library, if you have a library card there. Go to the library’s website, click on Online Resources in the menu bar near the top and scroll down to Heritage Quest. The first time you click, it will ask you to enter the bar code from the institution that referred you. That means enter your library card number. Then you can access Heritage Quest.

At a Family History Center, you can access several pay sites for free. This only works on the computers that belong to that center, as they have special software that registers the computers for those sites. These sites include:

  • 19th Century British Library Newspapers digital archive
  • Newspaper Archives
  • Alexander Street Press, American Civil War
  • ArkivDigital Online
  • Find My Past
  • Fold3
  • Heritage Quest Online
  • Historic Map Works Library Edition
  • Legacy Stories
  • Paper Trail
  • World Vital Records

Note: The Family History Center in Fort Dodge is currently closed while they are waiting for new computers.

A good place to start looking for resources is Cyndi’s List. It is described as “A comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online.” You can browse categories or do a search to find what you are looking for, and then go to the actual site. It’s like a card catalog for online genealogy resources. is a free site with a lot of resources. There are several ways to search: by name in records or submitted genealogies, through a card catalog, and by region are a few. You can register for free and keep your family tree there, as well. If you are registered, you can upload photos (they are open to public view), stories and documents.

This is only a short list, but it’s a good start.

New items as of Aug. 28, 2013

New items at the Webster County Genealogical Society:

  • Gowrie News index 1930-1939 (compiled by the Webster County Genealogical Society and published by Iowa Genealogical Society)
  • Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly — Volume 53, No. 2, 2013
  • Western New York Genealogicial Society Journal Index — Volume
    XXXIX June 2012 to March 2013
  • Western New York Genealogicial Society Journal — Volume XL No. 1, June 2013
  • Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal — Volume XXXIII, No. 1, 2013
  • Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly — Volume 45: Number 2, Summer 2013
  • Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Newsletter — Volume 59, No. 3, July 2013
  • Iowa Genealogical Society newsletter — July 2013
  • Linn County (Iowa) Heritage Hunters newsletter — Volume 28, Number 3, August 2013
  • Goss/Koon family letters (and family group sheets; other names include Hollingsworth, Hamann and Geis) in a binder
  • Memories/Ada Hollingsworth Hamann Geis (bound book)
  • Family Tree Magazine — May/June 2013, July/August 2013 and September 2013
  • Tama County (Iowa) Museum news — Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2013 and Volume 28, Issue 3, July 2013
  • Military Images — Volume XXXI, Number 5, March/April 2012 and Volume XXXI, Number 6, May/June 2012
  • An article from The Fort Dodge Messenger dated 4 Jan 1964 entitled “History Recorded in Cemeteries” by Maxine Peet.
  • Tree Talks, a quarterly publication from the Central New York Genealogical Society — Volume 53, No. 2, June 2013
  • Ohio Genealogy News — Volume 44, Number 2, Summer 2013
  • “Show Me” State Genealogical News (Missouri State Genealogical Association) — Volume XXXIV, No. 2, Summer 2013

As you can see, the Webster County Genealogical Society has a variety of materials from all over the country.

A genealogy bargain

For a short time, you can buy the Family Tree Maker Deluxe software for $30.99 on The normal price is $69.99.

It says that this version is for Windows 8, but under system requirements it says it will run on Windows XP, Vista or Windows; 7.

Read the reviews. There are people who love the software and people who hate it because they had problems.

One of the benefits of this package, though, is that it includes a three-month subscription to Currently, a six-month subscription is $77. So this is less than half of that cost. You do have to provide credit card information, as they will charge your card if you don’t cancel when the three months is up.

On, they have two versions of Family Tree Maker: Family Tree Maker
2012 on sale for $29.99 and Family Tree Maker 2012 Complete on sale for $59.99. These each have a 14-day subscription, but you can get that anyway if it’s your first time signing up. The version on is Deluxe.

The sale on is for a short time – I was told until May 11, although I don’t see that on the page. It is in CD format, so you have to wait for it to arrive. It should have free shipping if you pick the standard shipping option.

This is not an endorsement. The Webster County Genealogical Society and its members and officers do not receive any benefit, financial or otherwise, from any of the named entities for any consideration or mention on this website. It is for informational purposes only. -Carol Foltz, president, Webster County Genealogical Society