from Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D.  ()

Genealogy research often involves a search for people who disappeared for many reasons including epidemics.  Worldwide and in America in 1918, influenza caused more people to be hospitalized during WWI from this epidemic than wounds.  US Army training camps became death camps, with an 80% death rate in some camps. (Source: Genealogy Quest:  American Epidemics)

Have you checked out the new SFA website?  A new item has been added to the Resources - Hot Topics section.  It is an article about the notion of names being changed when immigrants were entering at Ellis Island.  Check out this new article and all the information on the new SFA website at

March 20, 1942:  In Australia, General Douglas MacArthur pledges to fight his way back to the Japanese-controlled Philippines, declaring “I shall return.” (Source:  The American Patriot’s Almanac by W. J. Bennett and J. T. Cribb, 2010)

In February, my husband and I had the opportunity to take a cruise starting and ending in New Orleans.  The cruise was to places in the Caribbean and Mexico, but we really wanted to go to New Orleans, the home of the WWII Museum.  This is definitely a must-see, world-class museum.  It has a 4D cinematic overview, full-sized aircraft, interactive exhibits, personal histories, and amazing artifacts. This is one of the world’s top museums!  If you have seen it before, go again as it is growing.  If you have not seen it, put it on your list of places to see.  It was a humbling and exhausting experience for us.  If it helps your planning process, the museum is within walking distance of the old town section of New Orleans and several hotels.  Actually, a new hotel is under construction at the museum.

Special thanks go out to three SFA members who shared messages about recent items in Tidbits on technology and pictures!  One person expressed sadness when people focus on only keeping pictures of known people.  This member expressed hope that as technology expands our genealogy research capacity, there may be hope that the old images will be worth keeping for identification in the future.  A second member shared developing a color-coding system for the thousands of ancestors on the family tree.  While in the process of preparing a home to sell, this member recognizes the process may take two to ten years, and compared it to being like housework, it is never finished… only far more enjoyable. Another SFA member shared the fabulous resources at the Fairfax County Library, Virginia.  This library offers library card holders a 30-minute orientation to self-services that include digitizing prints, negative and slides along with VHD video cassette and audio cassette conversion. Perhaps we all need to check our local library for resources and even offer encouragement for the library to add equipment.

The SFA 2019 Reunion will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, 
September 19-21

St. Louis is the home to the National Personnel Records Center.  This is the repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century. (Records prior to WWI are in Washington, DC.)  While some files were destroyed by a fire, some records are being “recreated.”  The 2019 Reunion is an opportunity to meet other SFA members and is a possible opportunity for some military records research.

The 2019 SFA Reunion is September 19-21.  Did you write it on your calendar?