Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories
October, 2014 (13)
September, 2014 (17)
August, 2014 (18)
July, 2014 (16)
June, 2014 (18)
May, 2014 (17)
April, 2014 (17)
March, 2014 (17)
February, 2014 (16)
January, 2014 (16)
December, 2013 (11)
November, 2013 (15)
October, 2013 (19)
September, 2013 (20)
August, 2013 (23)
July, 2013 (24)
June, 2013 (14)
May, 2013 (25)
April, 2013 (20)
March, 2013 (24)
February, 2013 (25)
January, 2013 (20)
December, 2012 (19)
November, 2012 (25)
October, 2012 (22)
September, 2012 (24)
August, 2012 (24)
July, 2012 (21)
June, 2012 (22)
May, 2012 (28)
April, 2012 (44)
March, 2012 (36)
February, 2012 (36)
January, 2012 (27)
December, 2011 (22)
November, 2011 (29)
October, 2011 (52)
September, 2011 (26)
August, 2011 (26)
July, 2011 (17)
June, 2011 (31)
May, 2011 (32)
April, 2011 (31)
March, 2011 (31)
February, 2011 (28)
January, 2011 (27)
December, 2010 (34)
November, 2010 (26)
October, 2010 (27)
September, 2010 (27)
August, 2010 (31)
July, 2010 (23)
June, 2010 (30)
May, 2010 (23)
April, 2010 (30)
March, 2010 (30)
February, 2010 (30)
January, 2010 (23)
December, 2009 (19)
November, 2009 (27)
October, 2009 (30)
September, 2009 (25)
August, 2009 (26)
July, 2009 (33)
June, 2009 (32)
May, 2009 (30)
April, 2009 (39)
March, 2009 (35)
February, 2009 (21)
January, 2009 (29)
December, 2008 (15)
November, 2008 (15)
October, 2008 (25)
September, 2008 (30)
August, 2008 (26)
July, 2008 (26)
June, 2008 (22)
May, 2008 (27)
April, 2008 (20)
March, 2008 (20)
February, 2008 (19)
January, 2008 (22)
December, 2007 (21)
November, 2007 (26)
October, 2007 (20)
September, 2007 (17)
August, 2007 (23)
July, 2007 (17)
June, 2007 (13)
May, 2007 (7)

Search

Archives

<October 2014>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2829301234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678

More Links








# Monday, October 20, 2014
Call for Old Family Photos: Family Tree Magazine Seeks Ancestral Cover Model for 15th Anniversary Issue
Posted by Diane

We're getting pretty excited for Family Tree Magazine's big 15th anniversary issue in January 2015, and we'd love to put your ancestor on the cover!



Email us your ancestral photo before midnight on Friday, Oct. 31. We'll choose one photo to appear on our January/February 2015 cover, and other photos may appear with articles inside the magazine.

Here's how to submit:
  • Scan your old family photo at high resolution (300 dpi or greater). Old family photos of ancestors and relatives are fine, but no living folks, please. If you have a few favorite photos, it's fine to send more than one.
  • Include information you know about the photo, such as the name of the person or people shown, their relationship to you, when the picture was taken, etc. Also include your name, email address and phone number.
If we choose your photo, we'll contact you and get your mailing address to send you a copy of the issue.

By sending your photo, you affirm that you're the owner of the image, and you give us permission to use it on the cover or in the interior of Family Tree Magazine. We also may use it in other print or electronic genealogy products.

Remember to submit before midnight on Oct. 31!


Family Tree Magazine articles | Photos
Monday, October 20, 2014 1:07:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Free Immigration Records on Ancestry.com Through Oct. 23
Posted by Diane



Ancestry.com is offering free access to its immigration records collection
from now through Oct. 23 at midnight ET.

The promotion highlights this week's episode of "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr." which Ancestry.com sponsors. Watch chefs Aarón Sánchez, Tom Colicchio and Ming Tsai learn about their immigrant ancestors Tuesday night at 8 ET/7 CT.

Click here to start searching Ancestry.com immigration records.

You'll need to register for a free account with Ancestry.com (or log in to your existing account) to see full search results.

I gave the offer a try, and I'm relatively certain that this is the passenger record for my third-great-grandfather Franz Edward Thoss, showing his arrival at the port of New York, Feb. 10, 1837, on the Tiber, which left from Bremen.



This is for my great-granduncle, Ralph E. Thoss, coming back from World War II on the Vulcania, which arrived Nov. 10, 1945, from Le Havre, France. (Here's a neat website about the "cigarette camps" through which WWII troops moved when arriving and departing the port of Le Havre. Ralph was at Camp Phillip Morris.)



For more help using Ancestry.com in your genealogy search, check out our Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com book.


Ancestry.com | immigration records
Monday, October 20, 2014 12:34:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 16, 2014
Enter Our Family History Month Sweepstakes: You Could Win a Genealogy Shopping Spree!
Posted by Diane

Happy Family History Month! To help you get started celebrating and discovering your family's history, we're giving you a chance (or chances—see below) to win a $100 gift card to ShopFamilyTree.com.

The winner of Family Tree Magazine's Family History Month Sweepstakes can choose from hundreds of genealogy how-to guides, books, CDs, video classes and more in ShopFamilyTree.com.
Click here to enter the Family History Month Sweepstakes before midnight Eastern on Oct. 30, 2014.  (You'll find the official rules here.)

You can get extra chances to win, too: After you submit your entry, you'll receive a unique link to share with friends. For each person who clicks your link and then enters the sweepstakes, you'll receive an additional two chances to win.

Good luck!


Genealogy fun | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:15:55 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, October 15, 2014
5 Websites for Norwegian Genealogy
Posted by Diane

If you have ancestors in Norway, their old records might be in Norwegian, Danish or Swedish. Their parish name might refer to a village, a fork in the road or the largest town in the area.


Scandinavia, 1831. Published by D. Lizars, Edinburgh.
David Rumsey Map Collection
.


Scandinavian genealogy expert Diana Crisman Smith is very familiar with these Norwegian research challenges, and she'll help you get around them in our Norwegian Genealogy Crash Course webinar, coming up on Thursday, Oct. 30.

Here, Diana gives you a sneak peek at the webinar by sharing some of her favorite online resources for Norwegian genealogy:
  • The National Archival Services of Norway, which has record indexes and transcriptions, along with some digital images. You'll also find interesting articles such as Norwegian Emigration to America 1825-1939.
  • Norway-Heritage: Hands Across the Sea, with searchable indexes and helpful explanationd for understanding Norwegian names.
  • Norwegian Genealogical Society (Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, or NSF) website, which lets you search an online index of its publication
  • FamilySearch.org, which in addition to online genealogy records, has abundant information in its research wiki.
  • Ancestry & History (Slekt & Historie), a site all about the authors' personal research, along with historical information and links to more than 100 additional resources.
In the Norwegian Genealogy Crash Course webinar, Diana will show you how to use these and other resources, and give you details about the most important Norwegian genealogy records, how to find those records, and tips for reading the records.

As always, anyone who registers for the webinar receives a PDF handout of the webinar slides, as well as access to view the webinar again as often as desired.

Learn more about the Norwegian Genealogy Crash Course webinar in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy | Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 11:03:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
"Finding Your Roots" Features Ben Affleck, Khandi Alexander and Benjamin Jealous
Posted by Diane



All three guests—Ben Affleck, Khandi Alexander and Benjamin Jealous—in last night's "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr." had connections to the Civil War and to the American Revolution, highlighting the contradictions in a country that supported the ideals of the American Revolution yet allowed slavery to continue.

Revolutionary War pension files were the source for most information on the ancestors' Revolutionary War service. Laws making pensions available to most veterans or their dependents weren't passed until years after the war, when the ranks of those eligible to apply were rapidly thinning.

Revolutionary War pension applications are on microfilm at the National Archives and the Family History Library. In addition, the records are digitized and available on subscription sites Ancestry.com and Fold3. FamilySearch.org has a free index you can search, then you'll link to Fold3 to see the record.

Learn more about military pension records for the American Revolution, War of 1812 and the Civil War in our Pension Records Workbook, available from ShopFamilyTree.com.

Here's a rundown of this episode's genealogy finds:
  • Ben Affleck, a Boston native, actor and producer, discovered he has a third-great-grandfather Almon Bruce French who was active in the Spiritualist movement that took hold of the country in the latter 19th century. He believed he was a medium and would travel around conducting seances so Civil War widows and orphans could "communicate" with their deceased loved ones.
His sixth-great-grandfather served in the Revolutionary War under Gen. George Washington in the summer of 1776. Gates also revealed that Affleck is 10th cousins once removed with his good friend and fellow Bostonian Matt Damon (Affleck seemed surprised, but this link was actually uncovered several years ago).
  • Khandi Alexander, an actor, knew nothing of her family history, which Gates pointed out is common in African-American families who chose to forget the painful experiences of slavery and segregation. She'd never even seen a picture of her grandfather, who she learned died as a young man in an industrial explosion in Florida. The newspapers called it an accident, but his family suspected it was rigged by employees who didn't want a black supervisor.
Alexander's second-great-grandfather, born a slave, was the son of an unidentified black slave and a white slaveowner. Through that man, Alexander is descended from a man who served in the American Revolution and went on to own 85 slaves on a large plantation.
Her DNA test showed she's about three-quarters African, and a more-specific analysis pinpointed the areas in Africa where her DNA originates.
  • Benjamin Jealous, a civil rights activist and past president of the NAACP, is a descendant of Peter G. Morgan, an African-American who was born into slavery, took advantage of the rare opportunity to learn a trade, and earned enough to purchase his own freedom just before the Civil War. He received special permission to remain in Virginia (the law there stated that freed slaves had to leave the state), and claimed ownership of his wife and daughters as slaves to help protect them from being kidnapped and sold into slavery. He freed them with a moving manumission statement in 1864.
In his white father's family, Jealous has eight ancestors known to have served in the American Revolution, including a 16-year-old who played the fife at the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Jealous' DNA test revealed he is 80 percent European and about 18 percent African.
You can watch the full "Finding Your Roots" episode with Ben Affleck, Benjamin Jealous and Khandi Alexander on the show's website.

And keep an eye on the show's Genealogy Blog, where genetic genealogist CeCe Moore is providing more information about the show's DNA testing strategy and the results revealed on air.


African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Genealogy TV | Military records | Research Tips
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 10:49:04 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 10, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: Oct. 6-10
Posted by Diane

  • A genealogist has started the InstitutionalCemeteries.org website to catalog cemeteries established for asylums, poorhouses, prisons, orphanages and other institutions, whose residents often were buried unclaimed and forgotten. On the site, you can view maps by region of the country, and you also can submit information on any such cemeteries you know about.

  • FamilySearch has announced plans to digitize a portion of the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, starting with compiled family histories. The digitized documents will be available free at FamilySearch.org. You can read more in the announcement here.
  • For all you UK genealogists: Ancestry.com is holding a "Branching Out" sweepstakes for UK residents (a separate sweepstakes was held for US residents). The grand prize includes 20 hours of professional genealogy research, a one-year Ancestry.co.uk WorldWide subscription and a copy of Family Tree Maker software. The sweepstakes is open to residents of the UK (except for Northern Ireland), and you can enter here by Sunday, Nov. 9.
  • The TV series "Genealogy Roadshow" is filming in Philadelphia the weekend of Oct. 25 and 26, and producers are looking to cast men and women age 35-55 (the casting call doesn't say, but I believe it's to be the onlookers shown in the background as guests' genealogy mysteries are unraveled). This gig pays $75, and the chance to witness firsthand as family history legends are supported or shattered. You can submit your application here.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy TV | Libraries and Archives | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 10, 2014 2:09:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
CNN Highlights Genealogy in "Roots: Our Journeys Home" Series, Oct. 12-20
Posted by Diane

CNN will highlight genealogy in a weeklong series "Roots: Our Journeys Home," Starting this Sunday, Oct. 12, at 9.p.m. The series will follow 13 of the network's most familiar faces as they trace their roots.

You'll see hosts and anchors including Anthony Bourdain, Anderson Cooper (who's having a great genealogy year, having also recently appeared on "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr."), Chris Cuomo, Wolf Blitzer, Sanjay Gupta, Christine Romans and others.

The series will touch on a variety of topics, ethnic origins and places: Bourdain travels to Paraguay; Blitzer visits the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland, where his paternal grandparents died; Michaela Pereira, adopted as an infant, goes to St. James Parish, Jamaica; Gupta explores the places where his parents were born in Pakistan and India; Kate Bouldan learns about her ancestral family's glass-blowing business in a tiny Belgian town.

The series culminates in a two-hour special on Monday, Oct. 20, at 9 p.m. ET, hosted by Cooper and Pereira.

You can see a schedule of CNN's "Roots: Our Journeys Home" series and an overview of each installment here.

And here's a video sneak peek:



Celebrity Roots | Genealogy TV
Friday, October 10, 2014 11:03:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 08, 2014
"Finding Your Roots": Anderson Cooper, Anna Deavere Smith, Ken Burns
Posted by Diane


Last night's "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr." linked its guests, Anderson Cooper, Ken Burns and Anna Deavere Smith, by the events of the Civil War.

  • CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, who is related to New York's Vanderbilt family through his mother Gloria, has Southern roots on his father's side. Several of his relatives who fought in the Confederate Army were small farmers and laborers in Mississippi, and among the majority of Southerners who didn't own slaves. But Cooper was surprised to learn that a third-great-grandfather who did own a plantation was killed by one of his slaves.
Normally toward the end of each episode, Gates will reveal the results of the guests' DNA tests.We didn't hear anything about Cooper's DNA. Makes me wonder if the results were so anticlimactic, or maybe revealed sensitive information.

You can see an interactive family tree for Anderson Cooper here.
  • Ken Burns has an ancestry worthy of a producer of documentaries about history, with relatives in the Civil War (on the Confederate side, including one held at Camp Chase in Ohio), a slave-owning third-great-grandfather, relatives on both sides of the American Revolution, and a link to his hero, Abraham Lincoln (his 5th cousin four times removed). The show's researchers' also found DNA evidence to support Burns' family legend that he's related to Scottish poet Robert Burns.    
  • Anna Deavere Smith, an actress and playwright, had the best story of the episode, I thought. Her free black great-great-grandfather Basel Biggs moved his family to Pennsylvania before the Civil War—where their farm was right in the path of the Confederate army on its way to Gettysburg. The family fled before the battle; their land was used as a Confederate field hospital. Afterward, Basel was hired to supervise a handful of men disinterring Union soldiers who fell on the battlefield and reburying them in orderly graves—the first burials in what became the Gettysburg National Cemetery. A Cleveland, Ohio, newspaper article celebrated his success as a veterinarian and his "magnificent" home. Last, Gates showed Smith Basel's obituary, which revealed that Basel Biggs was active on the Underground Railroad.

    Finally, Smith's DNA results showed she shares maternal ancestry with the Igbo people in what's now Nigeria.
Gates asked Smith, "How could your family have lost the story of this man?", a question that could apply to pretty much anyone's family history, and a situation genealogists work so hard to fix.  

You can watch the full "Finding Your Roots" season 2, episode 3 online.


African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Genealogy TV
Wednesday, October 08, 2014 11:22:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
6 Great Italian Genealogy Resources
Posted by Diane

Italian Americans are one of the United States' largest ethnic groups, and they celebrate their heritage during Italian-American Heritage Month in October.


Thomas & Andrews, 1812, David Rumsey Map Collection

The largest wave of Italian immigrants, from 1880 to 1920, brought more than 4 million arrivals, most from Southern Italy.

Italians who've helped shape American history include Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci (whose lent his name to the American continents), Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), Giovanni da Verrazzano, Francesco Vigo (spy and financier of the American Revolution), Francis Spinola (the first Italian-American to serve in Congress), Francesca Cabrini (founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, and the first American saint) and Fiorello LaGuardia.

Following are just a few of the Italian genealogy resources gleaned from our Italian Genealogy Premium Collection:
  • Comuni-Italiani.it: Clicking on one of the regions in Italy on this site, you’ll learn the names of all the provinces; click on a province for a list of all its towns and cities. Then click on the town for helpful genealogy links, contact info for the town hall, and an e-mail link.
  • Newspapers: The country’s largest collection of Italian-language and Italian-American newspapers is at the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. You can purchase copies of most IHRC microfilm or borrow it through interlibrary loan (ask your local librarian to make the request for you).
  • Order Sons of Italy in America:  Originally called Figli d’Italia, this organization was formed June 22, 1905, by Italian immigrants in New York City. The goal of this still-active group was to help Italian immigrants become US citizens, assimilate to American life, find educational opportunities, and obtain health and death benefits. The aforementioned IHRC is the depository for the organization’s historical membership and other records. Search the IHRC's online manuscript finding aids for Order Sons of Italy to see what's available.
  • Italian Genealogy Group : This New York City-based group has members worldwide. Its website has how-to articles and several searchable databases (most including non-Italians as well) covering NYC births, marriages and deaths; New York and New Jersey naturalizations, Italian commune names, and more.
Our Italian Genealogy Premium Collection has essential tools for discovering ancestors from Italy, including
  • the classic Finding Italian Roots by John Philip Colletta
  • our Best Resources for Tracing Your Italian Roots video class
  • our Italian Genealogy Cheat Sheet download
  • Our Italian Genealogy Guide download
  • Italian Genealogy 101 Independent Study Course
  • the Genealogist's Guide to Italian Names
You can learn more about the Italian Genealogy Premium Collection in ShopFamilyTree.com, and happy Italian-American Heritage Month!


Italian roots | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Wednesday, October 08, 2014 10:01:55 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 07, 2014
MyHeritage Launches My Heritage Library Edition
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website MyHeritage has launched MyHeritage Library Edition, a version of the site libraries can subscribe to and make available free to their patrons. 

Library patrons will be able to access MyHeritage Library Edition from home over the internet, according to the press release. (Usually, the way this works is the user clicks a link on the library's website and logs in with a library card number.)

The service will give library patrons access to the indexed and digitized records, digitized photos and family trees on MyHeritage.com, as well as the trees on Geni.com. Those include birth, death and marriage records from 48 countries; US and UK censuses; immigration and military records; US public records; and more than 1.5 billion family tree profiles. Content MyHeritage licenses from Tributes.com, WikiTree, BillionGraves and CanadianHeadstones.com also will be available.

The MyHeritage Library Edition interface will be available in 40 languages (the same as for MyHeritage.com).

EBSCO Information Services will distribute the service.

You can see a video about MyHeritage Library Edition here.


Libraries and Archives | MyHeritage
Tuesday, October 07, 2014 12:12:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]