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# Friday, March 30, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, March 26-30
Posted by Diane

  • More than a million Westminster Parish baptism, marriage and burial records dating back to 1538 now available on subscription and pay-as-you-go site findmypast.co.uk. The records come from 50-plus Westminster churches. More Westminster records will go live over the coming months, along with cemetery registers, wills, rate books, settlement examinations, workhouse admission and discharge books, bastardy, orphan and apprentice records, charity documents, and militia and watch records.
  • The 2012 Houston, Texas, Family History Expo takes place Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7. The keynote speaker is Family Tree Magazine's own podcast host Lisa Louise Cooke, and instructors include frequent contributor Lisa A. Alzo. You can register online or at the door, for the whole conference or just one day, or even a single class. Learn more on the Family History Expos website.

Archives.com | census records | Fold3 | Footnote | Genealogy Events | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 30, 2012 11:49:57 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 18, 2011
New Name, New Content Focus for Footnote.com
Posted by Diane

The subscription genealogy website formerly known as Footnote.com will now be called Fold3.

Ancestry.com, which acquired the site along with its parent company, iArchives, last year, is rebranding it with the new name and a new focus on military-related content.

Historical military records have always been one of the site's strengths. The name Fold3 refers to the third fold of a flag in a traditional flag-folding ceremony, which is said to represent the sacrifices of military veterans.

Military records currently on Fold3 come from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War and others.

“We have already begun expanding Fold3’s robust military collection to include new pension application files and draft cards,” says Brian Hansen, Fold3 general manager.

Don't worry—Footnote.com's nonmilitary records, such as city directories, naturalization documents, the Pennsylvania Archives collection and more, will remain on Fold3. Ancestry.com spokesperson Heather Erickson tells me they'll be in an “Other Collections” category.


Ancestry.com | Fold3 | Footnote | Military records
Thursday, August 18, 2011 2:02:32 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Footnote Posts First War of 1812 Pension Files in Free Database
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote.com has published its first War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Applications in a free database.

Footnote.com is digitizing millions of War of 1812 records and making them available free as part of a project with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (which in is in the process of raising $3.7 million dollars for the project) and the National Archives.

The first 1,400 record images—less than 1 percent of the estimated 7.2 million documents—are now available, and Footnote will add new records as they’re digitized.

The War of 1812 Pension Application Files can tell you

  • The veteran’s name, age, rank, and service information and dates
  • His widow’s name and maiden name (if she applied for the pension)
  • Soldier’s marriage date
  • Widow’s death date
  • Acres of land granted as a reward for service and the year of the Bureau of Land Management act under which the land was granted, and the warrant number (these details can help you find a bounty land warrant)
  • Applicant’s place of residence
  • Additional names, including those of the soldier’s surviving dependents

You’ll find a guide to researching the War of 1812 and other “lesser-known” US conflicts in the December 2010 Family Tree Magazine.

(Family Tree Magazine Plus members can access the article here.) 


Footnote | Free Databases | Military records
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 11:30:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, April 15, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, April 11-15
Posted by Diane

From April 10 to 24, digital content provider Gale is celebrating National Library Week by providing free access to several resources. Those include the NewsVault (more than 10 million pages from historical newspapers and periodicals) and Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive (antebellum newspaper articles and books focused on slavery). Usually, you must use Gale databases via libraries that subscribe to them, but you can search the databases directly during this free access period

It’s DNA Day! Today only (Friday, April 15), genetic genealogy company FamilyTreeDNA is offering a promotional code you can use to get a discount on several types of DNA tests. See FamilyTreeDNA’s Facebook page for details.

Family Tree University professor Tim Pinnick sent us a note that he’s moderating the new African-American-American Newspapers forum on the Afrigeneas website. Stop by to ask questions and share your finds from Black newspapers

FamilySearch announced this week that it’s released 500,000 new US county marriage records, as well as records from Costa Rica, England, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Spain, in the Historical Records Search. Click here to see the list of the updated collections. (Look for our guide to the new FamilySearch.org website in the September 2011 Family Tree Magazine.)

Subscription genealogy site Archives just announced the addition of 3.5 million new US vital records to the website, including the obituary index from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Ohio (also searchable here). Other updated collections come from Texas, Kentucky, Maine, South Carolina, Arizona, South Carolina and Colorado.

iArchives, the records digitization arm of subscription site Footnote, announced plans to collaborate with the Federation of Genealogical Societies to digitize 180,000 War of 1812 pension applications. They’ll eventually be available on Footnote. Read more details on the FGS Voice blog.


FamilySearch | Footnote | Free Databases | Genealogy societies | Genetic Genealogy | Military records | Newspapers
Friday, April 15, 2011 9:52:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Footnote Marks Pearl Harbor Day With Two Free WWII Collections
Posted by Diane

Today is the 69th anniversary of the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared “a date which will live in infamy.” The Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, caused more than 3,000 casualties and sank or damaged all eight US battleships anchored there. The next day, Congress declared war on Japan.

To mark the occasion, subscription historical records site Footnote has made two collections free during the month of December:

  • Pearl Harbor Muster rolls, the quarterly Muster Rolls and related documents for the United States Navy’s fighting ships, ground organizations, and shore facilities that were present on the island of Oahu during the attack. 
  • World War II Diaries, 1942-1945, submitted by most units in the Navy (most Marine Corps war diaries were submitted by aviation units such as fighter squadrons), provide a day-to-day record of operational and sometimes administrative activities. This database contains 251,082 document images, about 13 percent of the collection housed at the National Archives

Of course, Footnote’s Interactive USS Arizona Memorial, a searchable, life-size image of the memorial naming USS Arizona sailors killed in the Pearl Harbor attack, is always free.

Get help making the most of your Footnote subscription with our Footnote Web Guide, available as a digital download from ShopFamilyTree.com.

Wondering about your family’s WWII memorabilia? Learn more about it from the photos and information in Warman's World War II Collectibles by Michael E. Haskew.


Footnote | Free Databases | Military records
Tuesday, December 07, 2010 10:54:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 21, 2010
Ancestry.com-Footnote Deal Closes
Posted by Diane

I just wanted to point you to this blog post from Footnote about the official closure of Ancestry.com's purchase of Footnote's parent company, iArchives. From the post:
"You may be curious about how this deal affects members of Footnote.com? The plan is to continue to run Footnote.com the way we have always run Footnote.com—continuing to do what we believe is best for our brand, our customers, and our business."
That'll be reassuring to those concerned about the effects of the deal on Footnote. The post adds that "we are excited to leverage some of Ancestry.com’s resources and expertise to take Footnote.com to the next level."

You can read the full post on Footnote's blog.


Ancestry.com | Footnote | Genealogy Industry
Thursday, October 21, 2010 9:59:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, October 13, 2010
October 2010 Family Tree Magazine Podcast Just Posted
Posted by Diane

This just in: the October 2010 Family Tree Magazine podcast is now available for listening! Here’s what host Lisa Louise Cooke has in store for you in this episode:
  • Allison Stacy, Family Tree Magazine’s publisher and editorial director, fills you in on Family History Month events
  • Get started paring down your collection of papers with tips from online editor Grace Dobush on what to keep and what to toss.
  • Lisa and I talk about Ancestry.com's acquisition of iArchives, Footnote.com’s parent company, and some questions genealogists are asking.

You can listen to the Family Tree Magazine Podcast in iTunes and on FamilyTreeMagazine.com. You can get the show notes on our website, too.


Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

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Ancestry.com | Footnote | International Genealogy | Podcasts | Research Tips | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1:41:35 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 23, 2010
More on Ancestry.com's Acquisition of Footnote
Posted by Diane

Does it feel like Ancestry.com’s been on a shopping spree, with this year’s acquisitions of Swedish records site Genline, research firm ProGenealogistsand now iArchives, parent company of historical records subscription service Footnote?

iArchives started in 1994 and provides document digitization services to libraries, universities, archives and newspapers across the country. Footnote launched in January 2007 as a way to bring that content to home users.

We suspect that even more than the Footnote website, Ancestry.com values the relationships and contracts that iArchives has already established with record-holding institutions. That would make it easier for Ancestry.com to negotiate content digitization agreements.

We love that when it launched, Footnote provided something different for genealogists at a time when online genealogical innovation seemed to have stalled. Footnote’s search interface, records viewer, social networking options and emphasis on history in addition to genealogy still distinguish it from other genealogy database sites.

We just hope Footnote doesn’t turn into another Genealogy.com, a site Ancestry.com purchased in 2003 and still maintains, but has allowed to languish while it pours resources into the stronger Ancestry.com site. We’re also curious how this acquisition will affect another Ancestry.com competitor, Archives.com, which offers Footnote’s census indexes to its subscribers.

The genealogy of the genealogy industry does seem to always lead to Ancestry.com. Rather than a long explanation, here's a quick sketch of the acquisitions and major content partnerships I could think of (Ancestry.com has formed content partnerships with many organizations; I listed only two).


Ancestry.com | Footnote | Genealogy Industry
Thursday, September 23, 2010 11:56:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
Ancestry.com to Acquire iArchives and Footnote.com
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire iArchives, Inc., and its subscription genealogy website Footnote.com.

The purchase price will be about $27 million in a mix of Ancestry.com stock, cash and assumption of liabilities. The transaction, which will make iArchives a wholly owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com, is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2010. As part of the transaction, Ancestry.com expects to issue approximately a million shares of common stock.

“This acquisition will provide the company with a complementary consumer brand, expanded content offerings, and enhanced digitization and image-viewing technologies,” states Ancestry.com’s announcement.

Here’s the full announcement on Ancestry.com’s iArchives acquisition.

Update: See our additional commentary on the acquisition here.


Ancestry.com | Footnote | Genealogy Industry
Thursday, September 23, 2010 8:41:54 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [8]
# Monday, July 19, 2010
Footnote, LowCountry Africana Partner on SC Slave Records
Posted by Allison

A new genealogy partnership means more online records for researchers with African-American roots.

Subscription website Footnote.com and free records site Lowcountry Africana are starting a new collection of estate inventories and bills of sale for Colonial and Charleston South Carolina from 1732 to 1872.

Estate inventories often name slaves that deceased owners left to heirs. Bills of sale document transactions involving slaves.

So far, just a portion—about 3 percent—of the collection is now searchable free at Footnote.

Lowcountry Africana has established an online volunteer program to create an index for this collection. To learn more about this volunteer program or to sign up to be a volunteer, visit the Lowcountry Africana site.

Charleston was a port of entry for the Atlantic slave trade, so thousands of African Americans may have ancestors who came from, or traveled through, South Carolina.

FamilySearch donated copies of the microfilmed records for digitization. The originals are at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

African-American roots research assistance from Family Tree Magazine:


African-American roots | Footnote | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, July 19, 2010 9:33:06 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Search Revolutionary War Records Free on Footnote July 1-7
Posted by Diane

I blogged earlier about Revolutionary War resources, including subscription genealogy site Footnote’s pension and service records.

Lo and behold, Footnote announces those records will be free to all starting tomorrow, July 1, through July 7.

You’ll need to register for a free basic Footnote membership to search these records. Get started at www.footnote.com/revolutionary-war.


Footnote | Free Databases | Military records
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:35:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 10, 2010
Footnote's Civil War Records Are Free Through June
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site Footnote is making its Civil War records collection free through the month of June.

This is a great opportunity to begin researching your Civil War ancestor (right in time for next year's sesquicentennial of the war's first shots). Get started searching the collection at <go.footnote.com/civilwar>. You'll need to register for a free Footnote basic membership to gain access to the records.

Footnote’s Civil War records, digitized through a partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration, have information on both Union and Confederate soldiers. Among the records are:
  • Union and Confederate service records for many states (these records are being added as they’re digitized)

  • Widow’s pension files (records are being added as they’re digitized)

  • Emancipation documents and slave records

  • Confederate amnesty papers and citizens files

  • Lincoln assassination investigation and trial papers

  • Civil War photos and maps
A good first step to confirm your Civil War ancestor’s service is to search the free Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, which has 6 million names of those who served in the war.

These resources from Family Tree Magazine have more on how to search for Civil War ancestors and use the records on Footnote:


Footnote | Free Databases | Military records
Thursday, June 10, 2010 8:35:54 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tips to Research Military Ancestors on Memorial Day
Posted by Diane

Many of us are off work next Monday for Memorial Day—what a great opportunity to explore online resources for researching military ancestors.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day first honored Civil War soldiers. Grand Army of the Republic Gen. John Logan proclaimed a day of observance May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

New York officially recognized the holiday in 1873 and other Northern states had followed suit by 1890. After World War I, when the day came to memorialize all US war dead, Southern states also began to acknowledge the observance.

Wearing a red poppy on Memorial Day became traditional after WWI Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps surgeon John McCrae wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields” in 1915.

The name Memorial Day was first used in 1882, but it wasn't common for decades. Federal law didn’t declare it the official name until 1967. In 1971, the date was set to the last Monday in May.

Ready to research your military ancestors? You’ll find digitized military records collections on subscription sites Ancestry.com and Footnote. (PS: Footnote is having a 50 percent off subscription sale for a limited time.) World Vital Records has announced it's providing free access to its US military databases from May 27 through June 1.

Military records at the free FamilySearch RecordSearch Pilot site include Civil War pension index cards, Revolutionary War pension and bounty land warrant applications, and WWII draft registration cards for 1942 (not yet indexed).

For more military records resources, links and research help, see these free FamilyTreeMagazine.com articles:
How-to resources from ShopFamilyTree.com:


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | Research Tips
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 10:13:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Thursday, May 06, 2010
Footnote Newspaper Collection Is Free in May
Posted by Diane

I saw this over at Geneabloggers this morning and wanted to pass it on first thing: Footnote is offering free access to its digitized newspapers collection for the month of May. You’ll need a free basic registration to access search results, then you’ll be able to download articles to your computer.

Take advantage of Footnote’ free newspaper collection offer starting here.

To see a list of available newspaper titles and coverage years, click here and then choose a state. Note that papers for many titles date from the mid- to late-1900s.

To learn more about searching records on Footnote, you can download Family Tree Magazine's Web Guide to Footnote ($4 from ShopFamilyTree.com).


Footnote | Free Databases | Newspapers
Thursday, May 06, 2010 8:17:44 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Search Footnote's Census Records Free Through April
Posted by Diane

I just received word from historical records subscription site Footnote that its free census record search will be extended through the end of April. You'll need a free Footnote account to search; you can get one at <www.footnote.com/census>.

Footnote's census collection includes the 1860 and 1930 US censuses, as well as fractions of the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses.

Footnote is planning to add the rest of the US census, 1790 through 1930, by the end of the year. 


census records | Footnote | Free Databases
Tuesday, April 06, 2010 11:55:06 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 11, 2010
Footnote's Census Records: Free for a Limited Time
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote is making its US census records free for a limited time.

Footnote spokesperson Justin Schroepfer says there’s not yet a firm ending date, but the records will be free at least through the end of this month. You’ll need to register as a free member to view the records. 

Footnote is  carrying out plans to host the complete US census back to 1790. Here are the census records on the site so far:
  • the complete 1860 census
  • 5 percent of 1900
  • 3 percent of 1910
  • 3 percent of 1920
  • 98 percent of 1930
When you find a relative’s record, click the “I’m Related” button for a name on the document to identify yourself as a relative and see others who’ve done the same. You also can see others’ photos, stories and comments related to the record. (See Footnote’s tips for starting family history and making the most of its interactive census collection.)

The offer will help Footnote capture the family history interest stirred up by network television programs such as “Who Do You Think You Are?” and “Faces of America.” The getting-started page bills Footnote as the “unofficial, affordable and premiere resource for Who Do You Think You Are?”

Footnote also has launched its improved record viewer, which I blogged about yesterday.


census records | Footnote | Free Databases
Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:46:50 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Footnote Debuts Enhanced Record Viewer
Posted by Diane

I just saw on Twitter that subscription genealogy site Footnote’s new image viewer is now live. (We told you last month how to get a sneak preview of the “Newer Viewer.”)  

This is what it looks like (that's my great-grandfather's Petition for Naturalization):



The viewer controls are better organized by function, and it’s easier to navigate within the collection and to other records. More specifically, the changes include:
  • The source information panel has moved from the right to the left side of the page (you can click an arrow to close the panel).
  • The filmstrip of record images at the bottom of the viewer defaults to closed (use the Open filmstrip link to open it).
  • A Find pop-up box lets you search for a name or other word in the record.
  • Controls to manipulate the record image (such as magnifying and rotating it) were separated from out and moved from above the image to the vertical toolbar on the left.
  • Sharing features (such as adding a note to the image and—new in the viewer—posting it to your Facebook page) are above the image.

  • The breadcrumb trail showing you which collection you’re in, and letting you navigate within it, is above the sharing features. (Previously, this breadcrumb trail was located inconspicuously above the filmstrip.)

Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 12:25:47 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, February 22, 2010
Sneak Peek at Footnote's "Newer Viewer"
Posted by Diane

Historical records site Footnote has been quietly working on a “newer viewer”—a new-and-improved version of the site's record viewer.

Here's the current version:



With the updates, Footnote wants to make record images load faster and be easier for you to work with, and to make browsing to related images easier. Read about the new features and get a look at them on Footnote's blog.

The newer viewer isn’t ready for release yet, but Footnote is letting you try it out and provide feedback. Give it a whirl using the link at the bottom of Footnote’s post.

Footnote
Monday, February 22, 2010 2:02:34 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Thursday, February 04, 2010
Footnote Adds Vietnam War Records; Makes Them Free This Month
Posted by Diane

Subscription historical records site Footnote has added Army Photos and Unit Service Awards to its Vietnam War records collection, which now totals more than 100,000 photos and documents. It’s free through the end of February.

Army Unit Service Awards include documents relating to Presidential Unit Citations, Valorous Unit Awards and Meritorious Unit Commendations. The  papers contain the unit’s dates of service, duties performed and letters of recommendation.
 
Army Photos show activities of the Army during the Vietnam War. Nearly every photo is accompanied by a caption card describing what was happening and naming soldiers in the pictures. I sent my dad this picture of Fire Support Base Nancy, where he served with the Army Corps of Engineers.



The Footnote Vietnam War Collection also includes the Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial and photos of the Marine Corps in Vietnam.

Related Resources from Family Tree Magazine:

Footnote | Military records
Thursday, February 04, 2010 9:30:51 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, January 22, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Jan. 18-22
Posted by Diane

There was a plethora of genealogy news this week to gather for our Friday roundup:
  • Footnote hinted on its Facebook page about a new Civil Rights-era records collection to launch in February in partnership with Gannett. Get a glimpse here.
  • The free FamilySearch Record Search pilot site has added 25 million new records for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Guatemala, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States. They include 1920 US census indexes for Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Maine; 1935 and 1945 Florida state censuses; Indiana marriages and more.
  • Subscription site GenealogyBank is adding 280 new African-American newspapers. The first 50 were released this month; see the titles, where they were published and the years of coverage on the GenealogyBank blog.
  • Ancestry.com also announced it’s getting rid of its Member Connections feature (note this is different from Member Connect, which was launched last year). It would let you let you enter an ancestor’s name and get a list of Ancestry.com members also researching that person, but now you can do pretty much the same thing by searching Public Member Trees.
  • The National Archives in Washington, DC, is holding a public meeting next Friday, Jan. 29, at 10:45 am to discuss how the archives meets the needs of the research community. Get details on the NGS UpFront blog.


African-American roots | Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Footnote | Libraries and Archives | Newspapers
Friday, January 22, 2010 9:45:08 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, December 07, 2009
Footnote's WWII Records Free Through December
Posted by Diane

In honor of Pearl Harbor Day today, subscription site Footnote is making its WWII records collection—with more than 10 million records, documents and photos from the National Archives—free to the public for the rest of December. Included are
  • Missing Air Crew Reports, more than 16,605 case files and related records of the US Army Air Forces
  • Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls listing all personnel assigned to ships based at Pearl Harbor between 1939 and 1947
  • Army and Navy Judge Advocate General case files.
  • Submarine Patrol Reports, 1941 to 1945,
  • Naval press clippings collected from 1942 to 1960 by the Public Information Department of the 13th Naval District, headquartered in Seattle
  • Holocaust records (Footnote had already made this collection free through the end of the year)
Access the records from Footnote's WWII landing page.

Helpful resources from FamilyTreeMagazine.com:
Addition: If you’re looking for a WWII veteran's military service records, the National Archives and Records Administration restricts access to these for privacy reasons. Veterans and next-of kin (surviving widows/widowers who haven’t remarried, children, siblings and parents) can request them from NARA’s National Personnel Records Center through the eVetRecs online system or by mail or fax.

If you’re not next of kin, you may be able to get limited information from WWII service records. See NARA’s website for information.


Footnote | Jewish roots | Military records
Monday, December 07, 2009 9:21:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 19, 2009
Footnote Releases American Indian Collection
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote released a new records collection focusing on American Indians. It includes:
  • Ratified Indian Treaties dating back to 1722

  • Indian Census Rolls featuring information including age, place of residence and degree of Indian blood

  • The Guion Miller Roll, an important source for Cherokee ancestors

  • Dawes Packets, containing original applications for tribal enrollments, as well as other documents relating to the Five Civilized Tribes

As with Footnote’s other records, members can search, annotate and add comments to records. Visitors also can view pages for other American Indian tribes, which feature a timeline and map, photo gallery, stories and members’ comments.

The records are available with a $79.95 annual subscription to Footnote (a free seven-day trial is available). Access the collection here.

Related resources on FamilyTreeMagazine.com:


American Indian roots | Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, November 19, 2009 8:01:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 12, 2009
Foonote Extends Free Holocaust Records Access
Posted by Diane

Due to its overwhelming popularity, Footnote’s Holocaust Collection—which was to remain free for the month of October—will now be free to access for the rest of the year.

On January 1, 2010, these records will become part of the $79.95-per-year paid subscription to Footnote. (You’ll still be able to get them free, though, if you visit a National Archives and Records Administration facility and use an on-site computer.)

You can access Footnote's Holocaust Collection here.

More Resources

FamilyTreeMagazine.com Jewish genealogy articles

Family Tree Magazine Jewish Genealogy Guide in ShopFamilyTree.com


Footnote | Free Databases | Jewish roots
Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:18:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 29, 2009
Census Collection Q&A With Footnote
Posted by Diane

By now, you’ve probably heard the announcement that historical records site Footnote is adding indexes and images for the entire US census. Our Q&A with Footnote spokesperson Justin Schroepfer offers more information on the changes to come for the site:

1. Is Footnote creating new census images and indexes? How is this being done?

We are digitizing the microfilm and indexing the data ourselves the same way we have done the [1860 and 1930] censuses. The way we do the census records is different with the addition of what we call ‘sub documents.’

We create sub documents for each individual on the census. It features the indexed information, and allows users to click that they are related and add their own contributions in the form of stories, photos or other documents. Essentially, this creates what we term the Interactive Census Collection.

2. When will we start seeing the new censuses added to the site? What states will be first? When do you anticipate the collection will be complete?

We have already started on 1920, 1910 and 1900. We are starting with the most populous states from these decades. We anticipate the entire census collection to be completed by the end of next year. We created a page where users can check the status of each decade and sign up for a notification when content is added to a specific state from a specific decade.

3. Looking down the road, how will the census addition affect Footnote’s subscription pricing ($79.95 per year or $11.95 per month)?

We are always trying to keep the price of our membership manageable by operating lean and efficient. The pricing for Footnote memberships will not be affected by the addition of this specific collection. It is included in the Footnote membership fees as they stand now. We believe that we can cover our costs by providing significant increase in value to the current product. This, in turn, should help with conversion and retention.

4. Will changes to the workings of the site be necessary to accommodate the added data, searches and traffic?

Adding over 9 million images to the site with the indexes and the sub documents is not a small feat. Our engineering team has been working to ensure that the site experience, including the speed, remains optimal. The team has made some creative decisions to handle this new data and help ensure the customer experience is not negatively affected.


Footnote
Thursday, October 29, 2009 11:53:34 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Footnote To Add Entire US Census
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote announced early this morning that it will digitize and post online the entire US census, 1790 through 1930. (Footnote already has the 1860 and 1930 censuses.)

That'll add more than 9.5 million images and half a billion names to Footnote's databases.

That’s big news for two reasons:
  • It really ramps up competition in online genealogy. Right now, Ancestry.com is the only site that offers the entire US census digitized and indexed. I wonder if/how this will affect Ancestry.com’s IPO process—the census claim is probably a major selling point to potential investors.
  • Like Footnote's other historical records, its US census collection will be interactive. Members can add comments and insights to a census record, upload and attach photos or documents, create a Footnote Page and identify relatives found in the census by clicking an I’m Related button.
Ancestry.com’s new Member Connect features offer interactivity, but not quite to the same extent as Footnote.
Records for each state will be added as they're completed. Footnote has created a page where you can track the progress.

Footnote CEO Russ Wilding likens the census to a path linking to additional, less-used genealogical sources: “We see the census as a highway leading back to the 18th century. This ‘Census Highway’ provides off-ramps leading to additional records on the site such as naturalization records, historical newspapers, military records and more.”

He promises Footnote.com will keep adding unique record collections, not just the same records already on other sites.

“We will continue to move aggressively to add records to the site, specifically those that are requested by our members and others that are not otherwise available on the Internet.”

You can watch a free Webinar on how to use Footnote here (just enter your first and last names and e-mail address and click Register, and the Webinar player will open).

Update: Get more details on Footnote's forthcoming census collection in our Q&A with spokesperson Justin Schroepfer.


Ancestry.com | Footnote
Thursday, October 29, 2009 7:27:57 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Footnote's New Holocaust Collection Free Through October
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) just released the Interactive Holocaust Collection of a million Holocaust-related records.

The records are online for the first time—and they’re free through October.

The records, which contain millions of names and 26,000 photos, include:
  • Concentration camp registers and documents from Dachau, Mauthausen, Auschwitz and Flossenburg.

  • The Ardelia Hall Collection of records related to Nazi looting of Jewish possessions.

  • Captured German records including deportation and death lists from concentration camps.

  • Nuremberg War Crimes Trial proceedings.  
The Interactive Holocaust Collection also has 600 personal accounts, provided by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, of those who survived or perished in the Holocaust. They’ll feature social networking tools that let you search for names and add photos, comments and stories, and create Footnote pages. These will remain free.

You can search the collection from Footnote's regular site or through a special Holocaust site with stories of victims and survivors, tools for setting up Footnote Pages to memorialize Holocaust ancestors, information on concentration camps, and descriptions of the original records at NARA.

Note the pages may load slowly at first due to high traffic. 

After October, the collection will be accessible with a Footnote subscription ($79.95 a year). As stated, the personal accounts will stay free. 


Footnote | Free Databases | Jewish roots
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 9:11:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, September 28, 2009
WorldVitalRecords.com Adds Census Indexes from Footnote
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site WorldVitalRecords.com announced a partnership to provide its US Collection subscribers with access to historical records site Footnote’s indexes to the 1860 and 1930 US censuses.

WorldVitalRecords.com members can search the two censuses on WorldVitalRecords.com and see a transcription of basic information from matching records.

To view the digitized census returns, they'll need to subscribe to Footnote. Or, of course, they can access census records in HeritageQuest Online or Ancestry Library Edition through a library; visit a Family History Center to use Footnote there for free; search subscription site Ancestry.com; or use census microfilm at a library, Family History Center or National Archives facility.

Footnote’s 1860 census index also is part of the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot.

A subscription to the World Vital Records US Collection costs $39.95 for a year. A subscription  to Footnote costs $79.95 a year.


census records | Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, September 28, 2009 8:44:47 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tour Footnote.com in a Free Webinar
Posted by Diane

Since it launched in 2007, historical records subscription site Footnote has added millions of record images to its collections of military records, 1860 and 1930 census records, naturalizations, city directories, newspapers, photographs and more.

Family Tree Magazine is happy to be able to bring you a free, 30-minute webinar that Footnote created with a tutorial of the site—a personalized tour showing you:
  • what records are on Footnote
  • search demos
  • Footnote image viewer
  • creating Footnote Pages about your ancestors with information and images you upload (Footnote's free "basic" members also can create pages and view other members' contributions)
To watch the webinar, click the big orange button below. On the resulting page, you’ll need to type in your first and last name and e-mail address, and then click Register to launch the webinar player.



(If you get a “Player in Progress” window, don’t close it or navigate away from it until after the webinar is over, or you’ll stop the webinar.)


Footnote | Webinars
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:51:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, August 03, 2009
1930 Census Is Free on Footnote In August!
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote is making its 1930 census records free during August (you’ll need to sign up for a free Footnote registration).

If you’re a newbie genealogist, this is a great opportunity to jump in with the most recent federal census open to the public (1940 census records will be available in 2012).

If you’ve been doing genealogy for awhile, use this chance to try Footnote’s search and record viewer. Footnote uses a keyword search that filters your results with each term you add.

I like the "Refine Your Search" panel on the results page, which lets you select from available terms. For example, if you’ve entered the last name Wagner, age 43, in Cincinnati, you’ll be able to choose from first names of people who fit those criteria.

When you view the record in Footnote, you can see notes other users have added to the record (you can toggle this option on and off).

You can learn more about using Footnote from our eight-page Web guide—it just happens to be on sale for $3 at ShopFamilyTree.com.

The guide has an overview of Footnote, a navigation guide, step-by-step search demos, quick links, and hacks and shortcuts. It’s a PDF, so you can download it on the spot, open it with the free Adobe Reader on a PC or a Mac, click through to the recommended links, and print it if you so choose.

PS: Footnote also has extended its $59.95 subscription offer for another week, until Aug. 10.

census records | Footnote | Free Databases
Monday, August 03, 2009 11:44:46 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Friday, July 31, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: July 27-31
Posted by Diane

These are some of the news bits that wandered across our desks this week:
  • First, a reminder that if you plan to subscribe to Footnote or renew your subscription, stop procrastinating. The $59.95 annual subscription sale ends at midnight tonight (July 31). Also tomorrow, the membership rate goes from $69.95 to $79.95 per year.
  • Another reminder for those who’ve been meaning to search the Caribbean slave records on Ancestry.com—the free period ends tonight. More on this collection here.
  • Speaking of Ancestry.com, the new Member Connect features—which let you comment on and correct records, as well as get in touch with other members—went live this week. Click here for more on Member Connect.
  • The FGS 09 conference is just a month away, Sept. 2-5 in Little Rock, Ark. Get news updates and registration information from the conference blog, and when you’re there, stop by to see us at the Family Tree Magazine booth (#407).
  • This from Dick Eastman’s blog: The British national archives and UK-based family history site Findmypast.com are giving seven repositories in England and Wales free online access to the recently completed 1911 census records. See Dick's post for the list of archives.

African-American roots | Ancestry.com | Footnote | Genealogy Events | UK and Irish roots
Friday, July 31, 2009 2:19:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Footnote, Gannett Kick Off Partnership With 60s Flashbacks
Posted by Diane

Subscription historical records site Footnote struck a deal to digitize newspapers from Gannett Co., the largest newspaper publisher in the United States with 84 dailies including USA Today.

With the upcoming 40th anniversaries of the Apollo moon landing July 16 and the Woodstock music festival August 15-18, Footnote started with newspapers covering these events—Florida Today and New York’s Poughkeepsie Journal.

You can relive these two landmark events free (or experience them for the first time) at Footnote’s Moon Landing and Woodstock pages.

Footnote will continue to digitize the full run of these and other Gannett newspapers.


Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites | Newspapers | Social History
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 3:02:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, June 22, 2009
Footnote Rates to Rise
Posted by Diane

Footnote spokesperson Justin Schroepfer tells us that starting August 1, the historical records service is raising its annual subscription rate by $10, to $79.95.

But there's a limited-time special for basic (free) members who want to subscribe and current subscribers who want to renew. Until the end of July, those folks can subscribe or renew for a year at $59.95.

See the special offer page here.


Footnote
Monday, June 22, 2009 1:00:14 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 13, 2009
News From the National Genealogical Society Conference
Posted by Diane

This morning we had tons of booth visitors, fresh from the opening presentation by actor Ira David Wood III. He’s played Sir Walter and Old Tom in The Lost Colony, an outdoor show since 1937 produced by Roanoke Island Historical Association.

A few news bits so far:
  • Look for subscription historical records site Footnote to make its 1930 US census free for a limited time later this summer. The site also will come out with a collection of American Indian records within the next few months.
  • Swedish church records subscription site Genline is introducing a transcription feature. Once you find an ancestor’s record, you can easily transcribe the name and make it available to other users. As names are transcribed, they’ll be available for searching. Right now, you browse Genline by parish, but this means that eventually, you’ll be able to find ancestors without knowing their parish first.
  • We heard about some changes coming soon for genealogy resources catalog directory site Live Roots. One sounds really useful: A way to save online searches to a “project” so you’ll know which sites you’ve checked, when, and how many results were returned, and you could easily repeat searches. You could create as many projects as you want—one for each county, say, or each surname.

FamilySearch | Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 4:22:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, May 04, 2009
Create Facebook Pages for Family With New Footnote App
Posted by Diane

Footnote has created a new Facebook app that lets you create an “I Remember” Facebook page for someone, with photos and stories about the person. Others can add memories, too, by writing on the person's wall.

Here's an example of an I Remember Facebook page:



What's written on the Facebook I Remember page also shows up in the Comments section on the person’s Person page on Footnote:




Go here to learn more and download the free I Remember app to your Facebook page.

Footnote is a subscription-based historical records site, but it also has free social networking features that let you create Footnote Pages about people, places or events.

You must be be a registered Footntoe member—but you don't have to subscribe—in order to create or add to a Footnote Page. You can search existing Footnote pages here.

Footnote | Social Networking
Monday, May 04, 2009 3:03:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 26, 2009
Footnote Launches 1930 Census, New Look, New Search
Posted by Diane

Historical records site Footnote just announced its new Great Depression Collection, anchored by an interactive version of the 1930 census that CEO Russ Wilding calls “a gathering place for the American story.”

Footnote members can attach family photos and stories to names on the census images and automatically create Footnote Pages for them.

That opens up at least one back-door genealogy research avenue, suggests spokesperson Justin Schroepfer: If someone left a note on your ancestor’s neighbor’s listing, you could contact the member through the site and possibly get in touch with the neighbor’s descendants.

Also in the Great Depression Collection are digitized and indexed documents from the era, including newspapers with articles on President Roosevelt’s New Deal and ads revealing how much your ancestors paid for groceries.

Along with this release, Footnote revealed a new home page and new search. Duplicate home page links to the same place have been eliminated for a more streamlined look, and there’s no longer a separate advanced search—you expand the search box on the home page to bring up additional search fields.

Footnote searches for plurals and stem names (such as Michael for Mike), but doesn’t automatically look for alternate spellings. I couldn’t find my Haddad ancestors in the 1930 census until I entered the enumeration district and sheet number as keywords—they’re indexed under Haddah. But you can look for alternate spellings by using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard to stand in for any number of letters.

Look for more search tips in our Footnote Web Guide in the July 2009 Family Tree Magazine (on newstands May 5).

The Great Depression Collection is part of Footnote’s subscription offerings. (There’s a limited-time special offer of $55.95.) Footnote also offers a pay-per-view option for many of its records.

The 1930 census actually went live yesterday, but Footnote postponed the announcement to work out a few bugs (it was killing me to keep my mouth shut, but I distracted myself by updating the abovementioned Web Guide).


Family Tree Magazine articles | Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, March 26, 2009 7:36:19 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, February 02, 2009
Genealogical Lightning Strikes Twice
Posted by Grace

Diane wasn't the only one getting lucky with Footnote in the office today—I found my great-grandfather's naturalization papers in Footnote's Northern Ohio naturalizations collection!

My great-grandfather's witnesses on his petition for naturalization have opened up a few new avenues into discovering Wasyl's life. (I don't recognize either of the names.) I feel lucky to have found such a great photo of him—I only have one other—and a signature, to boot? Goldmine!



I had a little fun with Google Maps, too—it turns out that Diane's great-grandfather and my great-grandfather lived a mere 2 miles from each other on Cleveland's West Side around 1940. Maybe they once met!


Family Tree Firsts | Footnote | immigration records
Monday, February 02, 2009 3:45:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Naturalization Records Found—O Genealogy Joy!
Posted by Diane

My grandfather’s resume says his father was naturalized in 1944 in Cleveland. So a couple of years ago, I sent off a Freedom of Information Act request for those records to the Citizenship and Immigration Service. No dice.

Then when I noticed the subscription records site Footnote was posting citizenship papers from the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern District, I started eyeing the “percent completed” bar as it ticked upward.

Every once in awhile, I’d search. Still nothing. I wondered if my grandfather fibbed, thinking he’d have a better chance at a job if his dad were a citizen. (Grandpa made himself 10 years younger on the same resume.)

Friday I tried again. I clicked on a match, even though the first name was all wrong. And it was my great-grandfather! His address and birth date; his wife’s death information; and the kids’ names and birth dates confirmed it. Looks like his name in Syria was Fadlallah. I knew him only as Mike in US records—I guess if you're gonna Americanize your name, you might as well go all the way.

Best of all, his picture’s on the 1942 declaration of intention (also called “first papers”). I’d never seen him.



Also part of the file was an oath sworn by two associates and a 1944 petition for naturalization (“second papers”).

Naturalization papers state the immigrant’s date and port of arrival, and ship name (though I’m pretty sure my great-grandparents didn’t really sail on the SS Unknown). Now it’ll be a piece of cake, I thought, to find them on a passenger list.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Aside from getting creative with passenger list searching (I’m going to try Steve Morse’s Ellis Island One-Step Search), here are some things for follow-up:  
  • Naturalization papers give birthplaces for the applicant's children, so I'll look for birth records for my great-unces and great-aunt. 
  • The declaration of intention says my great-grandfather filed first papers in Cleveland in 1918—they would’ve expired without being followed up by second papers within seven years. I didn't find a 1918 record, so I'll look into what's going on with that.
  • Research the guys who swore oaths on my great-grandfather’s behalf.
See FamilyTreeMagazine.com for guidance on locating your ancestors' naturalization records.

Footnote's naturalization records collection is here.

Family Tree Firsts | Footnote | immigration records
Monday, February 02, 2009 9:42:12 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, January 30, 2009
More African-American Records Coming to Footnote
Posted by Diane

The subscription records site Footnote announced the launch of its Black History collection this week.

Records currently in the collection have been on Footnote for some time, but expect to see more soon as webmasters add new digitized records from the National Archives and Records Administration. The new records will be free during February, spokesperson Justin Schroepfer tells me.

Here’s what you can look forward to:
  • Records of the US District Court for the District of Columbia Relating to Slaves, 1851-1863: These include slave schedules, manumission papers and case papers relating to fugitive slaves.
  • Records for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862-63: These meeting minutes, docket books and petitions pertain to slaves’ emancipation.

  • Registro Central de Esclavos 1872 (Slave Schedules): These registers of slaves in Puerto Rico list the enslaved person’s name, country of origin, name of parents, physical description and owner’s name.

  • Records Relating to the Suppression of the African Slave Trade and Negro Colonization, 1854-1872: These are letters, accounts and other documents.
  • Correspondence of the Military Intelligence Division (MID) Relation to "Negro Subversion," 1917-1941: These document the MID's monitoring of African-Americans involved in labor and other social movements.
The new records will join the Colored Troops service files, Amistad case files, Southern Claims Commission petitions and others already in the Black History collection. Some of these records (such as the Amistad case files) are free; others are available with a $69.95-per-year Footnote subscription.


African-American roots | Footnote
Friday, January 30, 2009 4:05:46 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, December 05, 2008
Footnote Releases Web's Biggest WWII Collection
Posted by Diane

Subscription historical records site Footnote has posted the Web's largest collection of WWII records just in time for Pearl Harbor Day (Dec. 7)—and they’re free for a limited time.

Footnote CEO Russ Wilding and National Archives programs director James Hastings made the official announcement this morning at a Washington, DC, press conference.

The collection offers four main components:
  • An interactive version of the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii (it's similar to Footnote’s free, interactive Vietnam Wall memorial) showing servicemembers who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor. You can search for a name and link to its image on the memorial, as well as get details about the person’s service. Or you can manuever across a giant image of the memorial.
  • WWII Hero Pages—similar to the free, Social Security Death Index-based Footnote Pages released earlier this year—which lets you create an online tribute for your WWII ancestor with photos, timelines and stories. More than 8.8 million pages have already been created.
  • WWII photos, consisting of more than 80,000 digitized images from the National Archives that haven’t been online until now. You can browse by topic or search captions that highlight the people, places and events in the images.
  • WWII documents include submarine air patrol reports, missing crew reports, news clippings, Pearl Harbor muster rolls, JAG files and more.
Note the collection doesn’t include WWII military service records. These records, stored at the National Archives’ National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, are restricted for privacy reasons. A servicemember—or if he’s deceased, his next-of-kin—can request his file. See the center’s Web site for more information.

No specifics on how long the collection will stay free, though I’d hazard a guess that the USS Arizona Memorial and Hero Pages will be permanently free.

PS: I just learned that is the case, and the photos also will remain free. The document collection will be free for all of December.


Footnote | Military records
Friday, December 05, 2008 11:11:51 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 16, 2008
Footnote Releases First Civil War Pensions
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote released its first digitized Civil War Widows’ Pension files today.

Footnote’s collection has 5,257 record images so far. They’re part of a pilot project, announced about a year ago, to work with the National Archives and Records Administration (which holds the original pension records) and FamilySearch to digitize 3,150 pension files of Civil War widows.

FamilySearch and Footnote plan to digitize all 1,280,000 pensions in the series. Pension records were never microfilmed, so until now, your only option to get your ancestor's pension was to travel to NARA in Washington, DC, hire a local researcher, or order copies for $75 or more.

The digitized records are part of Footnote’s $69.95 annual subscription.

You can view the records free at Family History Centers and at NARA facilities. A Civil War pension index is free on the FamilySearch Record Search pilot site.


FamilySearch | Footnote | Military records
Thursday, October 16, 2008 9:04:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 18, 2008
Footnote to Digitize Homesteaders' Case Files
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription service Footnote is embarking upon a project to post hundreds of thousands of US homesteading records online.

Those records comprise land entry case files of people who claimed land under the Homestead Act of 1862, which opened the door for Americans to own government land in exchange for making improvements (such as residency, raising crops and planting trees).

A land entry case file might include an application for land, witnesses’ testimonials, military records, citizenship papers and more.

Footnote already contains 1,824 case files for people who registered homesteads at the Broken Bow, Neb., land office between 1890 and 1908. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) had microfilmed these; the rest of the General Land Office (GLO) records are still on paper.

You can search land patents at the Bureau of Land Management’s GLO records site, but until your ancestor’s full land entry case file is digitized, you’ll need to order copies of it from NARA. If your ancestor applied for a land claim but didn’t “prove up,” the GLO database won’t contain a patent for him.

NARA, the National Parks Service, the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and FamilySearch are partners in the digitization project.


Footnote | Public Records | Research Tips
Thursday, September 18, 2008 4:17:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, September 15, 2008
Another SSDI-Based Obituary Site
Posted by Diane

Yesterday’s high winds in Cincinnati cut off power to Family Tree Magazine’s offices, closing us down for the day.

But I’m one of the lucky 10 percent of people in the area who haven't lost electricity, so I thought I’d blog (from the comfort of home) about a new Web site that’ll compete with Footnote’s just-launched Footnote Pages

Yesterday’s New York Times had an article about a memorial site called Tributes, started by the same guy who founded the job-hunting site Monster.com. Tributes' “soft launch” was this summer; the official launch is set for Sept. 23.

Like Footnote Pages, Tributes uses the Social Security Death Index as a foundation for online profiles of the deceased. You can link profiles together social networking-style and enhance them with words and multimedia.

According to the Times, Tributes members can sign up to get e-mail alerts when a person has died based on the person’s last name, school, military unit or ZIP code. “Eventually, users will be able to download their address book to the site to keep abreast of the passing of friends and relatives.” (Though this "death watch" tool  might seem a little macabre, it could be useful, say, if you've been unsuccessfully searching for your dad's WWII Army comrades.)  

You can create 300-word Tributes obituaries free; elaborate multimedia obituaries costs $80 per year or $300 for an unlimited time period.

Just by comparison, building profiles on Footnote Pages is free. It’s also a little more genealogy-oriented: if you have a subscription to Footnote’s historical records database, you can search it for records related to a deceased person and link them to his or her profile.

Of course, both sites hold the possibility you'll fill in blanks on your pedigree chart by finding an existing, tricked-out profile for an ancestor. 

Have you used either Footnote Pages or Tributes, or another memorial site? What did you think? Click Comments to post here, or post in our Web Watch Forum.


Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, September 15, 2008 1:10:09 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Footnote Launches "Facebook for the Deceased"
Posted by Diane

Russ Wilding, CEO of subscription historical records service Footnote appeared at TechCrunch50 (an annual technology conference) to launch Footnote Pages, what CEO Russ Wilder described as "Facebook for the deceased."

 

The product would contain profiles of deceased individuals, populated with the 80 million names from the SSDI. Survivors and friends can find their loved one or start a new page. Then they add information and stories about the person; upload photos; and link profiles of people who went to the same school, worked together, were related or were otherwise associated during life.

 

Here’s where Footnote’s existing historical records collections come into play: You can search Footnote for records related to the deceased person and attach them to his profile.

 

Using the example of a friend who’d died in a motorcycle accident, Wilding added to his profile a map with the accident location, uploaded a high school photo, and linked him to another student at the school.

 

You’ll need a free Footnote membership to create a Footnote Page. To access Footnote’s historical records, you’d need a Footnote subscription ($11.95 per month and $69.95 per year).

 

Marketing director Justin Schroepfer says Footnote was one of 52 applicants selected  from more than 1,000 to present at the TechCrunch50 conference. He and his colleagues had to keep a lid on the news due to an agreement with TechCrunch. 

 

After Wilding’s presentation, TechCrunch50 judges critiqued the idea. One suggested the idea of building an online profile for a deceased person might be disturbing.


Similar memorials are already on other Web sites such as Legacy.com; but Footnote takes it a step further by starting with the SSDI and incorporating historical records.

 

Here’s what Footnote had to say about Footnote Pages in an announcement:

• Even for an audience that might not be as familiar with social networking, these pages allow multiple users to easily contribute content and insights helping to create a more complete picture of the people we care about.

• Maps, timelines, and photo galleries bring these pages to life and add context.

• Footnote Pages helps associate and link pages to others besides the immediate family; such as friends, prominent figures, etc.

• Footnote pages can be used to create tribute pages for family & friends, memorial pages for ancestors or research pages to gather information.

• Pages can also be created to document and discuss historical events, places and organizations (for example, the Vietnam War, the Assassination of John F. Kennedy or the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.


Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 6:13:51 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Civil War Widows' Pension Files to be Digitized
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and FamilySearch have announced a partnership to digitize case files of approved pension applications from widows of Civil War Union soldiers.

The agreement will kick off with a pilot project to digitize, index and provide access to 3,150 pension files. When that’s done, FamilySearch, along with records site Footnote.com, plans to digitize and index all 1,280,000 pensions in the series.

Oh, happy day!

That’s a huge step toward easing genealogists’ research and restoring their good will toward NARA, which recently doubled pension file ordering fees to $75. Pensions aren’t microfilmed, so paying the fee, visiting NARA in Washington, DC, or hiring an on-site researcher are currently your only options.

Widows' pension application files often include supporting documents such as affidavits, witnesses’ depositions, marriage certificates, birth records, death certificates, and pages from family Bibles.

According to the announcement, the digitized records will be free at Family History Centers, with an index free on the FamilySearch Web site. Images also may be available for a fee on a commercial site.

The digitized pension records also will be free at NARA facilities, and NARA will get gratis copies of the record images and associated indexes.

This is part of a broader partnership announced today, in which FamilySearch staff will camp out at NARA five days a week with high-speed digitization cameras. Ultimately, it'll mean you have ready access, through FamilySearch and Family History Centers, to court, military, land, and other government records dating as early as 1754.


FamilySearch | Footnote | Genealogy Industry | Military records
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 12:20:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]