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# Friday, November 14, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: Nov. 10-14
Posted by Diane

  • Fold3 is offering free access to the site's WWII Collection through November 30. This includes Missing Air Crew Reports, US Air Force photos, Old Man's Draft cards and WWII diaries. You'll need to set up a free basic account when prompted to view records that match your search. Start searching here.
  • FamilySearch International, an important driver of progress in genealogy research, is celebrating its 120th anniversary. Nov. 13, 1894, the Genealogical Society of Utah held its first meeting. It became the Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1944. It was later renamed as the church's Genealogical Department, then the Family History Department. In the 1990s, as the concept of the FamilySearch.org website was being developed, it became known as FamilySearch.
The company has launched another advertising campaign in Norway.


Celebrity Roots | FamilySearch | Fold3 | Genealogy societies | MyHeritage
Friday, November 14, 2014 10:15:47 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  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]
# Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Research Australian Genealogy Records Free on MyHeritage
Posted by Diane



Those researching in Australia, here's an offer for you: Genealogy website MyHeritage is celebrating Australian National Family History Month in August by granting free access to many of its Australian records collections through this Friday, Aug. 22. You'll need to set up a free MyHeritage account (or log in, if you already have one).

That includes Australian birth, marriage and death records, electoral rolls, school records and more. You can start searching MyHeritage Australian records here.

Even if you don't have ancestors Down Under, you might have cousins there if relatives migrated to Britain's Australian colonies.

Read the MyHeritage announcement about the records offer here.

For help searching MyHeritage, check out Family Tree Magazine's MyHeritage Web Guide, available in ShopFamilyTree.com.

MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 1:25:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, July 18, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: July 14-18
Posted by Diane

  • The UK-based genealogy company Findmypast and Wall-to-Wall, the "Who Do You Think You Are?" TV show production company,  are working together on Who Do You Think You Are? Story,  a website to help you "produce" your family story. You'll enter information about your immediate family and upload photos, and the site will play an "animated retelling" of your family story, including events that may have affected your family. It will draw from historical records and British newspaper articles at FindMyPast. You can be notified when the site launches by entering your email address on the Who Do You think You Are? Story website. Read more about the service on the Findmypast blog.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Ancestry.com | findmypast | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | MyHeritage | saving and sharing family history
Friday, July 18, 2014 9:48:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, July 14, 2014
WWI Genealogy Records Free on MyHeritage Through July
Posted by Diane

WWI began 100 years ago July 28, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded Serbia. All of Europe and countries beyond were drawn into the conflict—including the United States in 1918.  You can see our timeline of war declarations in World War I here.

More than 70 million military personnel worldwide were mobilized and 9 million were killed over the course of the war. Up to 8 million civilians died as a result of the war.

To commemorate the centennial, MyHeritage is making WWI genealogy records free to access from now through the end of July. The collection includes 11 WWI records databases, mostly for European soldiers. Check out the list on the MyHeritage Blog.

For resources and strategies to trace your World War I ancestors—both soldiers and the women who volunteered in the war or stayed on the home front—see the July/August 2014 Family Tree Magazine.


Military records | MyHeritage
Monday, July 14, 2014 10:22:32 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 05, 2014
Using Search Wildcards on Genealogy Websites
Posted by Diane

Searching for ancestors online is about more than just typing a name into a database or search engine, as you probably learned after the first few dozen times your search for a problem ancestor came up empty.

For example, my third-great-grandmother Elizabeth (Teipel) Thoss mysteriously vanishes sometime between her youngest child's birth in 1894 and the 1900 census, when her husband is a widow. She's not where she should be in death records, and searches on genealogy sites net few results. When I search collections indexed with optical character recognition software, I get hundreds of hits on the word "those."

There are a bunch of variants for Elizabeth's maiden and married names, too. Wildcards, which you'll learn about in our upcoming Secrets of Successful Web Searches webinar, can be helpful when you can't find an ancestor because the name in the record (whether the original or a searchable index) isn't spelled as you expect.

 secrets of successful web searches

Usually, a * wildcard stands in for zero or more characters in a name, and a ? stands for one character, but genealogy websites handle them differently:

You even can use * as a wildcard with some search engines: Put it at the end of a truncated word to find related words (such as Thos* to find Thoss, Thossen or Those). But on Google,  * stands in for a whole word.

In addition to wildcard searching, our Secrets of Successful Web Searches webinar will show you
  • Search secrets that work across popular genealogy websites, as well as with Google
  • How to use FamilySearch.org and Google to unlock family history information on Ancestry.com
  • How browsing can help you find ancestors that searches overlook
  • How to get results by searching without a name
The Secrets of Successful Web Searches webinar is next Thursday, June 12, at 7 pm Eastern (6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Pacific). You can learn more about it in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | Research Tips | Webinars
Thursday, June 05, 2014 10:43:38 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Free Military Genealogy Records on MyHeritage This Memorial Day Weekend 2014
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website MyHeritage is offering free access to US military old records over Memorial Day weekend. You can search and view the collection free from May 23 through May 26, 2014.



To see a list of the military collections on MyHeritage, go to this page and look under the headings for Draft, Enlistment & Service; Pension Records and Military Documents. Click on the "More" links for each category. Some of the collections are:
  • Korean War casualties list
  • WWII Army enlistment database
  • WWII draft registration cards from various states
  • index to service records of Civil War Confederate Soldiers
  • War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederation Armies (the "OR")
  • index to Revolutionary War pension records
  • Official US Army Register for various years
  • Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and Reserve Officers on Active Duty for various dates
Click here to search MyHeritage military genealogy records (remember, the free period is May 23-May 28).

Get in-depth search help for MyHeritage.com genealogy records in our MyHeritage.com Web Guide digital download, available now in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Also, here's our post from last year about the origins of Memorial Day and the nationwide minute of silence and remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.


Free Databases | Military records | MyHeritage
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 10:58:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 07, 2014
New Genealogy Webinar: Making MyHeritage Work for You
Posted by Diane

Much earlier than the Elvis came along in Tupelo, Miss., in 1935, a baby girl named Elvis was born in 1817 in England.

With the recent announcement from MyHeritage that the website now includes 5 billion historical records, folks there had fun searching the site for famous names—including James Bond, Elizabeth Taylor and others—in the site's birth, marriage, death, immigration, military and other collections. Fun facts they found are in an infographic on the MyHeritage blog.

MyHeritage, which also owns the World Vital Records and Geni websites, has quickly become a formidable family history resource. So quickly that many genealogists aren't familiar with the research potential in the site's record collections, Super Search search engine, Record Matching tools, and family trees.

Making MyHeritage Work For You Webinar

You can find out how to discover your ancestors with MyHeritage and its sister sites in our Making MyHeritage Work for You webinar with Gena Philibert-Ortega. It's happening Thursday, May 22, at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. PT). The webinar includes
  • a tour of the MyHeritage and World Vital Records historical record collections, photographs and family trees
  • how to use the Super Search and Record Detective features
  • how to use the site's tools to connect with cousins
  • how to create a family website, chart, timeline and calendar on MyHeritage
  • how to use Geni.com
Everyone who registers for the webinar will receive access to view the webinar again whenever you want, plus your own copy of the presentation slides. 

Learn more about the Making MyHeritage Work for You webinar here.


MyHeritage | Webinars
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 2:48:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, May 02, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: April 28-May 2
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry.co.uk has added The Collection  which details the crimes of thousands of boys admitted to three institutions for children in West Yorkshire, England. The records, which date between 1779 and 1914, also contain information on nearly 400,000 adult offenders. You can find them in separate collections of reformatory school records, prison records and police records.
  • The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is seeking genealogy bloggers, societies, writers and editors to be ambassadors for its 2014 conference, happening Aug. 27-30 in San Antonio, Texas. You can see the requirements and benefits, and register, on the FGS conference website.


Ancestry.com | Genealogy societies | Genetic Genealogy | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 02, 2014 10:30:21 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, April 04, 2014
Genealogy News Corral, March 31-April 4
Posted by Diane

  • Genealogy website MyHeritage has added the Jewish Chronicle, the world's oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper, to its SuperSearch subscription collections. MyHeritage has more than 200,000 digitized pages of the London-based newspaper, dating back to 1841.
Additional Jewish records now being added include the Israel Genealogy Research Association databases (1860-1890) and Avelim (Israel death notices). Read more about these additions on the MyHeritage blog.
  • The Statue of Liberty—Ellis Island Foundation (SOL-EIF) said in a fundraising email that it will expand its collection of free ships' passenger lists on the EllisIsland.org website, with help from FamilySearch. The site will add records from 1925 to 1957 to its current collection, which spans 1892 to 1924. Ellis Island was open from 1892 until 1954, but immigration plummeted in 1924 due to the National Origins Act. The site now holds 25 million names; about 11 million are immigrants and others are ships' crew members and Americans returning from abroad.
  • If I could go back to my youth, I would totally beg my parents to let me do this: The National Archives building in Washington, DC, will host summer and fall sleepovers for children ages 8 to 12. Kids will have fun learning about historical records, then spend the night in the National Archives Rotunda.  Registration opens in mid-May. Learn more here.


immigration records | Jewish roots | MyHeritage | NARA
Friday, April 04, 2014 11:40:23 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 12, 2014
MyHeritage Employees Digitize a Cemetery to Kick Off Global Initiative
Posted by Diane

To kick off its global initiative to digitize cemeteries, a partnership with the BillionGraves website and app, MyHeritage mobilized 80 employees at its headquarters in Israel to photograph an entire cemetery's worth of gravestones—51,754 images in all.

The employees used the BillionGraves app to digitize and upload stones in Sgula Cemetery in Petah Tikva, Israel. It's one of the country's oldest cemeteries, established in 1888.

The images of the stones, inscribed in Hebrew, are available for transcription on BillionGraves.com.



You can read more about this project and see photos on the MyHeritage blog.

Cemeteries | MyHeritage
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 11:20:47 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, February 19, 2014
MyHeritage and BillionGraves Launch Global Gravestone Recording Initiative
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website MyHeritage and cemetery recording site BillionGraves are collaborating to launch a crowdsourcing initiative to preserve information from cemeteries around the world.

BillionGraves offers an app for iOS and Android that cemetery visitors can use to upload gravestone photos and their GPS coordinates to the web. Volunteers can then transcribe the images on the BillionGraves website, making them searchable.

MyHeritage is helping to make the app available in 25 languages and support Gregorian, Julian and Hebrew dates.

Over the coming weeks, MyHeritage users will receive information about how to download the app and participate in this initiative. You can read more about it and see what the app looks like on the MyHeritage blog.

Update: The partners have opened up the website where you can register and get started recording graves.

Researchers will be able to search the gravestone information free on BillionGraves.com (where volunteers have already uploaded millions of gravestone records) and on MyHeritage. Anyone with a MyHeritage family tree will receive free Record Matches to the data.


Cemeteries | MyHeritage
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:32:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, February 07, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: RootsTech 2014 Edition
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch's RootsTech conference, going on through Saturday in Salt Lake City, kicked off its Friday with a dynamic keynote address by the Legal Genealogist Judy Russell. She started with an archivist's statement that oral family history can be lost in just three generations, because it isn't purposely and accurately passed down (see the exact quote on Judy's blog). The recording isn't yet available on the RootsTech website, but it will be.

Remember that you can watch live streamed presentations on the RootsTech.org home page, too. (Try switching browsers if you just see a black screen. I had to switch to Chrome from my usual Firefox.) 

Yesterday, I posted news from FamilySearch, including a new obituary indexing initiative and free access to Ancestry.com, MyHeritage and findmypast.com at Family History Centers (and, for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from home).

Here are a few more news items:
  • Subscription/pay-per-view website findmypast.com is restructuring its subscription offerings to include a one-month option. A one-month US subscription for $9.95, which includes all records from the USA. A one month World subscription costs $19.95, which includes access to records from around the world.
  • Subscription genealogy site MyHeritage has added 815 million US public records of US residents to its SuperSearch. This compilation was assembled from telephone directories, property tax assessments, credit applications, voter registration lists and other records available to the public. The information spans the last five decades, making it helpful for finding living relatives. Read more on the MyHeritage blog.
  • Mocavo has added 20,000 new databases, bringing its database count to more than 250,000. They're free to access if you search one database at a time (find them listed here). To view match details when you run a search across all databases, you must be a premium member ($7 or $9 per month). One thing you can do is search all databases for an ancestor, view the match "snippets" for promising-looking records, note the databases they're in, then go to the database listings and search the ones you need.
  • In a low-fanfare breakfast with a small group of bloggers and media, representatives from subscription site Ancestry.com said that records of Mexico and Germany are an area of content focus, among other plans. I'll once again send you the extremely thorough Ancestry Insider for additional details.

  • RootsMagic, maker of RootsMagic software, just launched a RootsMagic app for Android devices. You can access your RootsMagic files, explore your tree, view all your RootsMagic data and more. Read about the RootsMagic app here, and download it here
If you want to see what it's like to be at RootsTech, Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings is posting detailed daily reports (including links to posts by other bloggers who are at the conference), as is Miriam Robbins at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Friday, February 07, 2014 4:20:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, February 06, 2014
FamilySearch Launches Obituary Indexing Effort & More News From RootsTech
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch held a media dinner last night before the start of the RootsTech conference. The Ancestry Insider has a great report on the key points. A few I'd like to highlight:
  • This fourth-annual RootsTech has about 8,000 registrants. After the conference, 622 locations around the world will hold events featuring recorded RootsTech sessions.
  • FamilySearch is launching an effort to index 100 million newspaper obituaries this year. A pirate named Capt. Jack Starling is apparently roaming around the conference in promotion of this effort, so don't be surprised if you see him popping up in your Facebook news feeds.
  • Ancestry.com, findmypast and MyHeritage, each of which has strategic partnerships with FamilySearch, will be free to use at FamilySearch Centers. Each website also has plans to let users transfer information between a tree on that site and a FamilySearch family tree.

    Update: According to blogger Dick Eastman, members of the LDS church (which operates FamilySearch) will receive free in-home access to these commercial sites.  
The Salt Lake Tribune has an article here with more on FamilySearch's commercial partnerships.

In other RootsTech news, FamilySearch announced the winners of its annual developer challenge, which rewards the most innovative new concepts to family history. They are Genealogy Systems LLC's Find-A-Record, a searchable index of record collections (so far, mostly on FamilySearch.org); PhotoFaceMatch from Eclipse Identity Recognition Corp.; and the Saving Memories Forever story-saving app. Read more about the winners here.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Events | MyHeritage
Thursday, February 06, 2014 11:15:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, January 31, 2014
Genealogy News Corral, Jan. 27-31
Posted by Diane

  • Arphax Publishing has updated its HistoryGeo online historical maps subscription service with new map-viewing tools and new content, including The First Landowners Project (nearly 8 million original landowners) and the Antique Maps Project (more than 4,000 maps from around the United States). HistoryGeo also has a new blog, training videos, and a surname search to help people use the site. (Anyone can run a surname search to see if your family surnames occur on any of the site's maps, though you must subscribe to view details on the matches.)
  • A new website that combines family history mapping and social media, Place My Past, has made updates including easier finding historical maps for a place you're viewing, ability to embed maps onto your blog or website, and the ability to overlay data (such as historical boundaries) onto your maps. You can upload a GEDCOM and view the main map as a free member. Subscribers can upload and annotate maps, connect with other members and more. See a comparison of member and subscriber benefits here.
  • If you have a tree on MyHeritage and you find a MyHeritage record for a relative not yet in your tree, you now can add the relative to your tree directly from the record (instead of going to your tree, adding the relative, then going back to the record and extracting information into the new profile). See how to do this on the MyHeritage Blog.
  • Do you plan to attend and blog about the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2014 Family History Conference, May 7-10 in Richmond, Va.? NGS has opened its Official Blogger and Social Media Press registration. Accepted social media press will receive a press kit at registration, access to the Press table, and limited license to use the conference official social media designation and logo. Social Media Press Registration closes Feb. 21, and those accepted will be notified by March 1.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, January 31, 2014 10:45:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 12, 2013
MyHeritage Adds 32 Million Genealogy Records From Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website MyHeritage has launched a major initiative in the Nordic countries with more than 32 million records from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, plus dedicated social media channels. The records are accessible with a MyHeritage data subscription ($9.95 per month, billed annually).

The site also is investing millions of dollars and has agreements in place to digitize more Nordic content and add it over the next few years.

The new Nordic historical record collections comprise birth, death, marriage, baptismal and others, covering more than 90 million names. Here's a country-by-country breakdown of the new collections (click each country name to search MyHeritage records of that country):
  • Sweden: 11 million records with 31 million names, including baptism documents dating back to 1611, marriage documents dating back to 1630 and burial documents dating back to 1649
  • Norway: 10 million records with 30 million names, including baptism documents dating back to 1634, marriage documents dating back to 1660, burial documents dating back to 1666, and the Norwegian national census of 1875
  • Denmark: 5.5 million records with 14 million names, including baptism documents dating back to 1618, marriage documents dating back to 1635 and burial documents dating back to 1640
  • Finland: 5.5 million records with 16 million names. These collections include baptism documents dating back to 1657, marriage documents dating back to 1682 and burial documents dating back to 1725
MyHeritage, which has more than 470,000 registered users in Sweden, 350,000 in Norway, 300,000 in Denmark, and 200,000 in Finland, has also launched a blog, Facebook account and Twitter account dedicated to each country. You can access them from this MyHeritage blog post

Those users have added more than 70 million profiles in 730,000 family trees on MyHeritage.

Get help researching your roots in Norway, SwedenFinland, Denmark and elsewhere in Europe from the guides at ShopFamilyTree.com.


International Genealogy | MyHeritage
Thursday, December 12, 2013 9:13:21 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, December 10, 2013
New: Place My Past Website Maps Your Family Tree
Posted by Diane

A new website called Place My Past (currently accessible to those who are invited) looks to be a hybrid of a family tree site, a mapping site and a social network.

Depending on your membership level, Place My Past lets you explore places and events using map tools; upload, share and view historical maps; trace your family's geographic roots; and explore their movements over time.

Users sign into the site with a MyHeritage account (so you'll need to create a tree on MyHeritage if you don't have one) and the site will import and plot your family tree on its map.

Although it's open by invitation only right now, you can ask to be notified by email when the site officially launches.

To give you an idea of what the site does, Place My Past created this US map with events from the Kennedy family tree.


When I clicked on Lancaster, Pa., a little pop-up had a city profile and gave me a link to view family events there.

Besides Events, you also could see media attached to that location and others following it.

Explore the site here, or take a tour (with comments pointing out features and tools).

There are three levels of Place My Past registration: 

  • A free Guest registration lets you view the site's main map with location details and "anonymized" information about people and events
  • A free Member can upload family trees; add and update people, places and events; and view public information from other members.
  • For $4 per month (billed as $48 per year), Subscribing members can view family migrations; upload and share historical maps; follow people, places and events; and connect with other members.

Love old maps? Learn five ways to use old maps to solve genealogy research problems in our webinar Five Ways to Enhance Your Genealogy Research With Old Maps, taking place this Thursday, Dec. 12, with Lisa Louise Cooke.


Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | Social Networking | Maps
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 1:42:56 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, November 15, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Nov. 11-15
Posted by Diane

  • FamilySearch has added more than 3.2 million indexed records and images from Austria, BillionGraves, Brazil, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. See the full list of new and updated collections here; just click a database title to search or browse (for unindexed records) the collection for free on FamilySearch.org.
  • Harvard University is launching a Colonial North America project to digitize some of the 30 million pages of 17th- and 18th-century manuscripts in its libraries. They include journals, Harvard administrative records, student notebooks and more.
Collections at Harvard and other repositories, including the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Boston Public Library,  will be digitized for the Colonial Archives of North America project. These projects will make it possible to virtually reunite Colonial-era documents that were scattered over time. Read more about these projects in the online Harvard Gazette.
  • The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is seeking nominations for its National Genealogy Hall of Fame. Nominees must have been deceased at least five years, have been actively involved in genealogy in the United States for at least 10 years, and have made significant contributions to the field. The nomination deadline is Jan. 31. See nomination guidelines and download the nomination form on the NGS website.

  • MyHeritage has enhanced its record extraction feature by letting you extract information from a historical record on the site directly to a multiple family tree profiles related to that record. For example, if you find a census record for a family, you can extract the census information into your MyHeritage family tree profiles for all the household members. Learn more about this feature on the MyHeritage blog.


FamilySearch | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives | MyHeritage
Friday, November 15, 2013 1:22:06 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Genealogy Resources To Be Thankful For
Posted by Diane

It's a month of being thankful—in daily Facebook posts, at the Thanksgiving table, and in our 11 Online Genealogy Resources to Be Thankful For webinar on Nov. 20. Here are some of the genealogy resources I'm thankful for (in no particular order):
  • Other genealogists! They've shared tombstone photos, burial records, baptismal information and genealogy happy dances, and helped me fill in blank spots in my tree. Recently, a genealogist I emailed about a possible connection (I found his online tree with a Google search of the last name, city, and the word genealogy) helped me figure out the correct German birthplace for my third-great-grandmother.
  • An organization that's digitizing genealogy records, mobilizing millions of volunteers to index them, and making them available free online has to be on a genealogist's thank-you list. I'm talking about FamilySearch. I check the site regularly for new and updated collections in the places my ancestors lived. To do this for your research, scroll down on the search page and click the world region of choice. Then choose the state or country from the filters on the left. Click Last Updated on the right to see what's been added recently.
  • I'm thankful for subscription-based resources, too. They make possible all the research I wouldn't  get done if I had to travel to the places my ancestors lived. And that's most of my research—these days, it's hard to get out of the house child-free, period. Ancestry.com, GenealogyBank, findmypast, MyHeritage—whichever one has the records you need is the right one for you. To save some money, see if your local library or FamilySearch Center offers free access to any subscription sites.
  • Of course, I want to go to those libraries and archives and pore over the records and books they have. I'm thankful that libraries and archives are there to preserve and organize historical records, with knowledgable staff who help family historians find what they need. And I'm extremely thankful for interlibrary loan, which has allowed me to find ancestors in microfilmed prison registers and city directories from other libraries. 
I could list resources I'm thankful for all day. What genealogy resources are you thankful for?

In the 11 Online Genealogy Resources to Be Thankful for webinar, presenter Gena Philibert-Ortega, will share a feast of resources for doing genealogy online—and how to get the most out of those websites.

The webinar is Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. PT).  As always, anyone who registers will receive a 25-plus-page handout of the presentation slides, and access to view the webinar again as many times as they want.



Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | findmypast | Libraries and Archives | MyHeritage
Wednesday, November 06, 2013 2:36:48 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Partnerships Add Burial Records and Obituaries to MyHeritage.com
Posted by Diane

Halloween talk of death won't scare many genealogists, who are acutely interested in when, where and how their ancestors died. But what's scary sometimes is the search for evidence of an elusive ancestor's death.

Maybe this will help:

MyHeritage has joined with the BillionGraves cemetery records website and the memorial website Tributes.com to add 5.5 million gravestone images and records, and 3.5 million obituaries, to its search engine.

These records are available for free on SuperSearch, MyHeritage's search engine for historical records on the site. Those with family trees on MyHeritage will receive Record Matches to alert them to matches in these new collections. (The Tributes.com obituaries will tend to be recent deaths.)

In related news, MyHeritage is holding a Halloween photo contest: Enter your most creative and original Halloween family photo by Nov. 3, and three entrants will win a one-year MyHeritage data subscription. Get details on the MyHeritage blog.

Need advice for finding out about your ancestors' deaths? Try our Death Records Workbook eight-page download, available for $4.99 in ShopFamilyTree.com. It has instructions and resources for finding death records, substitute records that can provide death information,  sample records, and a form to help you organize your death records search.


MyHeritage | Vital Records
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 1:09:11 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 17, 2013
FamilySearch Partners With Findmypast.com Owner D.C. Thomson
Posted by Tyler

FamilySearch is forming yet another partnership with a commercial genealogy company—this time, with DC Thomson, formerly called Brightsolid, owner of the findmypast.com subscription website.

DC Thomson will "deliver a wide range of projects including digital preservation, records search, technological development and the means to allow family historians to share their discoveries." No additional specifics are being offered about the projects.

DC Thomson, in turn, received access to more than 13 million records from FamilySearch.org, including major collections of births, marriages and deaths covering America, Australia and Ireland. Those records have already launched on findmypast.com. About 600 additional collections containing millions of records will follow. Those records will continue to be accessible free at FamilySearch.org.

The organizations have previously collaborated on digitization and indexing projects including the 1940 census and  British army service records.

I wonder how these partnership agreements affect each other. Is FamilySearch trying not to play favorites, or does it have fingers in too many pies? For example, can the records digitized and indexed as a result of Ancestry.com's $60 million investment with FamilySearch then be shared with Ancestry.com's competitor MyHeritage.com (which has agreed to give FamilySearch its Smart Matching and Record Matching technologies) and/or with DC Thomson (in exchange for the unspecified projects)?  

As has become FamilySearch's practice with such announcements, the organization has posted an FAQ here. (Question #2 makes it sound a little like findmypast records are launching on FamilySearch, which is the opposite of what's happening.)



Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Industry | MyHeritage
Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:00:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 15, 2013
MyHeritage, FamilySearch Form Partnership to Exchange Technologies and Records
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website and family network MyHeritage has announced a long-term strategic partnership with FamilySearch in which MyHeritage will provide its Smart Matching and Record Matching technologies to FamilySearch, and FamilySearch will share 2 billion records from all over the world and family tree profiles with MyHeritage.

By the end of this year, FamilySearch records—including vital records, censuses and more—and family tree profiles will become part of the SuperSearch on MyHeritage, and will be matched with MyHeritage members' family trees.

Some of the content will be available free to MyHeritage basic members, and some will require a MyHeritage.com data subscription to view. FamilySearch's volunteer-indexed records will continue to be available free through FamilySearch.org, according to a FamilySearch FAQ.

When MyHeritage.com technologies are implemented on FamilySearch.org sometime in 2014, SmartMatching will automatically find connections between FamilySearch user-contributed family trees and MyHeritage family trees, and Record Matching will find historical records relevant to people in FamilySearch family trees.  

MyHeritage members who don't want their family trees Smart Matched with FamilySearch family trees can use the settings under "My Privacy" to turn off Smart Matching with other MyHeritage websites and partners (see instructions in this FAQ).

This comes on the heels of FamilySearch's partnership with Ancestry.com, which has Ancestry.com putting up $60 million over the next five years to digitize a billion FamilySearch records, in exchange for the records and indexing assistance.

Learn more about the MyHeritage/FamilySearch partnership from this MyHeritage blog post and FAQ. Also see FamilySearch's FAQ here.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Industry | MyHeritage
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:19:50 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 20, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 16-20
Posted by Diane

  • The National Genealogical Society is conducting a survey for those who've attended one of its conferences, purchased one of its publications or signed up for one of its courses. Both members and nonmembers are invited to respond. You can take the survey here.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy societies | MyHeritage
Friday, September 20, 2013 3:46:58 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, August 30, 2013
Free US Census Records on MyHeritage Labor Day Weekend!
Posted by Diane

More Labor Day weekend genealogy goodies! MyHeritage has announced that its entire US Census collection, 1790 to 1940, will be free to access from Saturday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 2.

To view the census records, you'll need to sign up for a free MyHeritage account if you don't already have one. Start your census search here.

Visit the MyHeritage blog for more details on the MyHeritage US census collection and this offer.


census records | MyHeritage
Friday, August 30, 2013 11:41:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, August 07, 2013
New MyHeritage.com Website Helps You Treasure Old Family Photos
Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine's Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor has partnered with MyHeritage on its Treasure Family Photos website.

The site emphasizes the importance of preserving and sharing photos, echoing the redesigned FamilySearch.org's focus on family photos.

From the MyHeritage Treasure Family Photos home page, you can:
  • Search a database of photos attached to MyHeritage.com members' family trees (you need a MyHeritage.com data subscription or credits to see full details from the tree)

  • Watch a video with tips from Maureen

  • Start an online family tree to help you organize your photos

  • Upload photos to MyHeritage.com

  • Find links to websites with photo craft projects you can do with your kids (one of these is our Family Tree Kids photo magnet project)

  • Get tips for preserving and scanning your photos (MyHeritage also has partnered with batch scanning service ScanCafe, which is offering 25 percent off to MyHeritage visitors)
You can see case studies of old photos Maureen has researched for Family Tree Magazine readers on our Photo Detective Blog.

And there's even more advice for identifying, dating and preserving old photos in her book Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries.


Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | Photos
Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:08:04 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, July 26, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, July 22-26
Posted by Diane

  • Royal genealogy has been a hot topic on the interwebs since the birth of Prince George of Cambridge Monday bumped his Uncle Prince Harry out of the No. 3 spot in the line of successtion to the British throne. MyHeritage has the Royal Family Tree here. I found the Modern View easier to use; you can use the tabs at the bottom of the page to toggle between this and the Classic View. Click on a person to see details about him or her on the left.
  • Ancestry.com has updated its free Shoebox Mobile App (for Android and iPhone), acquired along with 1000memories in 2012. The photo "scanning" app lets you take high-quality photos of your family photos and documents, map their location, and edit, date, and tag them. If you have an Ancestry Member Tree, you can then upload the images to the profile of someone in your tree. Learn more about the app here.


Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots | findmypast | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Jewish roots | MyHeritage | Photos
Friday, July 26, 2013 11:10:33 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Tricks for Finding Free Genealogy Data
Posted by Diane

Don't get me wrong. Spending money on genealogy is a good thing. This is spoken by someone who works hard to create high-quality educational genealogy material for your consumption.

But I try to practice what my mom taught me about money: You save what you can when you can, then you use your budget on things that'll really pay off.


This post is about the "save when you can" part. If you can find some genealogy data you need for no cost, then you can dedicate your family history funds, for example, to ordering an original record, taking an in-depth online genealogy course or subscribing to a website.
  • Know that free sites often have sponsored links (they have to pay the bills somehow), which may not be obviously ads: You click on a database title or type your name into a search box, and you end up on a subscription site, which can be frustrating if that's not what you expected. Just hit the back button until you get back to the site you started on (or if the site opened in a new browser tab, go back to the tab you were on).
  • Look for free-for-a-limited-time databases around holidays. Recently, for example, four sites offered free online military records for Memorial Day. Find out about these offers by reading genealogy blogs (such as this one) and newsletters (such as the Genealogy Insider newsletter), sign up for genealogy websites' email programs, and befriend those sites on Facebook and Twitter.
Find out about 41 free resources for genealogy apps, forms, software and images in the May/June 2013 Family Tree Magazine.

Learn how to find and use free genealogy websites with the tools in our Best Free Genealogy Websites Ultimate Collection!

Ancestry.com | Archives.com | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | Research Tips
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 2:53:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Access MyHeritage Military Records Free Through May 28
Posted by Diane

In honor of Memorial Day, MyHeritage is granting free access to military records from its most popular collections through Tuesday, May 28.

The US records include Revolutionary War pension indexes, an index to the 1840 special census of Revolutionary War pensioners, Confederate service and pension records, War of 1812 pension indexes and more (some of the military records might not be included—for example, I was prompted to subscribe when searching the Tennessee Pension Applications collection).

You'll also find some collections for British and Australian records.

Click here to search the MyHeritage military records. Use the links on the right (under In Military) to see what records are available.

You can read more about this free military records offer on the MyHeritage blog.

And don't forget about findmypast.com's free military records offer, which ends May 27.


Military records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:17:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, May 13, 2013
MyHeritage Introduces Record Detective
Posted by Diane

Last week MyHeritage added US censuses from 1790 to 1930, and before that was Record Matching to people in your MyHeritage.com or Geni.com family tree.

Now comes another announcement from MyHeritage: Record Detective takes a record you've discovered on MyHeritage and gives you a summary of additional records about the same relative, and about other people related to that relative. You also can link to see these people in other family trees on MyHeritage.

For example, you find someone in the US census, and Record Detective will show you census entries for the person and other household members in earlier and later years, plus a passenger list showing when the head of the household immigrated.

This video demonstrates how it works:



The announcement on MyHeritage compares this to friend suggestions on Facebook. It reminds me of the "you also might like..." suggestions you get when shopping online.

"The Record Detective technology understands what record you're looking at, and brings you related records, and related people." Of course, you'll want to look at each Record Detective match and make sure it really is your ancestor.

You don't have to be a MyHeritage subscriber to get Record Detective matches, but to view many of the matching records, you'll need a subscription or pay-as-you-go credits.


MyHeritage
Monday, May 13, 2013 4:14:08 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 01, 2013
MyHeritage Adds US Census Records for 1790 to 1930
Posted by Diane

Genealogy site MyHeritage announced that it has added the entire collection of US decennial censuses from 1790 to 1930—searchable indexes and record images.

MyHeritage has offered the 1940 US census since shortly after it was released to the public last year.

The census records are accessible with a MyHeritage.com annual data subscription (on spacial for $6.35 per month, billed annually) or with prepurchased credits (5,600 credits cost $39.95 and are good for 180 days). That's except for the 1940 census, which is free to search and view, along with select other collections.

If you have a tree on MyHeritage, the census records also will be included in Record Matching notifications. Also in MyHeritage.com's records collection are vital, military, immigration, newspaper and other records.

Census records are among the most popular resources for family historians, and often the starting point for new researchers. This addition brings MyHeritage into closer competition with Ancestry.com as a commercial provider of records for genealogy research.

I'm still checking into where MyHeritage's 1790-to-1930 census records were imaged and indexed. (Update: That information isn't being released due to a confidentiality agreement, according to MyHeritage spokesperson Schelly Talalay Dardashti.) Its 1940 census was indexed separately from both the records on Ancestry.com and those on FamilySearch/findmypast/Archives.com, giving you another search option for hard-to-find family in 1940.

Another plus for using MyHeritage.com: The website is available in 40 languages, making its records searchable by people all over the world who had family in the United States. 


census records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 1:57:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Geni Adds Smart Matches and Record Matches from MyHeritage.com
Posted by Diane

Family tree site Geni.com, acquired by MyHeritage last November, has now implemented MyHeritage.com's Smart Matching and Record Matching features.
  • Smart Matching automatically searches for matches to your Geni.com tree in other trees on MyHeritage.com (note that MyHeritage.com trees don't yet get matches in Geni.com trees).
  • Record Matching compares the profiles in your Geni.com tree to the historical records at MyHeritage, and alerts you when a relevant document is found. It also automatically creates a citation when you confirm a record and add it to Geni.com's World Family Tree.
You can see the Record Matches and Smart Matches in the profiles on your Geni.com tree, as well as in your Merge Center, where you can review and confirm or reject them.

You must have a MyHeritage.com SuperSearch data subscription to access Smart Matches. You'll be able to see some Record Matches for free, but you'll need to have a SuperSearch subscription to see full information on records that are included in MyHeritage.com's premium record collections.

You'll find a detailed how-to for using Smart Matches and Record Matches on the Geni.com blog.

Learn more about the different MyHeritage.com subscriptions here.

Here's MyHeritage.com's FAQ about its acquisition of Geni.


Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:58:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, February 15, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 11-15
Posted by Diane

  • At the new, free website from Herthstone Legacy Publications called My Genealogy Hound, you can access thousands of biographies extracted from pre-1900 county history books. Biographies from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee are available now, with more states to come. Search the site or browse biographies by surname or state and county. The site also has a selection of free, old county maps from Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kanasas, Missouri, Oklahoma (including Indian nations) and Tennessee, with more to be added.
  • The National Genealogical Society (NGS) has implemented student discounts for registration to its 2013 Family History Conference, May 8-11 in Las Vegas. Students can register for the full conference for $50 (NGS members) or $60 (nonmembers), nearly 75 percent off regular rates. To qualify, students must submit a letter on college or university letterhead from the dean or department chair. See the NGS blog for additional details and qualifications.


FamilySearch | Genealogy books | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | MyHeritage
Friday, February 15, 2013 2:49:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, February 08, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 4-8
Posted by Diane

  • PBS has gathered its African-American history content into one place to help you celebrate Black History Month. Watch programs including Freedom Riders and Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr., take a quiz about miletones in African-American history, get ideas for celebrating the month with kids and more.
  • Know a young genealogist who could use $500 toward genealogy education, plus a free registration to attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree? Applications are being accepted for the 2013 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant, created to honor the mother of The Family Curator blogger Denise Levenick. It's open to any genealogist who is between the ages of 18 and 25 and has attended school in the last 12 months. The recipient must attend the 2013 Jamboree in Burbank, Calif., to receive the award. Application deadline is March 18, 2013, at midnight PST. Learn more here.
  • Findmypast.com is giving its registered users the opportunity to watch the BBC show Find My Past, which reveals how ordinary individuals are related to people from significant historical events.  With a free findmypast.com registration, you can watch episodes that first aired during the past 30 days. Thereafter, episodes will be available to the sites subscribing members. Learn more on findmypast.com.
Also new in findmypast.com's World subscription is a collection of 200 British newspapers from England, Scotland and Wales from 1700 to 1950.


African-American roots | Genealogy for kids | Genetic Genealogy | MyHeritage | Newspapers | UK and Irish roots
Friday, February 08, 2013 3:04:28 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 21, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 17-21
Posted by Diane

  • This week MyHeritage.com announced the launch of its automatic Record Matching premium service. The service automatically searches the 4 billion records on MyHeritage.com websites (which now include World Vital Records and FamilyLink) for matches to people in your MyHeritage family tree. MyHeritage users will receive weekly email updates of new Record Matches and can visit MyHeritage.com to review, filter, sort, confirm and reject matches.
On his Genea-Musings blog, Randy Seaver has some detailed posts about using Record Matching to find information.
  • Genealogy search engine Mocavo has acquired ReadyMicro, a company that develops document digitization technology. On its blog, Mocavo says it's planning several exciting announcements in the coming weeks about offering searchable records and forming partnerships to digitize organizations' records "at a very low cost and even, in many cases, at no cost." Stay tuned ...

  • British burial records site DeceasedOnline has added records from London's Charlton Cemetery, opened in 1855. Records include scans of burial registers and some photographs. You can see a list of all the cemeteries included on the site here. You can search the site and get basic search results free; purchase credits to view additional details and records.
  • Don't forget to enter our giveaway for a year's subscription to our Family Tree eBooks website—it's a digital library of dozens of ebooks on genealogy, history, heirloom identification, sharing and preserving your family history, and more, plus many issues of Family Tree Magazine. Click here to enter by September 30!


Cemeteries | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 21, 2012 2:27:33 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, July 26, 2012
Ancestry.com Adds 12 States to Its 1940 Census Index
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com has just announced the addition of 12 more states to its free 1940 US census index, bringing the total of states you can search by name on Ancestry.com to 37 plus Washington DC.

The newly added states are:
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
Click here to see our post listing the states already indexed in Ancestry.com's 1940 census database, as well as the states indexed on FamilySearch.org and its 1940 Census Community Project partners, and on MyHeritage.com.

The 1940 census is free to search on all these sites.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage
Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:17:54 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 28, 2012
1940 Census Now Searchable for California + 30 Other States
Posted by Diane

The western half of the country is almost entirely orange on FamilySearch's 1940 census index progress map, indicating states with free, searchable name indexes.

California—the fifth largest US state in 1940—is the latest addition. Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico and Washington also have been added, bringing FamilySearch's total of searchable states to 29.

The 29 states also are searchable on the websites of FamilySearch's 1940 Census Community Project partners findmypast.com and Archives.com.

In all, you can search the 1940 census for 31 states plus Washington, DC.

On Ancestry.com, Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington DC are searchable by name for free.

MyHeritage.com has Rhode Island and part of New York indexed, also free to search.

Remember, you can browse the records for all states and territories for free on FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and the National Archives.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage | NARA
Thursday, June 28, 2012 10:10:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, June 25, 2012
MyHeritage Launches SuperSearch Genealogy Research Feature
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website MyHeritage officially launched its new SuperSearch feature (previously in beta) today. This brings it into more direct competition with genealogy sites offering historical records in addition to online family tree sharing.



SuperSearch, part of the site's subscription offerings, lets you search records and family trees on MyHeritage. You can run a basic search or used the advanced search to enter name, relatives' names, life events (such as birth, marriage or death), and keywords.

The search will translate names and search records in 38 languages.

Record Matching, another new feature still to come, will automatically search the records and trees for you.

In addition to MyHeritage family trees, types of records searched include vital records, census records and indexes, military records, immigration records, school yearbooks, newspapers and historical books, and more.

The records come from the World Vital Records website, which MyHeritage purchased last year, as well as MyHeritage's own additions. New records are being uploaded to the site.
 
Every day, large numbers of historical records and data are being added and we also plan to have our time-saving Record Matching technology up and running in a few weeks. Watch for more information - we'll let you know when Record Matching is live!
 
SuperSearch is an exciting new service that adds color to family history, improves by the day, and which positions MyHeritage as a top player in the historical content market.

You can run a search and use filters on the left side of the page to narrow the results to the types of records (census, immigration, etc) you want to see. Some collections, such as the 1940 census, are free to view. If you click on a result for a premium collection, you'll get a prompt to subscribe or upgrade your free MyHeritage account.  

You can read more about SuperSearch in my interview with MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet this past March.

Here's a video that shows you a little more about how SuperSearch works:
 
 

Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Monday, June 25, 2012 3:44:53 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 15, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, June 11-15
Posted by Diane

  • MyHeritage announced that it has reached the milestone of one billion MyHeritage.com profiles. The billion profiles are in nearly 23 million family trees. MyHeritage.com has more than 63 million registered users who add about a million new profiles every day. About half of the billion profiles belong to living people.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | MyHeritage | Social Networking
Friday, June 15, 2012 10:08:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 14, 2012
1940 Census Update: 24 States Are Now Searchable By Name
Posted by Diane

Across all the websites hosting 1940 census records, a total of 24 states now have free, searchable name indexes for this census.

FamilySearch has released two more searchable state indexes, Oklahoma and South Dakota. All the states searchable on FamilySearch and its volunteer 1940 Census Community Project partners findmypast.com and Archives.com are:
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming
On Ancestry.com, Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington DC are searchable by name.

MyHeritage.com has Rhode Island and part of New York indexed.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | MyHeritage
Thursday, June 14, 2012 8:51:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 07, 2012
FamilySearch Adds 4 States to 1940 Census Index
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch announces that you can now search the 1940 census index for 18 states free at FamilySearch.org and 1940 Census Community Project partners Archives.com, FindMyPast.com and 1940census.archives.gov (although I can't find a name search at 1940census.archives.gov, which is the National Archives' census website).

That brings the total of searchable states/districts across all 1940 census sites to 22 (see below for links to the other sites).

FamilySearch's 18 indexed states are:
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming
Ancestry.com has free searchable indexes for Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington, DC; and MyHeritage has Rhode Island and part of New York.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage
Thursday, June 07, 2012 12:33:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, May 30, 2012
1940 Census Indexing Update: States You Can Search By Name
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and FamilySearch.org (plus its 1940 Census Community Project partner sites) all have free record images available for the 1940 census.

All three sites also are in the process of creating and publishing searchable name indexes to the records. As of this posting, a total of 16 states (update: 20 states on 6/1), part of another one, and the District of Columbia are searchable.

Here are the states you can search at each site:

  • Ancestry.com: You can search name indexes for Delaware, Maine, Nevada and Washington, DC. A chart on the 1940 census page lets you see indexing progress.
  • FamilySearch.org: FamilySearch's volunteer indexers so far appear to be outpacing the paid contractors Ancestry.com and MyHeritage are using. You can search 14 states/territories by your ancestor's name: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming.

FamilySearch.org's indexing progress map colors searchable states orange. To search, click the state on the map.

  • Archives.com: At this 1940 Census Community Project partner site, you can search name indexes to the same states available at FamilySearch. To access the unindexed portion of the census, this site sends you to the National Archives' 1940 census site (which Archives.com designed and hosts).
  • FindMyPast.com: As a 1940 Census Community Project partner, FindMyPast.com has the same states indexed as FamilySearch (though Alaska, a territory in 1940, is missing from the color-coded map on the home page). Update 6/1: FindMyPast also now shows Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana as searchable, though these states are not yet searchable on FamilySearch.org. Look for that to change soon.
  • MyHeritage: Here, you can search a name index for Rhode Island, and a partial name index for New York.

The 1940 census records also are available on FamilyLink.com, which MyHeritage purchased last year. You'll need to register for a free account on the site (if you don't already have an account there) to view the records.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 3:07:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Free, Searchable WWII Genealogy Collections
Posted by Diane

To mark Memorial Day, subscription genealogy website WorldVitalRecords (now owned by MyHeritage) is making two of its World War II collections free through May 31:
  • WWII Army Enlistment records contain enlistee names, enlistment dates and other data taken from punch cards (so there's no original record to view). If you miss the WorldVitalRecords free period, you also can search these records free on the National Archives website and in Fold3's Memorial Pages.  
For help researching your military genealogy in records of WWII and other US wars, check out our CD Military Research Guide: Researching Ancestors in America's Wars.


Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | MyHeritage
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:45:01 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, April 17, 2012
1940 Census Records and Indexes Update
Posted by Diane

Now that sites have completed their 1940 US census image collections and are working on indexing the records, census news is coming more slowly. Here's where to find 1940 census records and the indexes that are available so far:
  • Ancestry.com: Record images for all US states and territories are available free, as are searchable name indexes for Delaware and Nevada. An index for Washington, DC, is "in process." A chart on the 1940 census page lets you see indexing progress.
  • FamilySearch: Digitized records are available here for all US states and territories.

The name index for the state of Delaware is now completed and available to researchers. Search Delaware here.

You can use the map at FamilySearch's 1940 census site to see the indexing progress of the 1940 Census Community Project. The darker the state, the more records volunteers have indexed. The completed indexes will become searchable free on FamilySearch, as well as its commercial partners Archives.com and FindMyPast.com.

The 1940 census record images also are available on FamilyLink.com, which MyHeritage purchased last year. You'll need to register for a free account on the site (if you don't already have an account there) to view the records.

  • National Archives: Records for all states and territories are available here for free.
P.S. The Ancestry Insider blog has a good comparison of the census record image viewers on the four sites listed above. It might help you decide which site to use for your 1940 ancestor search.

Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 4:35:12 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, April 10, 2012
1940 Census Update
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry.com: Record images for all US states and territories are available free, as are searchable name indexes for Delaware and Nevada. An index for Washington, DC, is coming soon.
  • FamilySearch: Available record images are Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington

You can use the map at FamilySearch's 1940 census site to see the indexing progress of the 1940 Census Community Project. The darker the state, the more records volunteers have indexed. The completed indexes will become searchable free on FamilySearch, as well as its commercial partners Archives.com and FindMyPast.com.

The 1940 census record images also are available on FamilyLink.com, which MyHeritage purchased last year. You'll need to register for a free account on the site (if you don't already have an account there) to view the records.

  • National Archives: Records for all states and territories are available here for free.

Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 4:39:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, April 06, 2012
1940 Census Status Update: PM Edition
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com: Record images for all US states and territories are available, as are searchable name indexes for Delaware and Nevada.

FamilySearch: Available record images are:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia

MyHeritage: Records for all states and territories are available now, as is an index to Bristol County, RI

National Archives: Records for all states and territories are available.

Check ShopFamilyTree.com for books, article downloads, online classes and CDs on how to research your genealogy in census records. Enjoy looking for your 1940 ancestors this weekend!


Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Friday, April 06, 2012 3:26:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
1940 Census Status Update: Where to Find Your Ancestors' Records
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com:

You'll now see an "Index Status" column on Ancestry.com's census progress chart.

Ancestry.com has published the first searchable name indexes to the 1940 census for Delaware and Nevada.

The site has almost finished uploading records for the states, predicting completion this morning. At this time, Ancestry.com has record images for all states and US territories except Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and South Carolina.

FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added a color-coded map showing its progress. Hovering over a state highlights the records-posting and indexing progress for each state (if nothing happens when you hover, try a different browser). On the map, Texas shows as "records unavailable," but they are online at FamilySearch, at least for the counties I tried.

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia

MyHeritage:

Records for all states are available here, as is an index to Bristol County, RI

National Archives:

All states are available.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Friday, April 06, 2012 8:41:41 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, April 05, 2012
1940 Census Status Update: Where to Find Records for Your Ancestor's State
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com:
  • Complete: Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Panama Canal Zone, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

  • Almost complete: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, North Dakota

  • Next up: Maryland, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, South Carolina
FamilySearch:
  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
MyHeritage: Records for all states are available now, as is an index to Bristol County, RI

National Archives: all states available


Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage | NARA
Thursday, April 05, 2012 4:24:31 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, April 04, 2012
1940 Census Status Update, PM Edition: Where to Find the Records You Need
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com:
  • Complete: Alabama, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Guam, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missuori, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Panama Canal Zone, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming

  • Almost complete: Illinois, West Virginia

  • Next up: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin
FamilySearch:
  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

FamilySearch also reported that 1940 Census Community Project volunteer indexers have finished indexing records for Delaware; the index is being processed (it's not yet on the site).

MyHeritage: Records for all states are available now, as is a name index to Bristol County, RI

National Archives: Records for all states are available



See Family Tree Magazine's expert census research tools and guides in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 4:45:36 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
1940 Census Searches Done for You
Posted by Diane

FindMyPast.com, a site from brightsolid—a partner in FamilySearch's 1940 Census Community project, creator of the recently launched censusrecords.com site, and future host of 1940 census records—has announced a new "We'll find them for you" service.

Visit findmypast.com, submit the name and state of the person you plan to search for, plus other details you might know, and you'll get an email from findmypast.com when the person’s indexed record becomes available on the site.

This will start working as name indexes are made available for 1940 census records.

MyHeritage.com is promoting something along similar lines include —if you have a family tree there, you'll get a notification when a 1940 census record matches anyone on your tree.

On Ancestry.com, you'll presumably get a "shaky leaf" hint if an indexed 1940 census record matches someone in your Ancestry Member tree.


Ancestry.com | census records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 3:45:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Using 1940 Census Records on MyHeritage
Posted by Diane

That was fast! MyHeritage announced last night it's the first commercial company to complete its collection of 1940 census images.

The company also published the first searchable index, for Bristol County, RI.

I checked out the MyHeritage 1940 census collection while searching for my grandfather in Bellevue, Campbell County, Kentucky. My mom has taken me to see the house, so I was able to use the One-Step Ed finder to determine the enumeration district.

Then on the MyHeritage site, I chose a state and plugged in the ED number. (If I didn't have the ED, I could use the keyword field to type terms that might appear in an ED description, such as a street name or institution name.)

This pulled up census records matching that ED.

Clicking on the title brought a page with the ED description and a small view of the first page. I clicked the Full Screen button.

Here's the first page of the records in the Myheritage image viewer:

It's pretty straightforward: Zoom in or out with the buttons on the left, use the arrows to page forward and back, and use the X in the top right to close the viewer and return to the record description. The only thing that bugs me is that you can't type in a page number. If you're on page 20 of the records and you want to go back to page 2, you have to click the back arrow 18 times. 

I easily found my great-grandmother and her family, including my grandfather, on Covert Run Pike.

A "suppl quest" label to the left of Great-grandma Mamie's name indicates she answered the extra questions at the bottom of the schedule.

She was 20 when she married and this was her only marriage, and she had four children (the schedule states stillbirths aren't to be included in this total, but unless we have a big family secret, she did count her stillborn baby boy).

Click the download icon at the top right of the image viewer to save the record image. On my computer, this opened the file in a new browser tab—just right-click or control-click to save it to your computer.


census records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 2:17:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
1940 Census Status Update: Where to Find Records for the State You Need
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com:
  • Complete: American Samoa, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Panama Canal Zone, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington
  • Almost complete: Kansas, Nebraska
  • Next up: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oregon, Vermont

FamilySearch:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

MyHeritage: all states available

National Archives: all states available


Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:58:04 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, April 03, 2012
1940 Census Status Update: Which States Are Where
Posted by Diane

1940 census record images for the entire United States are at 1940Census.Archives.gov. Here's where else to look for records from your ancestral states:

Ancestry.com:

  • Complete: American Samoa, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, Panama Canal Zone, Rhode Island, Virgin Islands
  • Almost complete: California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington
  • Next up: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon & Vermont.

FamilySearch:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

MyHeritage:

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island (an index for Bristol County, RI, is available)
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming

Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Tuesday, April 03, 2012 5:02:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
1940 Census Update: Which States Are Online & Where
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Archives.com continue to make improvements to 1940Census.Archives.gov, and it's working better today than it did yesterday.

That's still the only site with all the 1940 US census records, but other sites are quickly adding them. Here's where else you can find which states/territories as of now:

Ancestry.com:

  • American Samoa
  • California
  • Delaware
  • DC
  • Guam
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Panama Canal
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Washington

FamilySearch:

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Kansas
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

MyHeritage.com: I can't find an at-a-glance list here. You'll see all states in the search dropdown menu, and when you search on one that's not yet available, you'll get results but with a "coming soon" message. Update: The folks at MyHeritage sent me this list of available records, with more coming soon:

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage | NARA
Tuesday, April 03, 2012 9:51:37 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, April 02, 2012
First Look: Finding 1940 Census Records on 1940Census.Archives.gov
Posted by Diane

So far this morning, we're hearing from a lot of disappointed folks on Facebook and Twitter who aren't able to get record images to load for the 1940 census.

I'm in the same boat, but I took some screen shots from the site to show you how 1940Census.Archives.gov works:

The home page looks like this:

1940 Census Records

Click Get Started, then scroll down a little and you get three choices:

Search by location; search by enumeration district (ED), which also lets you convert the 1930 ED to the 1940 one; or access Help features (FAQs, etc.)

1940 Census Records


Search by ED

If you know the ED, look at the middle option, choose the state and type in the ED.

1940 Census Records

The result will show you the description of the boundaries for that ED.

1940 Census Records

You could click the maps tab to see the ED on a map, or click the Census Schedule tab to see the available schedules for that district.

1940 Census Records

Click on the census schedule thumbnail to see the pages for that district (theoretically—they never loaded for me) and browse through them for your family. 

If you hover over the thumbnail image, you get an option to download images, which some say works better, but the images never downloaded for me.

Search by location

If you know your family's location, but not the ED, look under "Do you know where the person lived?" and click Start Your Search.

1940 Census Records

On the left side of the next page, choose the state, county, city and street, if you know it. 

1940 Census Records

Your results will show descriptions of EDs covering that area.

You can view the descriptions and choose the one you think has your ancestor's household (use the Maps tab to see them on a map), or click the Census Schedules tab to start going through the schedules. 

1940 Census Records

It's pretty frustrating to wait and wait for census images to load, espcially after all the hype, but honestly I'm not surprised.

I'm going to try again in another couple of hours (or maybe tomorrow, depending how the day goes). While you're waiting, visit Family Tree Magazine's 1940 census page to formulate your research game plan and learn how to find those enumeration districts.

Also check whether Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, FindMyPast.com or MyHeritage has uploaded records for your ancestor's state.


Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Monday, April 02, 2012 11:05:48 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
1940 Census Records Coming Online Now!
Posted by Diane

UPDATED: The 1940 US census became available today for browsing on 1940census.archives.gov. Other sites began posting the record images as early as 12:01 a.m.. Here's what's online now:

FamilySearch (browse records here)
  • Available (though I'm not sure whether all records have been uploaded for these states): Colorado, Delaware, Virginia, Kansas, Virginia, Oregon
Ancestry.com (See a progress chart)
  • Completed: Nevada, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, Indiana, Maine, Panama Canal Zone, Rhode Island, and the Virgin Islands
  • In process: California, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia
MyHeritage.com (see the 1940 census page here): No information available yet.

FindMyPast.com (here's the 1940 census page): No information available yet.

Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage | NARA
Monday, April 02, 2012 8:21:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]
# Friday, March 23, 2012
1940 Census, Simplified: What You Really Need to Know, in 7 Key Points
Posted by Diane

You've been hearing about the 1940 census from several organizations that'll be hosting the records, and all that information coming at you from various sources might seem confusing.

To help you digest all those details, I'm summarizing and simplifying them here into what you really need to know about where the 1940 census records and indexes will be. Here it is:

1. On April 2 at 9 a.m., the only place you'll be able to find online 1940 census records for the entire country is 1940census.archives.gov. This website was made possible through the National Archives' contract with genealogy company Archives.com.

2. Shortly after the initial release, other websites will begin adding the records as fast as they can. Those include:

3. For the first week to several weeks after April 2, the only way to find your ancestor's 1940 census record will be to browse by enumeration district.

You can find out what an enumeration district is and how to pinpoint the right one by watching our free video on FamilyTreeMagazine.com.

4. Three separate projects to index these census records by name will begin ASAP after the records are released:

The 1940 Census Community Project is recruiting volunteers to do the indexing; Ancestry.com and MyHeritage are using paid contractors to do their indexing work.

5. Each site will add its index one state at a time, as states are completed. No site has specified the order in which states will be indexed, so at this time there's no telling when a particular site will add your ancestor's state. It could be weeks or months before a given site posts the index you need (so you'll want to check all the above sites periodically).

6. Ancestry.com is completing its index in two phases: a basic name index to be released first on a state-by-state basis, then a more-detailed index with additional information to follow. This means you may have access to a searchable basic name index for your ancestral state earlier on Ancestry.com than on another site.

7. Watch out for sites that try to charge for access to 1940 census records. There is no need to pay for 1940 census records. They'll be available online, free, at the sites mentioned in No. 2.


Get help finding your ancestors in the US census with these resources from Family Tree Magazine:


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage
Friday, March 23, 2012 3:07:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Coming to MyHeritage: More Historical Records, Sophisticated Searching
Posted by Diane

Hosting the 1940 US census is the start of big changes at genealogy site and family network MyHeritage. Those changes will include more records and more-sophisticated searching.

In an interview yesterday, MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet called the 1940 census announcement “the first serious signal from MyHeritage that it is strongly entering the historical records market."

"MyHeritage has always been about family trees and photos.”

For at least a year, plans have been underway to change that.

MyHeritage.com has invested half a million dollars into new hardware and a data center to build its new SuperSearch system, which will be released with the site’s 1940 census collection in April. It also will be available on FamilyLink and WorldVitalRecords.com, which MyHeritage acquired in November 2011.

The company also made a personnel acquisition I’m not free to go into detail about, but you’ll hear more soon.

MyHeritage has used SmartMatching, which Japhet says is a good way to search trees for matches, but less effective when it comes to searching on a last name "in any direction the user wants to go."

The new search system will do a better job of matching trees to records by employing data in approximately 1 billion profiles in MyHeritage.com family trees from around the world.

The SuperSearch will first compare your tree to other trees, find matches and “imply” information from those trees—but not add it to your tree, Japhet emphasized. But the search will include that implied information to find historical records that match your ancestors.

For example, if your ancestor’s profile lacks a death date, SuperSearch could find the same ancestor in someone else’s tree—using other details such as children’s names to make the match—and use the death date from the other person’s tree to locate the ancestor’s will in MyHeritage collections.

“This has a low false positive rate. It’s a match Ancestry never could have done. Their technology doesn't use the knowledge of all its trees,” Japhet said. He described the Ancestry.com “shaky leaf” technology as “a bit naïve” because it requires more similar information, such as name spellings or birth and death dates—information the tree owner might not know—to find matches.

“Whenever new data are added, we compare them to all the MyHeritage trees, so you can sit back and do nothing,” Japhet says. “If you have a person’s family tree, you can do a lot of research on behalf of the person.”

Due to the resource investment, using the new SuperSearch engine will require a subscription, says Japhet. But current MyHeritage Premium and PremiumPlus subscribers, who’ve purchased subscriptions to build enhanced trees on the site, won’t need to purchase an additional subscription to use the search engine for finding trees, photos and free collections (including the 1940 census and the SSDI). Pay-as-you credits also will be available for those who want to view only a few records or just dip a toe into genealogy research.

The 1940 census index also will be free to search via SuperSearch.

Trees will remain an important part of MyHeritage.

“We think family trees are the most important thing. They’re the core of family history. We would love for users to grow their trees on MyHeritage, so we have invested many resources in building tools and services that work with the trees.” Those include the MyHeritage mobile app, printable family trees, family calendars and more.

“Other sites focus on research,” Japhet says, but added that users might give it up when it becomes too time-consuming. “Users discontinue [a subscription] when they can’t use it,” he says, “but they’ll maintain a tree for life.”

Trees also have been helpful in making MyHeritage a site that supports multiple languages—38, to be exact. Because trees can be bilingual, developers have been able to build a store of information about name equivalents in a range of languages.

“You can type in a Russian name and get an English match,” Japhet says. “Or you could type in Alex and the site ‘knows’ Sascha is the translated Russian nickname, and it pulls up a newspaper article in Russian,” he says.

The site translates between alphabets, too, such as the Latin alphabet English uses and the Cyrillic alphabet Russian uses.

To encourage the site’s internationalism, MyHeritage focuses on hiring bilingual individuals. They maintain blogs and provide customer service in several languages.

The 1940 census is just the beginning of new content for MyHeritage. Japhet didn’t name any specific collections coming to the site, but he emphasized the global nature of records to be added and said the site would employ crowdsourcing to acquire content. Those who assist with crowdsourcing efforts will gain SuperSearch privileges.



Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Friday, March 23, 2012 7:54:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 22, 2012
Exclusive! MyHeritage to Offer 1940 Census Free
Posted by Diane

In an exclusive interview today (about 12 minutes ago, actually), MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet told me that genealogy site and family network MyHeritage.com will offer the 1940 US census for free after the National Archives releases the records April 2.

MyHeritage, a company based in Israel and with a US office in Provo, Utah, will provide the 1940 census free at myheritage.com/1940census, www.worldvitalrecords.com/1940census and www.familylink.com/1940census.

(MyHeritage acquired FamilyLink and its WorldVitalRecords site last November.)

As on other websites planning to offer the 1940 census, you'll be able to browse the record images by place as soon as they're added to the site.

A searchable index will be added throughout the year, as data from each state are transcribed. The MyHeritage 1940 census index will be created separately from both the FamilySearch/Archives.com/brightsolid 1940 Census Community Project and the Ancestry.com index. A company that specializes in historical transcription will develop the index, which Japhet says will be highly accurate. 

Once MyHeritage has launched the index for a given state, you'll be able to search it by multiple criteria using the MyHeritage SuperSearch, a fast and sophisticated new search engine to be released in April. All searches will take less than half a second, Japhet told me.

The search engine will support 38 languages, the only 1940 census site to offer this feature. You'll also be able to search the records using the MyHeritage mobile app.

If you have a family tree on MyHeritage.com, the site will automatically match it to 1940 census data as indexes are added and notify you about relevant results. This reduces the need to constantly repeat your searches to see if the index for your ancestor's state has been added.

The 1940 census is the first of additional historical content to come on MyHeritage. "This is the first serious signal from MyHeritage that it is strongly entering the historical records market," Japhet says.

Japhet shared a lot of detail with me, so I'll write another post about MyHeritage's plans for introducing new, global content and a sophisticated way to search it.

For more 1940 census information, including a free video on using Stephen Morse's One-Step tool for determining your ancestor's 1940 enumeration district, see FamilyTreeMagazine.com/info/1940census.


census records | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Thursday, March 22, 2012 1:30:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Friday, March 16, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, March 12-16
Posted by Diane

  • Genealogy and family network website MyHeritage now has a feature that lets members easily create family calendars. You can choose from 15 designs and 28 languages, and create a calendar in one click. It's automatically decorated with your family photos and populated with birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other events from your MyHeritage.com family site. You can add or change events and photos, too, and purchase your calendar for as low as $19.95 plus shipping.
  • Family tree wiki site WikiTree.com has started a Genealogist-to-Genealogist Sharing Network (aka G2G). It'll allow researchers (whether or not they're WikiTree members) to ask other genealogists for help on topics such as general genealogy, research brick walls, or how to use WikiTree.
  • FamilySearch added 20 million new, free records to FamilySearch.org this week for Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, and 13 US states. The release includes 9 million California death records and 5 million Nevada marriage records. See the list of updated databases and link to each one here.
  • Florida International University (FIU) has acquired Felix Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza's collection of thousands of books, handwritten and typed letters, photos and other primary documents relating to Cuba and Cuban genealogy. They include rare 17th- and 18th-century books, out-of-print publications, and thousands of unpublished genealogies and family manuscripts. FIU is now raising funds to create a Cuban center for genealogy centered around this collection. Read more about the Felix Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza collection here.

FamilySearch | Fold3 | Hispanic Roots | Military records | MyHeritage | Social Networking
Friday, March 16, 2012 9:54:45 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, February 17, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 13-17
Posted by Diane

  • Archives.com has added new records including FamilySearch community trees dating back to around 1500, and 1930 census images (the majority of the 1930 census images are now available, with more images from this plus the 1920 and 1920 censuses coming online over the next several weeks).
The additions bring the count of records available on Archives.com to more than 2 billion.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Genetic Genealogy | MyHeritage | Public Records
Friday, February 17, 2012 12:43:32 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, January 06, 2012
MyHeritage.com Updates Family Tree Builder Software
Posted by Diane

Family networking site MyHeritage.com has released version 6 of its free Family Builder software for Windows.

In general, updates include automatic research in historical records and new features for viewing and sharing family information:

  • Following MyHeritage's recent acquisition of genealogy data site World Vital Records, Family Tree Builder 6.0 adds the site's historical content to its features. The software automatically searches for historical records relevant to the people in your family tree whenever you add or edit information. A separate World Vital Records subscription is required to view records.

  • Family Builder 6.0 also improves integration with your MyHeritage.com family websit e. You can produce charts of Family Statistics (such as most commonly used first names or average lifespan), view profile pages and family timelines, and more. You also can view Family Events such as gatherings and birthdays on a monthly or yearly calendar.
See the full list of updates and more details about each one on the MyHeritage.com blog.

The new Family Tree Builder 6.0 is available for Windows in 37 languages. Download it for free from MyHeritage.com.


Genealogy Software | MyHeritage
Friday, January 06, 2012 2:14:55 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, December 16, 2011
New MyHeritage Mobile App Lets You Access Your Tree on the Go
Posted by Diane

Family network site MyHeritage now has a free mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android that you can use to access your MyHeritage family tree on the go.

The app attractively displays up to seven generations with photos, and shows individual profiles. It takes advantage of the devices' touchscreen capabilities with panning and "pinch zooming." It also syncs all data, including photos, to your family site on MyHeritage.

The app's communication and photo features make it handy to have at family gatherings:

  • It highlights upcoming birthdays and anniversaries in your tree.
  • You can call or email relatives in one tap.
  • When you take a photo with the device, the app uses face recognition to automatically identify family members taken in the photo.
  • You also can share the photo with them in one easy tap.
  • It even includes the fun celebrity look-alike feature that got MyHeritage noticed way back when.

The app is available in the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace.


MyHeritage
Friday, December 16, 2011 1:07:24 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, November 21, 2011
MyHeritage.com Buys FamilyLink
Posted by Diane

Israeli family tree network company MyHeritage has acquired FamilyLink, the developer of family history content sites FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com.

The acquisition doesn't include FamilyLink's We're Related Facebook app, MyHeritage spokesperson Schelly Talalay Dardahsti tells me. FamilyLink CEO Paul Allen won't be joining the MyHeritage team.

MyHeritage will add its first U.S.-based office in Utah, the home of FamilyLink.

The acquisition adds something MyHeritage lacked: the historical records genealogists use. FamilyLink's records will complement the family trees on MyHeritage.com. “We’ll be able to find your mother’s yearbook, your great-grandfather’s will and your ancestor’s immigration record. We’ll do that on a massive, global scale," says MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet.

This is MyHeritage’s seventh and largest acquisition since 2007. Read the full press release here.


FamilyLink | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Monday, November 21, 2011 4:56:57 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]