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# Friday, July 25, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: July 21-25
Posted by Diane

  • This Sunday, July 27, the National World War One Museum in Kansas City, Mo., will broadcast online a "One Century Later" panel discussion about the ways World War I—which started 100 years ago—continues to shape our world. The discussion takes place at 11 a.m. Central Time, so be sure to translate that into your local time. You can watch at www.theworldwar.org. Learn more about this event here.


FamilySearch | Libraries and Archives | Military records | NARA
Friday, July 25, 2014 10:11:44 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, April 18, 2014
Genealogy News Corral, April 14-18
Posted by Diane

Happy Passover and Easter to you! I hope those of you observing either holiday are enjoying family traditions your ancestors held dear. In this week's news corral:
  • The US National Park Service is kicking off National Park Week with free entrance days Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20. The parks are full of opportunities to discover history at places such as Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado and the Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina. (As an aside, I went looking for a few history-related parks to mention here and I'm realizing how many are always free. Of the 401 national parks, 133 usually charge an entrance fee.)


Genealogy Apps | NARA | Social History
Friday, April 18, 2014 1:39:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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]
# Friday, March 14, 2014
Genealogy News Corral, March 10-14
Posted by Diane

  • Orders for FamilySearch microfilm and microfiche numbered above 1,881,705 will be restricted for a two-week period in early April. Half a million rolls of film plus numerous microfiche cabinets at the Granite Mountain vault will be relocated into newly renovated space. As a result, the Family History Library won't be able to order the affected film and fiche. Film and fiche numbered below 1,881,705 can be ordered as usual. Read the notice on the FamilySearch blog.
  • Planning research at the National Archives in Washington, DC, or College Park, Md., in April? You might be able to plan your itinerary around one of the archives' free genealogy programs, such as an introduction to research in the archives' records (April 2), nonpopulation censuses (April 16),  tracing immigrants from the West Indies (April 17), or a "Help! I'm Stuck" consultation (April 26). Find times and locations on the National Archives' website.


FamilySearch | Free Databases | NARA
Friday, March 14, 2014 1:34:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 12, 2014
US National Archives to Close Three Facilities
Posted by Diane

The US National Archives and Records Administration will close three facilities over the next two years as part of ongoing budget adjustments, according to a statement by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.

The three closures are:
All employees at the affected facilities will have the option to continue working with the National Archives, with relocation expenses paid for workers at the Anchorage location.

These moves will save the archives about $1.3 million annually.


NARA
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 8:57:38 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 07, 2014
Genealogy News Corral, March 3-7
Posted by Diane

  • Family Curator Denise Levenick has opened the application process for the 2014 Susan Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant. The $500 award is given in honor of Levenick's mother to a student genealogist between the ages of 18 and 25. The recipient will also recieve a complimentary registration to the 2014 Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, Calif., and must attend to receive the reward. The application deadline is March 31 at midnight; learn more and download application forms here.
  • The National Genealogical Society will live stream 10 lectures from the 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Va. You can purchase "admission" to the lectures, grouped in two tracks of five each, which includes viewing of the live streamed event plus three months of access to watch the recorded sessions again. Learn more on the conference website.
  • The Library of Michigan will add "Second Saturdays" to its regular scheduled open hours during the week. Beginning April 12, the library will be open the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The library also is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See more information in the library's announcement.
  • The National Archives building in Washington, DC, will feature a new exhibit, "Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures," March 21 through Jan. 5 of next year. It will feature original signatures from documents at the archives, and the stories behind them. You can take a peek at the exhibit on the National Archives Museum website.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives | NARA
Friday, March 07, 2014 12:40:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 01, 2013
How the Government Shutdown Impacts Genealogists
Posted by Diane

The government shutdown means that some of you who had big genealogy research or historical travel plans are up a creek:
US mail will still be delivered, so research requests sent to non-federal repositories won't be affected.

For the sake of those more profoundly affected and for genealogists' sake, let's hope this gets resolved soon.


Land records | Libraries and Archives | Museums | NARA
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 9:09:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Friday, September 13, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 9-13
Posted by Diane

  • Researching today (Sept. 13) or Monday at the US National Archives? This notice just appeared on the Archives' facebook page:

    "The 3:30 records pull for today (September 13) has been canceled due to significant staffing issues stemming from a problem relating to payroll activities at 22 Federal agencies nationwide.

    While we are making every effort to contain these problems, there is some possibility the afternoon pull scheduled for Monday, September 16, may be affected. We will advise you of the situation as we receive information.
    "
  • More (and happier) National Archives news: If you happen to be in the Washington, DC, area this month, maybe you can catch one of the National Archives' free genealogy workshops. Sessions include the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act (Sept. 17), Gold Star Mothers (Sept. 18), Using National Archives Online Resources (Sept. 19), Anti-Tax Petitions from the Civil War to the New Deal (Sept. 21), and more. For more information, go to NARA's DC-area events page and scroll down.
  • Still more National Archives news: NARA is opening the David M. Rubenstein Gallery "Records of Rights" exhibition on Nov. 8, and invites you to help select the first original landmark document to be featured in the exhibit. You can vote online for one of five documents by visiting the Records of Rights Vote web page.

  • Ancestry.com has released Family Tree Maker 2014 for Windows. Updates include a new family view, improved TreeSync (which synchronizes your tree int eh software with your online Ancestry Member Tree), organizational tools that let you sort children by birth order and view people by location, more options for charts and reports, the ability to export a single branch of your tree, more editing options, and improved merging.
You can download Family Tree Maker 2014 or get it on CD. (PS: Family Tree Magazine is not affiliated with Family Tree Maker software or with Ancestry.com. We hear this question often, so I just wanted to answer it for you in case you were about to ask.)
  • This week, FamilySearch added more than 352,000 indexed records to the free collections at FamilySearch.org. Records come from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and the United States, and include Czech Republic censuses, Hungary civil registrations, Polish Catholic church records and the US Social Security Death Index. View the full list of updates and click through to search these collections here.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy Software | Libraries and Archives | NARA
Friday, September 13, 2013 2:54:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 24, 2013
You Don't Have to Be Kelly Clarkson to Research Your Civil War Ancestor
Posted by Diane

Did you watch “Who Do You Think You Are?” last night?



In the season premiere on TLC, singer Kelly Clarkson traced her third-great-grandfather Isaiah Rose from Marietta, Ohio, to his imprisonment at the notorious Andersonville Civil War prison, and back home after his escape. There, he served as county sheriff and a state senator.

The story is common: Lots of Americans have Civil War soldier ancestors, many of whom were held at Andersonville and other prisons. The genealogy research is very doable—and you don’t have to drive around the country like Clarkson did, or meet with a slew of Civil War experts.

It’s neat for "WDYTYA?" viewers to see the original historical records, but the same records Clarkson used are available online or by ordering from repositories. For example: 

Note that many public libraries and FamilySearch Centers offer patrons the use of Fold3 and Ancestry Library Edition for free.

These are just a few of the available resources for tracing your Civil War ancestor. You'll find many more Civil War genealogy resources, tools and how-to information in Family Tree Magazine's Civil War Genealogy Value Pack, which happens to be on sale now—click here to learn more about it.

All that driving from place to place adds historical interest to the show, but it's not realistic for most of us. Thank goodness it's also not necessary for researching in Civil War records.

PS: TLC shared on Facebook where you can watch the whole episode online.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Civil War | Libraries and Archives | NARA
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:59:15 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Online Public Access Search Replaces NARA's Archival Research Catalog
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is shutting down its 10-year-old Archival Research Catalog (ARC) on Aug. 15. ARC catalogs the archives' holdings, with links to holdings that are digitized online.

It's being replaced by NARA's Online Public Access (OPA) search, which combines several searches from the website: You can use OPA to identify holdings that relate to your genealogical search and access digitized records. OPA also provides access to nearly a million electronic records in the Electronic Records Archives, with more to be added. And it searches the websites of the National Archives and the presidential libraries for web pages with terms related to your search.

Your OPA search results are grouped into categories based on the type of result:
  • Online Holdings: Search results including digital copies of records.
  • Description Only: Descriptions of records NARA holds that are related to your search terms. To see the actual record, you would need to request copies from NARA, go there yourself, or hire a local researcher to search for the record you need.
  • Archives.gov: Web pages on Archives.gov with matches to your search terms.
  • Presidential Libraries: Web pages on presidential library websites with matches to your search terms.
  • Authority Records: NARA's website describes these as "Organization and Person authority records from the Organization Authority File and Person Authority File in ARC. These contain organizational histories and personal biographies." From what I gather, authority sources are sources (such as The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names) that were used to index descriptions in ARC. The "organizational histories and personal biographies" are in the sources themselves, not part of OPA.
OPA search tips are here. NARA also plans to provide tips for searching OPA on its NARAtions blog. Here's what the Basic OPA search form looks like.



You could search for a name, a research topic such as Civilian Conservation Corps (maybe if your grandfather was a CCC worker) or a record type you want to find out more about, such as War of 1812 Pensions.

I ran a search on a surname I'm searching, Seeger. My results included nine Online Holdings. One is a recent photo including a person named Seeger, and two are digitized 1918 Alien Application Permits for men named Seeger. Not my relatives, as far as I can tell, but in case they could be yours: They lived in Atchison, Kan., and it looks like they were born in Düsseldorf, Germany.



I also received 84 Description Only results,  13 results from the Archives.gov website, 20 results from presidential library sites and five authority records.

Go here to try your own OPA search.

From the Social Security Administration to the FBI, what US federal agencies might have genealogical records of your ancestors? And how do you find them? Check out our guide to researching your genealogy in US government records.


NARA | Research Tips
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 8:58:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Did You Know ... ?: Declaration of Independence Edition
Posted by Diane

Like any group effort, the writing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence involved some give-and-take and even drama.



These seven facts relay some of the Declaration's back story:
  • The youngest signatory was 26-year-old Edward Rutledge, who was initially opposed to independence from Britain, but voted to adopt for the sake of unanimity. He later was captured by the British but eventually released. Good old Benjamin Franklin was the oldest, at 70.

  • Signatory Richard Stockton also was captured by the British and recanted his signature under duress. 
  • In his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, included slavery among his list of grievances against King George of England:
"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere"
This grievance was edited out at the request of delegates from South Carolina. This Wikipedia article discusses how rebuttals challenged the document's "all men are created equal" claims and the impact on American slavery.
  • In what might resemble a writer's worst nightmare, the members of the Continental Congress spent two days editing Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence. He sent copies to several friends with changes indicated, and Henry Lee consoled him, "I wish sincerely, as well for the honor of Congress, as for that of the States, that the Manuscript had not been mangled as it is."

  • Whether the Declaration was signed on July 4 is up for debate. The version of events generally accepted by historians is that Congress adopted the Declaration on July 4 and its president, John Hancock, signed, along with his secretary. On July 19, a handwritten copy was produced to bear all the delegates' signatures; most signed Aug. 2. The Library of Congress website shows all this on a timeline for you.
  • Gen. George Washington read the Declaration of Independence to his troops in New York City on July 9. Soon after, they destroyed the statue of King George III at the foot of Broadway and used the lead to make musket balls.

  • Of the 200 broadsides John Dunlap of Philadelphia printed on the night of July 4, 1776, 26 are known to survive. One was the flea market find of a lifetime: In 1989, a shopper discovered the broadside behind a framed painting he bought for $4. In 2000, it went for $8.14 million at auction.

Learn even more about the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives Charters of Freedom exhibit.

Let genealogy expert and "Who Do You Think You Are?" researcher D. Joshua Taylor help you find your Patriot ancestors in our Researching Revolutionary War Ancestors video course.


NARA | Social History
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 11:51:34 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, June 06, 2013
Founders Online Site Will Give Access to Historic American Documents
Posted by Diane

The National Archives is poised to launch the Founders Online website with thousands of transcribed and annotated documents from George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton.

Eventually, 175,000 letters, diary entries, publications and other documents will be on Founders Online. Their source is 242 printed volumes that collect the papers of each man from the National Archives, Library of Congress and other archives around the world. The volumes also include editorial essays that introduce the materials and add historical context.

The site will launch at www.founders.archives.gov (there's a placeholder page there now)  June 13 with a ceremony at the National Archives building. Student winners of the National History Day contest will be among the first to search the site's records.

This video gives you an overview of Founders Online and the documents it provides access to:



Read more about how the papers were collected, transcribed and annotated in this online article from the Winter 2010 issue of Prologue, the National Archives' magazine.


Libraries and Archives | NARA | Social History
Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:04:18 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 03, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, April 29-May 3
Posted by Diane

  • In commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the Civil War Trust, History, and the Center for Civil War Photography are calling for submissions to the 2013 Civil War Photo Contest. Amateur photographers age 13 and older can enter in five categories by uploading photos to the Civil War Trust’s Flickr page and tagging them for the correct category. The deadline is August 16.

You’ll find the rules and entry instructions here.

  • If you’ll be across the country in Washington, DC, during May, look into attending one of the genealogy records workshops at the National Archives. Topics include Civil War court martial records (May 15), nonpopulation censuses (May 18), and a genealogy clinic (May 18). You’ll find details here (scroll down to May).


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | NARA
Friday, May 03, 2013 9:10:44 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 29, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, March 25-29
Posted by Diane

There's lots of free stuff in this week's genealogy news roundup:
  • Do you love finding out about people's heirlooms? Were you one of the thousands of people to attend the "Antiques Roadshow" taping in Cincinnati last summer? I was! The three episodes filmed here will be broadcast Mondays April 1, April 8 and April 15, at 8/7 central on PBS. 
  • More Cincinnati news: The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County genealogy department has added two more volumes of its Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to its free Virtual Library. Volumes 7 and 8, which cover Norwood and eastern neighborhoods in 1917, conclude the set that staff began digitizing four years ago. I've already made a note in my research log to dig further into this collection. View the maps here.



Get research tips for solving your genealogy brick walls in our weeklong workshop Genealogy Brick Wall Busters: Tips and Advice to Overcome Your Genealogy Brick Walls, April 19-26.


Family Heirlooms | Free Databases | Libraries and Archives | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 29, 2013 10:02:47 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 11, 2013
Sequestration Reduces Research Hours at NARA DC-Area Locations
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has announced that effective this Friday, March 15, sequestration will affect public hours at NARA locations in Washington, DC, and College Park, Md.

From March 15 through Labor Day, both facilities would normally extend research hours until 9 p.m. three days a week. But that won't be happening this year: To help meet across-the-board budget cuts, research hours will remain 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday all spring and summer.

Exhibit spaces at NARA in DC will be affected, too—they'll be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, instead of staying open until 7 p.m. three days per week.

Sequestration is a series of automatic cuts to federal government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. It's explained here.


Libraries and Archives | NARA
Monday, March 11, 2013 2:56:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 08, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, March 4-8
Posted by Diane

  • WikiTree, a free worldwide family tree website, has launched a new feature called Surname Following that lets you get updates when other WikiTree users post content related to names you're interested in. Log in to WikiTree and follow surnames to receive an email alert when related content is added to the WikiTree database or a related question, answer or comment is added to the WikiTree G2G (“Genealogist to Genealogist”) Q&A forum.
  • FamilySearch has added 10.5 million indexed records and images to its free historical records search over the last two weeks, including 8,613,673 document images added to the New York Probate Records collection (1629 to 1971). Other notable collection updates are Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965, and Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996, collection.
Collections for Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, and the US states of Minnesota and Ohio also have been updated. See more details and click through to the updated collections here.
  • If you're up against a brick wall with some part of your genealogy research and you'll be in the Washington DC area on Saturday, March 16, the National Archives is holding a “Help! I'm Stuck” Genealogy Clinic. You can visit the Research Center main desk that day to sign up for a free, 20 minute consultation with an archivist between noon and 4 p.m. For details on this and other programs at teh archives, see the Archives.gov calendar.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA
Friday, March 08, 2013 12:13:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, November 09, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Nov. 5-9
Posted by Beth

  • The University of Indianapolis is teaming up with Ancestry.com in a first-of-its-kind initiative to encourage its students to explore and reflect on how their family history impacts their identity. All UIndy students, faculty and staff have been granted access to all Ancestry.com content available from computers and mobile devices anywhere on campus, as well as to on-campus identity workshops and seminars.


  • Family tree building wiki site WikiTree has released MatchBot, an automated matching tool that crawls the sites database checking for high-probability matches in the trees on the site. When it finds a match, it emails the tree managers with a match proposal. They can merge the profiles, create an "unmerged match" or reject the merge. Until now, members discovered such matches using traditional searches and the not-automated FindMatches tool.

  • In a new blog series on Ancestry.com, the family of Rob and Kathy Brown and their five children are embarking on a family history journey in an RV decorated with Ancestry.com branding. The Browns will travel for six to nine months and more than 10,000 miles, through 42 states and 40 major cities, discovering the stories of their ancestors and blogging along the way. Read blog posts in the Great Ancestry Adventure series here and check out photos on Facebook here.


 



Free Databases | NARA | Research Tips
Friday, November 09, 2012 9:36:34 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 26, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 22-26
Posted by Diane

  • The Chronicling America free, searchable database of historic US newspapers, has posted its 5 millionth newspaper page. Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2007 as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, the site digitizes newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. It now has more than 800 newspapers from 25 states. 
  • Old Weather, a joint project from the National Archives and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will have citizen scientists transcribing historic Arctic and worldwide weather data from digitized Navy, Coast Guard, and Revenue Cutter ship deck logs. Digital images of the logbooks will be available on the project's website and on Archives.gov. The records offer access to weather data and climate patterns from your ancestor's day, as well as details on US maritime history, military operations and scientific exploration. Learn more about the project and participate at OldWeather.org.
  • A new volunteer genealogy lookup site called Gen Gathering has announced it's looking for volunteers to do simple lookups for others in their home libraries or nearby repositories or cemeteries. You also can use the site to find volunteers who might be able to do lookups for you.  Learn more on the Gen Gathering website


Got Iowa ancestors? Our Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar, happening Tuesday evening, Oct. 30, will help you find their vital records, US and state censuses, land records and more. Learn more about the Iowa Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Genealogy Apps | Genealogy societies | NARA | Newspapers | Social History
Friday, October 26, 2012 11:30:38 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [31]
# Friday, September 14, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 10-14
Posted by Diane

To celebrate the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the US Constitution, the National Archives is featuring a “Tweet the Preamble” contest now through Sept. 17 on Twitter (@usnatarchives). The archives' Twitter followers can enter by summarizing the Preamble of the Constitution in 140 characters (using #Constitution225). The Archivist of the United States will choose the winner, who will receive a pocket Constitution from the Foundation for the National Archives. Get more contest details here.

The Kansas Historical Society (KHS) has announced that 250,000 images from its record collections have been uploaded uploaded to Kansas Memory, KHS’s online archive of photographs, letters, government records, newspapers and objects. You can search teh collections or browse  by place, date, topic, record type or any number of other ways.  You can see the 250,000th image on the KHS blog.

Genealogy website ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk is celebrating its 10th birthday this month. Since its launch in mid-September 2002, the site has grown to more than 90 million digital records and more than one million registered users from across the world,making it the biggest online resource for Scottish census, birth, marriage and death records. British company brightsolid, which also owns findmypast.com, enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland.


Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 14, 2012 1:34:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, August 03, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, July 30-August 3
Posted by Diane

  • Recent records updates to FamilySearch.org bring the site's free Slovakian records collection to more than 5 million searchable records. Plus, you can browse the Slovakia 1869 census on FamilySearch.org. Other record additions come from South Africa, Canada, Poland, Portugal and the United States.
Click here to see the updated collection and link to each on on FamilySearch.org.


FamilySearch | NARA | Social History
Friday, August 03, 2012 12:04:58 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, July 27, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, July 23-27
Posted by Diane

  • I wanted to point you to the Ancestry Insider's interesting post about indexing errors on 1940 census websites. The Ancestry Insider has seen more user complaints about Ancestry.com's index than FamilySearch's, and I'd have to echo that observation (mostly in blog comments and on Facebook). His post includes Ancestry.com's answers to questions about its indexing and auditing processes, and the index augmentation that helps users find records despite indexing difficulties.  
  • This fall, the National Archives will open its new New York City location in Lower Manhattan, in the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House at One Bowling Green (the former facility was on Varick Street in Greenwich Village). The new location will expand the facilitiy's usefulness for research and education, with a welcome center, research center, learning center for school groups, exhibition space and public programs area. Read more about the new location here.
  • Military records subscription site Fold3 has released a new collection of Navy Casualty Reports, 1776-1941, documenting deaths of US Navy personnel in wartime and in accidents outside of war.

    The casualty reports include records of those who were killed, injured, wounded, diseased or imprisoned, but most report only deaths.The records include four titles: Deaths Due to Enemy Action (includes deaths during the Civil War aboard the Cincinnati and in Andersonville prison, and more), Drowning Casualties (1885-1939), Lost and Wrecked Ships, Explosions and Steam Casualties (1801-1941), and Ordnance Accidents, Aviation Accidents, and Miscellaneous Records. This collection is currently free to search.


Ancestry.com | census records | Female ancestors | Fold3 | Genealogy books | Military records | NARA
Friday, July 27, 2012 2:36:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, July 13, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, July 9-13
Posted by Diane

  • British subscription genealogy site findmypast.co.uk announced it has added more than 2.2 million records in the past month, including parish baptism, marriage and burial records collections dating back to 1568 for Wales, East London, Sheffield/Yorkshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Plymouth and West Devon. Search the records at findmypast.co.uk.
  • The National Archives Southeast regional facility in Atlanta is planning an exhibit and workshop on Ellis Island immigration records. The Ellis Island: The Lost Mural exhibit opens July 21 with a replica of a 1938 Works Progress Administration mural from the Ellis Island immigrants' dining hall, along with immigration documents and portraits of famous immigrants including Alfred Hitchcock, Greta Garbo, Alexander Graham Bell and others.

    A related genealogy records workshop with immigration records expert John Philip Colletta will be held Sat., Aug. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee is $20; call (770) 968-2555 if you're interested in attending.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, July 13, 2012 2:23:27 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]
# Friday, May 25, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, May 21-25
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry.com updated its collection of U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls. This collection, which contains records from 1798 to 1958, now contains more than 39 million records. They include muster rolls (regular lists of those present in a given unit), unit diaries and personnel rosters.
  • The National Archives at San Francisco has officially opened to the public more than 40,000 Alien Files or A-Files on immigrants to the United States. The case files were originally created at immigration offices in San Francisco; Honolulu; Reno, Nevada; Agana, Guam; American Samoa and other US territories. The records were transferred to the National Archives from US Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2009. Millions more A-files will eventually be opened to the public—the files are closed for 100 years after the birth date of the person named in the records.
A-Files created at other immigration offices are kept at the National Archives facility in Kansas City, where 300,000 cases were opened to the public in 2010. 
  • A DNA study of Melungeons—a dark-skinned, mixed-heritage group historically residing in Appalachia—has found genetic evidence that these families descend from sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin. Researchers think the population mixing could have happened among black and white indentured servants in mid-1600s Virginia.
According to an Associated Press article, the finding has been controversial among Melungeons, some of whom believe they have Portuguese or American Indian ancestry. Read more about the findings (and how researchers thinks the claims of Portuguese heritage arose) in this news article.


Ancestry.com | Genetic Genealogy | immigration records | Military records | NARA
Friday, May 25, 2012 1:21:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 16, 2012
150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act: Genealogy Resources for Land Records
Posted by Diane

homestead act post Were your ancestors among the millions who claimed federal lands under the Homestead Act of 1862?

We're coming up on the 150th anniversary of this groundbreaking (pun intended) legislation that accelerated the country's westward expansion. Look for opportunities to learn more about your homesteading ancestors.

President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law on May 20, 1862. Beginning Jan. 1, 1863, a homesteader could receive up to 160 acres of public domain land by applying for a claim (which required a filing fee), improving the land, living on it for five years, and then filing for a patent.

Anyone who was 21 or older or the head of a family—women, immigrants and freed slaves included—who'd never taken up arms against the US government could file an application to claim land.

The first person to claim land under the act was Union Army scout Daniel Freeman on Jan. 1, 1863. The story is he'd met some officials of the local land office at a New Year's Eve party and convinced them to open the office shortly after midnight so he could file his claim before reporting for duty.

Homesteading ended in 1976 in most of the United States and 1986 in Alaska. The last claimant under the act applied for 80 acres on Alaska's Stony River and received his deed until 1988.

Only about 40 percent of those who ever filed completed the application process and received land titles. More than 2 million homesteads were granted, according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Between 1862 and 1934, 10 percent of land in the United States was privatized under the act.

Use these links to research your ancestor's homesteading experience:

General Land Office Records Online
The BLM's General Land Office (GLO) was charged with overseeing the homestead application process. It's free to search for and view more than 5 million federal land patents issued since 1820. (If your ancestor applied for a homestead but never received title to his or her land, there won't be a record here.) You'll also find a reference center with a land records glossary, FAQ and more.

Using Land Patents
This free FamilyTreeMagazine.com article has tips for using the GLO online records website.

Nebraska Homestead Records
Fold3 is digitizing the National Archives' homestead records for Nebraska. You can search the collection, which is 39 percent complete, for free. The files, from the Records of the Bureau of Land Management, consist of final certificates, applications with land descriptions, affidavits showing proof of citizenship and more. And here's a video about the homestead records digitization project.



Homestead National Monument of America
This national monument near Beatrice, Neb., explains the Homestead Act and its impact on the United States. Click the History and Culture link to learn more about the act, see its text, view maps, "meet" well-known homesteaders and more.

BLM: Commemorating 150 Years of The Homestead Act
This BLM site has a Homestead Act timeline; videos about historic homesteads, building a frontier home and more; and a Q&A.

National Archives: Ingalls Homestead Records
This article from the National Archives' Prologue magazine (Winter 2003 issue) discusses my favorite homesteaders—the Ingallses and Wilders of Little House on the Prairie fame—and shows portions of the families' homestead records.

Family Tree Magazine resources to help you research your ancestors' land records (whether federal records such as land entry case files or  local records such as deeds) include:


Fold3 | Genealogy Web Sites | Land records | NARA | Research Tips
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 10:36:46 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# 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]
Titanic 100th Anniversary: Genealogical and Historical Resources
Posted by Diane

This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Four days into her maiden Atlantic crossing, at 11:40 pm on April 14, the ship collided with an iceberg. She sank less than three hours later. Of the 2,223 passengers and crew on board, 1,517 died.

The 705 survivors were taken aboard the Carpathia, which docked in New York City April 18. (I've seen sources numbering survivors anywhere from 700 to 710, but I most often found 705.)

Several parts of the world are observing the anniversary: Belfast, where Titanic was constructed; Southampton, England, whence she departed and home to most of her crew; Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the dead were transported and 150 victims rest; and the United States, where the ship was to dock in New York.

This is a great time to learn more about the Titanic and those on board, especially if a passenger or crew member is on your family tree. These are some of our favorite Titanic genealogy and history resources:

  • Encyclopedia Titanica: Find lists of victims and survivors, crew, deck plans, research articles and more.

  • Partial Manifest of Titanic Survivors: These manifests, completed on the Carpathia, name survivors from second- and third-class cabins.

  • Sinking the Myths: Get the truth behind Titanic legends, including the “unsinkable” claim.

  • RMS Titanic: The companion website to traveling artifact exhibitions is from the company that has conducted seven research expeditions to the site of the disaster.

  • Sinking of the RMS Titanic: Get a play-by-play of the disaster, including iceberg warnings that never made it to Titanic’s bridge.

  • Titanic in Nova Scotia: Read about passenger burials in three Halifax cemeteries.

  • Titanic Stories: Learn about the ship’s construction in Belfast.

  • Ancestry.com RMS Titanic records: This subscription sites have added Titanic fatality reports from the Halifax Coroner, a Titanic graves list, Titanic outward passengers, deaths at sea, and crew records. Better yet, the Titanic records are free through April 15.

  • FindMyPast.co.uk Titanic records: This British subscription/pay-per-view site recently published a collection of maritime birth, marriage and death records, which name Titanic crew members and passengers who died at sea. Also new are the White Star Line officers' books containing service records of officers and commanders on the Titanic and other White Star Line vessels.


Ancestry.com | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | NARA | Social History | UK and Irish roots
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 8:50:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# 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]
Just How Popular Is the 1940 Census?
Posted by Diane

Remember how it was nearly impossible to access the 1940 census on the National Archives website Monday? (Things are much better now that Archives.com, which designed the site, has made improvements, and other 1940 census websites are taking on some of the traffic burden.)

These statistics, which Archives.com made nice and pretty for you, explain why:

1940 census  archives.com


Archives.com | census records | NARA
Thursday, April 05, 2012 8:32:07 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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 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]
Archives.com Statement on 1940 Census Site Problems
Posted by Diane

Archives.com, the company that designed the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) 1940 census website, reassured genealogists on its blog that problems with the 1940 census website are being addressed.
"As the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) official development partner on this project, Archives.com is responsible for the website performance and stability. We take full responsibility for the technical issues that have occurred and are very sorry for the inconvenience you may have experienced."
Yesterday after the census was released, many researchers (including yours truly) couldn't get record images to load or even access the site. That was due to traffic that, according to Archives.com, "exceeded even our own most optimistic estimates several times over." 

NARA reported 22.5 million hits within the first few hours after launching the 1940 census. Last night on its Facebook page, NARA reported 37 million hits.

Archives.com has been working with Amazon.com to add server capacity. This morning before work, I was finally able to access the census records I needed quickly and easily, and found my great-grandfather in Cleveland.

Read the post from Archives.com here.



Archives.com | census records | NARA
Tuesday, April 03, 2012 8:38:18 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, April 02, 2012
NARA's 1940 Census Site Overwhelmed
Posted by Diane

The huge number of visitors today to the National Archives 1940 census website, 1940Census.Archives.gov, is causing long wait to load pages and blocking out many would-be census searchers altogether. The archives posted this update to its Facebook page:

After waiting for 10 years for the release of the 1940 census, we know that you are frustrated with the difficulties we're experiencing on our 1940census.archives.gov site. We completely share these frustrations! Since 9 a.m. EDT (when the site went live), we've had about 22.5 million hits to the site, which works out ...to about 1.9 million users. Although we developed detailed plans and our testing indicated that NARA and Inflection would be able to handle the expected load,the number of visitors was huge. Thank you for your patience despite these frustrations. We're working to resolve the problem and we'll keep you updated on the situation.


census records | NARA
Monday, April 02, 2012 1:43:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
1940 Census News from NARA, FamilySearch and Ancestry.com
Posted by Diane

We've gotten a few 1940 census-related press releases today:
  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced the official release of the census at 1940Census.Archives.gov, which took place after a ceremony at the archives' Washington, DC., location. The 3.9 million images constitute the largest collection of digital information NARA has ever released.

    NARA also announced it has "joined a consortium of groups to create a name-based index." That's the 1940 Census Community Project, led by FamilySearch and two commercial organizations, Archives.com (which designed NARA's 1940 census website) and brightsolid. Interesting. At least two other commercial entities—Ancestry.com and MyHeritage—are creating their own census databases which also will be free (at least through 2013) and will compete with the FamilySearch/Archives.com/brightsolid version.
  • The 1940 census is of intense interest to people besides genealogists. Ancestry.com will work with the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota to make data from the 1940 census available to the scientific community. This research database—separate from the one genealogists will search to find their ancestors—will include all of the information collected on the 132 million Americans recorded in the 1940 census.

    Scientific researchers will be able to link recent economic and health surveys and mortality records to the 1940 database. This will allow researchers to study the impact of early life conditions, including socioeconomic status, parental education, and family structure, on later health and mortality. In addition to individual and family information, the database will provide contextual information on childhood neighborhood characteristics, labor-market conditions, and environmental conditions.

Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | NARA
Monday, April 02, 2012 1:10:01 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
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]
# Wednesday, March 28, 2012
1940 Census Classes and Events
Posted by Diane

The National Archives is webcasting its 1940 census opening ceremonies next Monday, April 2 at 8:30 a.m. As the big day gets closer, the link to view the ceremony will be posted at 1940census.archives.gov.

If you’re on Twitter, go to the early bird tweet-up beforehand, where you can meet the ceremony speakers and chat with a genealogy expert. RSVP to 1940census@archives.gov.

The archives also is hosting and participating in 1940 census workshops across the country. View the Washington DC events schedule here, and events around the country here and here.

Libraries and genealogical societies all over the United States are holding their own workshops to help you find ancestors in the 1940 census. Here's a sampling—check library and society websites for classes near you:

  • California: Live it up in Oakland at a 1940 Census Party, organized by the African-American Genealogical Society of Northern California, the California Genealogical Society and Library, and the Oakland Family History Center. The event is April 9, 2012, from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Oakland Family History Center. Learn more an d register here.

The Allen County, Ind., public library is holding Introduction to the 1940 Census workshops April 2 at 2:30 p.m. and April 7 at 10 a.m. Get more details on the library's events calendar.

Attend Searching for your ancestors in the 1940 Federal Census April Thursday, April 12, at 3:15 at the New York Public Library in New York City.
  • Tennessee: On April 14, the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville will host a seminar on the 1940 census April 14 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. It's free, but reservations are required due to limited seating availability. Click here for contact information.
Looking for an online learning opportunity? Try these from Family Tree Magazine:

census records | Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives | NARA | Videos
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:23:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, January 25, 2012
"Citizen Archivists" Transcribe Records in National Archives Pilot Project
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration has started a Transcription Pilot Project as part of its new Citizen Archivist Dashboard.

You can contribute to transcriptions and help make historical documents more accessible to the public.

The pilot project includes more than 300 documents (about 1,000 pages) dating from the late 18th to the 20th century: letters to a civil war spy, fugitive slave case files, suffrage petitions and more. All are digitized in NARA's online catalog; the transcriptions will make them text-searchable.

Just a few of the interesting documents I saw were

  • George Summers Letter on Confederate War Prisoners
  • the petition of Jacob Cook in a Fugitive Slave Petition Book from the District Court for the District of Maryland
  • an 1866 contract between "James Mitchell and Dick and Wife" from the Freedmen's Bureau
  • Ann Taylor v. Thomas Hart indenture case file from 1773.

If you want to learn more about a document, you can click on the title, then look for the National Archives Indentifier number and click on that.

You can search for documents to transcribe or browse them by difficulty level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), year it was created, and the status of transcription (“Not Yet Started,” “Partially Transcribed” or “Completed”). 

If you want to participate, see the project's Transcription Tips, Frequently Asked Questions and Policy pages.

The Citizen Archivist Dashboard also offers opportunities to tag images and records, upload photos of records and contribute to online articles.


NARA
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:37:15 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, January 05, 2012
Genealogy News Corral Catch-up
Posted by Diane

Happy 2012 to you! It was a nice holiday lull, but now it's time to ease back into the swing of things. Here's a roundup of some genealogy headlines to get things started:
  • PBS' Winter-Spring 2012 lineup includes a 10-episode celebrity genealogy series called "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr." premiering Sunday, March 25 at 8 p.m.
Gates will delve into the genealogy and genetics of famous Americans including Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey, Jr., Branford Marsalis, John Legend, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren. The show's website is here, though is hasn't yet been fleshed out with any content.
  • A few updates to the genealogy web search engine Mocavo.com: You can now upload files to your account using Dropbox; just follow these instructions on the Mocavo.com blog. Also, if you log in before you search, you can mark off Mocavo.com search results you've already looked at with an "I've Read This" button, and you can rank matches as “The Person I’m Looking For," “Maybe A Good Match," “Not Who I’m Looking For” and “Broken Link.”
Finally, the site has introduced Mocavo Plus, an advanced version the site's developer says will get you more-relevant matches with features such as wild card searching, date-range searching, GeoSearching (in the US) and more. Subscriptions cost $9.95 per month or $79.95 (a sale price) per year.
  • The National Archives and Records Administration has launched "Know Your Records" online videos from the popular genealogy how-to workshops hosted at its facilities on topics such as such as census, immigration and military records. Catch the videos on the archives' YouTube channel.
  • The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced its schedule of upcoming workshops at its Boston research library. If you'll be in the area, you can learn about the library's resources, local history, researching African-American ancestors and more (NEHGS also is organizing a research trip to Belfast in May). Check out the schedule on the AmericanAncestors.org website.
  • Genetic testing site 23andme, which provides test-takers with medical- and ancestry-related analyses, has generated some controversy in changing site policies. Now, those who let their 12-month subscriptions lapse will lose access to their Relative Finder matches, Health Reports and other features that rely on their genetic data. They'll still have access to the raw data. Read more about the controversy on the Your Genetic Genealogist blog.

Celebrity Roots | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy | NARA | Videos
Thursday, January 05, 2012 9:42:06 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 17, 2011
NARA Picks Archives.com to Provide Online Access to 1940 Census
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has selected Inflection—the parent company of the genealogy subscription site Archives.com—to to design and host a free website for the 1940 census, to be released April 2, 2012 at 9 a.m.

Researchers will be able to browse, view, and download images from the 1940 census. See NARA's full announcement here.

To kick off the partnership, Archives.com has created a web page about the launch of the 1940 Census.

You won't be able to search the census by name right away on April 2; instead, you'll need to know the enumeration district (ED) your relatives lived in and then browse the records for that district. You can find the ED if you know your ancestor's address in 1940 or in 1930.

Here's a post about an online tool that can help you determine the ED.

FamilySearch is heading up an effort to index the 1940 census records ASAP after they're released, which will let genealogists search by name.

Subscription website Ancestry.com also has announced plans to provide the 1940 census for free, at least through 2013.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | NARA
Thursday, November 17, 2011 12:07:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Friday, November 11, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, Nov. 7-11
Posted by Diane


Military records | NARA | Videos
Friday, November 11, 2011 2:40:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, November 04, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 31-Nov. 4
Posted by Diane

  • The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) has a new website that's easier to use and enriched with expanded content. Additions to the eLibrary (accessible to members) include more than 500 NYG&B member biographies from the early 20th century, book two of the 1855 New York state census for Manhattan's Ward 17, 32 digitized books and more. Information also accessible t nonmembers includes research guides, News You Can Use with new resources for New York research and a Genealogical Exchange query board.
  • Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., an important Union fort in the Civil War, has been designated a National Monument. It was nicknamed "Freedom's Fortress" for Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler’s 1861 declaration that escaped slaves who reached Union lines would be deemed contraband of war and not returned to their masters. More than 10,000 enslaved men and women made the journey there by war's end. Learn about Fort Monroe during the Civil War here.

Civil War | Genealogy societies | Historic preservation | NARA
Friday, November 04, 2011 2:59:10 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, September 30, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, September 26-30
Posted by Diane

  • The National Archives NARAtions blog has a helpful post today for browsing 1940 census records (set for release in April 2012). When people weren’t home during the censustaker’s first pass, or were living in a hotel or other temporary location, enumerators would list them on separate pages. You’ll find these pages at the end of the records for that enumeration district. So if you’re browsing for your ancestors and don’t find them, be sure to check the last pages of records for that district.
  • More from the National Archives: The official dedication of this National Archives and Records Administration’s new National Personnel Records Center at 1 Archives Drive north of St. Louis, Mo., will take place Saturday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. Read more about the new NPRC here
  • British subscription site Findmypast.co.uk published 1.3 million Manchester family history records in the Manchester Collection.
The records, provided by Manchester City Council's Libraries, Information and Archives, include prison registers (1847-1881), industrial school admission and discharge registers (about 1866-1912), school admission registers (about 1870-1916), apprentice records (1700-1849), baptism and birth registers (1734-1920), cemetery and death records (1750-1968), marriage registers (1734-1808) and workhouse registers.

NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 30, 2011 1:42:59 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 23, 2011
Genealogy News Corral: September 19-23
Posted by Diane

  • JSTOR, a service providing digitized academic journals through libraries, is making articles published prior to 1923 in the United States and 1870 elsewhere free to anyone. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, about 6 percent of JSTOR’s total content. This web page has more information. You can start searching here. To just see the free stuff, make sure the “Include only content I can access” box is checked.

My search on Civil War and Missouri, for example, resulted in matches including “Reminiscences of the Civil War” by Richard Taylor in the University of Iowa’s Jan./Feb. 1878 North American Review. (Thanks to Sharon DeBartolo Carmack for the heads-up about this service.)

  • New records on FamilySearch.org this week come from US states including California, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Oregon and Vermont, as well as Mexico, Canada, the Czech Republic and elsewhere. See the full list of additions and link to the collections here. Remember that not all of these collections are indexed, so you may need to browse. 
  • The New England Historic Genealogical Society is releasing the seventh and final volume of Robert Charles Anderson’s Great Migration Series: Immigrants to New England 1634—1635. (This latest volume includes all immigrants whose surnames start with T through Y.) It’s available now at GreatMigration.org. The Great Migration series includes a total of 10 volumes; three for the years 1620 to 1633, and seven volumes for 1634 to 1635. You also can subscribe to the GreatMigration.org website to get online or quarterly newsletters.

FamilySearch | Free Databases | immigration records | NARA
Friday, September 23, 2011 11:25:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, August 26, 2011
Nature's Wrath
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Washington National Records Center in Suitland, MD, is closed today, Aug. 26, and Mon., August 29, due to building damage from Tuesday’s earthquake. According to a NARA blog, the earthquake didn’t damage records there.

The center holds records of Federal agencies located in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. It also has records of Federal Courts in Washington, DC.

Hurricane Irene makes it a double whammy for NARA’s Washington, DC, -area facilities, and archives along the East Coast are in the storm’s projected path. Keep tabs on closures at NARA facilities by checking its operating status page and Facebook pages. In the DC area, call 301-837-0700.

Here's NARA’s emergency preparedness page, which also includes information on dealing with water-logged photos and documents after a disaster. Our thought are with those who live in the area—be safe. 


NARA
Friday, August 26, 2011 1:06:48 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [8]
# Friday, July 29, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, July 25-29
Posted by Diane

  • Stanford University has put together a cool visual timeline of US newspaper publication from 1690 to today, using data from the Library of Congress Chronicling America newspaper directory. The map shows where newspapers were published during various years and eras, with different-sized and –colored city or town markers to indicate the number of papers published there and foreign-language newspapers. Click on a marker and the names of papers published there appear below the map.

Here’s more information on our blog about Chronicling America. Genealogy expert Timothy Pinnick recommended the site as a resource for finding African-American newspapers in our February 2011 podcast

  • If you’re escaping the heat inside tonight and wondering what to do, give GeneaBloggers Radio a listen. The weekly Friday night internet radio show, hosted by Thomas MacEntee, starts at 10pm EDT, 9pm CDT, 8pm MDT, and 7pm PDT. Tonight’s episode is about capturing your personal family history. Click here to learn more about it and tune in
  • Traveling to the National Archives in Washington, DC, in September? Look into attending the archives’ genealogy programs on Freedom of Information Act requests (Sept. 6), military records (Sept. 7), census searching strategies (Sept. 10) and more. On Sept. 10 from noon to 4 pm, you can make a 20 minute appointment with an archivist for individual help. See the list of September programs and descriptions here.

Genealogy Events | NARA | Newspapers
Friday, July 29, 2011 9:57:36 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [9]
# Monday, July 11, 2011
How to Be a Spy, 1918-Style
Posted by Diane

The CIA has recently declassified WWI-era documents bearing formulas for invisible ink, instructions for exposing concealed writing in German correspondence, and ways to open sealed envelopes undetected.

The typed memos were believed to be the country’s oldest still-classified documents. You can see them on display this month at the National Archives in Washington, DC and on the CIA’s website (scroll down a little).

Read more about the documents in this CNN article.

NARA | Social History
Monday, July 11, 2011 1:49:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, June 10, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, June 6-10
Posted by Diane

  • Manassas, Va., is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas (also called Bull Run) with an event July 21-24 featuring battle re-enactments, living history demonstrations and more, including an appearance by Patrick Gorman (Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood in the 2003 film Gods and Generals). Learn more and purchase tickets at ManassasCivilWar.org

Ancestry.com | Genealogy Events | Historic preservation | Libraries and Archives | Museums | NARA
Friday, June 10, 2011 10:02:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 02, 2011
What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?
Posted by Diane

Did you know that in 1943, butter had its own food group? See (click the image for a bigger view):



(and that was before Paula Deen was even born).

From ever-evolving food groups to the War Food Administration during World War II, the government has influenced how and what we eat. The National Archives has a new exhibit detailing those efforts.

"What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government's Effect on the American Diet," open June 10 through Jan. 3, 2012 at the National Archives’ Washington, DC, headquarters, gathers folk songs, war posters, educational films, seed packets and more records dating from the Revolutionary War era through the late 1900s. The hundred-plus items are grouped into themes Farm, Factory, Kitchen and Table.

Here, curator Alice Kamps and Chief Culinary Advisor (how cool a job would that be?) José Andrés talk about their favorite aspects of the exhibition and a surprising discovery in late-1800s files from the Bureau of Chemistry:



Of course, our family heritage and traditions also influence what we eat. Family Tree Books is collecting short essays for a book about real family recipes and the memories that surround them.

If you have a sentimental spot for Aunt Barbara’s snickerdoodles, Nonna’s pasta e fagioli or Mom’s Sunday roasts, see the submission instructions here

Celebrating your heritage | Museums | NARA
Thursday, June 02, 2011 9:40:56 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, May 23, 2011
June 9 Is Ask Archivists Day on Twitter
Posted by Diane

Got a burning question only an archivist could answer? Here’s a great opportunity to ask it: On Ask Archivists Day, a worldwide Twitter event taking place June 9, you can pose an archival question for archivists to address.

Start by following @AskArchivists on Twitter (you'll need a Twitter account, of course). Then on June 9, tweet your question and include the hashtag #AskArchivists. You can direct your question to any archivist who’s joining in, or to a specific participating archive—for example, including @USNatArchives in your tweet directs your question to the US National Archives.

Participating archives in the United States and Canada are listed here (the list is still growing). So far, they include the National Archives, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, North Carolina State Archives, Association des archivistes du Québec, Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, plus many college and university libraries.

Get more Ask Archivists Day details on the Ask Archivists blog, and of course, by following @AskArchivists on Twitter.


Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives | NARA | Research Tips | Social Networking
Monday, May 23, 2011 11:14:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 13, 2011
Genealogy News Corral: NGS Edition
Posted by Diane

Here’s a quick look at some of the news bits coming out of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2011 Family History Conference, which ends tomorrow in Charleston, SC. 
  • We’re hearing there's great attendance at this year’s conference, and that the first two days in the exhibit hall were crowded.
  • The 2012 NGS conference is May 9-12 in Cincinnati (also the hometown of Family Tree Magazine) and the 2013 conference will be in Las Vegas.
  • FamilySearch has set an annual goal to add 200 million record images to its free online records search. Its 2012 RootsTech conference will be Feb. 2-4 in Salt Lake City.
  • Archivist of the United States David Ferrerio, speaking at the NGS opening session, said that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is digitizing the 1940 census in-house and it’ll be available—but not yet indexed by name—on on NARA's website April 2, 2012. It won’t be on any commercial websites on that date.
  • Ancestry.com will begin indexing the census records as soon as they’re available and will post the indexed records online later in the year, the company announced at a conference reception.
Dick Eastman has posted his copious notes from the reception. Some things that caught my eye: the new genealogy Web Search, US Navy Ship Muster Rolls 1939-1949 (coming on Memorial Day), more US birth and death records, a faster record image viewer, a new Android app, and the ability to download data from your Ancestry tree to version 2012 Family Tree Maker software.

Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | NARA
Friday, May 13, 2011 4:14:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 06, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, May 2-6
Posted by Diane

  • As part of its annual conference next week in Charleston, SC, the National Genealogical Society will offer a one-day Genealogy 101 session on Saturday, May 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration costs $50. Online registration is closed, but you can register at the door. Space is limited, so get there early.
  • A new organization has formed with the goal to provide in-depth genealogical education in the Mid-Atlantic region and nationally. The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is planning a weeklong genealogy seminar for Monday, July 23 through Friday, July 27, 2012, in Pittsburgh. Learn more on GRIP’s website.
  • If you’ll be in the Washington, DC, are next week, you can learn how to research the National Archives’ records of Union and Confederate Army units and Navy ships at one of two free workshops: May 10, 11 a.m. at the Washington, DC, Research Center; or Thursday, May 12, 11 a.m. at the College Park, MD, research center. Learn more on the National Archives’ events page
  • FamilySearch has added more than 2 million digital images to its record collections come from Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Switzerland, U.S., and Wales. More than 1.7 million of those images were added to the Brazil Civil Registration collection, and 346,000 church records were added for Honduras. The record images aren’t yet indexed, so you’ll need to navigate to the collection of interest on FamilySearch and browse the images. You can see the list of updated collections and link to each one here

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Military records | NARA
Friday, May 06, 2011 3:26:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, April 29, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, April 25-29
Posted by Diane

The National Archives has posted the class handouts from its recent Genealogy Fair for you to download as PDFs. They’re from experts’ presentations on the 1940 census, Ancestry.com, Footnote, federal land records and more.

The Civil War Trust is coming out with another smartphone “Battle App,” this one helping tourists locate and learn about historic sites at the Fredericksburg battlefield. Download and learn more about this app and the Devil’s Den & Little Roundtop app at CivilWar.org.

Want to attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, Calif., June 10-12? You could win a registration from GeneaBloggers. Click here to learn more and enter


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Military records | NARA
Friday, April 29, 2011 2:47:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, January 14, 2011
Genealogy News Corral: Jan. 10-14
Posted by Diane

  • The University of Texas at Austin has launched a new history website called Not Even Past to provide “dynamic, accessible, short articles on every field of history.” Using the Read, Watch, Discover, Listen and Texas links at the bottom of the page, you’ll find book excerpts and articles from history faculty and graduate students at the university. Content is sparse so far, but this could be a site worth keeping an eye on.

Libraries and Archives | Military records | NARA | Social History
Friday, January 14, 2011 2:46:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, December 13, 2010
NARA Invites Comment on 2010 Census Records
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is inviting you to have a say about what it’ll be like to research the 2010 census records in the future.

NARA is asking for public comment on the Appraisal and Records schedule for the census. These schedules list all the records created during Census 2010—not just the census forms you filled out, but also address canvassing maps, data summaries, various publications and more—and proposes standards for their retention or disposition.

For those records proposed for permanent retention, the schedule contains instructions for their transfer to NARA. For records are proposed for temporary retention, the schedule contains instructions for their later disposal.

The proposed schedule provides that the 2010 decennial census forms we all filled out will be preserved in the form of scanned images. (You can read about the archives’ preservation of digital images here.) It calls for those and other “permanently valuable” records to be transferred to NARA within 10 years after the census.

For more information and to link to the Appraisal and Records schedule, see this post on the archives’ NARAtions blog.

The documents are lengthy. You can get a summary of many of the documents proposed for preservation on the archives’ Records Express blog

Comments and questions regarding the proposed retention/disposition of records are being accepted on both of the above-mentioned blog posts through Dec. 30.


census records | NARA
Monday, December 13, 2010 11:15:31 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, December 06, 2010
Sneak Peek at the National Archives' New Website
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)—the agency that houses federal records including censuses, passenger lists, military service papers and more—will launch its redesigned Archives.gov website next Monday, Dec. 13.

You can preview the new site now at <archives.gov/open/redesign/preview> (click on the image for the new site). Note that the search on the preview site won’t work.

NARA developed the new site with help from users through surveys, voting, card sorts (a way of figuring out how users would organize the site) and usability testing. It’ll feature:

  • A new home page, selected by public vote in July
  • A new interactive map of NARA’s facilities nationwide
  • Historical documents and streamlined access to military service records (turns out that 81 percent of Archives.gov visitors are looking for this information)
  • Topically organized sections focused on the needs of both casual browsers and professional researchers (the current site divides articles for genealogists, researchers, members of the general public, etc., leading to multiple sections on the same topic)
  • Easy links to NARA's social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and blogs.

Read more about the redesign process on NARA’s website.


Genealogy Web Sites | NARA
Monday, December 06, 2010 3:51:36 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 29, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Oct. 25-29
Posted by Diane

  • British genealogy subscription site FindMyPast.co.uk has released a collection of records from the Second Anglo-Boer War including details on 260,000 British service members and 59,000 war casualties. The database compiles information from more than 330 sources, and resolves errors and conflicting information in some of those sources. The war was fought from 1899 to 1902 between the British Empire and the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State.
  • The Troy (NY) Irish Genealogical Society has posted the records of Italian midwife Alesandra Matera, who practiced in the Troy area during the early 1900s. The transcribed records span 1909 to 1923 and document mostly Italian births, with some Syrians in later years. You can download the transcriptions as PDFs ordered by the father’s, mother’s or child’s last name (the transcriptions themselves are in chronological order, but you can use the Bookmarks bar in your PDF viewer to see the names in alphabetical order). Originals are in the archives of the Rensselaer County Historical Society.

FamilySearch | Historic preservation | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 29, 2010 9:48:40 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 08, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Oct. 4-8
Posted by Diane

  • A friendly reader told us about another genealogy app for the iPhone called Traces, which searches the databases at the FamilySearch beta site. beta.familysearch.org. The reader (who’s not affiliated with the product other than using it) recommends it as “far and away the best iPhone app ... I've found to facilitate actual genealogy research and database searching.” See a list of iPhone/iTouch genealogy apps on the MobileGenealogy.com website.
  • The National Archives is holding a day-long symposium called The Civil War: Fresh Perspectives on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, at its Washington, DC headquarters. It’ll feature panel discussions related to themes from the archives’ special exhibit, Discovering the Civil War. Registration is required, along with a fee of $50. Click here to learn more and register.
  • UK family history subscription website Findmypast.co.uk and FamilySearch are beginning a project to digitize the Greater Manchester County Record Office’s cemetery registers and institutional records (from gaols, schools and workhouses), which date as far back as the 16th century. When the project is complete, you’ll be able to search indexes free at FamilySearch. The indexed information will link to the records at FindMyPast.co.uk, where you’ll be able to view the record images for a fee.
  • There’s more for those with UK roots: Old-maps.co.uk has added 60 more years of town plans and other maps to its collection, which now covers 1850 to 1996. In addition, new spy maps produced by the Russian military from 1950 to 1997 cover 16,000 sq km of the UK, including 103 major towns and cities. You can search and browse maps for free and purchase printed or downloadable PDF versions.


FamilySearch | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Software | NARA | UK and Irish roots | Vital Records
Friday, October 08, 2010 3:10:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, September 24, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Sept. 20-24
Posted by Diane

  • The California Family History Expo is coming up Oct. 8-9 in Pleasanton, Calif. The exhibit hall is free, but you must register ($65 in advance; $75 at the door) to attend classes. Here’s a neat option for those who can’t go to the whole conference: If you’d like to attend just a few classes, you can do so for $12 per class. Register on the Family History Expos website
  • The FamilySearch Beta site has added nearly 2 million new digital images of historical records this week from the Dominican Republic, Italy, Jamaica, Spain, and the United States.
Note that not all of the new records are indexed yet, which means that they’re not included in the search, so you may need to browse. Use the filters on the left side of the Collection List page to navigate to the country, then possibly the type of record and/or province, then select the record set you want to browse.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives | Museums | NARA
Friday, September 24, 2010 1:10:01 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, September 03, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Aug. 30-Sept. 3
Posted by Diane

  • Wondering whom to thank for your Monday off work? Historians disagree on who should get credit for Labor Day. Most think it’s either Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, a machinist, secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, NJ, and secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. Read more Labor Day history on the US Department of Labor website.
  • The National Archives in Kansas City has opened to the public 300,000 Alien Case Files (A-Files) for individuals born in 1909 and earlier. This is part of the group of immigration records transferred last year from the US Citizenship and Immigration services to the National Archives. The files themselves date from 1944 and later, but the records remain closed until 100 years after the birthdate of the subject of the file.
The files aren’t online; you can search NARA’s Archival Research Catalog for your ancestor’s name to see if there’s a file on your ancestor (after clicking a name in the search results, click Scope and Content for a few more details about the subject of the record). You can access the records in person or order copies from NARA.
Just choose an alphabetical range and you’ll be linked to an index page listing the vital events within that range. You can use your web browser’s Find function to look for a name. Once you’ve found the name, publication and date, click the Quick Links to Newspapers link to find the image of the page with the information you need.


immigration records | NARA | Social History | Vital Records
Friday, September 03, 2010 1:59:28 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, July 12, 2010
NARA Opens Voting for Website Redesign
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is redesigning its website to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

Check out the four design options and cast your vote here. Update: Voting has closed, but you still can use this link to check out the design options.

All the new home page designs feature fewer links than the dizzying number on the current home page. I love all the information on the site, but it can be difficult to find what you need.

You can learn more about the NARA redesign—including how the public participated in creating the organizational structure of the new site—here.

Family Tree Magazine guides you through finding genealogy answers on NARA’s current site in our National Archives Web Guide, available from ShopFamilyTree.com.


Family Tree Magazine articles | NARA
Monday, July 12, 2010 4:39:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Tuesday, July 06, 2010
NARA Archives I Adds Saturday Record Pulls in July
Posted by Diane

Great news for those taking research vacations this month to the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC, called Archives I.

Archives I is starting a pilot program to “pull” paper records (retrieve them from storage for viewing in the Research Room) on Saturdays during July.

The Saturday pull times are 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Previously, staff did not pull any records on Saturdays. (Note that Archives II in College Park, Md., isn't participating in the pilot program.)

Weekday pull times are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, there’s an additional pull at 3:30 p.m.

Researchers at the archives need to fill out and submit a Reference Service Slip for each requested record, which staff will retrieve at the next pull time. Without Saturday pulls, weekend researchers have to submit their requests early, or limit themselves to using microfilm, which is self-service.

For information on researching at the National Archives in Washington, DC, see its online guide.

You can use many National Archives resources at home through Archives.org. Learn how to make the most of this site from our National Archives Web Guide, available from ShopFamilyTree.com.


NARA
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 10:16:40 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, July 02, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: June 28-July 2
Posted by Diane

A free website called London Lives has posted 240,000 manuscripts and 3.35 million names of “non-elite” 18th-century Londoners. Sources include criminal and court records, parish registers, workhouse records and more. (Click here for more details about the resources.) Registration isn’t necessary to search, but you can register to create a personal workspace and link documents together into biographies.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has announced that Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, head of the National Archives and Records Administration, will speak at the FGS annual conference Focus on Societies Luncheon on Aug. 18 in Knoxville, Tenn. Learn more on the FGS conference blog.

Two items from the National Archives and Records Administration this Fourth of July weekend: First, the archives has a new logo, which will be featured on the archives’ first-ever float in the National Independence Day Parade. What do you think? I like it!



Second, the National Archives is launching a video series called Inside the Vaults, which will take you behind the scenes as staff and research highlight new finds at the archives, and report on “complicated and technical subjects.” The first video features the conservation of the Declaration of Independence and a mysterious handprint in the lower-left corner of the document.

Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA | UK and Irish roots | Videos
Friday, July 02, 2010 3:21:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 28, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: May 24-28
Posted by Diane

Library and Archives Canada has begun adding digitized copies of service files to its database of more than 600,000 men and women who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during World War I as soldiers, nurses and chaplains. When a photocopy or digital copy is requested, the file will be scanned and the digital images added to the database.

Subscription genealogy site Archives.com has provided all 9,000 members of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) a three-month membership. (Those who join NGS during the next six months also can take advantage of this offer.)  Archives.com also has added The Dictionary of American Family Names to its databases, letting members look up the origins of more than 70,000 US surnames. Read more about both developments on the Archives.com blog.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post about military research, subscription site World Vital Records is making its military records collection free through June 1. You’ll find more information in the site’s announcement.

This was a fun post on the National Archives blog: The staff compares modern facial hair standards for members of the US Army (only men can have it!) with photos of Civil War US Army officers whose mustaches might get them reprimanded today.


Canadian roots | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | NARA
Friday, May 28, 2010 10:35:36 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 07, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: May 3-7
Posted by Diane

  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) plans to launch a public wiki that will allow you to create pages on records or themes. If you can't attend the organizing meeting at the NARA building in Washington, DC, on May 7th, you can contribute ideas by e-mail—see the archives’ blog post for details.
Also check out the archives’ wiki for planning the wiki.


Asian roots | Canadian roots | NARA
Friday, May 07, 2010 3:21:09 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]