Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

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

Search

Archives

<August 2014>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456

More Links








# Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Ancestry.com Won't Retire MyCanvas After All
Posted by Diane

Good news for users of the MyCanvas photo book service (including me—I used it to create my wedding album), which owners Ancestry.com had planned to retire in September.

Ancestry.com just announced that instead of discontinuing MyCanvas, it will transfer the site to Alexander's, the Utah-based printing production company that already handled the printing of MyCanvas photo books, posters, calendars and other products.

Eric Shoup, executive VP of product at Ancestry.com, wrote on the Ancestry.com blog that the transfer, which will take about six months, should be a smooth one for MyCanvas users. Users' projects will remain available on Ancestry.com until the site moves over to Alexander's. More details will be available as the transition moves ahead.


Ancestry.com | Photos | saving and sharing family history
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 11:13:25 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 21, 2014
FamilySearch Centers Add Free Scanning for Your Old Photos and Documents
Posted by Diane

If you have bunches of old photos and records you've been meaning to scan, here's a new option for getting 'er done: FamilySearch has added a free photo and document scanning and preservation service in more than 2,800 of its FamilySearch Centers in North America. (The service is in the works for international centers.)

The scanning equipment, called "multifunction products" (MPFs) is available through a partnership with Lexmark. The MPFs have software that scans your family history materials directly to your account on FamilySearch.org. There, you can tag and share the images, and attach them to people in your FamilySearch family tree.

You also can opt to save your images to a flash drive to take home with you.

To use the service, just bring your photos and documents to your local FamilySearch Center (I would call first to double-check the center's hours and make sure the equipment will be available there for your use).

Use the FamilySearch Center Locator to find the closest location to you.

You can see what the scanners look like in the FamilySearch announcement. From what I can tell, they're flatbed-style scanners, in which you set the photo or document face-down on glass and lower the lid on top. That makes the service best for paper prints. It's usually safer to digitally preserve fragile items, old albums and cased images (such as daguerreotypes) by photographing them. (Here are tips for using your camera to "scan" photos and records.)


FamilySearch | Photos | saving and sharing family history
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 2:40:38 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Free and Low-Cost Software to Retouch Damaged Family Photos
Posted by Diane



If you're looking to scan and digitally repair old, faded and torn family photos, we have a webinar coming up that'll show you how to do it.

But first, you'll need photo-editing software so you can make the repairs. Good news: You can find good software for free.

See what photo-editing software might be already on your computer. Windows Live Photo Gallery, for example, lets you do basic retouching and adjust exposure and color. 

If you want to see what else is out there, look for free photo-editing software you can download. According to Gizmodo, Adobe is giving away an older version of its Photoshop software along with the Adobe Creative Suite (CS) 2. This version is suitable for most genealogy needs with tools such as Clone, Brightness/Contrast, and color balance. You do have to sign up for an Adobe account to download it, and Macs will need OSX 10.2.8 to 10.3.8, or the "translator" program Rosetta
Update: Unfortunately, it sounds like this offer is only for previous Photoshop owners. Thanks to the commenters who created an Adobe account, made this discovery and reported back here. (One also recommended Irfanview.)
Want other options for retouching old photos? Gizmodo lists 10 free photo-editors here. One of them is Google's Picasa, which we used for our step-by-step guide to fixing faded, spotted and creased pictures and for the photo above.

A relatively low-cost photo-editing software option that gives you a lot of functionality is Photoshop Elements, a "light" version of Photoshop.

Our Photo-Editing and Retouching for Genealogists webinar, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. PT) will show you what apps and programs are available for photo-editing on your computer and mobile device, how to retouch photos, and more. Check it out in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Photos | Research Tips | saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:25:24 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [8]
# Monday, October 28, 2013
8 Photo and Document Scanning Tips for Genealogists
Posted by Diane

Does a pile of papers and pictures stand between you and your dream of a digitized family archive? Digitized files are easier than their paper counterparts to share with relatives, back up, and turn into a family history book one day.

Get started scanning with these quick tips from our upcoming One-Week Workshop: Digitize Your Genealogy Documents, Photos and Heirlooms.

1. Not sure where to start? Start digitizing your most valuable and irreplaceable items first.

2. Set an achievable goal, such as scanning 10 items a week, or participating in Scanfest (genealogists meet online the last Sunday each month and chat as they scan).

3. You could speed up the scanning process by scanning multiple photos at once. Some photo software (such as Adobe Photoshop Elements) automatically separates the scanned images into separate files.

4. Choose the right resolution—usually, 300 dpi for documents and at least 600 dpi for images. If you plan to print an enlargement or zoom in for detailed retouching, go up to 1,200 dpi.

5. Consider saving master copies of photos as TIFFs, and use JPG copies to share and for everyday viewing. The PDF format is a good choice for documents.

6. Before you scan, clean your scanner glass with a soft, dry cloth. If it's really dirty, spray a little glass cleaner on the cloth (never on the glass). If the photo or document is dusty, gently brush it with a soft, dry brush.

7. Organize digital files as you scan. Decide on a file structure for your scanned images and file them right away. If you use photo-organizing software, tag images with the name of the person or family associated with the item, plus a place, date, type of record, and other pertinent information.

8.
Back up your scans in multiple locations, such as to the cloud, to an external hard drive, and on your sister's computer.

The Digitize Your Genealogy Documents, Photos and Heirlooms one-week workshop, happening Nov. 15-22, will help you 
  • create a manageable plan for your digitizing project
  • work with fragile and bulky items
  • learn the best options for digitizing items
  • Learn how to back up your digital files
The workshop gives you access to four pre-recorded video classes with presentations and demos, excerpts from Family Tree University's popular Digitize Your Family History course, plus daily message-board discussions and a Q&A with digitization expert Denise May Levenick, author of How To Archive Family Keepsakes.

Register for the Digitize Your Genealogy Documents, Photos and Heirlooms workshop before Nov. 11 to save $35 on tuition with code WORKSHOPEARLY.


Photos | Research Tips | saving and sharing family history
Monday, October 28, 2013 3:44:07 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Wednesday, August 07, 2013
New MyHeritage.com Website Helps You Treasure Old Family Photos
Posted by Diane

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

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

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

  • Watch a video with tips from Maureen

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

  • Upload photos to MyHeritage.com

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

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

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


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

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


Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots | findmypast | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Jewish roots | MyHeritage | Photos
Friday, July 26, 2013 11:10:33 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, July 12, 2013
House Histories: Do You Believe in Ghost Signs?
Posted by Diane

This was a totally  unexpected find: I was casually searching the Library of Congress website for old images of Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, where several ancestors lived. This photo popped up in my results:



The building closest to the camera was once my great-great-grandfather's cigar store and family home. The picture is part of a group of shots from the neighborhood, taken in 1982 for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). There's an accompanying PDF document with history and architecture notes.

When I opened the giant high-resolution TIFF of the image, I saw this:



Do you see it, too? It's a "ghost sign"—the outline of some of the letters from the store's "H.A. Seeger Cigar Manufacturer" sign. Here's a closer look at part of it:



My mom once drove us kids by the building, and we saw where the letters had been. I've often wished we took a photo during that stop—the building's been renovated and that ghost sign is gone. So this is an extra-special find.

This copy of a photo from my family collection shows what the sign looked like back in the day:



In an earlier picture I've posted before, the sign's lettering was different and there was no street lamp or window on the first floor. If I can figure out when those updates happened, it'll help me date this photo.

Time to learn more about this building. Are you researching an ancestor's house? Our guide to constructing a house history is a $4 download in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Here's how found the photo: On the Library of Congress site, I searched for the term Cincinnati German and limited my results to "Photo, Print, Drawing," like so:



The group of pictures was second in my search results. Not everything in the LOC catalog is digitized online, but luckily, these are. I knew to click on it because the streets in the description are the ones around the building.



We list more websites with databases of old photos here. Many state and local archives digitize photos for online memory projects, too.

You can learn more about finding, identifying and preserving old photos from our Photo Detective Collection, with study materials from photo historian Maureen A. Taylor and digital photography expert Nancy Hendrickson.


Libraries and Archives | Photos | Research Tips
Friday, July 12, 2013 11:11:44 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 07, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, June 3-7
Posted by Diane

  • The folks at Flip-Pal mobile scanner are presenting a free webinar, Metdata and Digital Images, on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:30 Central Time (that's 8:30 Eastern,  6:30 Mountain and 5:30 Pacific). Presenter Thomas MacEntee will show you how to use a digital photo's metadata (the information embedded in digital files) to add captions and details such as who's in a photo and when it was taken. See more details about the webinar and click to register here.
  • Friday through Sunday marks the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, one of the most-anticipated conferences of the year. Remember to register for sessions you want to watch from home via free JamboSTREAM webcast. See the schedule on the Jamboree blog.
  • Findmypast.com has added 2.5 million court records to its collection of Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers (1828-1912), which has information on petty crimes (such as public drunkeness and allowing livestock to wander) and punishments of Ireland's residents. They're available with a World Subscription or pay-per-view credits on findmypast.com international sites.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Photos | UK and Irish roots | Webinars
Friday, June 07, 2013 11:47:16 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, May 23, 2013
May Genealogy Value Packs Are Going ... Going ...
Posted by Diane

Before we call it a day on this month, I wanted to make sure you know about our May genealogy value collections. They're full of helpful how-to tools such as books, CDs, video classes and articles, and they're available at special prices only this month. Check them out today!
  • Jewish Genealogy Value Pack, with video classes on Jewish names and finding Eastern European origins, Jewish and Eastern European research guides, and the must-have Finding Our Fathers guidebook
  • Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection, with video classes on Irish censuses and genealogy websites, our guide to Griffith's Valuation, a genealogical atlas and our Family Tree University Independent Study course on researching in Irish records
  • Photo Detective Collection, with photo-research guides from Family Tree Magazine's Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor—including her new Family Photo Detective eBook and an autographed copy of Preserving Your Family Photographs


Jewish roots | Photos | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:42:11 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 08, 2013
National Photo Month Giveaway: Photo Preservation Kit!
Posted by Diane

Did you know that May is National Photography Month?

Of course, photography plays a huge role in family history research. Nothing connects you with an ancestor and inspires you to discover more about his or her life, than a photograph.

This one is one of my favorite family pictures. It shows my great-great-grandfather about 1910 in front of the cigar store he opened in Cincinnati. He's standing third from left. His son, my great-grandfather, is in the doorway on the left.



This National Photo Month, we want to help you celebrate and preserve your favorite family photos by giving away one of our new Photo Preservation Kits (now available in ShopFamilyTree.com).



The kit contains specially selected archival photo storage and preservation products from archival supplier Gaylord Bros., plus easy-to-follow instructions from Family Tree Magazine's Family Archivist, Sunny Jane Morton. 

You can enter our National Photo Month Sweepstakes here. And you'll get two extra chances to win for every friend who registers using your referral link (which you'll get after you submit your entry).

Our National Photo Month Sweepstakes entry deadline is May 20.

You'll also find these National Photo Month specials at ShopFamilyTree.com:

Genealogy fun | Photos | saving and sharing family history
Wednesday, May 08, 2013 11:22:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, March 04, 2013
Family Photo Detective Book Winner!
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to the lucky winner of our Family Photo Detective book sweepstakes: Patti Wier of Artesia, NM!

She'll receive a copy of the hot-off-the-presses Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries by Maureen A. Taylor.



Patti will be able to take advantage of Maureen's advice for using clothing, backgrounds, props and photographer imprints to learn more about who's in her old family photographs. Blending this type of photo research with research in genealogy records is a great strategy for discovering details about your ancestors.

Family Photo Detective is available at booksellers including ShopFamilyTree.com.

Genealogy books | Genealogy fun | Photos
Monday, March 04, 2013 9:24:38 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Photo Detective to Uncover Stories of Revolutionary Generation in New Film
Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine's Photo Detective, Maureen A. Taylor, is turning her books The Last Muster: Images of the Revolution and the forthcoming The Last Muster: Faces of the Revolution into a film that breathes life into the long-ago Revolutionary War era.

Maureen has discovered and authenticated more than 200 photos of Americans who witnessed the Revolutionary War and survived into the age of photography. "Ten years ago, I was presented with an old photograph and asked to analyze it," she says. "Suddenly, I realized that I was looking into the face of someone who was a young adult during the Revolutionary War."

In "Revolutionary Voices: A Last Muster Film," you'll follow Maureen as she searches for genealogical records of those folks, locates places where they lived and interviews their descendants. See some of those photos and hear about one man in particular, Eleazer Blake, in this video:



Maureen and documentary producers Verissima Productions are raising funds for the project through Kickstarter.com. You can learn more about the "Revolutionary Voices" film and pledge to support it here.


Military records | Photos
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4:27:30 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, February 11, 2013
We're Giving Away a Copy of Family Photo Detective
Posted by Diane

Here's our Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor's new book about researching your family photos (and those mystery photos that might or might not be your family):



... and you could win a copy by entering your name in our Family Photo Detective giveaway.

What's inside Family Photo Detective? You'll learn how to:
  • Determine whether you have a daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cabinet card or other type of image
  • Use clothing, accessories and hairstyles to help date the image
  • Research photographer imprints
  • Compare facial features in multiple photos to help identify individuals 
  • Interview family members for information
  • Use photo props and background to add context
The Family Photo Detective giveaway ends Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET. And if you refer a friend who enters (by sending the link in your entry confirmation), you'll get two extra chances to win. Good luck!


Genealogy books | Genealogy fun | Photos
Monday, February 11, 2013 10:53:51 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, December 03, 2012
Hilarious Holiday Photos
Posted by Beth

What’s not to love about the holidays? Gaudy decorations, ridiculous costumes, unusual traditions, extended amounts of time spent with family—it’s a recipe for happy memories and hilarious photos.

Share your funny holiday photo (of two- or four-legged friends!) with us, and it could appear on our Facebook page and even in our upcoming book Hilarious Holiday Photos.

PLUS: Submit a photo before Jan. 3, 2013, for the chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! The photo that the author and editors find the funniest will receive the gift card.

So get out your camera this holiday season and capture those …
    •    Creepy mall Santas
    •    Santa-fearing, crying kids
    •    Bad Christmas sweaters (and sweatsuits)
    •    Pets in seasonal garb
    •    Hokey holiday decorations
    •    Terrible gifts
    •    Unfortunate New Year's outfits
    •    … whatever strikes your funny bone!

We also want to see funny photos from other holidays, including:
    •    Funny couples photos that capture the love of Valentine’s Day
    •    Photos that leave us green with St. Patrick’s Day pride
    •    Funny All-American photos 
    •    Halloween costumes that make us howl with laughter
    •    Thanksgiving celebrations
    •    … and more!


Photos | saving and sharing family history
Monday, December 03, 2012 9:26:45 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, November 27, 2012
November 2012 Family Tree Podcast: Digitize Documents and Photos
Posted by Beth

The November 2012 Family Tree Magazine podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, celebrates family with a focus on digitizing your documents and photos, including:

You can listen to Family Tree Magazine's free genealogy podcast in iTunes or on FamilyTreeMagazine.com. Show notes are on FamilyTreeMagazine.com, too.


Photos | Podcasts | saving and sharing family history
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 9:49:18 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, November 14, 2012
LIFE Shares Rare Ellis Island Photos
Posted by Beth


LIFE has released rare photographs from Ellis Island taken by one of its preeminent photographers, Alfred Eisenstaedt. His photos, some never seen before, chronicle a day in 1950 when political bureaucracy had delayed the processing of immigrants looking to step onto American soil.

Eisenstaedt, who was also an immigrant, captures scenes that mirror those in Ellis Island photos taken decades in the early 1900s.

Interested in tracing your immigrant ancestors? Then be sure to check out our 101 Best Immigration Websites


immigration records | Photos
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 9:27:10 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 12, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 8-12
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry.com has released a new Ancestry Facebook app that helps you use Facebook to add to your Ancestry.com family tree. The app lets you use your Facebook credentials to log into Ancestry.com, get hints about Facebook members who may be family, add family members on Facebook to your Ancestry tree and send copies of your tree to those relatives (which they can use to start their own trees on Ancestry.com). Watch a video of how the app works and get the app on Ancestry.com.
Note that when you add information from Facebook to your Ancestry.com tree, you grant Ancestry.com permission to use the information according to its Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statement.
  • Our Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor's book The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation, will soon become a historical film! Visit LastMusterFilm.com to learn more about the project and how you can help the stories of the book's subjects come to life through a donation to the Center for Independent Documentary.
  • FamilySearch is holding a Genealogists Say "Thanks!" video contest. Submit a video sharing an ancestral find in FamilySearch indexes and thanking FamilySearch volunteer indexers for their work. Five winners will each receive  a $25 Visa gift card and have their videos published on teh FamilySearch indexing Facebook page. The submission deadline is November 5; see the FamilySearch blog for contest rules and other details.
  • British genealogy website Genes Reunited has added a Keepsafe feature where the site's members can store digital copies of their family records, photos and memories. Keepsafes can be public, private or shared with select others.  Also new are Relation Profiles, where members can view and edit details about people in their Genes Reunited family trees. Check out the recently revamped Genes Reunited here.


Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots | FamilySearch | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Web Sites | Photos | Social Networking | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 12, 2012 11:04:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Ancestry.com Acquires 1000memories
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy website Ancestry.com just announced it has acquired San Francisco-based 1000memories.

1000memories, founded in 2010, has a website where people can store and share digitized photos. Shoebox, the site’s accompanying mobile app for iPhone and Android, lets you use a cell phone camera to “scan” and upload documents to the site.

The app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times since its launch.

Ancestry.com has already begun incorporating the app into its services. To mark this announcement, 1000memories has launched a new version of ShoeBox for iOS (iPhones), enabling Ancestry.com members to post photos directly to ancestors profiles in their Ancestry.com member trees.

“This is the first step in a broader plan that will see tighter integration of the two services in the coming months,” according to Ancestry.com’s official press release.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Photos
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 11:55:31 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 19, 2012
We're on the Prowl for Hilarious Holiday Photos
Posted by Diane

You expect to see Halloween decorations everywhere this time of year, but can you believe some stores are already stocking Christmas decorations?

We’re celebrating the joys of both holidays—as well as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Earth Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and other special days throughout the year—with an upcoming book called Hilarious Holiday Photos.

Want to join in the fun? Share your funny holiday photos of people or pets, and they could appear on the book’s Facebook page and even in the book itself.

For example, this Halloween photo, courtesy of a coworker here at Family Tree Magazine HQ, cracked us up:



Like the book’s Facebook page to see more funny photos and click here to submit your pictures online.


Genealogy fun | Photos
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 10:57:48 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 02, 2012
Scanning Old Family Photos With Flip-Pal
Posted by Diane


Now that we're carrying the Flip-Pal mobile scanner in ShopFamilyTree.com, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I gave it a try on one of my favorite pictures: My great-grandparents on their porch in Bellevue, Ky., about 1925, judging from my grandma's age (she's the baby).

The scanner is nice and light, about the size of a book, and it runs on four AA batteries. The scanning window is smaller than a desktop scanner, 4x6 inches, so you need to scan a larger document in parts and then stitch them together. (The scanner comes with Easy-Stitch software to do this.)

You can scan at a resolution of 300 or 600 dpi. 300 is the lowest recommended dpi for images you want to digitally archive, and will allow you to make a good print that's the same size as the original photo. 600 dpi is even better, because you can enlarge the photo before printing it.

I tried the Sketch Kit, sold separately from the scanner, which lets you annotate photos and documents in a low-tech way. It's a clear acrylic panel you place over your picture and write on with an erasable marker, like so:



Then to scan the annotated photo, you pop out the Flip-Pal lid, flip the scanner over and press the big green button to scan the Sketch panel on top of your picture:



(I kept accidentally pressing the green button during the lid removal and flipping.) Here's that scan:



You'll also want the photo itself, minus the Sketch panel. For that, you pop the lid back in and place the picture face down on the scanner, as you would for a desktop scanner. The scan:



The images are saved onto an SD card. I discovered just this morning that my computer here at work has an SD card reader—perfect. (The scanner is also compatible with wireless Eye-fi SD cards.) If you don't have a card reader, you can plug the card into the included SD-to-USB adaptor and stick that into your computer's USB drive.

You can see technical specs for the Flip-Pal scanner here and FAQs here. I did these two quick scans without reading instructions, but I'll check them out to learn more about the scanner settings and how to use the stitching software.

You can find the Flip-Pal scanner and accessories such as the Sketch Kit  and a carrying case in ShopFamilyTree.com. If you're trying to decide whether to buy, we've also got a Flip-Pal product review article download.

Got a bunch of family photos and heirlooms you need to archive and share? Learn how in our Aug. 9 Digitize Your Family History webinar.

Editor's Pick | Photos | saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Thursday, August 02, 2012 1:02:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [12]
# Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Learn How to Digitize and Archive Your Genealogy Documents, Photos and Heirlooms
Posted by Diane

Attending Antiques Roadshow last weekend has definitely put me in the mindset of figuring out what family heirlooms we have and where they came from, and how to preserve and share their stories with family.

My sisters and I, for example, didn't know about our great-grandmother's bride's basket until I asked my mom if she had something she'd like me to take to the show for appraisal.

Victorian Glass and Silver Bridal Basket

So I'm glad to see us doing a webinar called Digitize Your Family History: How to Preserve Precious Photos, Documents and Heirlooms. It's on Thursday, Aug. 9, presented by Denise Levenick, known as the Family Curator and author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes (Family Tree Books).



If you register early, you'll be able to submit a scanned photo or document, or a picture of an heirloom that Denise might use as an example during the webinar. That means you could get preservation and digitization advice specific to your family treasure. ("Early" is the key word.)

Here's what else you'll learn in the Digitize Your Family History webinar:
  • What items you should digitize

  • How to deal with fragile and oversized items, as well as heirlooms you can’t scan (like our bridal basket)

  • Tips for creating digital copies of your photos and documents

  • How to archive and organize digital copies for your own research and for posterity

  • Key terms and online resources for digitizing heirlooms
Registrants will also get a free preview chapter of Denise's book How to Archive Family Keepsakes, and a coupon for the book.

And as in every webinar, they'll receive copies of the presentation slides, as well as access to view the webinar again as often as they like (that goes even if you register but for some reason miss the webinar).

Digitize Your Family History takes place Thursday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. Eastern time (that's 6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain and 4 p.m. Pacific).

Click here to learn more and register!



Family Heirlooms | Photos | saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 2:15:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Call for Pictures of Ancestors! You Could Win Our Family Photo Detective Book!
Posted by Diane

photo-detective Would you like to win a copy of our forthcoming book Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries, and see your ancestors' faces in Family Tree Magazine?

Send us your favorite old family photo by Monday, June 4, and you could be the big winner (your photos may even appear in the book). Here's what the outside of the book looks like:
 


Inside Family Photo Detective, historical photography and genealogy expert Maureen A. Taylor will show you how to add names and stories to the faces in your old family photos. You'll learn how to use the clues in clothing, hairstyles, background and photographer's marks to identify when and where old photographs were taken. Case studies will show you how to apply photo-identification techniques to your family photos and combine photo evidence with your research in historical records.

The book will include a timeline of photography methods and styles, a decade-by-decade overview of fashion trends for men and women, and worksheets to record discoveries about family photos.

To send us your photo, e-mail it to us or post it to our Facebook page by Monday, June 4.

Note that by submitting your photo, you affirm that you are the owner of the image and it is not subject to copyright by any other party. You also grant Family Tree Magazine permission to crop the digital image as necessary for publication, and to use the image in any and all print and electronic media.

Questions? Comment here or e-mail us.



Genealogy books | Photos
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 2:42:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, April 27, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, April 23-27
Posted by Diane

  • Registration is open for the Illinois State Genealogy Society’s (ISGS) Fall Conference, Oct. 19 and 20 in Rockford, Ill. Nine genealogy experts will lead more than 15 workshops on topics such as “Breaking Through Brick Walls” and “Discovering the Real Story of Your Immigrant Ancestors.” Friday will also feature youth workshops. Visit the ISGS website for more details or to register.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Historic preservation | Photos | Social History
Friday, April 27, 2012 2:53:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, March 21, 2012
FREE Webinar: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner for Fabulous Family Photos
Posted by Diane

Free Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Webinar

We're hosting a free webinar next Tuesday about one of the most talked-about photo-preservation tools in genealogy: the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.

Presenters Thomas MacEntee and Diane Miller will show you:

  • tips for using Flip-Pal in your genealogy work
  • hints for archiving family photos with Flip-Pal
  • how Flip-Pal can help you share photos with your family
  • how to download the webinar presentation and slides for your future reference

Registered attendees will get access to the webinar to view again as many times as they like (we'll e-mail instructions after the webinar).

Plus, all registrants will receive a special product offer!

The free Flip-Pal webinar is Tuesday, March 27, at 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Central, noon Mountain, 11 a.m. Pacific).

The presentation is about 45 minutes, plus 10 minutes for Q&A.

Click here to register for our free webinar Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner for Fabulous Family Photos.


Photos | saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:33:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, March 13, 2012
House History Research Tips From the Virtual Conference
Posted by Diane

One of last weekend's Family Tree University Virtual Conference live chats I was really interested in was Marian Pierre-Louis' house histories chat. Researching my great-great-grandfather's cigar store and home in Cincinnati is on my genealogy to-do list.

In addition to hearing fascinating tales of participants' old family homes with kitchens constructed from peach crates, cheese packaging used for insulation and old newpapers as wallpaper, I got tips for researching the cigar store and other ancestral homes, such as my great-grandparents':

And I smuggled some tips from the chat to share with you all! (The conference participants can download chat transcripts to keep.) Here they are:

  • If the house is relatively new, Marian suggests starting with deed research. "I've researched every house I've lived in, even one built in 1985," she typed.
  • Start with the book and page number of the property deed in county or town records. Many areas have property assessor records online, where you can search by address. Then you'll trace the deeds to find out names of the previous owners.
  • City directories are a great tool for house history research, especially for multifamily dwellings or those with with renters.
  • You can get a historical contractor to walk through your house and 'read' it. "That is your best shot for knowing when the various parts were built," Marian suggests.
  • One participant asked whether it's possible to research a house that's been torn down. "Absolutely," Marian replied. "The deeds and tax records never disappear (well unless there's a fire in the courthouse or something)."

If you missed the Virtual Conference, the 15 video classes (see a few of them listed here) will be available soon at ShopFamilyTree.com.

And if you're particularly interested in house histories, we also have a digital download guide to researching houses in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Family Tree University | Photos | Research Tips | Social History
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:53:59 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Picturing Your Family History
Posted by Diane


Are you learning as much as you should from your old black-and-white family photographs? Are you doing as much as you can to preserve them?


You can make sure the answer to these questions is yes by taking the latest Family Tree University Power Course, Picture Your Family History.

In this one-week course, you'll learn how to:

  • How to analyze photos for clues to discover your family history
  • How to use those clues to learn when and where the photo was taken, and who might be in it
  • How to scan photos to get the best possible digital image
  • Tips to rescue worn, torn, scratched, faded or moldy images
  • Free online photo editing tools you can use to digitally repair photos
  • How to repair damage to facial features in your family photographs
  • Where to get help when you can’t do it yourself

Power Courses give you two intensive hours of learning you can immediately use to solve your family history problems. In the time it takes to watch a movie, you can become a better genealogist. 

Click here to learn more about the Picture Your Family History Power Course. Don't forget to use promo code FTU2011 to save 20 percent on your registration.

The photo above shows my great-grandfather and my grandmother in about 1930.


Family Tree University | Photos
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:29:18 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, October 27, 2011
New App Puts a Scanner in Your Pocket
Posted by Diane

A free iPhone app released today from memory-sharing site 1000memories makes your phone work like a scanner.

The Shoebox scanning app helps you digitize, organize and share collections of photos from the past.

You use the camera on your iPhone to snap a picture of a photo. Shoebox auto-detects the edges of the photo, then crops and straightens it. You can add information such as dates, names, and locations, then upload the photo as a JPG to 1000memories.com. There, you can be organize and share your pictures.

Of course, the quality of Shoebox "scans" depends on the phone's camera. If you have the latest iPhone, the 4S, your digitized Shoebox photos will be on par with what you'd produce with a typical desktop scanner, 1000memories cofounder Jonathan Good told me. The 4S has an 8.0 MP sensor for high-resolution mobile scans, as well as an improved f2.4 lens for quality lower-light scans.

Good says he also gets excellent results using his iPhone 4. The app is compatible with all previous iPhone models, as well as the iPad.

An Android version is coming soon, Good added (to the delight of this Android user).

“The popularity of the iPhone camera has proven that people want something that’s quick, accessible, and easy to share,” says 1000memories' other cofounder, Rudy Adler. "For us, that’s what providing a social mobile scanner is about - making it as easy as possible for people to get their photo collections digitized and shared with the people they care about.”

It'll certainly make scanning a box of photos quicker, and it'll be easier to digitize photos in your relatives' possession—no need to persuade Aunt Bertha to let you cart her precious album home.

Note that the app outputs a JPG file, but the TIF format, which creates uncompressed files, is the most widely used type of file for digital master photos. That lack of compression is also why TIF files are large and impractical for electronic sharing. So you may want to create TIF backups of important pictures.

Go here to learn more about Shoebox and download it.


Genealogy Software | Photos | saving and sharing family history
Thursday, October 27, 2011 11:04:46 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Daily Deal & Giveaway: Photo-Retouching Help
Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine and Family Tree University are celebrating Family History Month by giving away great genealogy supplies all month long!

Each day at 4 pm ET (3 pm Central, 3 pm MT, 1 pm Pacific), we’ll announce the winner of that day’s giveaway. Plus, each daily prize will be on sale for a fantastic price.

Congratulations to the winner of today’s giveaway, our Amateur Photo Restoration Virtual Conference video class: The lucky person is Paul Bing.

He'll learn how to digitally repair worn, torn or moldy photos—no photo editing experience required, just the free online tools and easy techniques demoed in this 30-minute video.

And the deal is: Get the Amatuer Photo Restoration video class for just $15.

I love the idea of using the instructions in the video to digitally restore a photo, then printing and framing it, and giving it as a gift.

The price is good until midnight ET today, Oct. 18. Click here to get the deal!

The daily giveaway for tomorrow, Oct. 17, is our Internet Archive Virtual Conference video class, with Thomas MacEntee's secrets to tapping into digitized historical books and other ancestral artifacts at the free Internet Archive website. Click here to sign up now on our Daily Deal & Giveaway page. (Note: Even if you signed up for a previous giveaway, sign up again to put yourself in the running for this one.)

Then just come back here tomorrow at 4 pm ET to see if you’ve won (and check out the Thursday deal). Good luck!


Family History Month | Photos
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 4:21:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 14, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, October 10-14
Posted by Diane

  • Archives.com is sharing an interesting infographic for Family History Month, showing US immigration numbers through the years and stats on the origins of immigrants from 1910 to 1919 and from 2000 to 2009, among other information. Check it out on the Archives.com blog.  
  • British genealogy site GenesReunited has added more than 35 million baptism, marriage and burial records for England and Wales dating back to 1538. The parish records include Boyd's Marriage Index 1538-1840 and Boyd's 1st Miscellaneous Series 1538-1775, supplied by the British Society of Genealogists. You can view the records on a pay per view basis or Genes Reunited Platinum members can add one or more of the record sets to their package.
  • The Federation of Genealogical Societies announced its new board members and directors, including George G. Morgan (Family Tree Magazine’s Document Detective columnist) as Vice-President Membership, Curt D. Witcher as Vice-President Development, Loretto “Lou” Szucs as Director, Kim Kasprzyk as Treasurer, Polly Fitzgerald Kimmitt as Director, Angela Walton-Raji as Director and Randy Whited as Director.
  • The National Genealogical Society also announced a new board member: Teresa Koch-Bostic, of Mineola, NY, a professional genealogist in addition to her extensive background in business.

Family History Month | Genealogy societies | immigration records | Photos | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 14, 2011 11:53:56 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Thursday, August 11, 2011
Your Advice for Organizing Family Archives
Posted by Diane

Last week, Allison fessed up about her so-far-untouched mountain of boxes inherited from her grandmother, full of genealogy records, pictures and news clippings, with some nongenealogical stuff thrown in for good measure.

 

A bunch of you chimed in with advice, encouragement and stories that’ll benefit other overwhelmed family archivists. The gist of your advice is:

  • Take your time. Baby steps!
  • Sort by family, people or place.
  • Digitize.
  • Archival storage.
  • Share.
  • Consider donating what won’t be kept.

Here are some more details from your suggestions and stories. To read the full comments, go to Allison’s “Organizing Grandma’s Archive” blog post and click Comments at the bottom. 

  • Claire suggested making an inventory of the items: “Tackle one box a week. Label the first box 1, the second 2, etc. Go through the contents and list everything in a notebook under the appropriate tab. For example, in the Anderson-Dugan tab, you might have:
John Dugan birth certificate, box 1
Photo of Anderson family reunion 1930, box 1

"At some later date you might relocate everything to a better storage system," Claire adds, "but at least for now you'll know the contents of each box.”

  • Joseph Martin would allow more time: “I count 15 boxes in your stack. Give yourself two months to sort and organize one box. In less than three years, you will be done.”

  • Renee advises scheduling small chunks of time (30 to 50 minutes) a few times a week, so things don’t feel overwhelming. “I wouldn't begin to move things around until you document how the documents appeared, since what folder they were in or what they were next to can have bearing on the meaning of the document. I would take photos of the box and each item in the box as you unpack them.”

She also recommends digitizing as you go. “If you re-create the folders and boxes digitally, you'll always know the exact order they arrived in. You can then tag them or make digital copies and reorganize them according to your preference. It will make you familiar with what's there and you won't have to reorganize the actual papers. You can just store them (or toss, if needed) and work with the digital copies.” 

  • Patti McElligott describes her system of 3-inch binders for each family name, with each family member on a tabbed index sheet. Paper records for each person go inside clear sheet protectors behind his or her tab.
Patti’s tip for labeling photos: “Take a stack, and anytime you are sitting down, write on the back the who, what, where etc. There are pens made for this that will not damage the pictures.”
  • Cheryl Hughes was also left with an archive like Allison’s, but from several different relatives and families. She’s been working on it for 10 years. “I still get boxes, as I am thought of as the 'picture person' of all these families,” Cheryl says.
She separated papers from the pictures, and had some of the old photos and tintypes restored and copied. “I am copying all pictures to CDs or SD cards and having prints made to share with other family members … the originals are in safe, acid free boxes, with copies in albums.” 
  • Micki Gilmore’s inherited archive is smaller. “I plan to digitize. There are some great scanners out there,” she says, and plans to tackle one box at a time.
  • Diane Hart has been digitizing photos all summer. “The photos are on discs, and then I view them on a slide show on my computer. They look so nice! … From photos I received from my 83-year-old aunt, I made a disc for her with a very nice identifying label, printed a thumbnail photo gallery of disc contents, and included my contact information. Then I drove miles to deliver this to her, and we watched the slideshow. She absolutely loved it! She is the only living child in my Dad's family of 13.”
  • S. Lantz is using Clooz software to keep track of her archive. “[It] allows you to tag names in your genealogy name list with each item (photos, census, documents, books, etc.). If you assign a unique number to each item, you can run an individual report that will list all of the items tied to that individual.” 
  • Juanita Dean uses photo boxes and tabbed dividers to organize her photos by place, then event. “If you look at the photos yearly, put them in a larger box that is handy to share for reunions, otherwise use archival boxes to put them away.”
  • I love Ardith Hale’s words: “The Chinese say you can move a mountain one spoonful at a time.” She advises Allison catalog and digitize, then sort.
“I have been given a huge store of pictures, which we went through with my mother to assign names, then sort by family. Each family gets theirs. Older ones are being digitized, copied and spread around so that hopefully somewhere there will be a copy. Unidentifed ones are kept together in the hope that some reunion or gathering can attach a name.”
  • Shasta says “Take your time, think of a plan, and execute it slowly, a little bit at a time … I managed to scan our family photos by doing a few each day, a little extra when I had time.”
If you're looking for more advice, the January 2011 Family Tree Magazine has Denise Levenick's (she's the Family Curator blogger) guide to organizing a family archive like this one.

Feel free to keep sharing your stories about sorting through family collections—we love to hear 'em.

Family Heirlooms | Photos | Research Tips | saving and sharing family history
Thursday, August 11, 2011 9:35:48 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Wednesday, August 03, 2011
You Could Win Photo-Organization Help!
Posted by Diane

Got a photo mess like this one on your hands? Old, unlabeled family pictures spilling out of shoe boxes, falling out of albums and deteriorating in the attic or basement?

Show us your photo mess, and you could win a safe place to store your family photo archive, plus expert photo preservation advice from Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor 

To enter, submit a picture of your photo mess along with a short plea (fewer than 150 words) convincing us why you need photo-organization help. You can submit your photo and short story either of these ways:

Family Tree Magazine editors will choose the entry displaying the worst photo mess and the most-convincing plea for help, as well as two runners-up.

One grand-prize winner will receive $250 worth of archival-quality photo-organization supplies and a signed copy of the book Preserving Your Family Photographs by Taylor. Two runners-up will each receive a signed copy of the book.

We’ll announce the winners in the March 2012 Family Tree Magazine. The entry deadline is Aug. 31, 2011. See more Photo Organization Contest details here


Photos
Wednesday, August 03, 2011 10:02:16 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Friday, July 22, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, July 18-22
Posted by Diane

I'm back at it after a short vacation (which involved my first visit to a Civil War battlefield—I'll show and tell next week) to post this week's news roundup. Here goes:
  • The new Black Sea German Research site is for those tracing families who migrated from Germany, Alsace, Poland or Hungary to the Black Sea region of South Russia (now Ukraine) in the early 1800s. Search a database of names, upload your GEDCOM and share historical information at this free, volunteer-run site.
  • NBC is re-running “Who Do You Think You Are?” season 2 episodes Saturday nights this summer. Check your local listings if you missed an episode or want to watch your favorite again.

Canadian roots | Celebrity Roots | German roots | Photos | UK and Irish roots
Friday, July 22, 2011 2:14:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [8]
# Monday, June 20, 2011
Photo Gift Ideas
Posted by Diane

So I promised to share the photo gift my son (with some help from me) gave his daddy for father’s day:


I had a picture I snapped of Leo with his dad printed on canvas (that’s why there’s a shiny spot on the left side of the picture—it’s the flash reflecting off the canvas), so it resembles a painting. I took advantage of a great sale at CanvasPeople.com, but other photo-gift sites such as Shutterfly and Snapfish can do this for you, too.

The frame (minus the glass and backing) came from our local Michael’s store, and the canvas is hung from a picture hanger tapped into the canvas stretcher.

You’ll get more ideas for displaying family photos from our Family Photo Essentials CD

We also suggest family history-themed gifts in this free “Giving Trees” article on FamilyTreeMagazine.com


Genealogy fun | Photos
Monday, June 20, 2011 12:37:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [15]
# Friday, June 03, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, May 30-June 3
Posted by Diane

  • Family chart-printing service Generation Maps has changed its name to Family ChartMasters to better describe the company’s services. Visit the website at FamilyChartMasters.com
  • The AARP is holding a sweepstakes with genealogy prizes including a five-hour research consultation with professional genealogist Megan Smolenyak, signed copies of Smolenyak’s books, Family Tree DNA testing, an Ancestry.com subscription and a $1,000 gift card. You don’t have to be an AARP member to enter, but you do need to be age 45 or older. Click here to enter
  • Genealogy wiki WikiTree has announced that Tami Osmer Glatz (who’s written articles for Family Tree Magazine including the January 2011 guide to FamilySearch Centers) is the site’s new Cousin Connector. Her role is to suggest merges between trees and improving the quality of merged ancestor profiles.
  • Thousands of historical Massachusetts and New England maps from the Perkins Collection, the archive of a family-owned surveying business, is now part of Historic Map Works. Available as a home subscription and through many libraries, Historic Map Works links maps with geocode data so you can search them by modern address, keywords, town names, or year. You also can order prints from the site.
  • A new photo gift site called Snapily lets you create photo greetings with 3D effects (you move the card and decorative illustrations look 3D) and flip-animation (you tilt the card back and forth, and switch between two photos). Visit the website to see what each effect looks like. Prices for photo cards start at $2.99. 

Genealogy Web Sites | Land records | Photos
Friday, June 03, 2011 9:30:32 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Photo Mysteries Contest Winner
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to J. Hansen, winner of the Photo Mysteries Contest we’ve been holding in honor of National Photo Month. Here’s his mystery photo, discovered in a storage area of her dad’s family business (founded in 1886).

Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor will analyze the photo for clues and blog about them on the Photo Detective blog (she’s already getting started here).

The winner also will receive the Digitize Your Family Photos Value Pack  (today’s the last day it’s available in ShopFamilyTree.com—learn more here).

Thank you to everyone who sent in your photos! You’ll see many of them popping up on the Photo Detective blog in the coming months.


Photos
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2:06:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Celebrate National Photo Month With Us
Posted by Diane


As a publication that celebrates family photographs, we have a few goings-on for National Photo Month in May:
  • This month’s Ultimate Photo Preservation Collection sold out in record time, so we’re introducing another collection: the Digitize Your Family Photos Value Pack. Only during National Photo Month, you’ll save 69 percent on these tools to help you build a digital archive of your family's cherished memories:
  1. Organize Your Family Photos independent study course download
  2. The new Photo Rescue ebook
  3. Photo Sharing 101 on-demand webinar 

Learn more at ShopFamilyTree.com. (Bonus: Order anything at ShopFamilyTree.com now through Monday, May 9, and get the "Memories of Mom" digital download from the forthcoming book My Life & Times by Sunny Jane Morton.)

  • Finally, watch this blog for news of our Photo Mysteries contest, starting next Monday, to get a chance to win an Ultimate Digital Photo Collection.

Editor's Pick | Photos | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Wednesday, May 04, 2011 4:06:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Tech Tips with Lisa Louise Cooke: WDYTYA Revisited & Photo Gems
Posted by Lisa

When I got back from the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show in London at the end of February, I not only had a bag full of dirty laundry, but a slew of recorded interviews with fascinating genealogy experts, exhibit hall brochures, treasured purchases and a mountain of digital photographs.

After firing up the washing machine, I sat down at my desk and wondered what I would do with all those JPEG jewels. Photographs capture once-in-a-lifetime moments and treasured family memories that we certainly don’t want to forget. But assembling them in a way that can be enjoyed for years to come is not as simple as it was in the old days when we sat down to our scrapbooks and prints.

Here are three tips for assembling your precious pics in a way that will delight you and those you share them with:

Go Interactive
Genealogy Blogger Mark Tucker recently emailed me a link to one of his posts on Zoom.it, a website that allows you to create interactive displays of your favorite photos. This is really slick for high-resolution shots that you want your audience to explore more in depth.

Here’s a Zoom.it of Hinchingbrooke House just north of London. If you’re a regular listener of my Genealogy Gems podcast, then you will not only know the significance of this house to the Cooke family, but also how incredible it is that I have any photographs of this part of our trip at all! (Hear the full story in episode 106.)

To learn more about how to use Zoom.it yourself and to see a great example of how it can be used with your own family history photos, check out Mark’s post Interactive Online Family History Photos.

Create a Photo Collage
When assembling a presentation of photos, sometimes less is more. By picking out the cream of the crop, you’ll ensure that your audience will stay enthralled.

But when it comes to creating a photograph collage with ShapeCollage.com, more is better After downloading all of my photos to my hard drive, I just went to ShapeCollage.com and downloaded the free software, navigated to the folder of photos on my hard drive and added them. By selecting Text and typing "WDYTYA” my photos assembled themselves in a creative way to tell the viewer what they were all about.

Video Slideshow
Video production software can also do a nice job of showing off your pics. Here’s my collection spanning the three days of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011. It’s the next best thing to being there!



Photos | Tech Advice
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 8:38:29 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, January 21, 2011
Genealogy News Corral: Jan. 17-21
Posted by Diane

  • The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) just unveiled a new website featuring links to ISGS records projects, links to other Illinois resources and a new members-only section. Visitors also will find archived ISGS Newsletters back to 2008, listings of Illinois genealogy events, free databases and more.

Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives | Military records | Newspapers | Photos
Friday, January 21, 2011 11:14:59 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Family History Project: Baby Book
Posted by Diane

You might’ve picked up from casual mentions on the blog that I have a tiny future genealogist on the way in the next week or two. So over the next few months, our other Family Tree Magazine editors and some awesome contributors will keep you up-to-date on genealogy news and resources (though I may pop back in to show a baby picture or two).

Being a family historian, I of course plan to record all the baby excitement for posterity. But I couldn’t find any baby books I really liked—ones where I could include all the information I want, add pages and pictures, and save keepsakes. So I’ve been putting together my own, and I wanted to share it in case it inspires ideas for your own babies or grandbabies:

First, I flipped through baby books at the store and googled baby book pages to get ideas for what type of things I’d want to write down (baby shower info, the baby's “firsts,” etc.). I ended up relying mostly on these printable pages, customizing them to my needs. I'll add a family tree chart, too.

I and went to the store for a cute binder (not vinyl, which isn't photo-safe), some acid-free cardstock and polypropylene envelopes. Here’s the binder:

The polypropylene envelopes (red was all I could find) got hole-punched and hold cards and other mementos:

I set up the pages in Word with fonts and borders I like (leaving a wider margin on one side for hole-punching), and printed them on the cardstock to fill in by hand. (You could type everything, if you want.):

An envelope on this page keeps baby shower memorabilia:

I also can print photos to include. A couple of tips for expectant families: Scan ultrasound images because the originals tend to fade quickly. Also, a friend advised me to take some cardstock to the hospital because the staff might make extra footprints for me.


Family Heirlooms | Genealogy fun | Photos
Friday, January 21, 2011 8:48:03 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Got the Picture? Using Your Digital Camera for Genealogy
Posted by Diane

The March 2011 Family Tree Magazine (now on newsstands) has a guide to using your digital camera for genealogical purposes—such as capturing images of gravestones, ancestral homes, family heirlooms and your ancestors’ records.

It’s not as simple as taking a quick snapshot, though. Before you start a genealogical photography session, create a shot list of the pictures you want. Here’s what we recommend:

Gravestones Shot List

  • cemetery entrance
  • whole cemetery
  • stones of interest, with nearby stones
  • the whole gravestone, showing the inscription and carving
  • close-ups of the inscription and carvings
  • any creative shots you want of the beautiful artwork and scenes in graveyards

Ancestral Homes Shot List

  • the entrance to the street (a view your ancestor may have seen every day)
  • the house with neighboring buildings
  • the whole house (we suggest first knocking on the door to let the current resident know why you're taking a picture of his house)
  • as many sides of the house as you can capture without trespassing
  • interesting architectural details
  • the yard
  • any features mentioned in family stories (such as the tree Grandpa fell out of as a boy)

Heirlooms Shot List

  • full view of heirloom
  • heirloom with a ruler to show size
  • all sides of heirloom item
  • close-ups of interesting details, such as carving or painting
  • close-ups of manufacturer’s marks
  • close-ups of damage or other features affecting value

Records And Documents Shot List

  • title page of film roll or book
  • full record (be sure to get each page)
  • close-ups of hard-to-read areas
What pictures would you add to our lists? Any tips for others photographing these ancestral items? Click Comments to share!

Family Tree Magazine articles | Photos | Research Tips
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:20:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [12]
# Friday, December 03, 2010
Organize Your Photos with Nancy Hendrickson
Posted by Grace

The next round of Family Tree University classes start Monday, Dec. 6, including a new one from instructor Nancy Hendrickson: Organize Your Photos: Preserve Your Family's Pictorial Legacy.

In this course, Nancy (who also teaches our popular course Organize Your Genealogy) will offer advice on sorting through massive amounts of photos, creating a log to keep track of your images, and devising a system that can grow with your collection.

Here's what she has to say about determining what photos to keep and what to give away or trash:
By nature, genealogists are hoarders. The thought of getting rid of any old photos could very well send shivers down your spine. But the truth is, most of us have photos that aren’t worth keeping. Your first task is to do a rough pass through all the photos. You’re not organizing them yet. This time, you’re just making piles of images you want to…
  • keep and organize
  • scan and organize
  • discard
  • give away
  • or use in a scrapbook
As you sort into piles, you may find yourself torn between keeping something and throwing it away. For example, one image I have is very poor quality, and couldn’t be improved upon even with expert photo editing.

Did I keep it? Yes. Why? Because it’s the only photo I have of my grandfather with all of his children and their spouses. This is why considering the content of a photo is important when it comes to a culling your collection. Even if a picture is of poor quality, it may be the only one you have of a certain person or place.

NOTE: I want to stop here and point out that keeping or discarding an image is a matter of personal preference. Your choice may be to never discard an image, regardless of quality or subject matter. When it comes to editing photographs, you have to decide what’s right for you.
If you register with the coupon code FTU111, and you'll get 20% off your December classes plus a free 2011 calendar! Learn more about Organize Your Photos: Preserve Your Family's Pictorial Legacy and sign up here.

Family Tree University | Photos
Friday, December 03, 2010 10:10:37 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The Hand-in-Jacket Pose in Old Pictures
Posted by Diane

Flipping through our copy of Hallowed Ground magazine, I was struck by several photos of Civil War army officers posed like this unidentified soldier:

Civil War soldier
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

I’ve seen photos like this before, and I always thought that the men were imitating the painting of "Napoleon in his Study." The emperor, I’d heard, clutched his torso because of a stomach ulcer.

But it seems odd (at least to me) that when you have what would’ve been a rare opportunity to capture your likeness for posterity, you'd decide to undo a couple of coat buttons and stick your hand inside the opening.

When I looked into it, I learned that men who posed this way weren’t necessarily imitating Napoleon, and that he wasn’t sticking his hand in his coat because of an ulcer (though he did have one, according to Napoleon.org).

I found many explanations online, such as “he didn't trust anyone and liked to keep his hand on his wallet” and “painters at the time charged by the limb.” But experts on Napoleon Series site’s FAQ say that the hand-in-jacket pose was  “a common stance for men of breeding” and appears frequently in 18th-century portraiture. Even some ancient Greek and Roman statues have hands in togas.

Napoleon probably didn’t actually sit for the painting; an admirer commissioned that work and the artist painted it from memory.

After consulting historians about the hand-in-jacket pose, author David Feldman writes that certain gestures were indeed part of photographers’ standard poses. For example, you’ll often see two men posed shaking hands or with hands on each others’ shoulders, meant to convey a friendship or familial relationship. Holding a Bible and pointing off-camera are other standard poses.

The historians also suggest that putting a hand in a jacket, or on a table or other object, also might’ve been a way of keeping the hand still for long sitting times.

Here’s Gen. George B. McClellan and his staff:

Civil War Ge. George B. McClellan
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Civil War resources from Family Tree Magazine:

Civil War | Photos | Social History
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 3:34:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, August 12, 2010
Genealogy Q&A From Our Ask the Editors Webinar
Posted by Diane

Thanks to everyone who attended last night's free “Ask the Editors” webinar! We had a blast, and we hope to do it again.

I wanted to share the questions attendees asked—and our answers, of course, enhanced with links to resources we mentioned and a few new ones. But first, because Allison, Grace, Lindsay and I started the webinar with an introduction, blog readers can “meet” most of us on our FamilyTreeMagazine.com staff page. Get to know Lindsay here. And now for the main event:

Q. How would I find a 1905 death certificate from Mexico?

A. Civil registrations in Mexico (akin to vital records in the United States) started in the mid- to late-1860s, though records may not be complete. In most cases, records were kept on the municipio level and you can request copies from the local civil registry (addresses are in FamilySearch’s Mexico research outline). Older records may have been transferred to a local or state archive.

Before writing, see if the record is in an online index or on microfilm. Many Mexican death records are indexed on the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot Site. Search the Family History Library online catalog for microfilmed civil registration records or indexes, as well.

You’ll find more advice in our Mexico Research Guide digital download, available from ShopFamilyTree.com.

Q. I can't find my ancestor’s birthplace. Different censuses give different locations, and I don’t know his parents’ names. Where should I look?

A. It’s not unusual for a person’s birthplace to be inconsistent from one census to the next. The trick is to go beyond census records. Many sources will give a place of birth, so continue researching the person in any record you can get your hands on. Bibles, baptismal records, newspaper birth announcements, military records, passports, naturalizations and death records are a few sources that often name a person’s birthplace.

See which places are mentioned most often, and focus there. You may find online birth indexes such as those for Arizona, Minnesota, Missouri or South Dakota. Websites such as Ancestry.com and FamilySearch often have vital records indexes, too.

Get in-depth information and online search demos in our recorded webinar Vital Records: Researching Your US Ancestors' Births, Marriages and Deaths, available from ShopFamilyTree.com.

Q. How do you trace a child named Jane Doe who was a foundling, and was adopted?

A. Adoptions weren’t always formalized in courts—sometimes a relative or neighbor would take in the child. For a formalized adoption, look into guardianship records (court records of hearings to determine who would care for a minor). Also look for an amended birth certificate, changed to reflect the child’s adoptive rather than biological parents.

Another good resource is newspapers. Finding an abandoned child would be a newsworthy event and may have received press coverage and follow-up articles. Also see the resources in our adoption toolkit and the “Early Adopters” article in the February 2007 Family Tree Magazine (available as a digital issue).

Q. How do you find a grave site when the cemetery doesn’t know where the stone is?

A. Try looking in the cemetery for plots of relatives and those of the same last name, since family members are often buried together. Also search for burial indexes, many of which were created years ago—perhaps before the cemetery lost track of the burial record or the stone was overgrown. In the 1930s and early ‘40s, the Works Progress Administration indexed cemeteries in many communities; you’ll find a free WPA cemetery database at Access Genealogy and printed indexes at public libraries and the Family History Library. The Daughters of the American Revolution also has collected cemetery and other records for years.

A webinar attendee suggested the researcher look for burial permits, which many counties would issue before a grave could be dug, as well as funeral home records. Just this week, I got a letter from a reader who found a permit that a deceased’s relative's second husband had obtained to have the remains moved to his own family plot.

Q. Several of my lines have “daughtered out.” What is your advice for researching women?

A. Our female ancestors just don’t show up in as many records as our male ancestors did, so sometimes you get to a point where you can’t trace a family line back past a woman. Allison emphasized the importance of not focusing just on the female ancestor, but also researching her husband, children, siblings, parents and neighbors. Records of these people may lead you to a maiden name and other information about the woman. Because people often married those who lived nearby, researching the husband’s family may lead to records of interactions, such as land transactions, with your female ancestor’s family.

See our list of records that often reveal details about female ancestors.

Q. What will increase my chances of success in your photo calls?

A. As Allison explained in the webinar, which photos end up in the magazine or another project is partly luck, for example, say we need a wintry photo for a January calendar page, and you’ve sent in a photo of kids sled-riding on a snowy day. Or sometimes a project calls for a vertical or horizontal orientation.

Another thing we look for is a photo with a clear focal point to draw the viewer’s eye. “Compelling” is a good word to describe a photo that makes someone want to pick it up and look at it longer. (We’re always happy when someone picks up the magazine!) Pleasant, open expressions on faces (we know outright smiles are rare in old pictures), a steady gaze, or cute kids are often compelling. Photos with unusual or surprising subject matter also can be compelling.

If we’ll be reprinting the photo at a relatively small size, we’ll want to make sure viewers can still easily discern the subject matter in the pictures (in this respect, photos of large groups of people might be at a disadvantage). But we hope you’ll upload your photos to our Flickr pools regardless—we love seeing them, as do others.


Cemeteries | census records | Female ancestors | International Genealogy | Photos | Vital Records
Thursday, August 12, 2010 3:30:10 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Call for Photos!
Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine is putting out a call for photos for two projects featuring readers’ ancestors:
Stop by either Flickr pool to see photos and accompanying stories readers have already submitted. I especially like how George Washington Gaddy’s great-grandaughter relates standing on the Burnside Bridge—where G.W. was last seen before his death—on the Antietam battlefield.

Please submit your photos for either calendar on or before August 24. Include in the caption any details you know about the photo and who's in it, and tell us where you came across it it (for example, in your family's collection, at a historical society, etc.).

Note that you must have a Flickr membership (free or paid) to upload photos or add comments. Click here to learn more about Flickr.

If you have questions or wish to submit a photo by other means, you may e-mail your question or submission to us. Please attach a high-resolution image (at least 300 dpi).

You may submit as many photos as you like. There’s no need to post your real name if you prefer not to, but to be credited if your photo is selected, please provide your name and your city or town of residence.

By submitting photos and captions via Flickr or e-mail, you verify that no other party holds copyright to the image. You also grant F+W Media, Inc., permission to use your contribution in any and all print and electronic media.


Celebrating your heritage | Photos
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 9:18:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Your Civil War Ancestors
Posted by Diane



Do you have a treasured photo of a Civil War ancestor? To mark next year’s sesquicentennial of the start of the War Between the States, we’re putting together a special Civil War 2011 commemorative calendar featuring Family Tree Magazine readers’ ancestors.

If you’d like your Civil War ancestor—male or female, adult or child—to be featured, just submit your photo to our Civil War ancestors’ Flickr pool.

Note that you must have a Flickr membership (free or paid) to upload photos or add comments. Click here to learn more about Flickr.

Please include in the caption any details you know about the photo and who's in it, and tell us where you found it (for example, in your family's collection, at a historical society, etc.).

You may submit as many times as you like. There’s no need to post your real name if you prefer not to, but to be credited if your photo is selected for the calendar, please provide your name and your city or town of residence. (The photo above shows Martin Dively, third-great grandfather of Andrea A. Walter.)

If you have questions or wish to submit a photo by other means, you may e-mail your question or submission to us. Please attach a high-resolution image (at least 300 dpi).

And for the fine print: By submitting photos and captions via Flickr or e-mail, you verify that no other party holds copyright to the image. You also grant F+W Media, Inc., permission to use your contribution in any and all print and electronic media.

Military records | Photos
Wednesday, July 07, 2010 3:45:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 24, 2010
Historical Photo Database Shows NYC's Lower East Side Tenements
Posted by Diane

The Tenement Museum in New York City’s Lower East has launched on online database of more than 1,300 images from the museum’s collection.



Photos show the neighborhood, historic and contemporary photographs of 97 Orchard Street (the restored tenement where the museum is located) and historic portraits of people who lived and worked there.

You can browse, run a basic search by keyword, or run an advanced search on a name, place, year range or other terms. If you click on an image in your search results, you can enlarge it or save it to your favorites (in which case you’ll need to create a free account).

By 1900, more than 80,000 tenements had been built in New York City, according to History.com. About 2.3 million people—two-thirds of the city’s population, many of them poor immigrants—lived in tenement housing. The building at 97 Orchard Street was home to 7,000 people from more than 20 nations between 1863 and 1935.

Author and photographer Jacob Riis exposed the miserable conditions of tenement houses in his book How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890. (Read it on Google Books). The book was instrumental in urban reforms regulating the construction of tenements.

Free Databases | Museums | Photos | Social History
Thursday, June 24, 2010 11:04:06 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 17, 2010
4 Genealogical Questions You Always Wanted to Ask ...
Posted by Diane

While hosting the Family Tree Magazine Podcast, Lisa Louise Cooke has discovered answers to some burning genealogical questions. She shares them in this post:
 
As I continue my trek down Family Tree Magazine Podcast memory lane, I’m struck by how many talented and knowledgeable people I’ve had the good fortune to interview. Even better, I get to ask those questions that are on all of our minds:
  • How did the DeadFred photo-reunion website get its name? 

  • Can you get copies of materials from the Library of Congress (LOC) without being there in person? 

  • If I get my DNA tested, does that mean the FBI can look at my profile and compare it to criminal cases?

  • How many DNA markers should I have tested?
Inquiring minds want to know, and on the Family Tree Magazine Podcast, I do my best every month to find out!
 
In the July 2009 podcast episode, DeadFred.com founder Joe Bott spilled the beans behind that wacky website name. “Sometimes you need a hook to get people’s attention!” he said. He came up with the name while looking at an old photograph of the deceased Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.

That catchy name coined back in 1998 has lured thousands of people to post their mystery photographs, resulting in over 1,500 photos being reunited with their families in the past 10 years. Bottom line: DeadFred works! (Learn more about online photo sharing in our Photo Sharing 101 webinar recording.)
 
The question about getting copies of LOC materials was front and center in my mind after I heard James Sweeny, an LOC reference services librarian for 20-plus years, reveal some impressive stats:
  • The LOC is the largest library in the world.

  • It has more than 60,000 genealogies from around the world.

  • It has 20 million cataloged books.

  • Its unmatched US city directory collection covers 1,200 cities, towns and counties across the country.

  • The library building  has 20 reading rooms.
In the September 2009 podcast episode, Sweeny encourages listeners to check out the LOC website and use the “Ask the Librarian” feature. It turns out that staff will make a limited number of complimentary (yes, free!) copies and mail them to you. This is great when you need to check a book's index or look up a surname in a hard-to-find city directory. If you need a lot of copies, you can arrange the service for a fee without ever leaving home. 
 
Another little-known fact about the LOC's mostly non-circulating collection:  Many of its genealogies and local histories are also available on microfilm, which does circulate to your local library. Again, check the online catalog and ask a librarian for more information.
 
And finally, Dusty Rhoades of DNA testing service and social networking site GeneTree answers that nagging question about DNA testing and criminal cases in the November 2009 podcast episode.
 
“Genealogy DNA testing can’t tie you to the scene of a crime,” says Rhoades. That's because genetic genealogy tests and forensic DNA tests look at different parts of the chromosome.
 
Another common question is “how many markers should I test?” Rhoads recommends between 33 and 46. Testing only 12 markers can lead to false positives. And though a connection may appear strong with 33 markers, testing 46 markers may show it’s not as strong as it looks. 
 
And of course, when it comes to DNA, it’s a case of the more the merrier.
“The more people who get involved, the easier it is for us to find you matches” says Rhoades. (Find more genetic genealogy answers in the December 2009 Family Tree Magazine's Complete Guide to Genetic Genealogy.)
 
When it comes to questions, the Family Tree Magazine Podcast has answers!  And because it’s pre-recorded, you can find the answers today and well into the future. Got a burning genealogical question you'd like to hear about in the podcast? E-mail it to us!

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy | Libraries and Archives | Photos | Podcasts
Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:18:43 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 04, 2010
National Doughnut Day slideshow
Posted by Grace

The Salvation Army declared the first Friday of June National Doughnut day in 1938 to commemorate the World War I soldiers' affinity for the sweet treats. Women volunteers with the Salvation Army handed out doughnuts to the men on the front lines, who then took their predilections home with them. (That's where the name Doughboy comes from.)
 
We scoured the Library of Congress' photo archives for historic pictures of doughnut-eating in action.

Visit our website to see the slideshow (You can click through to our Flickr page to see the details and descriptions of the photos.)


Genealogy fun | Libraries and Archives | Photos
Friday, June 04, 2010 2:35:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, May 21, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: May 17-21
Posted by Diane

I had the pleasure a couple of weeks ago of talking to Vicky and Jen, of the Vicky and Jen podcast, about doing oral history interviews. We talked about questions to ask, tips for drawing out reticent people, ways to get kids involved and more. Listen on iTunes or at VickyandJen.com.

Subscription site GenealogyBank has added newspaper pages from more than 166 titles in 42 states. If you’ve searched the site before, you can use the “Search only New Content” pulldown menu at the bottom of the search form to search only content added in the past one to three months. (Get more tips in our GenealogyBank Web Guide download, available from ShopFamilyTree.com.)

FamilySearch announced the recipients of its 2010 FamilySearch Software Awards, which go to developers whose “products and technologies that integrate with FamilySearch’s emerging suite of products and services.” You can see a full list of the winning companies on Dick Eastman’s blog.

If you have an iPad, first, I’m jealous. Second, I came across a photo-editing app called Photogene for iPad that imports photos and lets you adjust color, contrast and levels, crop and apply special effects. Then you can save it and share via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter, if you choose. Here’s  a review.

Have a great weekend!


FamilySearch | Genealogy Web Sites | Newspapers | Oral History | Photos | Podcasts
Friday, May 21, 2010 4:35:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, May 07, 2010
Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge!
Posted by Grace

Do you live near West Texas? We're looking for an adventurous genealogist to take a photo for us in the Pecos Park Cemetery in Reeves County, Texas, to use in our upcoming book, Grave Humor.

Our target is Robert Clay Allison, who has an especially humorous epitaph: "He never killed a man that did not need killing." The cemetery is at 120 E. First St., Pecos, TX.

Take a high-res digital photo of the man's gravestone over the weekend, and we'll send you a copy of Grave Humor when it comes out. E-mail your image to ftmletters@fwmedia.com by Monday to win!


Cemeteries | Photos
Friday, May 07, 2010 10:27:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Get Better at Genealogy With Family Tree University Online Classes
Posted by Diane

You can improve your genealogy research skills and make progress in your family tree quest, even on your busy schedule.

Registration is now open for the first online course offerings from Family Tree Magazine’s newest educational endeavor, Family Tree University. Choose from these courses:
Courses start May 10 and last four weeks (after which we’ll begin offering courses on even more topics). Each self-paced course has four to six lessons that are “released” at regular intervals over the four weeks.

Once you’re registered, you’ll receive your student login and password via e-mail, with instructions on how to access Family Tree University’s virtual campus. Then, you just log on at your convenience to review each lesson (online or in a PDF you can print out) and complete an exercise or quiz to practice your skills.

The professional researcher who’s instructing your class will provide feedback on your assignments. (Meet the instructors here.)

In your “classroom,” you’ll also have access to the required readings for that lesson, a library of resources for further learning, a message board where you can talk with other students and your instructor, and a “journal” where you can communicate privately with your instructor.

You can save 15 percent off your first course by entering the discount code LAUNCH15 when you register. Tuition is regularly $99 per course.

To learn more and register for a course, go to FamilyTreeUniversity.com. We’ll see you in class!

census records | Family Tree University | immigration records | Land records | Photos | Research Tips | Vital Records
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 10:27:47 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Resources for Revolutionary War Soldiers and Criminal Research
Posted by Diane

Our own Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor’s book, The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation (Kent State University Press), is so new she only had one to bring to the National Genealogical Society conference last week.



The book is full of rare daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and carte des visite paper photographs of Revolutionary War-era men and women in their later years. You’ll also find genealogical information about each person.

Taylor is also the author of Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs (Family Tree Books), now on sale at ShopFamilyTree.com.

Last week, we showed you one character making the rounds at the conference. Another one was Ron Arons, founder of Criminal Research Press, who appeared both in gangster getup (below) and prison stripes.



He’s written WANTED! U.S. Criminal Records: Sources & Research Methodology and The Jews of Sing Sing. His website has a search of Jewish inmates of New York’s Sing Sing Correctional Facility, which was a temporary home to Arons’ great-grandfather.

For help researching criminals, also see the November 2009 Family Tree Magazine.

Genealogy books | Photos
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 9:11:58 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Irish Site Seeks Photos of Every Square Km
Posted by Diane

Want to see your Irish ancestral homeland? Contributing editor SharonDeBartolo Carmack alerted us to a free community photo project sponsored by Ireland’s Ordnance Survey.

The Geograph Project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometer of Ireland

The project divides the country into a grid. Contributors register for free, then use a map or enter a place name to identify the square of the grid associated with their photo, and finally, upload the photo with a description and other information. (More on submissions here.) 

You also can browse images from the site’s map. “I was surprised to see someone had uploaded a photo of the National School in the small townland of Ardvarney, where my ancestors lived,” Carmack said.


Genealogy Web Sites | Photos | UK and Irish roots
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 11:09:55 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, January 06, 2010
May We Suggest Some Genealogy Resolutions for 2010?
Posted by Diane

Studies show (well, at least one study shows) that 66 percent of adults have ever made a New Year’s resolution.

So maybe I risk losing a third of you when I suggest making a genealogy-oriented resolution or two. But wait! If you stick around for the rest of this post, I’ll give you some ideas and link to articles that might be helpful in achieving your family history goals:
  • Back up your digitized photos, too (in the May 2010 Family Tree Magazine, we’ll recommend several photo-sharing websites for backing up family photos).
Resolve to rent one title a month through a nearby Family History Center. You can get more advice on using FamilySearch in our FamilySearch Essentials Webinar recording.
  • Go through your attic and closets and catalog your family heirlooms. You can use our heirloom recording forms to note the items' original owner, provenance, and other important information. 
  • Commit an hour or so a week to volunteering for a records indexing project. Try FamilySearch Indexing or Ancestry.com’s World Archives Project, or see if your local library or historical society could use your indexing assistance.
  • If you’re a beginning family historian, resolve to search the 1930 census (the most recent one available) for every relative who was alive at the time. See our census search tips, and visit a large library to use census microfilm, HeritageQuest Online or Ancestry Library Edition.


Family Heirlooms | Oral History | Photos | Research Tips
Wednesday, January 06, 2010 12:29:49 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, December 22, 2009
How Your Ancestors' Christmases Looked
Posted by Diane

I went into some of our favorite historical photo archives and found images of Christmases past. Each link will open in a new window:
Posting will be spotty over the next couple of weeks as we spend time with friends and family. We wish warm and happy holidays to all of you!


Celebrating your heritage | Genealogy fun | Photos
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 3:41:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, December 14, 2009
Tips for Taking Holiday Photos
Posted by Diane

The holidays may be the biggest workout your camera gets all year. And this might be the only time you get a chance to take pictures of far-flung friends and family. Use these tips for taking great snapshots:
  • Get familiar with your camera’s settings ahead of time so you’re not fiddling with buttons as the Kodak moments happen around you
  • It’s easy to forget your camera when you also have to remember all the presents and the green bean casserole, so get it ready to go. Charge the batteries, find the extra ones and make sure there’s room on the memory card.
  • Take a lot of pictures, trying the same scene zoomed in and out, and with and without flash. The beauty of digital photography is that you can look at the pictures later, decide what to keep and get rid of the bad shots.
  • Get close to your subject to avoid background distractions.
  • If you’re taking pictures of holiday lights at night, the flash can overwhelm them and harshly illuminate people in the foreground. Try switching to your camera’s nighttime setting—but you’ll also need to use a tripod or steady the camera against a fence rail or table to avoid a blurry shot. This article has more tips on tricky nightime lighting situations.
  • Some digital cameras have a delay after you press the shutter, so you may need to anticipate a shot and click the shutter a split second early.
  • Learn your camera’s timer feature so you can take a photo of the whole gang together. Position people at different levels (some sitting, some standing) and take plenty of shots to increase the chances of everyone’s eyes being open at the same time. This article has more tips on group portraits.
More resources from FamilyTreeMagazine.com for preserving memories through photographs:
  • Family Photo Essentials CD with tips on taking photos, preserving them in albums, safely organizing them and researching old pictures (on sale at ShopFamilyTree.com)


Genealogy fun | Photos
Monday, December 14, 2009 10:21:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Photo Retouching Befores and Afters
Posted by Diane

I just watched Allison and Christy rehearse tomorrow’s Family Tree University webinar on how to retouch family photos, and I wanted to share some screen shots showing a few of the impressive photo fixes you’ll learn:

Fixing tears and creases (this is reader Susan Freier's photo, featured in our 2010 desk calendar).
 


Adjusting color (which also makes this document easier to read)


This is my favorite photo makeover. After adjusting the color and removing the brown splotches, this print


looks like this


Christy retouched these photos using the free Picasa software, not an expensive photo-editing program. Pictures with lots of scratches, dust specks and other marks take some time to correct, but you can do it at home at not too much expense.

Important things to remember when you digitally retouch a photo: Start with a good, high-resolution scan of the picture; save an unedited original; and regularly save retouched versions as you work, in case you make a mistake.

You can read more about the webinar Photo Retouching: How to Bring Old Family Photos Back to Life in my earlier blog post.

You can register at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Photos | Webinars
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 3:31:36 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, December 04, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: Nov. 30-Dec. 4
Posted by Diane

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has posted some of its digital images from World War I on photo-sharing site Flickr. Images show soldiers, nurses, battles, posters and more. Get more details about LAC’s WWI photo collection on its website.

Two new online videos you might want to take a peek at:
The National Archives and Records Administration’s NARAtions blog is running a “Family History Friday” series, which explains a different genealogical record or resource each week. This week, read about seamen’s protection certificates, a kind of early passport mariners purchased to identify their nationality in case of impressments by the British.

If you’re planning to create family photo gifts for the holidays, keep an eye on sites such as Snapfish and Shutterfly. Snapfish is running a deal a day through Dec. 25; Shutterfly also has a bunch of sales. Feel free to click Comments and add other photo bargains you know of.


African-American roots | Ancestry.com | Canadian roots | Libraries and Archives | Photos
Friday, December 04, 2009 3:18:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 03, 2009
Editors Pick: Photo-Retouching Webinar
Posted by Diane


We also could call this “Give Great-grandma a Makeover.” Everybody’s got a few family photos marred by scratches, creases and fading. Sometimes it’s the only picture you have of an ancestor or of a special event, such as a wedding.

In our next Family Tree University webinar, Family Tree Magazine art director Christy Miller, who wields photo retouching skills on a daily basis, will show you how to digitally correct these flaws and bring your old family pictures back to life.

Early color photos are especially prone to fading. Here's an example of what photo-retouching can do for faded pictures:
 

Every participant is invited to submit a photo. Christy will demo the techniques on several of these photos during the webinar. After the session, each participant will receive a digital copy of his or her retouched photo.

Christy and Family Tree Magazine editor Allison Stacy also will offer tips on getting good scans of your pictures, recommend user-friendly (and wallet-friendly) photo-editing software, and tell you how to get professional help for repairing badly damaged pictures.

The webinar, Photo Retouching: How to Bring Old Family Photos Back to Life, is next Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. Eastern. Registration costs $49.99.

Your registration includes participation in the live presentation and Q&A session, access to the webinar recording to view as many times as you like, our downloadable Genealogy Guidebook featuring 100+ brick wall-busting tips, and a digital copy of your retouched photo.

Click here to register at ShopFamilyTree.com. After you register, use the link on your order confirmation page to confirm your webcast registration.

Family Heirlooms | Photos | Webinars
Thursday, December 03, 2009 9:00:59 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 12, 2009
And Our January 2010 Cover Model is …
Posted by Diane

Way back in September, when we put out a call for readers’ ancestral family photos, one of which we’d feature on the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine, we didn’t know we’d get so many terrific candidates. It was difficult to choose just one, but we persevered.

Gracing our January 2010 cover—and helping us unveil the new look of Family Tree Magazine—is [cue drum roll] Marjorie May Newell, grandmother of submitter Sandra Simon-Rosa of Belgrade, Mont.



Sandra says Marjorie was a fashionista with a great sense of humor.



Subscribers are starting to receive the January issue now; it’ll be available on newsstands and at ShopFamilyTree.com starting Dec. 1.

See the rest of the photos in our slideshow and on Flickr.

You’ll see the images inside issues throughout the year, and in the 2010 Family Tree Magazine Desk Calendar, available soon (we’ll let you know) from ShopFamilyTree.com. Thanks to Sandra and all who sent photos for sharing their family memories with us.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun | Photos
Thursday, November 12, 2009 10:04:44 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Ancestral Cover Photos Slideshow
Posted by Diane

The redesigned January 2010 Family Tree Magazine—our 10th anniversary issue—is going to subscribers this week!

This is the issue featuring a reader’s family photo on the cover. We’ll announce the winner and show you the cover tomorrow, but first we wanted to share this slideshow of the 300-plus lovely, amusing and touching photos you sent.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Click here to see the ancestral cover photo submissions on Flickr.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Photos | Videos
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 3:54:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Thanks for Sharing Your Family Photos!
Posted by Diane

Late last month we put out a call for photos of your ancestors; one person’s photo will be on the cover of the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine, our special 10th Anniversary Issue. I’m excited that you were excited to share your family photos. Thank you!

Our art director Christy Miller, who designs Family Tree Magazine covers, wanted to add her thanks and an update on how selection is going. This from Christy:
We were thrilled to see your response to our call for photos. With more than 300 submissions (and a few more waiting in our in-boxes), it's definitely going to be a challenge choosing just the right photo for the cover.

Every picture you sent tells a story about your family—such as the three sisters having a tea party, the 1909 off-roaders, this American Indian family whose members were removed to Oklahoma, the young woman in this gorgeous hand-colored portrait, this fun wedding-day photo, this one showing some old-fashioned PhotoShopping  … we could go on.
A few people even sent unidentified photos, hoping someone else will recognize the faces of those pictured.
So all the pictures speak to us. For magazine cover purposes, we’re especially liking photos where you can see the subjects’ faces clearly, they’re making eye contact with the viewer, and their expressions are open and friendly (as if to say, “pick up this magazine!”).
Thanks for sharing your photos with Family Tree Magazine. We're thoroughly enjoying looking through them. And don't worry if your photo doesn't get chosen for the cover—we may use it inside the magazine during the year (we'll contact you in that case).
P.S. Does anyone else see a resemblance between the young woman in this photo and actress Julia Roberts?


Family Tree Magazine articles | Photos
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 10:56:19 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 27, 2009
Put Your Ancestors on Our Cover!
Posted by Diane



We're looking for a great ancestral photo to feature on the cover of the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine (that's our 10th anniversary issue!).

Maybe your family photo is the one.

Post your ancestral photo to our Ancestral Cover Photos Flickr group or e-mail it to us (we'll then post it on Flickr), and we may use it on the cover!

Before you start flipping through those albums, please note these requirements:
  • The image must be dated before 1920 and not show any individuals still living (we don't want to upset any of your more-modest relatives).

  • The image must be high-resolution (at least 300 dots per inch) so it will reproduce well in print.

  • The image must show people (five or fewer is best, that way we'll be able to see everyone).

  • Include your e-mail address and/or phone number with your submission—we'll need to be able to get a hold of you if your image is chosen.
Some disclaimers for you to be aware of: By submitting your photo, you affirm that you are the owner of the image and it is not subject to copyright by any other party. You also grant Family Tree Magazine permission to crop the digital image as necessary for publication, and to use the image in any and all print and electronic media.

Got questions? Click Comments to ask them, or e-mail them to us.

Update: Please submit your photo(s) by September 15. Also, it's fine to submit more than one image, but please try your hardest to choose up to your five favorites to send. Thanks!


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun | Photos
Thursday, August 27, 2009 8:36:48 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Friday, August 14, 2009
Jamie's flea market finds
Posted by Jamie

FTM_internlogo.jpg

Recently I was on vacation in western New York and visited a small-town flea market. While there were only 15 to 20 booths set up, many of them had genealogical treasures abound including old letters, photos and World War II ration books scattered across tables among the costume jewelry and used board games.

Of course my first thoughts as I saw these items outdoors and uncovered were, “Get these things out of the sun and into acid-free tissue paper!” These are someone’s family heirlooms after all. I scoured piles of unmarked pictures, scrutinizing each one and lamenting that they did not have a home. All the while I am sure the sun took a disastrous toll on them.

If you come across a similar situation, Dead Fred allows users to upload found photos, search identified photo databases, and help identify and find mates for unidentified photos. Flickr’s Found Photographs group features mostly unidentified photos picked up at garage sales, flea markets or your grandmother’s attic.

Also at the flea market I found a bag full of WWII ration cards, and I was amazed at the genealogical information available on them. Some just had name and address, but others went further supplying age, sex, weight, height and occupation. The books for sale were from the third and fourth series, both issued in 1943. The names on two of the books at the flea market were Kenneth and Hazel E. Valk. To search for your ancestors in a war ration book database of over 9,000 names click here.

While these were all great finds, the letters were most intriguing. Some sellers at least put them in plastic baggies, but still others let them bake in the sun – folded up at that! There were unopened letters, letters in envelops, envelops without letters, greeting cards, postcards, wedding invitations, governmental correspondence – even a few marked “passed by censor” sent from an infantry unit postmarked “JY. 15, 18”

Most of the letters were sent to Leroy Elder, but many are either unsigned or are signed with a nickname. They are postmarked from 1909 to 1922. One of the funnier postcards was from a pastor sternly urging Edler to pay him a visit to discuss the state of Elder's Christianity.

Among the stack of letters was a folded poem of sorts titled “The Charming Young Widow In The Train.” The paper is yellowed and ripping along the folds; the ink is disappearing. It wasn’t dated and it was not in an envelope. The top has some sort of imprint or watermark and the end says, “Written B. Mollie E.V.”

I did a Google search of the title and an old song pops up, written in the mid-1800s according to most accounts. The poem roughly follows the song, although some lines and words are different, the main ideas are the same. How the lyrics got among the letters is a mystery.

Overall, the trip to the flea market was eye opening. I didn’t realize how readily family history was for sale. And if sellers don’t use the modern flea market of eBay many people won’t be reunited with their relative’s items.


Family Heirlooms | Photos
Friday, August 14, 2009 1:57:31 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, February 19, 2009
Photo Book Discount at Shutterfly
Posted by Grace

Heard through the grapevine that Shutterfly is offering 20 percent off its photo books—plus two free 8x10s—with the promo code BOOKSANDPRINTS. Offer ends March 10.


Celebrating your heritage | Photos
Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:53:59 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, December 08, 2008
Save Money on Photo Gifts
Posted by Diane

Still at a loss for what to give relatives this year? How about turning a calendar, mug, puzzzle, keychain, album or other item into a keepsake by adding a special photo (or photos)?

And you can save money with the holiday specials at several online photo services:
  • Snapfish is posting a new special every 48 hours. Until midnight tonight (Dec. 8), for example, 12-month photo calendars are 33 percent off.
  • Shutterfly is taking up to 30 percent off photo books and 25 percent off calendars, and giving free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
  • MyCanvas (part of Ancestry.com) is offering 20 percent savings on all products through Christmas Eve.
  • American Greetings' PhotoWorks has a buy one/get one free offer for photo calendars that ends Dec. 31. And now through Dec. 12, photo books are discounted and shipping is free on orders of $20 or more.
  • I didn’t see any holiday specials at Photomama, but you get 50 free prints for signing up and there are some unique gifts such as t-shirts, pet bowls and lollipops adorned with photos.
If you sign up with Ebates and then start your shopping from there (select the Electronics and Photo category, then Photo Services), you’ll get cash back for purchases on participating photo and other Web sites.


Celebrating your heritage | Photos
Monday, December 08, 2008 9:09:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Where Do We Find All That Old Stuff?
Posted by Grace

Readers occasionally ask us if we have information on the photos or letters we show in our articles. Unfortunately, for the most part, we don’t. "Many of our old photos have come from antiques stores and flea markets," says our editor, Allison Stacy. "We used to have a photo stylist go out and buy props for us—kind of like a mystery shopper." So where do we get all the stuff we show in Family Tree Magazine?

Without a stylist these days, we have to get a little creative in finding props, and we aren’t too proud to scavenge. "I brought home copies of some documents and burned the edges of them on my patio one night for a photo shoot" for a story about burned courthouses, says our art director, Kathy DeZarn. "The next morning on my way to work I spotted a bunch of charred wood and broken bricks from a house fire just a few blocks from my home. It was just too good to pass up."

Kathy got the Mason jars in the May 2008 History Matters from her aunt’s basement, and "the boxes of stuff I inherited when my parents died has been the source for all sorts of letters, photos and stuff including one (I only found one) of the shoes my mom wore on her wedding day."

Managing editor Diane Haddad’s grandmother's purse and burgundy dress have been in photo shoots for the magazine, as have various family pictures. My own parents happen to have a house full of antiques and ephemera, which comes in very handy! That's a picture from their living room below. (The telephone, directory and telegraph key in the "Getting the Message" article in the January 2009 issue pictured above came from them.)


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun | Photos
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 3:41:33 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 23, 2008
Old Yearbooks of the Future
Posted by Grace

Soon after reading Diane's post on old yearbooks the other day, I found this article about the growing trend of non-traditional senior portraits. Oh, to be a fly on the wall when she has to explain to her grandchildren who Harry Potter is.


Genealogy fun | Photos
Thursday, October 23, 2008 1:36:57 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Picasa Debuts Next-Generation Photo Tagging
Posted by Grace

Google's photo webware Picasa is venturing into the next generation of photo tagging this afternoon with facial-recognition technology. As CNET and TechCrunch report, the new feature labels people in your albums for you. Once you start using "name tags" on your photos, Picasa will suggest other photos that contain the same person (or similar-looking people, or a bike wheel, as one reporter encountered) so you can tag them all at once.

If you've had experience with photo tagging on Picasa or Flickr, you know that it can be a time-consuming process. But the CNET reporter says of the new Picasa: "It took me less than 15 minutes to tag close to 200 faces in a set of more than 100 photos, and that included some start-up time such as figuring out how the system worked, establishing names for various common subjects, and correcting a few errors."

My first question, of course, is how well this technology can be applied to old photos and identifying mystery ancestors. If you've tried tagging your ancestors, leave a comment and tell us about it!


Photos
Tuesday, September 02, 2008 2:53:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, April 11, 2008
Edit Your Photos Online!
Posted by Grace

When it comes to image editing, the gold standard is Photoshop. Even if you haven't used the full-blown version, you've likely come across its less expensive sibling, Photoshop Elements.

Now, a free version of the software is available online—with 2 GB of storage thrown in. Adobe Photoshop Express offers many of the features included with Elements, such as cropping, color correction and some fun filter and distortion options. (Be aware, though, that agreeing to the terms of service gives other users the rights to display, print and distribute your shared images. If you don't want your pictures to go public, don't opt to share them through the site.)

Photo sharing site Flickr also recently rolled out photo editing abilities in partnership with Picnik. All Flickr users can access the basic editing options, and becoming a premium member unlocks more features. Both Picnik and Photoshop Express have some integrated functionality with other websites, like Facebook and Picasa.

Although the sites don't offer a lot in the way of restoration and delicate touchups, both Photoshop Express and Flickr are good options for people who don't want to pay a lot for a program they'll use only to resize or crop their pictures.


Family Heirlooms | Photos
Friday, April 11, 2008 10:46:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]