Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories
August, 2014 (17)
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








# Wednesday, September 11, 2013
What Will You Learn at the Virtual Genealogy Conference, Sept. 13-15?
Posted by Diane

Our Fall 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference is just two days away! Here are two minutes of a few of the genealogy lessons in store for conference participants:




See the Virtual Genealogy Conference program of video classes and live chats here. It all happens this weekend, Sept. 13-15, on a computer near you.


Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Videos
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 2:18:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, August 27, 2013
PBS Series "Genealogy Roadshow" Explores Roots of Everyday Americans
Posted by Diane

I learned a little more about PBS' upcoming Genealogy Roadshow series while at the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Conference last week.

  The show, slated to air Mondays from 9 to 10 p.m. ET starting Sept. 23 (my husband'll have to find someplace else to watch Monday night football), will combine history and science to uncover the roots of everyday Americans. This season's participants come from four cities: Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; Detroit; and San Francisco.

Genealogy experts will explore unverified family history claims about connections to a famous event or historical figure (sounds to me like a genealogical version of "History Detectives") by using family heirlooms, records, DNA and local historians.

The experts will reveal many of the answers they discover in front of a live audience in a location relevant to the participant's family history.

Here's a teaser:




"Genealogy Roadshow" hosts are Kenyatta D. Berry, a professional genealogist and president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and D. Joshua Taylor, whom you've seen on "Who Do You Think You Are?" and who serves as lead genealogist at findmypast.com.

(Both have also appeared in the pages of Family Tree Magazine and been interviewed in our "Five Questions" column. Coincidence?)

"Genealogy Roadshow" is based on an Irish series of the same name.


Genealogy TV | Videos
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 3:05:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, August 06, 2013
FTU Virtual Genealogy Conference Early Bird Deadline Is Friday!
Posted by Diane

I've enjoyed the classes and interaction during previous Family Tree University virtual genealogy conferences—not to mention that I can "attend" from my desk chair at work, or the sofa at home.

I can't wait for the next one, taking place Sept. 13-15 on a computer near you.



The Fall 2013 Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference brings together video classes from some of the most recognizable names in genealogy—including Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, D. Joshua Taylor of "Who Do You Think You Are?" and TV's upcoming "Genealogy Roadshow," and Judy G. Russell of the Legal Genealogist blog—with lively participant interaction via chats and a message board.

The early-bird registration deadline sure snuck up: Enter code FALLVCEARLY to save $50 on your conference registration, but the code is good only through Friday, Aug. 9.

Here's the list of video classes offered in three tracks. For descriptions, chat schedule and more Virtual Genealogy Conference information, see FamilyTreeUniversity.com.

Genealogy Technology
  • Finding Photos of Your Family History by Nancy Hendrickson
  • Digital Filing for your Genealogy by Denise May Levenick
  • Essential Apps for Genealogists by Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Finding Passenger Lists Online by Lisa A. Alzo
  • Timesaving Tools to Automate Your Genealogy Research by Rick Crume
  • Cool Tools for Creating Timelines by Gena Philibert-Ortega

Research Strategies

  • Money-Saving Strategies for Frugal Family Historians by Gena Philibert-Ortega 
  • Same Name, Same Place: How to Tell It’s Your Ancestor by D. Joshua Taylor
  • Evaluating Your Sources by Sunny Jane Morton
  • Analyzing Ancestral Tombstones by Diana Smith
  • Hints for Solving Migration Mysteries by Sunny Jane Morton
  • Courthouse Research Tips and Tricks by Judy G. Russell

Ethnic Genealogy

  • Guide to German Church Records by Rick Crume
  • Strategies for Tracing Colonial Immigrants by D. Joshua Taylor 
  • Seeking Your Scots-Irish Roots by Donna Moughty
  • Find Your Irish Famine-Era Ancestors by Donna Moughty

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Videos
Tuesday, August 06, 2013 1:55:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, July 30, 2013
It's "Who Do You Think You Are?" Night!
Posted by Diane

Remember to sit yourself down in front of the TV or set your DVR tonight for "Who Do you Think You Are?" with actress Christina Applegate. It airs at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central) on TLC (and it looks like each episode will become available for viewing online).

I look forward to Tuesdays now not just because genealogy's on TV, but also because I get to pick what we watch. "It's for work" is a pretty good excuse.

In this preview video for the episode, Applegate is surprised to learn her grandparents had a troubled relationship and separated before her father was born.



"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:29:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Watch a Preview of "Who Do You Think You Are?" on TLC
Posted by Diane

Excited for the fourth season of "Who Do You Think You Are?" premiering July 23 on TLC? Here's a video preview.

It's longer than the teaser that was released at the end of June, and drops clues to the family history surprises in store for some of the celebrity guests. You'll see them in the video: Kelly Clarkson, Zooey Deschanel, Chris O'Donnell, Christina Applegate, Jim Parsons, Cindy Crawford, Trisha Yearwood and Chelsea Handler. (We posted here about who these people are.) 



"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Tuesday, July 09, 2013 12:23:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Genealogy Video Tip: Finding Old Land Records in Illinois
Posted by Diane

Our Secrets to Beat Your Illinois Brick Walls webinar Thursday evening, April 11, picks up where our Illinois Genealogy Crash Course left off, introducing you to more-advanced, lesser-known genealogy resources ito trace ancestors in Illinois.

In this video tip from the Secrets to Beat Your Illinois Brick Walls webinar, presenter David A. Fryxell gives you resources for finding land records in Illinois, from the days of French, then British, then Virginia jurisdiction, through the public domain lands era, to more-recent deed records.
 


You've still got a couple more days to register for the Secrets to Beat Your Illinois Brick Walls webinar! Learn more about the webinar and sign up at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Land records | Research Tips | Videos | Webinars
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 2:55:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, November 05, 2012
Why Yes, It Is Possible To Do Genealogy Online for Free!
Posted by Diane

Free is such as nice word—and we're going to help you apply it to your online genealogy research in our next One-Week Workshop.

Using Free Genealogy Websites One-Week Workshop

Our Using Free Genealogy Websites weeklong online workshop, taking place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 7, will teach you how to make the most of free websites and services to help you discover your roots. You'll learn:
  • secrets to glean more ancestral information from free sites and databases
  • how to search the web more effectively
  • the best free online genealogy tools—including those you’re not already using
The workshop gives you access to nine pre-recorded video classes—including encore presentations of some of our best Virtual Genealogy Conference sessions—featuring on-screen demos of the recommended websites and strategies.

Classes cover topics such as powering up your web searches, how to find online historical books mentioning your family, searching the free Ellis Island passenger database, using online newspaper research tools and more.

You'll also participate in daily message board discussions to ask questions, exchange ideas and connect with other students and expert workshop staff.

You can participate at your convenience throughout the week: Watch one class per day or fit them all in over a long weekend, then immediately apply what you’ve learned to your genealogy research.

Regular tuition for the Using Free Genealogy Websites One-Week Workshop is $129.99. But you can save $35 by using code WORKSHOPEARLY at checkout. Just hurry, this special code expires Friday, Nov. 16.



Family Tree University | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | Videos
Monday, November 05, 2012 9:57:54 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, October 11, 2012
It's a Great Time for Finding Ancestors' Military Records Online
Posted by Diane

In this quick preview of our Oct. 18 Online Military Records webinar, presenter David A. Fryxell explains why it's a great time to be researching your military ancestors.



The webinar will cover how to find online records for ancestors in specific US wars, the best websites for researching military ancestors (such as those David included in our 2012 list of the 101 Best Websites for genealogy), answers to webinar attendees' military research questions and more.

The Online Military Records webinar takes place next Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. PT).

We're offering a package deal with our Family Tree University US Military Records course: When you register for the course session starting Oct. 15 for just $79.99, you'll get a coupon for additional $20 off the Online Military Records webinar (the coupon code will be in your course registration confirmation email).

Check out the US Military Records course here and the Online Military Records webinar here.


Family Tree University | Military records | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Videos | Webinars
Thursday, October 11, 2012 9:17:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 06, 2012
Virtual Genealogy Conference Sneak Peek Video! Using Maps, Photo Restoration, German Places and More
Posted by Diane

In this three-minute video, several Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference expert instructors give snippets from their video classes. Watch to hear about
  • Google Earth and using maps in your research, with Lisa Louise Cooke
  • photo restoration, with Denise Levenick
  • using a genealogy research log, with Thomas MacEntee
  • immigrant ancestors and their foods, with Gena Philibert-Ortega
  • German place-names, with James M. Beidler


To see the Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference course catalog of 15 video classes, the live chat schedule, presenter bios and other details, visit FamilyTreeUniversity.com. (You can save $50 on your conference registration with discount code FTUVCFACEBOOK.)

And don't forget about our free upcoming "Meet the Presenter"social media chats—click here for information.


Genealogy Events | Research Tips | Videos
Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:33:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, July 06, 2012
The No. 1 Resource for Cluster & Collateral Genealogy
Posted by Diane

What is the number one resource for using "cluster genealogy" (that is, investigating your ancestors' family, associates and neighbors) to get information on your ancestors?

Find out in this quick video preview of our upcoming webinar Using Cluster and Collateral Searches to Beat Brick Walls, with genealogy expert Thomas MacEntee.



To learn more strategies for doing cluster genealogy research, register for the Cluster and Collateral Searches webinar.

It's scheduled for next Thursday, July 12, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 Central, 5 Mountain, 4 Pacific). You still have time to save $10 with our early bird price!


Research Tips | Videos | Webinars
Friday, July 06, 2012 1:56:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 25, 2012
Crash Course in Wisconsin Genealogy
Posted by Diane

Do you have ancestors in Wisconsin? Then get ready to rev up your genealogy research with our Wisconsin Genealogy Crash Course webinar next Wednesday, May 30, at 8 p.m. ET (that's 7 CT, 6 MT, 5 PT).

In this webinar sneak peek, presenter Lori B. Bessler, reference librarian at the resource-rich Wisconsin Historical Society, gives you the lowdown on US and state census records for Wisconsin, as well as vital records availability.



You can register for the Wisconsin Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com. (Sign up today to save $10!)


Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Videos | Webinars
Friday, May 25, 2012 2:07:09 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 16, 2012
This Weekend's Genealogy TV Season Finales
Posted by Diane

This week's season finale of "Who Do You Think You Are?" is also the series finale, at least on NBC. In the show, chef Paula Deen learns about her family history in the Deep South. She discovers a senator, slave owners and family letters. Here's a short preview:



Watch the show at 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on NBC.

Sunday at 8 p.m. on PBS' "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr." actors Michelle Rodriguez and Adrian Grenier and author/journalist Linda Chavez explore their Latino roots.  All share Spanish colonial roots, yet they self-identify differently differently: as American Indian, Puerto Rican, Dominican or simply Latino.

Here's a video preview of Rodriguez's discoveries.

Watch Michelle Rodriguez's Puerto Rican Roots on PBS. See more from Finding Your Roots.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 1:06:56 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 11, 2012
Tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Jason Sudeikis
Posted by Diane

Actor and comedian Jason Sudeikis, known for his performances on "Saturday Night Live," is the guest on this week's "Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC. Episode promos promise "one shock after another" in Sudeikis' family tree.

Here's a video sneak peek at the show:


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos

Friday, May 11, 2012 2:58:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, April 23, 2012
"Finding Your Roots": Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr.
Posted by Diane

Last night on PBS' "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr." actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. learned about their families' histories.

You can watch the episode online at PBS.org.

Though not related, the two had a lot in common: Both were expectig baby No. 2 at the time of filming, both have parents in the film industry, both have Eastern European Jewish roots on one side of the family, and both also have ancestors in America before the Revolutionary War.

Gates' team could trace the Jewish roots only to the third-great-grandparent generation, but for each actor's other branches, Gates unrolled an enviably long family tree with many generations. (See closeups on the Genea-Musings blog.)

Gyllenhaal learned how her family really got its last name. The story was that a Swedish ancestor created a beautiful book about butterflies and the king rewarded him with a wonderful home known as "Golden Hall." What really happened was that an ancestor took the name after being knighted during the Thirty Years' War.

But like many family stories, there was a grain of truth. Another relative had amassed a collection of beetles that later became world-renowned.

Each star also took a DNA test, and Gates prompted them to compare the roles of nature versus nurture in making up their being. My favorite question of the night was when he asked Downey "Do you think that what happened in your family tree between 1300 and 1965 [the year of Downey's birth] has shaped who you are?"

I do believe that our ancestors' successes and struggles affect the next generation, that each of us can't help but carry these experiences inside us. Genealogy is partly a way of figuring out what's in there.

BTW, in the July/August 2012 Family Tree Magazine, we'll have Gates' answers to five of our burning questions about his genealogy work.


Related resources from Family Tree Magazine:


Celebrity Roots | Videos
Monday, April 23, 2012 3:30:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [9]
# Friday, April 06, 2012
Tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Edie Falco
Posted by Diane

Tonight on NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?," (8p.m./7 Central) Edie Falco—the actress who played Carmela on "The Sopranos" and the title role on "Nurse Jackie"—explores her roots.

In this preview, she tries to find out the identity of an unknown figure on her family tree.

Here's another preview:


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Friday, April 06, 2012 8:21:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, March 30, 2012
This Sunday on "Finding Your Roots:" Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada
Posted by Diane

Remember to watch "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr." this Sunday evening at 8 p.m. ET on PBS. It'll feature the family histories of tv journalist Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Bonus: You'll also see  New England Historic Genealogical Society senior researcher Rhonda McClure in action solving Canada's ancestral mysteries.

Here's a preview video in which Canada visits the farm where his enslaved ancestor Thomas lived.

Watch Both Sides of Slavery on PBS. See more from


African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Genealogy societies | Videos
Friday, March 30, 2012 11:32:25 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 29, 2012
This Friday on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Rita Wilson
Posted by Diane

This Friday on "Who Do You Think You Are?", Rita Wilson explores her roots in Greece and Bulgaria.

In this preview video, shot in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (also part of the historical region of Thrace, which I learned about while editing the May/June Family Tree Magazine article on Greek genealogy), Wilson uncovers a secret about her father's past:

 

Here, she meets her uncle for the first time. Word of advice: Grab a tissue.


Incidentally, Bulgaria can be a difficult place to research genealogy, as we pointed out in the September 2007 Family Tree Magazine. If your ancestors hail from there, this show may hold some valuable tips.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:03:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 28, 2012
1940 Census Classes and Events
Posted by Diane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

census records | Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives | NARA | Videos
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:23:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Henry Louis Gates Genealogy Show Premieres March 25
Posted by Diane

The new genealogy series Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr. premieres on PBS March 25.

Gates, a Harvard history professor who's hosted previous genealogy shows for PBS including African-American Lives and Faces of America, will explore the roots of 24 well-known Americans including Harry Connick Jr., Barbara Walters, Kevin Bacon, Condoleezza Rice, Sanjay Gupta and Martha Stewart.

Here's the twist that makes this show different: Each episode will feature a pair of celebrities "bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link." DNA testing takes over where paper trails leave off.

The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and Johni Cerny, co-author of The Source: Guidebook for American Genealogy, contributed research to the series.

You can watch several clips on the show's website, including this extended preview:

Watch Extended Preview on PBS. See more from Finding Your Roots.


Celebrity Roots | Genetic Genealogy | Videos
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 7:51:12 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 01, 2012
Virtual Conference Preview: Cool Tools for Your Newspaper Research
Posted by Diane

This video clip is a short peek at Lisa Louise Cooke's demo of one of the cool tools she'll show you in her Spring 2012 Virtual Conference class, Three Cool Tools to Help With Your Newspaper Research.

The Virtual Conference, sponsored by Flip-Pal mobile scanner, is next weekend, March 9-11.

You can log in anytime over the weekend to take classes, participate in live chats with genealogy experts, visit the exhibit hall and more. (And there's a swag bag—who doesn't love swag?)

Newspapers are invaluable for getting details about your ancestors' lives and for tracing brick-wall ancestors (case in point: last Friday's "Who Do you think You Are?" with Blair Underwood). But historical newspapers can be hard to find and use—so you'll want to hear about the tools Lisa uses.

Learn more about the Spring 2012 Virtual Conference at FamilyTreeUniversity.com.


Family Tree University | Newspapers | Videos
Thursday, March 01, 2012 2:20:26 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, February 10, 2012
Tonight on "WDYTYA?": Marisa Tomei Explores Her Italian Roots
Posted by Grace

Tonight on NBC's “Who Do You Think You Are?” actress Marisa Tomei explores her roots in Italy and tries to unravel a murder mystery in her family.

Here’s a preview video of Tomei receiving a letter from her 83-year-old Italian first cousin twice removed.

Of course we'll blog about the episode right here.

Ready to research your own Italian roots? Consult our $4 downloadable Italian Genealogy Guide and the book Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans by John Philip Colletta.

And see our "Who Do You Think You Are?" page for beginning research resources including our free downloadable Getting Started Cheat Sheet, plus show news and tweets.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Friday, February 10, 2012 8:48:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, February 09, 2012
RootsTech News Wrap-up
Posted by Diane

The RootsTech conference was the talk of the genealogy world last week. For those of you catching up on conference news, here's a listing of our RootsTech posts: Keep an eye on RootsTech.org and Ancestry.com's YouTube channel for each organization's recorded presentations to become available.

Next year, RootsTech will be a little later in the year, March 21-23, in Salt Lake City.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Videos
Thursday, February 09, 2012 9:10:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, February 03, 2012
"Who Do You Think You Are?" Premieres Tonight With Martin Sheen's Roots
Posted by Diane

Tonight's the night! Season 3 of the genealogy-reality series "Who Do You Think You Are?" debuts on NBC, with a look at actor Martin Sheen's Irish and Spanish roots.

Here's a quick preview of season 3 (I know that's not Martin Sheen below):

I was already excited about the season, but even more so after a media conference call with Sheen on Monday. He was brimming over with enthusiasm about the ancestors he discovered through the show. You'd think he met them in person.

I asked about the location where he felt most connected to his roots, and he spoke about the cathedral in Tui, Spain. (You can see it here.)

"That is a place that I have visited many times since 1969, when I made my first trip to Spain and to visit my father's community. And I only learned during this last trip with "Who Do You Think You Are?" that my great- great-great-great-grandfather is buried in that cathedral," Sheen said. "And I never knew that.

"In fact I used to walk over his burial spot in the cathedral. Everybody did. You are just walking along. And when I got to the show—I don't think it is included in the show—but they showed me where it was. I was not aware until we did the show of how intricately connected my heritage was with that town and specifically that cathedral."

The Martin Sheen episode starts tonight on NBC at 8 p.m. ET (check your listings for local times). If you miss it, you'll be able to catch it on Hulu and on the show's website (which is probably how I'll see it, unless a certain one-year-old observes his bedtime to the minute).

Of course we'll be blogging all about it. Keep up with this season and get our beginning genealogy guidance—for yourself or for friends who get inspired watching "Who Do You Think You Are?"—on our "Who Do You Think You Are?" landing page.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Friday, February 03, 2012 9:49:03 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, January 05, 2012
Genealogy News Corral Catch-up
Posted by Diane

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

Celebrity Roots | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy | NARA | Videos
Thursday, January 05, 2012 9:42:06 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 07, 2011
This Is Not a Drill
Posted by Diane

Seventy years ago today, the Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, sent this dispatch to major navy commands and fleet units.


It was the first official word of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona was destroyed, killing 1,177 officers and crew. The USS Oklahoma capsized. About 2,400 Americans were killed.

As the number of survivors of the attack—now around 2,000—dwindles, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association has elected to dissolve at the end of this year.

Now it's even more important for those who didn't witness the attack firsthand to preserve the memories of that day. Here are a few places to start: 


Military records | Social History | Videos
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 9:29:21 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, December 06, 2011
12 Days of Deals: Extra 20% Off Virtual Conference Videos
Posted by Diane

Today you can save an extra 20 percent on our on-demand Virtual Conference videos with code DECDEALS. That first-of-its-kind online event featured half-hour video classes from Family Tree Magazine experts. (Click here to learn more about the Virtual Conference.)

Even if you missed the conference, you can take advantage of 17 great classes, including

Virtual Conference video classes are available individually or in packages. They’re already on sale—now’s your chance to save another 20 percent. Click here to check them out.


Genealogy Events | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Videos
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 10:57:44 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, November 11, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, Nov. 7-11
Posted by Diane


Military records | NARA | Videos
Friday, November 11, 2011 2:40:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, May 23, 2011
President "O'Bama" Visits Irish Ancestors' Hometown
Posted by Diane

You've probably heard about President Obama’s big visit this week to Ireland, which will include a stop in Moneygall, County Offaly, where his third-great-grandfather was born in 1830.

Fulmoth Kearney (“Falmoth Cainey” on his passenger list), age 19, arrived in New York March 20, 1850.

This Irish Times article explains how the connection was made to Obama’s Irish roots through professional researchers in the United States and local church officials in Ireland. 

There’s even a song about the president’s ancestry: “There’s No One As Irish As Barack O’Bama” by Ireland’s Corrigan Brothers. 

The song is the soundtrack for a documentary called Barack Obama's Irish Roots,  which just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. You can see a promo clip here

You can get Irish genealogy tips from the articles in Family Tree Magazine's Irish Research Toolkit or download our $4 Irish Genealogy Guide.



Celebrity Roots | UK and Irish roots | Videos
Monday, May 23, 2011 9:30:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, April 01, 2011
Vote on Our April Cover!
Posted by Grace

We've got a special digital edition coming out today, April 1 -- and you can vote on which cover you like best! Click the image above to see it larger. And here's a sneak peek of the inside:

Click the image to see a larger version and read all the insider tips about the 1940 census. You can download a copy the 1940 Census cheat sheet to share here. (To help interpret some of the markings, you may want to watch this video.)

By the way, happy April Fools Day! :)

And here's some real census advice:


census records | Genealogy fun | Videos
Friday, April 01, 2011 9:05:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Tech Tips with Lisa Louise Cooke: Online Family History Books
Posted by Lisa

Canadian author and genealogist Dave Obee recently opined on his Facebook page, “I've been hearing about the pending death of the book for several years now. One of these days, the prediction might turn out to be true.”

Obee’s comment kicked off an interesting online conversation. For many genealogists, the surge in online books can sound like a threat to the paper tome. But, as with all things, the market drives business and innovation, and the convenience and flexibility of digital books is very appealing. Here are some Tech Tips to help you dive in and reap the benefits of this growing phenomenon:

Get Started
Allison Stacy, editor of Family Tree Magazine, made this great video for getting started with Google Books.

See How Other Genealogists Use Google Books
Miriam Robbins Midkiff, author of the popular genealogy blog AnceStories: The Story of My Ancestors was featured in this video produced by Google.

Search Within a Book
After conducting your initial search and selecting a particular book, you can search within that book by simply typing specific keywords in the search box found in the column on the left side of the book’s page. This box searches only the book currently being viewed and makes quick work of finding a desired surname on individual pages of a large volume. (Find this tip in my new book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox.)

Keep Up To Date
The Inside Google Books blog is a great way to keep up to date on the latest news at Google Books. Add the RSS feed to your iGoogle page or favorite reader by simply clicking the Feedburner button found in the column on the right.

Google eBooks
Have you noticed that the Google Books homepage looks different these days? That’s because they have introduced the Google eBookstore to the offering. Here’s a terrific little video that explains the benefits of online books in a fun and simple way:

Google eBooks
Don’t skip Google eBooks just because they offer books for sale. Try this handy tip to unearth free gems:

1. Go to Google Books.
2. Click blue Go to the Google eBookstore Now button
3. Type family history in the search box and click the Search All Google eBooks button.
4. Click the Free Only link in the light blue box at the top of the page.
5. You’ll get a results list full of free books, many hard to find self-published family histories.

Look Elsewhere
When it comes to digital family history books, Google Books isn’t the only game in town Check out the Family History Archive, then watch the video below to learn more about how to use this robust resource.

I've had such a great time sharing Tech Tips with you these last 2 months. Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll join me at the free Family Tree Magazine podcast and Genealogy Gems podcast for more lively conversation about genealogy!

—Lisa Louise Cooke


Genealogy books | Genealogy Web Sites | Tech Advice | Videos
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 9:12:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, July 02, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: June 28-July 2
Posted by Diane

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

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

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



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

Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA | UK and Irish roots | Videos
Friday, July 02, 2010 3:21:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 24, 2010
10 Reasons to Enroll in Family Tree University
Posted by Allison


Family Tree University is the only program that combines a friendly, accessible style of genealogy instruction—popularized by Family Tree Magazine—with a state-of-the-art online learning environment to make genealogy education rewarding and fun.

Whether you're a family history newbie or veteran researcher, here are 10 reasons to take a Family Tree University course:

1. Easy-to-follow lessons show you how to find and use genealogy resources. Too often, how-to seminars and articles tell you that resources are available to you, but don't explain how to actually use them or where to get them.

2. The content is developed by experts who know genealogy and frequently write and teach about their course topics. You benefit from the expertise of someone who's been there and has experiences to share.

3. Courses are designed specifically for people who do genealogy for fun. Our students are people who, like you, want to get more from their hobby. Family Tree University isn't for professionals seeking certification (although you will get a "diploma" for each course you complete!).

4. There's a course for every genealogist. Class topics cover everything from using different types of records to preserving and sharing your research—check out our complete course list. (Don't see the course you'd most like to take? Email us.)

5. You can go to class in your jammies. There's no set time you have to show up for class—you can log in at 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning, whatever's convenient to you. And there's no one else in the room to see your bedhead or bunny slippers.

6. Connect with other genealogists. Each course has a private message board just for the students and instructor, where you can bounce around ideas and share your challenges with other researchers just like you.

7. You'll become a better researcher. The time, effort and money you invest in taking a Family Tree University course will pay dividends by teaching you how to trace your ancestors more efficiently, confidently and cost-effectively.

8. See research tools and techniques in action. Some concepts are easier shown than told. Family Tree University courses integrate photos, screen shots and even video demos into the lessons to enhance your learning experience.

9. You can save class materials for future reference. Each lesson and reading assignment is available as a PDF download, so that even after your course session concludes, you can keep all the materials to refer to later.

10. You'll make research progress. Our classes incorporate exercises that allow you to practice techniques and apply what you've learned to your own family history work.

Be sure to watch our "crash course" video to see a demonstration of how our courses work.


Family Tree University | Research Tips | Videos
Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:30:10 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, May 07, 2010
Mom Always Said . . .
Posted by Diane

One of my favorite Family Tree Magazine All in the Family challenges is when we asked readers to submit famous sayings of the moms in their family trees. In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, I’m sharing some of those momilies.
My sister and I had fun brainstorming the momilies we grew up with:
  • “For crying out loud!”

  • “Hold your horses” (and its close relative, “Don’t lose your britches”)

  • “If [fill in name of childhood friend]’s mom said she could jump off a cliff, would you want to jump off a cliff, too?”

  • I could’ve yelled from here.”

  • “Do you think someone’s going to steal your dinner?” (when I was hunched over my plate)

  • We were never allowed to eat suckers in the car, because “If I have to stop suddenly, it’ll go through the roof of your mouth.”

  • “You have until the count of three…”

  • “A birdie’s going to come and sit on your lip" (when someone was pouting)

  • “I have eyes in the back of my head.” (My sister says this to her kids, too, and her youngest thought for years that she really did.)

  •  “I don't have a favorite. You’re all my favorites.”
You'll hear many more momilies, set to the "William Tell Overture," in this  YouTube video:


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun | Videos
Friday, May 07, 2010 8:58:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Roots Television to Stay Online
Posted by Diane

Good news for fans of genealogy video site Roots Television: After being flooded with e-mails and tweets in response to her announcement of the site’s shutdown, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak will keep Roots Television going.

"I honestly had no clue how valued it was by the genealogical community, and I agree with the many of you who pointed out that it serves a somewhat different purpose than the prime time programming that's on TV at present," she says in an e-mailed message to the site’s newsletter subscribers.

Roots Television videos will soon feature commercials to help defray hosting and streaming expenses. "Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to customize [the commercials], but I'll experiment with ways to make them as painless as possible," Smolenyak says.

She’s also seeking advertising for the site. Smolenyak reported that at least 20 organizations or individuals expressed interest in adopting the site.


Genealogy Web Sites | Videos
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 8:57:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Video: "Who Do You Think You Are?" on "Today"
Posted by Diane

Lisa Kudrow appeared on "Today" this morning to talk about “Who Do You Think You Are?” which premieres (in case you hadn’t heard) this Friday on NBC at 8 pm (7pm central).

She describes the episode about her own roots (airing March 19) as “relentless” because it deals with the Holocaust—but if you hang in there, she adds, there’s a "happy surprise" at the end. Kudrow also calls Emmitt Smith, whose episode airs March 12, a “great teacher.” Here’s the "Today" video:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Looks like the Today anchors, who’ve explored their own ancestries for television, plan to tune in.

See the Genealogy Gems blog for a schedule of upcoming “Who Do You Think You Are?” promotional appearances.

And here’s an episode lineup:
  • March 5: Sarah Jessica Parker
  • March 12: Emmitt Smith
  • March 19: Lisa Kudrow
  • March 26: Matthew Broderick
  • April 2: Brooke Shields
  • April 9: Susan Sarandon
  • April 23: Spike Lee


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Videos
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 1:23:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, February 19, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: February 15-19
Posted by Diane

Want to be on The Generations Project? See the show’s website to apply.
  • Speaking of television, if you missed the second episode of Faces of America on Wednesday, you can catch it online.
You can learn about Library and Archives Canada’s WWI resources in the online Canadian Genealogy Center.


Military records | UK and Irish roots | Videos
Friday, February 19, 2010 3:29:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, February 12, 2010
In "Who Do You Think You Are?" News ...
Posted by Diane

Genealogy Gems podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke scored an interview with Lisa Kudrow, producer (and cast member) of the upcoming “Who Do You Think You Are?” tv show, premiering March 5 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Their conversation will be in the free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 81, available starting this Sunday, Feb. 14, on the Genealogy Gems website.

Ancestry.com, a partner in the show, created a webpage to encourage you to spread the word about it with downloadable flyers, an e-mail you can forward to friends, wallpaper for your computer and more.

Kudrow addresses genealogy enthusiasts in this video, which also contains the “Who Do You Think You Are?” trailer you may have seen.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Ancestry.com | Genealogy Events | Podcasts | Videos
Friday, February 12, 2010 12:12:05 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, February 03, 2010
We'll Take the National Archives for $200, Alex
Posted by Diane

We’re feeling very prescient right now.

A December 2005 Family Tree Magazine article on the National Archives' regional research facilities spoofed Utahn Ken Jennings’ smarty-pants appearances on the game show "Jeopardy!"

The article, written by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack and James W. Warren, featured a spot-on caricature of "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek by illustrator Thomas Fluharty:



Lo and behold if Alex himself didn't have a National Archives category on the show last week. Here's the rapid-fire question-and-answer ... er, answer-and-question video, courtesy of the National Archives YouTube channel. See how many you can get right!

 
Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun | Libraries and Archives | Videos
Wednesday, February 03, 2010 1:07:03 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A Look at NBC's New Genealogy Show
Posted by Diane

The trailer for NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" a celebrity genealogy series premiering March 5, is now available. What do you think?



"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Genealogy Industry | Videos
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 1:00:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [27]
# Friday, January 15, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: January 11-15
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry magazine, published for 25 years by Ancestry.com, will be discontinued after the March/April 2010 issue. For more information, see the staff's message on the magazine’s website.
  • In case you missed it, NBC has announced that the US version of "Who Do You Think You Are?" will air Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m.


Ancestry.com | Canadian roots | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Videos
Friday, January 15, 2010 3:36:48 PM (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]
# Thursday, October 08, 2009
Genealogist Finds Michelle Obama's Slave Ancestor
Posted by Grace

Family Tree Magazine contributor Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and The New York Times have uncovered documents revealing first lady Michelle Obama's great-great-great-grandmother, a slave named Melvinia. Through probate records, photographs and local histories, the sleuths have pieced together a picture of the life of Melvinia, who labored on farms in Georgia and South Carolina, and her first son, Dolphus—Obama's great-great-grandfather—who became a carpenter and owned his own business in Birmingham, Ala.

The story is absolutely fascinating. You can learn more about it in The New York Times, in ABC's news report, and make sure you watch the below video from Roots Television.




African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Female ancestors | Videos
Thursday, October 08, 2009 12:36:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, October 02, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: September 28-October 2
Posted by Diane

It's Friday, and that means it's time to rustle up some genealogy news:
  • Got St. Louis-area ancestors? Consider subscribing to Genealogy and House History News, a free monthly e-mail update listing additions to the Missouri History Museum's Genealogy and Local History Index (click the “Sign up for the E-mail List” link). If you find a relative, you can order a photocopy of the record.
  • FamilySearch has added a few more databases to the Record Search Pilot, thanks to its hard-working indexing volunteers. You can search indexes and view images of Protestant church records from France (1612-1906).
The 1920 US census index (but not record images) was added for Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Carolina.
You can browse images of church records from Italy, Slovakia, Argentina and Mexico (these indexes are still being processed).
To find records associated with the place your ancestors lived, click Browse our Record Collections on the Record Search home page, then click an area of the map.
  • Happy third birthday to RootsTelevision! The free genealogy TV Web site shared a list of its most popular videos, several of which relate to family history happenings that broke into “mainstream” news. See the list on the Og Blog.
My trusty colleagues Allison and Grace will post while I'm sneaking in some vacation next week. I might chime in from afar, or I might be too entranced by autumnal loveliness to make it happen. We'll see.


FamilySearch | International Genealogy | Libraries and Archives | Videos
Friday, October 02, 2009 2:20:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 18, 2009
See Great Depression, WWII Videos on Archives' YouTube Channel
Posted by Diane

Look for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to launch a YouTube channel tomorrow (June 19) in conjunction with its 75th anniversary celebration.

We should see some fascinating footage released over the coming weeks: videos documenting the “space race” and Moon landing, a series on NARA’s presidential libraries, US Department of War WWII reels, and Department of the Interior Great Depression footage.

Tune in tomorrow at www.youtube.com/USNationalArchives (the channel isn't available quite yet).


Libraries and Archives | Videos
Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:37:38 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Rocky Mountain Genealogy High
Posted by Diane

Our adventurous editor Allison Stacy traveled to the Family History Expo in Loveland, Colo. (north of Denver), June 12 and 13, where she ran the Family Tree Magazine booth.



Visitors could take advantage of show specials on CDs, a drawing for our State Research Guides and Passport to Europe CDs, and free magazines and handouts.



Unique at the Expo was a Blogger Bistro and Twitter Café, where attendees could use workstations and watch conference events on a big-screen tv. Read what the designated “Bloggers of Honor” had to say at Arlene H. Eakle’s Genealogy Blog, HistoricalTownMaps (Bernie Gracy), Becky’s Grace and Glory (Becky Jamison) and Family Tree Climbing (Sarah Strong).

You also can watch video interviews from this and other Expos here and see the schedule of upcoming Family History Expos here.

The Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, Allison reports, is brand-new, convenient and super-nice (and, she was told, one of only two places in Colorado to serve buffalo fries).



The Rocky Mountains were tantalizingly close.



Genealogy Events | Videos
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:06:56 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, May 08, 2009
"Today Show" Visit Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty
Posted by Diane

The "Today Show" broadcast today from Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The Ellis Island video features a “walk-through” of immigrants’ experiences with host Meredith Vieira and Save Ellis Island director Judith R. McAlpin. Here’s the video.


Another clip shows the anchors’ also climbed inside the Statue of Liberty to announce the crown will re-open to the public July 4. Read and watch on the Today Show site.

Also read our article (from the November 2008 Family Tree Magazine) about the immigrant hospital on Ellis Island.


immigration records | Videos
Friday, May 08, 2009 10:00:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Scare Tactics Throughout History
Posted by Grace

This swine flu is nothing new—and neither is the panic. A 1976 outbreak was described as "the epidemic that never was." The flu itself killed only one person, but hundreds were injured or killed by a vaccine the government came up with. (Read the whole story here.) About a third of the US population was vaccinated, perhaps thanks to scaremongering public service announcements like these:



Click here for answers to all your swine flu questions. Thanks to Sally Jacobs for the video link!

Social History | Videos
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 12:40:40 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, April 24, 2009
Genealogy News Corral, April 20-24
Posted by Diane

Here's our roundup of the week's genealogy news bits:
  • The New England Regional Genealogy Conference is now underway in Manchester, NH. If you're in the area, stop by today or tomorrow to take classes, check out the exhibitors and participate in the Ancestors Road show.
  • Subscription records site WorldVitalRecords.com enhanced its record image viewer to let you view newspaper images at up to 200 percent (before the most you could get was 100 percent). You also can print the zoomed record, save images to your computer and share images with friends and family.
  • Roots Television (genealogy tv you watch online) is bringing back the Down Under series, which has genealogists discovering intriguing stories about tombstones and those who’ve passed on.
  • FamilySearch online indexing volunteers reached a big milestone this week, transcribing their 250 millionth historical record. Record #250 million was part of Nicaragua civil registrations, extracted by three online indexers from Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras.
FamilySearch Indexing, begun in January 2006, now has more than 100,000 volunteers worldwide typing away.
  • This also from FamilySearch: Its expanded the Knowles Collection, a free database of Jewish records from Britain, to 40,000 names. You can download the database in GEDCOM or Personal Ancestral File format from FamilySearch’s Jewish resources page.

  • Update: Ancestry.com has change its Ancestry.com blog to disable commenting on posts once they've reached two weeks old. That's so staff can "track all comments in a more timely manner and reply as needed." See more on the Ancestry.com blog.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | Videos
Friday, April 24, 2009 3:06:38 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, April 20, 2009
Can Genealogy Web Sites Make it Easier to Cite Sources?
Posted by Diane

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find information about your ancestor on a database site such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch or Footnote, and just click to add the ancestor information and a properly formatted source citation to your genealogy software?

Mark Tucker, the software architect who blogs at Think Genealogy, says the technology exists to make this happen. He created a video to prove it.

It sure looks simple: On a sample Web site he'd set up, Tucker clicks a "quick citation" link next to digitized pages from a family history book. Then, switching back to his RootsMagic 4 software, he shows how the source citation and information about his ancestor has been automatically exported to the software. (Tucker says this also could work in Family Tree Maker 2009 and Legacy Family Tree 7.)

At the end of the video, he encourages you to contact database companies you use to encourage them to adopt this easy method of source citation. You also can take a survey about your source citation needs.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Software | Videos
Monday, April 20, 2009 8:34:15 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Friday, April 10, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: April 6-10
Posted by Diane

Here's a roundup of news bits from this week:
  • UK-based subscription site FamilyRelatives redesigned its Web site to make it easier to find databases. Changes include a simpler look and new menu that categorizes databases geographically. Records come from Australia, England, Ireland and a few from the United States (US records are free to registered users), with Canada, Wales, Scotland and New Zealand collections to come.
A FamilyRelatives subscription costs 30 pounds (about $44) per year. Many records are also available on a pay-per-view basis. See more details on Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and some screen shots on Genea-Musings.

Genealogy Web Sites | Historic preservation | Videos
Friday, April 10, 2009 2:44:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 26, 2009
America's Next Top Immigrants
Posted by Grace

What do modeling and genealogy have in common?

Absolutely nothing—until last night, when the girls of "America's Next Top Model" did a photo shoot at Ellis Island as very fashionable immigrants.

Watch this season's girls impersonating new arrivals in the video below:


Genealogy fun | Videos
Thursday, March 26, 2009 9:00:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Morphing the Presidents
Posted by Diane

If you want to see a cool blend of technology and history—or you want to remind yourself what Millard Fillmore looks like—watch this video.

It's kind of a visual representation of the transfer of power: The video seamlessly “morphs” images of the 44 presidents from George Washington all the way up to Barack Obama.  It's set to “Boléro” by Maurice Ravel.



Videos
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 12:43:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Monday, September 29, 2008
Technology in Plain English
Posted by Allison

With the online genealogy world embracing “Web 2.0,” you’re probably hearing a lot of related terminology that might confuse you a bit. Actually, I know you’re hearing it, because we use it on this blog and in the magazine—and since I’ve only learned about these things through writing about them, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that many of you would enjoy some accessible-to-the-average-person explanations of newfangled Web technology.

Enter the CommonCraft Show, which offers—you guessed it—“explanations in plain English.” On its YouTube channel, you’ll find short videos demonstrating social networking, Twitter, wikis, blogs and other online trends. I stumbled across CommonCraft’s RSS in Plain English video on the RootsMagic blog, and was pleasantly surprised at how well the videos convey the concepts in a way that’s accessible to anyone—and even entertaining.

Here's the RSS clip for your enjoyment:


Videos
Monday, September 29, 2008 3:43:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, August 29, 2008
Family Tree Magazine Expert Talks Roots on the Today Show
Posted by Diane

The "Today" show hosts have been showing off their roots all week in a genealogy series. This morning, Family Tree Magazine contributing editor and resident Photo Detective  Maureen A. Taylor was in a spot with Al Roker, answering viewers’ research questions. 

See if you can spot the cover a familiar-looking genealogy magazine!

We've posted a video of Maureen's second segment with Meredith Vieira on the Photo Detective blog.


Research Tips | Videos
Friday, August 29, 2008 1:44:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, August 25, 2008
"Today" Traces Hosts' Roots
Posted by Diane

If you want your genealogy researched for free but your past is too checkered to run for political office, there’s always the “Today” show host chair.

The show is again airing a series on tracing its hosts’ roots. Today we saw snippets of Meredith Vieira’s family history in Portugal’s Azores islands. On a genealogist's dream journey, Vieira visited the islands and found ancestors’ birth records, discovered family homes, met cousins and joined in the Festa do Espirito Santo (Festival of the Holy Spirit). You may get jealous, but watch the video all the same—it was inspiring.

At the end of the segment, Vieira thanks several people, including our own contributing editor Maureen A. Taylor, who did genealogical research for the "Today" producers.

Readers who share Vieira’s Portuguese ancestry—or have roots in neighboring Spain—can get research help in the June 2004 Family Tree Magazine (available from our Back Issue store).

Also see the Portuguese Genealogy Home Page and LusaWeb.


International Genealogy | Videos
Monday, August 25, 2008 11:17:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, August 04, 2008
Let the Games Begin!
Posted by Grace

Attention around the world is already turning to Beijing, where the 2008 Summer Olympics begins this Friday. To get you in the sporting mood, we've collected some great resources on Olympics history.

The New York Times has a great audio slideshow about legendary Olympians. The interviewees include John Carlos (the runner who raised a gloved fist during the awards ceremony in 1968), Nadia Comaneci and Mark Spitz.

Britannica.com has an in-depth history of the games, and Kodak shows great Olympics moments in pictures.

The New York Times' Olympics blog also has a roundup of past official songs of the games complete with YouTube videos. Some are very memorable (like Gloria Estefan's "Reach")—others I'd much rather forget I ever heard.



More current Olympics information:


Genealogy fun | Oral History | Social History | Videos
Monday, August 04, 2008 1:48:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, July 28, 2008
Video Tour of Cincinnati Library Genealogy Center
Posted by Diane

We’re lucky enough to work up the road from an excellent research resource—the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s Genealogy and Local History Department. It’s one of the biggest and best genealogy collections in the country. Our latest video tells you how a recent reorganization stands to benefit genealogists, and highlights resources that just might lead to ancestral answers in your tree.

You’ll find more video tours and how-tos on Family Tree Magazine’s You Tube Channel.


Libraries and Archives | Videos
Monday, July 28, 2008 3:10:50 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Go Behind the Scenes As Genealogist Searches for Next-of-Kin
Posted by Diane

Roots Television has launched a new show about the role genealogists can play in finding the families of unclaimed bodies at morgues across the United States.

“Unclaimed Persons” is a genealogical "CSI." It follows professional researcher Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s work on the case of one deceased man, presenting clues through interviews with his acquaintances and coroner’s office staff. No plot spoilers here; you’ll have to see for yourself how it ends.

A separate video gives more information on Smolenyak’s research.

"Unclaimed Persons" also shows you the beginning of another case you might be able to help solve—and maybe we’ll see how that one ends in a future episode.


Genealogy Web Sites | Videos
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 9:13:05 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, May 19, 2008
Video: Sneak Peek at the Midwest Genealogy Center
Posted by Diane

While in Kansas City last week for the National Genealogical Society conference, we ventured a few minutes down the highway to Independence, Mo., where we were lucky enough to get a peek at the Mid-Continent Public Library’s genealogy branch and its soon-to-open Midwest Genealogy Center.

Around the beginning of June, the 12,000-square-foot genealogy branch will move its overflowing resources into the 52,000-square-foot genealogy center. But you'll get an insider’s peek at both facilities—and learn what you can look forward to after the move—in our short video. (Note the genealogy branch will close May 27 through June 1 while staff members pack and unpack.)

And you’ll see why the library’s genealogy collection makes it one of the July 2008 Family Tree Magazines Libraries to visit Before You Die.


Libraries and Archives | Videos
Monday, May 19, 2008 3:13:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, April 28, 2008
Delving into DNA
Posted by Allison

No matter how much experience you have in genealogy, you're always a beginner with some type of research or resource. Right now, I'm a newbie at genetic genealogy: I took my first DNA test last week. If you're contemplating diving into your own gene pool, watch this video of my experience to learn what you're in for:



Genetic Genealogy | Videos
Monday, April 28, 2008 10:15:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Video: Making Genealogy Fun for Kids
Posted by Diane

So last week I took a quick trip out to San Diego to talk on the morning news about genealogy for kids and Family Tree Magazine’s partnership with Tamagotchi.

With the latest version of Tamagotchi's digital pets, kids can raise “Tama” families and trace their pets' family trees—which presented an excellent opportunity to help kids learn about their own family trees in a fun way. They can get human genealogy tips in Tama Generations’ Family Center and on our Family Tree Kids! site.

For more on Tamagotchi trees and how kids can research their own families, watch the video (remember, I woke up before the crack of dawn) on San Diego's NBC affiliate Web site.


Genealogy for kids | Genealogy fun | Videos
Tuesday, April 08, 2008 8:49:01 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, February 29, 2008
Making a Protective Book Box
Posted by Grace

If you're lucky enough to have inherited a family bible or diary from one of your ancestors, you've probably wondered just where you should keep it. You can read all about how best to keep old diaries and books in the May issue's "Preserving Memories" column.

The article includes many resources for purchasing archival materials, but for the crafting-inclined, we've created a demonstration of how to make a built-to-order protective book box. Click here to download a PDF with instructions, and you can watch a step-by-step demonstration on our YouTube channel!


Genealogy fun | Historic preservation | Videos
Friday, February 29, 2008 10:51:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, February 11, 2008
Family History Expo Slide Show
Posted by Allison

For those of you who couldn't make it to the Family History Expo 2008 in St. George, Utah, last weekend—and those who want to relive the fun—watch this slideshow of images from the event:



Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun | Videos
Monday, February 11, 2008 5:05:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Saturday, February 09, 2008
News and Notes from the Family History Expo
Posted by Allison

The first day of MyAncestorsFound’s Family History Expo 2008 saw a flurry of activity in the exhibit hall—here at the Family Tree Magazine booth, I barely had a moment to catch my breath. But today I had the opportunity to cruise the hall and learn about new developments in the industry.

The buzzword for this event has been “New FamilySearch”—referring to the highly anticipated revamp of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ genealogy Web site, which is scheduled to go public in early 2009. Several classes focused on how the new system works, and what it means to genealogists. Developers from AncestralQuest, PAFInsight and RootsMagic genealogy software gave demos on how their programs will “sync” with the New FamilySearch.

Here’s a snapshot of other news:
  • Newcomer FamilyPursuit is a Web-based family tree program that aims to make it easy for families to collaborate on recording and researching genealogy. It’s currently in a public beta phase—you can get sneak peek at its features on the Web site, or sign up to become a tester.
  • Milennia Corp. is preparing to release version 7 of its Legacy Family Tree software in March. The new edition will add wall charts and source templates, among other features
  • GenealogyBank, the subscription Web site for historical newspapers, government records and primary documents, is adding hundreds of Hispanic newspapers to its collection.
  • Ancestry DNA, the genetic genealogy arm of data megasite Ancestry.com, will be adding surname groups this spring, along with groups for different geographic locations and haplogroups.
  • Add Family Tree and Me to the list of companies offering decorative family tree charts. Owner Shirlene Dymock aims to provide designs elegant enough to display in your living room—see samples of the layouts, backgrounds and frames online.
  • Online genealogy TV channel RootsTelevision has now posted all the episodes of both PBS “Ancestors” series. You’ll also be able to catch interviews from the Expo on RootsTelevision.
  • Podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke was also busy doing interviews during the Expo. Among the conversations to be featured in upcoming episodes: Richard Black of the Godfrey Memorial Library, Kathy Meade of Swedish church records Web site Genline, and presenter Kathryn Lake Hogan speaking about immigration resources. Visit Genealogy Gems for details on subscribing to this free online radio show.
  • Speaking of Swedish records, Meade tipped me off to a recent news story on genealogi.se about a reinterpretation of Swedish law that would allow more-recent church records to be digitized and posted online—shrinking the 100-year waiting period to 70 or 85. Watch this blog for announcements on where and when those records may become available to you.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | Videos
Saturday, February 09, 2008 11:08:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Looking for one's own Peeps
Posted by Grace

The Birmingham Public Library posted this too-cute video about a little guy's genealogy quest:


Genealogy fun | Libraries and Archives | Videos
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:37:39 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]