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Friday, July 18, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: July 14-18
Posted by Diane
- The UK-based genealogy company Findmypast and Wall-to-Wall,
the "Who Do You Think You Are?" TV show production
company, are working together on Who Do You
Think You Are? Story, a website to help you
"produce" your family story. You'll enter information about your
immediate family and upload photos, and the site will play an
"animated retelling" of your family story, including events that
may have affected your family. It will draw from historical
records and British newspaper articles at FindMyPast. You can be
notified when the site launches by entering your
email address on the Who Do You think You Are? Story website.
Read more about the service on
the Findmypast blog.
"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Ancestry.com | findmypast | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | MyHeritage | saving and sharing family history
Friday, July 18, 2014 9:48:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Monday, June 23, 2014
Findmypast Acquires Genealogy Website Mocavo
Posted by Diane
Another week, another acquisition for British genealogy company Findmypast: The company just
announced that it has purchased Mocavo.com,
a genealogy search engine, records and family tree website. Mocavo
will become a fully owned subsidiary of Findmypast.
from Findmypast is here. You can read Mocavo's statement about
the acquisition on its home page
As part of the acquisition, Findmypast's
indexes to the US Census from 1790 to 1940 are now free at
On Mocavo, you can search and view results from individual datasets
for free; subscribers can search across the site, access advanced
search features and download records. (So to see full results from
the census index for free, you should scroll down on the census
search page and search one decade at a time, rather than the
entire US census at once.)
In 2012, Mocavo
acquired ReadyMicro, which specialized in digitizing
historical records. That acquisition has led to encouraging
development in software
that can "read" handwritten records and make them searchable
“Our heritage and rich record collections coupled with Mocavo’s
sophisticated technology will make for a powerful combination," says
Findmypast director of family history D. Joshua Taylor.
"Expect Mocavo to grow stronger with Findmypast’s support and to
continue to drive innovation in the family history category," says
Cliff Shaw, who founded Mocavo in 2011.
Several of Shaw's earlier genealogy startups have been acquired by
major companies. GenForum, which Shaw founded as a college student,
was purchased by Genealogy.com (and is soon
to become read-only). Shaw also founded Pearl Street Software
and BackUpMyTree, both of which were purchased by MyHeritage.
Last week, Findmypast
acquired British and Irish genealogy site Origins.net.
findmypast | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, June 23, 2014 12:16:42 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 30, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: May 26-30
Posted by Diane
recently updated collections come from Brazil, Canada, Chile,
Czech Republic, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, and the United States.
They include Quebec notarial records, Freedmen's Bureau records,
and New York passenger arrival records from 1909 and 1925 to
1957 (that's after the time period you can search at
EllisIsland.org, and it includes air passengers). Go here to read
more about the updates and click through to search or browse
- Record additions at subscription website findmypast.com include Irish
marriage and death notices from American newspapers, 4 million
British army service records dating from 1914 to 1920,
19th-century marriage and death notices from New York City
newspapers, and more. It's part of the site's 100 in 100 campaign
to release 100 new record sets in 100 days.
- The ScotlandsPeople website has added the wills of 31,000
soldiers from 1857 to 1964. They include records of 26,000
soldiers who died in World War I and 5,000 who died in World War
II. A few hundred come from earlier wars. You can read more
about this digitization project and sample records here
(click Image Gallery). Register for free with the site to search
the wills and view basic information; it costs 10 credits
(about $2.90) to view a document.
FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy books | Military records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 30, 2014 12:00:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, April 11, 2014
Genealogy News Corral, April 7-11
Posted by Diane
- The British
Newspaper Archive, a partnership between D.C. Thomson
Family History (owner of the findmypast websites) and the
British Library, has a new, free iPhone app called Here &
Then. It shows you newspaper articles about what happened on
this day in history, amusing news blurbs from history, and
historical news articles related to today's headlines. Download
the app from the iTunes store.
- Findmypast has announced an initiative to release 100 databases
in 100 days. The databases will come from around the world
and so far include the Birmingham Pals WWI battalion, Glasgow
Pals, Liverpool Pals and more. Learn more here. In
related news, subscribers to the British site Findmypast.co.uk
in arms about site updates many say make the site harder
to navigate and search. The new site was rolled out to
international customers over a year ago, but only recently
introduced to UK customers, according to a
Q&A on the problems.
- Professional genealogist and house historian Marian
Pierre-Louis has started a new podcast called The Genealogy
Professional. It provides guidance on running a genealogy
business for professional genealogists and amateur researchers
considering going pro. Shows are broadcast weekly, released
every Monday through the Genealogy
Professional website as well as iTunes and Stitcher.
- British genealogy site Origins.net
has updated its free Devon
Wills Project index to include more than 300,000 Devon
wills from 1164 to 1992. Not all of the original wills
referenced survived WWII bombings; the index tells you whether
an original, copy, transcription or abstract of the will
survives and how to access it. Search
findmypast | Genealogy societies | Podcasts | UK and Irish roots
Friday, April 11, 2014 1:35:22 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Findmypast to Digitize 1939 Register of England and Wales
Posted by Diane
Findmypast.co.uk website owners DC Thomson Family History today announced plans to digitize the 1939 Register of
England and Wales over the next two years.
The British government created the register to record information
about citizens as of Sept. 29, 1939, as WWII broke out in Europe. It
was used to issue identity cards and ration books, and later formed
the basis of National Health Service records.
The register contains an individuals' full name, addresses, date of
birth, sex, marital status and occupation, and also notes changes of
The 1.2 million digital images in the 1939 Register collection will
become searchable on findmypast.co.uk within the next two years.
Information about living individuals, however, will be kept closed
for 100 years from their year of birth, or until proof of death has
You can read more about
this project and register to get updates here.
Learn how to locate the place your English ancestors came from with our video class Hedgerow Genealogy: A Three-Step Strategy for Finding English Origins, presented by English genealogy expert J. H. Fonkert.
findmypast | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:52:17 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Friday, February 21, 2014
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 17-21
Posted by Diane
- The College of Charleston has launched the Lowcountry Digital History
Initiative to share exhibits that "highlight underrepresented
race, class, gender, and labor histories within and connected to the
Lowcountry region." Current exhibits feature photos and historical
documents related to slavery and the struggle for civil rights. This
map, for example, shows the plan
of the Airyhall rice and cotton plantation in 1849.
The new family history mapping website Place My Past has made some
updates, including a Gallery page of maps and datasets you can layer
over your family tree. Recently added datasets include US
cemeteries, churches and other genealogical points of interest from
the US Geographic Names Information System. You can browse the main
map on Place My Past for free; subscribers ($48 per
year) can upload their family trees to be plotted onto a map, add
notes, and overlay it with maps and visualizations of data from the
Place My Past Gallery.
Findmypast's Australian genealogy subscription site, findmypast.com.au,
has added more than 640,000 convict records. It's an especially
handy database for Australians, as about 20 percent of them
(according to findmypast) are estimated to have convict ancestry.
The new records include more than 515,000 New South Wales and
Tasmania: Settlers and Convicts 1787-1859 documents, and 125,000
Convict Transportation Registers. Read
more about the collection on findmypast.com.au.
- FamilySearch.org has added
close to 4.2 million indexed records and images to collections from
Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic,
France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, United
Kingdom and the United States. UK additions include WWI Women's
Auziliary Corps Records (1917-1920), which aren't yet indexed, so
you'll need to browse them. From the United States, notable
additions include 1850 census slave schedules (browse only) and
records form the Panama Canal Zone (1905-1937, also browse only). Click here to see a list
and access each updated collection.
African-American roots | FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | International Genealogy
Friday, February 21, 2014 11:24:17 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Friday, February 07, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: RootsTech 2014 Edition
Posted by Diane
FamilySearch's RootsTech conference, going on through Saturday in
Salt Lake City, kicked off its Friday with a dynamic keynote
address by the Legal Genealogist Judy Russell. She started with an
archivist's statement that oral family history can be lost in just
three generations, because it isn't purposely and accurately passed
the exact quote on Judy's blog). The recording isn't yet
available on the RootsTech website, but it will be.
Remember that you can watch live streamed presentations on the RootsTech.org home page, too. (Try switching browsers if you just see a black screen. I had to switch to Chrome from my usual Firefox.)
Yesterday, I posted news
from FamilySearch, including a new obituary indexing
initiative and free access to Ancestry.com, MyHeritage and
findmypast.com at Family History Centers (and, for members of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from home).
Here are a few more news items:
- Subscription/pay-per-view website findmypast.com is
restructuring its subscription offerings to include a one-month
option. A one-month US subscription for $9.95, which includes
all records from the USA. A one month World subscription costs
$19.95, which includes access to records from around the world.
- Subscription genealogy site MyHeritage
has added 815 million US public records of US residents to its
SuperSearch. This compilation was assembled from telephone
directories, property tax assessments, credit applications,
voter registration lists and other records available to the
public. The information spans the last five decades, making it
helpful for finding living relatives. Read
more on the MyHeritage blog.
- Mocavo has added 20,000 new
databases, bringing its database count to more than 250,000.
They're free to access if you search one database at a time (find them listed here).
To view match details when you run a search across all
databases, you must be a premium member ($7 or $9 per month).
One thing you can do is search all databases for an ancestor,
view the match "snippets" for promising-looking records, note
the databases they're in, then go to the database listings and
search the ones you need.
If you want to see what it's like to be at RootsTech, Randy
Seaver at Genea-Musings is posting detailed daily reports
(including links to posts by other bloggers who are at the
conference), as is Miriam
Robbins at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors.
- In a low-fanfare breakfast with a small group of bloggers and
media, representatives from subscription site Ancestry.com said that records
of Mexico and Germany are an area of content focus, among other
plans. I'll once again send you the extremely thorough Ancestry
Insider for additional details.
- RootsMagic, maker of RootsMagic software, just launched a
RootsMagic app for Android devices. You can access your
RootsMagic files, explore your tree, view all your RootsMagic
data and more. Read about
the RootsMagic app here, and download it here.
Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Friday, February 07, 2014 4:20:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Thursday, February 06, 2014
FamilySearch Launches Obituary Indexing Effort & More News From RootsTech
Posted by Diane
FamilySearch held a media dinner last night before the start of the
RootsTech conference. The
Ancestry Insider has a great report on the key points. A few I'd like to highlight:
- This fourth-annual RootsTech has about 8,000
registrants. After the conference, 622 locations around the
world will hold events featuring recorded RootsTech sessions.
- FamilySearch is launching an effort to index 100 million
newspaper obituaries this year. A pirate named Capt. Jack Starling is
apparently roaming around the conference in promotion of this
effort, so don't be surprised if you see him popping up in your
Facebook news feeds.
Salt Lake Tribune has an article here with more on FamilySearch's
- Ancestry.com, findmypast and MyHeritage, each of which has
strategic partnerships with FamilySearch, will be free to use at
FamilySearch Centers. Each website also has plans to let users
transfer information between a tree on that site and a
FamilySearch family tree.
Update: According to blogger Dick Eastman, members of the LDS church (which operates FamilySearch) will receive free in-home access to these commercial sites.
In other RootsTech news, FamilySearch announced the winners of its
annual developer challenge, which rewards the most
innovative new concepts to family history. They are Genealogy
Systems LLC's Find-A-Record,
a searchable index of record collections (so far, mostly on
from Eclipse Identity Recognition Corp.; and the Saving Memories Forever
story-saving app. Read
more about the winners here.
Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Events | MyHeritage
Thursday, February 06, 2014 11:15:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Findmypast.com Adds PERSI Genealogical Index
Posted by Diane
Was it really more than six months ago that
subscription/pay-per-view genealogy website findmypast.com
announced it planned to add the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) to
its databases—and better yet, link each entry to an image of
the original article it refers to? Time flies!
now can search PERSI on findmypast.com. If you hover over the Search Records tab and choose Newspapers & Periodicals, then select PERiodical Source Index (or just click here), you'll see:
PERSI, created by librarians at the Allen County
(Ind.) Public Library Genealogy Center, is an index to
thousands of historical, genealogical and ethnic journals and
magazines. Most cover the United States and Canada, but some cover
Britain, Ireland and Australia.
The database on findmypast.com includes 2.5 million index
entries, and it will be updated on a quarterly basis. Some
entries link to the digitized articles, including the New
York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1871-1920,
and more will be added over time. A partnership
with the Federation of Genealogical Societies to preserve
society publications is making this effort possible.
When I've searched PERSI in teh past, I've found it difficult to determine if
the source article was about my relative or someone else, and what
type of information the article contained. How great would it be to
just click and read the full article online?
You can search PERSI on findmypast.com by last name, place and/or keyword, and matches include
the article title, periodical title and year the article was published.
You can click for more information or the digitized article, if you're a
findmypast.com subscriber or have pay-as-you-go credits.
Don't limit yourself to name searches, because genealogical society
publications often contain descriptions of unique local resources, but not necessarily indexes.
Try searching PERSI just by place and/or with a keyword, such as a
church your family attended or a place a relative worked.
For PERSI entries that don't link to source articles, you can order copies from
the Genealogy Center (click the Services tab).
the full PERSI press release on findmypast.com.
findmypast | Genealogy societies | Research Tips
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 11:51:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Genealogy Resources To Be Thankful For
Posted by Diane
It's a month of being thankful—in daily Facebook posts, at the
Thanksgiving table, and in our 11
Online Genealogy Resources to Be Thankful For webinar on
Nov. 20. Here are some of the genealogy resources I'm
thankful for (in no particular order):
- Other genealogists! They've shared tombstone photos,
burial records, baptismal information and genealogy happy
dances, and helped me fill in blank spots in my tree. Recently,
a genealogist I emailed about a possible connection (I found his
online tree with a Google
search of the last name, city, and the word genealogy)
helped me figure out the correct German birthplace for my
- An organization that's digitizing genealogy records,
mobilizing millions of volunteers to index them, and making them
available free online has to be on a genealogist's thank-you
list. I'm talking about FamilySearch.
I check the site regularly for new and updated
collections in the places my ancestors lived. To do this for your research, scroll
down on the search page and click the world region of choice. Then choose the state or country
from the filters on the left. Click Last Updated on the right to
see what's been added recently.
- I'm thankful for subscription-based resources, too.
They make possible all the research I wouldn't get done if
I had to travel to the places my ancestors lived. And that's
most of my research—these days, it's hard to get out of the
house child-free, period. Ancestry.com,
GenealogyBank, findmypast, MyHeritage—whichever one has
the records you need is the right one for you. To save some
money, see if your local library or FamilySearch
Center offers free access to any subscription sites.
I could list resources I'm thankful for all day. What genealogy
resources are you thankful for?
- Of course, I want to go to those libraries
and archives and pore over the records and books
they have. I'm thankful that libraries and archives are there to
preserve and organize historical records, with knowledgable
staff who help family historians find what they need. And I'm
extremely thankful for interlibrary
loan, which has allowed me to find ancestors in
microfilmed prison registers and city directories from other
In the 11
Online Genealogy Resources to Be Thankful for webinar,
presenter Gena Philibert-Ortega, will share a feast of resources for
doing genealogy online—and how to get the most out of those
The webinar is Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m.
MT, 4 p.m. PT). As always, anyone who registers
will receive a 25-plus-page handout of the presentation slides, and
access to view the webinar again as many times as they want.
Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | findmypast | Libraries and Archives | MyHeritage
Wednesday, November 06, 2013 2:36:48 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Thursday, October 17, 2013
FamilySearch Partners With Findmypast.com Owner D.C. Thomson
Posted by Tyler
FamilySearch is forming yet
with a commercial genealogy company—this time, with DC
Thomson, formerly called Brightsolid, owner of the findmypast.com subscription website.
DC Thomson will "deliver a wide range of projects including digital
preservation, records search, technological development and the
means to allow family historians to share their discoveries." No
additional specifics are being offered about the projects.
DC Thomson, in turn, received access to more than 13 million
records from FamilySearch.org, including major collections of
births, marriages and deaths covering America, Australia and
Ireland. Those records have already launched on findmypast.com.
About 600 additional collections containing millions of records will
follow. Those records will continue to be accessible free at
The organizations have previously collaborated on digitization and
indexing projects including the 1940 census and British army
I wonder how these partnership agreements affect each other. Is FamilySearch trying not to play favorites, or does it have fingers in too many pies? For example, can
the records digitized and indexed as a result of Ancestry.com's
$60 million investment with FamilySearch then be shared with
Ancestry.com's competitor MyHeritage.com (which has agreed
to give FamilySearch its Smart Matching and Record Matching
technologies) and/or with DC Thomson (in exchange for the
As has become FamilySearch's practice with such announcements, the
organization has posted an FAQ here. (Question #2 makes it sound a
little like findmypast records are launching on FamilySearch, which
is the opposite of what's happening.)
Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Industry | MyHeritage
Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:00:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, October 04, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 30-Oct. 4
Posted by Diane
- Those researching ancestors in Ireland, may be relieved to hear this announcement from the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO): “In recent weeks stories have been circulated by some within the genealogical community that the new Freedom of Information Bill will restrict access to Ireland's civil registration records. CIGO can categorically state that these rumors are completely unfounded. No such change is contemplated and this has been confirmed by Brian Hayes TD, Minister of State in the Irish government.” Read more on the CIGO website.
- UK genealogists have launched a free Register of One-Place Studies website, where researchers can register historical studies covering the entire population of a particular place. Click the link for each study for basic details and a link to the study website. Most listings are for the UK, with some from elsewhere.
FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Industry | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 04, 2013 2:07:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, August 16, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Aug. 12-16
Posted by Diane
- Subscription and pay-per-view site Findmypast.com has added
books from Archives CD Books Canada to its online collections.
The 200 volumes date back to the 1600s and include military,
religious, occupational and immigration records, business
directories, published genealogies and vital records. The
content is primarily Canadian, but also relates to Scottish, Irish, German and other roots. You
can see all the books listed on Dick Eastman's blog.
Family Tree University | FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Friday, August 16, 2013 12:59:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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)
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Can Findmypast.com Take PERSI From Most-Overlooked to Most-Used Genealogy Resource?
Posted by Diane
PERSI, aka the Periodical Source Index, may be about to go from
one of the best most-overlooked genealogy resources to one of the
Brightsolid, the British company behind findmypast.com and other
genealogy websites, has agreed with PERSI's creators
at the Allen
County (Ind.) Public Library (ACPL) to publish the index—and the company plans to make each index entry link to an image of the
article it refers to.
Let's back up for a minute and talk about PERSI: It's an index to
articles in thousands of genealogy and local history periodicals published in the US and Canada back to 1800. Any of which could contain information that
helps you with a family or place you're researching
Allen County librarians began creating PERSI
in 1986. It now has about 2.5 million citations and adds
100,000 per year, according
to the Journal Gazette.
The index was made searchable on
Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest Online (which has a more
recent version you can search at libraries that offer
HeritageQuest Online). You can run a search, and then if you
find an index entry that mentions a family or place of interest, you can order a copy
of the article from ACPL.
That's been the only way for you to access all those
genealogy periodicals. You know,
unless you want to subscribe to all of them, and then read them.
And then find the periodicals no longer in publication, and read
Until now. If brightsolid can secure permission from publishers,
findmypast.com subscribers will be able to search for articles
related to their ancestors, and then link to digitized images of
the articles. That can't happen soon enough as far as I'm
more about PERSI in the Journal Gazette.
Don't want to wait? Learn how to use PERSI and other databases in HeritageQuest Online (including family and local histories, censuses and military records) with our HeritageQuest Online Web Guide.
findmypast | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:05:01 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, July 12, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, July 8-12
Posted by Diane
An online petition to release the 1921 Canadian census is circulating. You
can read more about it and link to it on the Olive Tree Genealogy
Canadian roots | Celebrity Roots | findmypast
Friday, July 12, 2013 10:18:57 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)