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<2007 August>

More Links

# Saturday, 18 August 2007
FamilySearch starts new records-access project
Posted by Diane

In the next two years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' FamilySearch will release free online indexes for a long list of genealogical records—150 million images total. Thousands of volunteers are already working fast and furiously on FamilySearch projects to index digitized records, so the church is turning to another source for help with this one: businesses such as The Generations Network, Footnote and others.


For what’s known as the Genesis Project, FamilySearch—the church’s records-scanning arm—has put out a “request for information” seeking interested commercial service providers and records repositories.


FamilySearch will digitize the records, which spokesperson Paul Nauta says is the most expensive part of putting records online, and service providers would index them. Indexes would be free on FamilySearch and on the service provider’s and/or record repository’s Web site.

Targeted record groups include US and British censuses, US county naturalizations, Spanish parish registers, German SS records from the National Archives and Ukraine L’viv church records.
Those entities could choose to charge for access to digitized record images; the images would be free at the LDS church’s Family History Centers.

In other FamilySearch news:

  • FamilySearch’s Family History Library, Allen County Public Library and the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library are joining to digitize and index 100,000 books in the libraries’ holdings of local and family histories from all across the country. It’ll be the largest collection of its kind on the Web with free access at the BYU library's site. Read more on FamilySearch.
  • Next up for the FamilySearch Indexing Project is the 1930 Mexico Census, Revolutionary War Pensions and Land Warrants, Irish Civil Registration and 1900 US census records for more states.

For more information on FamilySearch records access initiatives, look for the November 2007 Family Tree Magazine, on newsstands and Sept. 11.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives
Saturday, 18 August 2007 10:39:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 17 August 2007
Genealogists Solve Audiocassette Mystery
Posted by Grace

Radio station WFMU posted an audio clip on their blog earlier this week—a 60-minute interview between a young woman and a 100-year-old lady, recorded in 1978. (The audio was captured from a cassette tape found at a Goodwill store.) The lady talked about early life in Kansas and her tips for playing the stock market. While the interview revealed some clues, there was no definitive identification.

Sounds like a job for a genealogist! Chris, who maintains the great Web site The Genealogue, did some digging with the little information revealed in the first half of the tape—she never married, her family settled in Newton, Kan., where she still lived in 1978, and her father emigrated from Germany. Using some free databases and a HeritageQuest search, he came up with a name for the woman and he issued a challenge to his readers—can you track down this centenarian?

A half-dozen people (including myself) had confirmed his identification by lunchtime. I won't give away the answer if you want to try to solve the mystery yourself.

Listen to the audio clips here.
See the Genealogue's challenge and the answers here.

Genealogy fun
Friday, 17 August 2007 15:13:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
What's New From the FGS Conference
Posted by Diane

We’re reporting live from the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference (which is much better than reporting dead).

Here's visual evidence the Family Tree Magazine staff isn't just goofing off here in Fort Wayne:

In conference news, the social networking site Geni (it's pronounced “jeenee”) is exhibiting at its first national genealogy show, and the site has a lot more features than when we first told you about its debut several months ago. That includes various ways to view and navigate through your family tree, image upload and privacy options. It’s a pretty slick site, and it’s free.

The historical records subscription and pay-per-view site Footnote has enhanced its social features, too. Anyone with a basic (free) membership can create a profile, upload photo and documents, annotate them and add “story pages” about ancestors and records. Footnote webmasters made these elements more noticeable by showing the newest user contributions on the home page. You don’t have to pay to see records members have contributed, either.

Footnote users will be glad to hear a new, more-sophisticated search function is in the works.

Subscription Web site (another Web site you may have heard of) has announced a partnership with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the oldest genealogical society in the country. You’ll hear more details in a few weeks, but the society will share records with in return for discounted subscriptions for its members.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 17 August 2007 14:48:13 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 16 August 2007
FGS and RootsTelevision Honor "Roots" 30th Anniversary
Posted by Diane

Chris Haley, nephew of Roots author Alex Haley, strolled into this morning’s Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference opening singing the Banana Boat song (the one that goes “Day-o”). Turns out it’s the 30th anniversary of the publication of Roots, the book some say propelled genealogy fervor to the big time.

The younger Haley—special guest of the genealogy-focused Internet tv station RootsTelevision—is associate reference director for the Maryland archives, makes films and acts (which is why he looked perfectly natural singing the Banana Boat song at 8:11 a.m. to a roomful of people who for a split second didn’t quite know what was happening). You want to see a love of family history personified, that’s him.

Later, Haley turned the tables and interviewed me for RootsTelevision. Snippets will be on the site along with those from other interviews.

RootsTelevision also has added 24 channels, each with segments specializing in a different genealogy topic. All but one are free and you can watch all of it at your convenience.

Genealogists get their own version of YouTube, too: You can upload your genealogy videos to RootsTelevision's RootsTube.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 16 August 2007 18:08:54 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy Heaven at Allen County Library
Posted by Diane

Yesterday, the first day of the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., the staff at the nearby Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center shelved 11,460 books and other materials.

That's just a fraction of the largest public library genealogy collection in the country, and conference attendees are eager for the chance to search for ancestors between lectures.

Astounding is a good word for the center. Yesterday we toured some of the giant collection of 350,000+ books (including 55,000 family histories; an impressive array of county histories, school yearbooks and records indexes) and 513,000 “microtexts” (microfilm and microfiche). Those include censuses, passenger lists and more.

Hoosiers and non-Hoosiers come here for the resources covering counties across America, plus countries overseas. The library’s staff are the folks behind the Periodical Source Index, too, which references genealogical and historical periodicals dating back to 1800.

Soon you can see more details in a video of the tour in an online video—we’ll let you know when you can see this truly quality visual experience.

Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives
Thursday, 16 August 2007 17:30:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
New Genealogy Society Fundraiser Announced
Posted by Allison

As the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference kicked off yesterday, the society announced partnerships with several genealogy companies, including our own Family Tree Magazine.

These partnerships are designed to help FGS and its 500-plus member societies earn much-needed funds for programs, volunteer projects and other efforts to benefit and grow the genealogical community. When individual members of FGS societies purchase the partners’ products, those companies will donate a portion of the sales back to the societies.

Family Tree Magazine initiated the partnership program with FGS, and we’ve launched a Web site that makes it easy for member groups to participate in our fundraiser. Societies can go to and download a button to put on their Web sites. Then individual members can visit to society’s site to sign up for a $24 new subscription, and we’ll donate $6 of the proceeds to that member society and $6 to FGS.

Further information and FAQs are on the Web site.
Other partners include genealogy records Web sites Footnote and, and Legacy Family Tree software.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Thursday, 16 August 2007 12:06:00 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Back to the Future
Posted by Grace

When you're trying to put some life into an ancestor, it's fun to imagine what they'd think of the world now. One of my new favorite blogs, Paleo-Future, gives you an inside look at how our ancestors (and our childhood selves) thought the future would be.

A menu on the right side lets you browse posts by decade, and the earliest (like this one about flying machines as imagined in 1885) are often accompanied by fanciful illustrations from the Library of Congress.

Soon, the blog will highlight responses to its Paleo-Future Project, which aims to preserve the collective memory of the future. If you want to get involved, dig out the digital camera or recorder and start asking questions! Paleo-Future offers a few talking points to get you started, such as "Did you ever try building your own jetpack?"

Here are some more gems:

More Predictions of a 14-Year-Old (1901)
Aerial Navigation Will Never Be Popular (1906)
Food of the Future (Indiana Progress, 1896)
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)

Genealogy fun | Social History
Wednesday, 15 August 2007 09:50:55 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Live from the FGS Conference
Posted by Allison

Family Tree Magazine staffers are at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., this week. During the conference, we’ll have the opportunity to tour the new Allen County Public Library facilities—featuring the largest public-library genealogy collection in the country—and catch up on the latest products, services and resources for genealogists. We’ll be sharing that news with you throughout the conference, so stay tuned to the Genealogy Insider blog for updates.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy societies
Wednesday, 15 August 2007 08:57:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 13 August 2007
Holocaust records on the way
Posted by Grace

Next week, the first batch of digital copies of a major trove of Holocaust-era documents will be transferred to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Allied forces discovered the files at the end of World War II, and they spent the next 60 years stashed away at the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany.

The museum says on its Web site the first installment includes 13.5 million pages, including records of camps, transportation, ghettos and arrest records. Later in the fall, the nearly 40 million index cards containing 17.5 million names will arrive.

Unfortunately, the archive won't be searchable online, but the museum plans to create a database that will let its own archivists quickly respond to your requests for information. When that database is up (watch the museum Web site for an announcement), queries from Holocaust survivors or on behalf of survivors will have priority.

Looking to explore your Jewish roots? Read more in the August 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine, which you can order here. And check out Tracing the Tribe, a blog all about Jewish genealogy.

Libraries and Archives | Public Records
Monday, 13 August 2007 17:14:03 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 10 August 2007
Calendar Proverbs
Posted by Diane

In earlier times, calendar-based sayings helped shape people’s lives. Family Tree Magazine author Nick D’Alto, who put together an article about online calendar tools for your genealogy research (look for his advice in the November 2007 issue, on newsstands Sept. 11), found a few:

Household Chores

Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday.

The Little House Cookbook, which has recipes and background from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series, explains the logic behind the chore schedule: Clean on Friday and bake on Saturday to have a neat house and fresh bread for Sunday, on Monday you wash the dust and flour off your clothes (and do this hard work after a day of rest), then iron and mend the now-clean attire.

When to Marry
Monday for wealth,
Tuesday for health,
Wednesday best day of all,
Thursday for losses,
Friday for crosses,
Saturday, no luck at all.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But a child born on Sabbath-day
Is always bonny good and gay.

I was born on a Sunday, so I suppose that bodes well. Do you know another calendar-based rhyme? Click Comment to share it.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Social History
Friday, 10 August 2007 15:12:48 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]