Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

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

Search

Archives

<September 2007>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456

More Links








# Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Ancestry.com Launches DNA Beta Site
Posted by Diane

Back in June, The Generations Network (TGN) acquired Relative Genetics and its test results database from Sorenson Genomics. (See our blog report.)

Now we’re seeing the fruits of that union on the DNA Ancestry beta site. There, you can order Y-DNA tests for $149 (33 markers) or $199 (46 markers), or mtDNA tests for $179. On the overview and ordering pages, you get information on the tests, and you can see a sample test results report. Trace Your Roots with DNA (Rodale, $14.95) co-author Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak became TGN’s chief family historian early this year, so expect good-quality background information.

Those with a free Ancestry.com registration will be able to search a test-result database and enter results from other companies’ tests.

The Relative Genetics site will be phased out by the end of 2007. See DNA Ancestry's FAQ page for more information.

Look for more genetic genealogy help in upcoming issues of Family Tree Magazine. Also see the October 2006 Family Tree Magazine’s user-friendly testing guide (sold out from our back issues store, but ask for it at your library).


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy
Tuesday, September 04, 2007 9:24:34 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, August 31, 2007
The State of Genealogy in Germany
Posted by Grace

We don't need to tell you that genealogy's a big deal. But for the sake of backing up the argument, here are some numbers. A poll released by The Generations Network in 2005 said 29 percent have created a family tree—that's more than 80 million people. Ancestry.com alone has 760,000 subscribers.

Now, about one in six Americans reported having German ancestry in the 2000 US Census—more than 43 million people.

Considering how many US genealogists might be rooting around in the archives of Baden-Wurttemberg and Brandenburg, it seems surprising that only about 30,000 Germans are tracing their family roots, according to German news channel N-TV.

But the lack of fervor in Deutschland has deep-seated roots.

Genealogy was at its most popular in Germany during the Third Reich—it was a way of proving Aryan heritage. Because much of the general population associated the hobby with national socialism, nearly all genealogical organizations were disbanded in 1945, and the hobby still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many Germans.

With the advent of Internet-driven research (and perhaps with the influence of countries like the United States and United Kingdom, where genealogy is big business), it seems like Ahnenforschung is making a comeback. TV stations are producing genealogy-focused programs like "Die Spur der Ahnen" ("The Trace of the Ancestors") and "Vorfahren Gesucht: Abenteuer Ahnenforschung" ("Ancestors Sought: Genealogy Adventure"). For those fluent in Deutsch, a German-language blog affiliated with Ancestry.de gives an interesting take on family history.

So now I’m curious—what's the state of genealogy in other countries? Leave a comment!


Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy
Friday, August 31, 2007 2:49:10 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, August 30, 2007
Search Newspapers Free Until Sept. 6 on World Vital Records
Posted by Diane

Genealogy database site World Vital Records will provide “increased access” to the collection of NewspaperArchive.com, the largest online subscription newspaper database.

By “increased access,” World Vital Records webmasters mean they’re extracting vital information in newspapers dating from 1759 to 1923, resulting in half a billion records, and making it searchable on the World Vital Records site.

The first release of the NewspaperArchive.com data—40 million records—went up Aug. 27, and data for more titles were posted today. World Vital Records gives 10 days of free access for each site addition, so start searching.

After 10 days, databases are available with a World Vital Records subscription, which costs $49.95 for two years.

Find the data on World Vital Records’ Browse Databases page. For now, you have to search each title individually. You can search by name, place, year and keyword, and results are linked to (supersized) images of the original articles.

Update: Based on the comments, it looks like some are having trouble accessing the free newspaper databases in World Vital Records. To review: Each new database is free for 10 days after World Vital Records adds it. After the 10 days are over, you must subscribe to access that database.

To find the free content, use this link: http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/recentcontentlisting.aspx. Next to each database listed on that page, you can see how many days of free access remain. Click a database to search it. You don't have to register with the site to search it, or to view the results of your search.


Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, August 30, 2007 9:55:47 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [9]
FindMyPast.com and the Telegraph Launch White Label Site
Posted by Diane

If genealogy Web surfers think the new UK records site Telegraph Family History seems familiar, well, they're right.



FindMyPast.com has produced the first white label genealogy database site, for the Telegraph Media Group, publisher of the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

A white label product is one a company produces for another company to brand and market as its own. Telegraph Family History is basically FindMyPast.com with a different "skin," so when you search Telegraph Family History, you're really searching FindMyPast.com's collection of British census, vital and emigration records.

Telegraph Family History launched Friday, bearing a “powered by FindMyPast.com” graphic. You'll need a free registration to search the records, but you must pay to see detailed results.

It also has researcher and author Nick Barratt’s Family Detective columns investigating famous Brits’ pedigrees. Barratt is a UK family history media magnet who appears on the BBC series "Who Do You Think You Are?"

You can subscribe to Telegraph Family History for the same prices as FindMyPast.com. The Explorer package gives full access to all records for about $250 per year. You also can purchase pay-per-view units starting around $14. See www.findmypast.com/media/subscriptions.jsp for information.

Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, August 30, 2007 8:55:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Are Your Ancestors in Google Book Search?
Posted by Grace

Copyright fights aside, one of my favorite search tools is Google's Book Search, at books.google.com. By typing in keywords just like in a normal Google search, you get results from all sorts of out-of-print and hard-to-find books.

I use it to research the histories of areas that aren't well-represented online, and to check dates when I don't quite trust Wikipedia. Some books show up in the results as full page scans with searchable text. Other books are restricted to just showing a few preview pages or a few paragraphs of excerpts. Some are downloadable as PDF documents. (Even if you can't see all of the information, Google gives you the publisher's information that gives you a head start on finding it at your library.)

Because I have a fairly uncommon surname, Dobush, I tried searching for it. Google Book Search turned up some academic works by people with my last name, as well as some Jewish history books (which is intriguing, because that side of my family is Catholic as far as I know). But the best find was a 1916 book titled "Songs of Ukrania: With Ruthenian Poems."

The book's old enough to be in the public domain, and I was able to download a PDF of it. There in the index, under the subheading Robber Songs, is an epic poem titled "The Death of Dobush." It describes an Alexa Dobush as a Carpathian Robin Hood who stole from the rich to give to the poor. Leads to chase for that side of my family tree just got a lot more interesting!


Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 9:31:31 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, August 27, 2007
Genealogy Companies Merge, You Get Free Stuff
Posted by Diane

A genealogy industry merger is resulting in freebies for you. The Israel-based family networking site MyHeritage has finalized its purchase of software and database company Pearl Street Software, and it’s making Pearl Street’s products free.

Those include the $29.95 Family Tree Legends software and Family Tree Legends Records Collection, which debuted for $29.95 per year in 2005 with a variety of indexes to military, vital, court, biography and other records. Pearl Street also ran the pedigree site GenCircles, known for its SmartMatching technology that matches up duplicate search results for an ancestor. Lately, as owners looked for a buyer, the company's sites have stagnated and customers have noticed dwindling support services.

MyHeritage first made a splash back in 2006 with a facial recognition tool that found users' celebrity look-alikes. More gimmick than anything else, it nonetheless got attention from legions of Web surfers and doubtless padded the site's registered users stat to the current 17 million. (Facial recognition's genealogy application: It could match your uploaded photo of Great-Grandma with one your long-lost cousin submitted.)

The just-revamped MyHeritage is now available in 15 languages andhas a free Immersive Family Tree you can use to post your genealogy. Its “Megadex” search will look for surnames in online databases (results link you to the originating site, where you must be a subscriber to access paid content).

The new Look-alike Meter shows you which parent a child resembles more. And now you can create a collage of your famous twin. (I was a fan of TV’s recently concluded “Gilmore Girls,” so imagine my delight with my 83 percent resemblance to the show's Lauren Graham.)

GenCircles and Family Tree Legends will remain online for now, but MyHeritage is joining the sites' databases. To access the free software and record collection, visit Family Tree Legends.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, August 27, 2007 11:00:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, August 24, 2007
Family Tree Magazine, Simpsonized
Posted by Diane

I guess some people don't have enough ancestors to look for, so they go and research the genealogy of cartoon characters. You can see the family tree of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie on The Simpsons Sites. It lacks source citations and dates, but the researchers did manage to get images of everyone.

And you can masquerade as a member of the Simpson family tree at Simpsonize Me. You upload your photo, then customize your face, hair, clothes and accessories. The Family Tree Magazine staff made a Friday afternoon of it (hey, we worked hard this week).

So here we are: Kathy, art director; Allison, editor; Diane, managing editor; Grace, assistant editor and Pet-i-gree, faithful sidekick.

Genealogy fun
Friday, August 24, 2007 3:10:17 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Wednesday, August 22, 2007
More New Stuff Spotted at FGS
Posted by Diane

We’ve blogged about Federation of Genealogical Societies conference news from FamilySearch, The Generations Network, RootsTelevision and us here at Family Tree Magazine. We also found these new products and services meant to make your genealogical life easier:
  • World Vital Records has partnered with the National Genealogical Society to provide society management services including member benefits (in the form of World Vital Records subscription discounts), membership renewal processing, online data hosting and a Web platform (on FamilyLink) for member communication.
  • Genlighten.com is a not-yet-available service that matches people who have well-defined research tasks that need doing (such as getting an obituary from library microfilm) with experienced—but not necessarily professional—researchers who'll complete them for a fee. Expect a launch by March 2008.
  • FacTree from The Genealogy Shop is a Windows utility for entering data into your genealogy software. The theory is, you type data into an online form that approximates the source document, and facTree puts the data in the right format and place in your software. You can try it free with the 1880 census; other facTree forms cost $3.50.
  • Ages-Online is a Web-based genealogy program you can access from any Internet-connected computer. It has features similar to traditional software and backs up your data nightly, though not all packages support multimedia files. Subscriptions range from $39.95 (Economy) to $109.95 (Deluxe) per year.
  • Several Web sites, such as Geni, Footnote, WeRelate and FamilyLink, have enhanced or added free social networking features that let you upload photos, post research information, build trees and collaborate with other researchers. Watch upcoming issues of Family Tree Magazine for more information on genealogy social networking.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 4:07:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Made-Over Family Tree Maker Software Debuts
Posted by Diane

The Generations Network released Family Tree Maker 2008, successor to Family Tree Maker 16, after a brief (and unexpected) beta release period.

(The beta version stops working Aug. 24, so export your GEDCOMs now, folks.)

The new version got an extreme overhaul from the previous one, with a pretty look and new features including:
  • An interface that combines elements of a pedigree chart and a family group sheet  (here's the family view)



  • The ability to merge data from anywhere on the Web into your tree
  • Standardized criteria for rating genealogical sources
  • A place-name dictionary with more than 3 million locations
  • Lists that show people and events associated with a particular place
  • Timelines for your ancestors’ lives
  • Data imports from other programs, including Personal Ancestral File, The Master Genealogist and Legacy Family Tree
Read what Family Tree Magazine readers thought of the beta software in our online forum.

Family Tree Maker 2008 costs $39.95, or $54.95 with The Official Guide to Family Tree Maker 2008. As far as I could tell, an upgrade from Family Tree Maker 16 isn’t available, but we're checking on this.

Note Family Tree Magazine is not affiliated with Family Tree Maker software.

Genealogy Software
Tuesday, August 21, 2007 4:04:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Monday, August 20, 2007
NARA Record Request Fees Go Up Oct. 1
Posted by Diane

We’ve known it was coming since the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) proposed last February to raise its reproduction fees for records you order.

The good news is, it could’ve been worse.

Effective Oct. 1, NARA will charge $75 for a Civil War pension file of up to 100 pages, plus $.65 per additional page (for longer files, staff will contact the requestor with a price quote before filling the order). NARA will charge $50 for pre-Civil War pension files regardless of page count, and $.75 per page to copy other records.

While still a steep increase from the current $37 for a Civil War pension file, these fees are less than the $125 and $60 NARA originally proposed for Civil War and pre-Civil War pensions, respectively. (Still, save some cash by sending your request before October. The July 2007 Family Tree Magazine has instructions for ordering Civil War pensions.)

In the Aug. 17 Federal Register, national archivist Allen Weinstein attributes the change to public comment-inspired alterations in formulas for calculating document reproduction costs. Though its average pension file order was for 106 pages, 65 percent of orders were for files less than 100 pages.

NARA received 1,281 comments during the 60-day comment period. About half the commenters identified themselves as genealogists.

Looks like some comments hit a nerve by saying NARA’s proposal exaggerated actual copying costs. Weinstein wrote, “We firmly reject allegations that the  fees are being raised capriciously for the purpose of supplementing funding for the agency or reducing the number of reproduction orders received.”

He added it’s not practical to compare NARA’s photocopying costs with those of other entities because of archival document considerations including file retrieval and replacement, paper fragility, separating papers from fasteners, placing non-standard-size documents on copiers' glass platens and ensuring image legibility.

Weinstein said NARA lacks funding for digitizing all the Civil War pension files. The agency considers them prime candidates for a digitization partnership, but “there is no near-term alternative to the current process for fulfilling fixed-fee order requests for reproductions of Civil War pension files.”


Libraries and Archives | Public Records
Monday, August 20, 2007 10:25:08 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]