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# Friday, February 08, 2008
Pirating Genealogies
Posted by Allison



Arrr, where’re me ancestors? Hundreds of family history enthusiasts are here at the two-day Family History Expo 2008 in St. George, Utah, to answer that question. The event kicked off Friday morning with the “Pirates of the Pedigree” keynote address, and appropriately, costumed volunteers are on hand in the exhibit hall to assist vendors and attendees.

Put on by Utah-based research firm MyAncestorsFound, the Expo features a variety of classes and an exhibit hall packed with genealogical products and services—including sponsors FamilySearch, Cherry Creek Radio, Ancestry.com, World Vital Records, DearMYRTLE, TheSpectrum.com, Generation Maps, Footnote, RootsTelevision, Godfrey Memorial Library, and our very own Family Tree Magazine.

Stay tuned for news and observations as the Expo continues.



Genealogy Events
Friday, February 08, 2008 5:15:28 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
The Family History Expo Is on in St. George
Posted by Diane

The Family History Expo, sponsored by your friendly neighborhood Family Tree Magazine, is happening today and tomorrow, Feb. 8 and 9, in St. George, Utah. (You may know the Expo by its former name, the Genealogy and  Family Heritage Jamboree.)

Editor Allison Stacy is there, handing out magazines and taking in some classes. If you’re going, stop by booth 419 to say hi.

Didn’t pre-register? No problem—you can sign up at the door for $65. That gets you enhanced research skills through 101 presentations from experts in a variety of topics, an audience with more than 50 vendors and exhibitors, opportunities to commune with fellow researchers, and chances to win drawings and door prizes (maybe even one containing a few Family Tree books).


Genealogy Events
Friday, February 08, 2008 8:50:57 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, February 07, 2008
Footnote Offers Free Records for African-American History Month
Posted by Diane

The subscription and pay-per-view historical records service Footnote is making some of its collections free during February to commemorate African-American History month. Those include:
  • records from the Amistad case. The Spanish slave ship was illegally transporting African “cargo” in Cuba in 1839 (Spain had outlawed the slave trade) when the enslaved passengers revolted. The crew members sailed to Long Island Sound and the United States seized the ship. After a long trial, the Africans (whose counsel included former president John Quincy Adams) were declared free.
  • Southern Claims Commission records of southerners' petitions for compensation for crops, livestock and other supplies Union troops seized during the Civil War. Testimony of witnesses, both black and white, appears in many claims. More than 20,000 claims were filed.
Most of Footnote’s records are the product of its year-old partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration. Footnote has more than 26 million digitized images and adds 2 million new ones each month. Registered members of the site can upload their own records and narratives.

A Footnote subscription costs $59.95 per year; you also can purchase a record image for $1.95.


African-American roots | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, February 07, 2008 8:58:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, February 06, 2008
More Resources for Cincinnati Researchers
Posted by Diane

We got a note from our hometown Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, which already has one of the best public library genealogy collections in the country, about its recently expanded Genealogy and Local History Department and its new online goodies.

The new department consolidates materials previously spread throughout the library, making room in public areas for 7,000 more books and 8,000 reels of high-demand microfilm. Its Cincinnati Room lets patrons access historical materials such as local newspapers and manuscript collections.

Librarians also will schedule one-on-one consultations to help direct patrons’ research. Visit the department’s Web site to take a video tour and link to research databases. Check out the librarians’ list of favorite online resources for Cincinnati-area research, too.

Digitized historical materials also have made it onto PLCHC’s Virtual Library. Those include several 19th-cenury Cincinnati city directories and volumes such as the 1868 The Black Brigade of Cincinnati: Being a Report of its Labors and a Muster-Roll of its Members, the 1838 Report of the First Anniversary of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society, and the 1852 Annual Announcement of Lectures of the Miami Medical College of Cincinnati. Click on a book cover to download the file as a PDF.



One of the John Seegers listed in this 1866 city directory may or may not be my ancestor; I'll have to go home and check.

We’re interested in hearing what's new at your favorite genealogy library—click Comment and let us know.

African-American roots | Libraries and Archives
Wednesday, February 06, 2008 2:19:43 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Watch African-American Lives 2 Premiere This Week
Posted by Diane

Plan to park yourself in front of your TV tomorrow night to watch "African-American Lives 2," the latest in a succession of Henry Louis Gates-hosted shows that has genealogy experts tracing the roots of well-known African-Americans. The two-part series premieres Feb. 6.

Producers added a twist this year: Everyday folks could apply to have their own pasts explored along with those of 11 VIPs, including actor Don Cheadle, comedian Chris Rock and Olympic athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Of the more than 2,000 applicants, producers selected Kathleen Henderson, a college administrator in Dayton, Ohio.

A week or so ago, Henderson told me a legend her family proudly exchanges at reunions about the source of their Woodbridge surname. “When slavery ended, our ancestor left the plantation and struck out on his on,” she said, explaining that the story got more elaborate depending whom you asked.

“He wanted to shed himself of the remnants of slavery, so he took nothing, especially not the master’s last name. After he left the plantation, the first thing he came across was a wooden bridge, so that’s where the name came from.”

You’ll have to wait until the show airs to find out this freedman’s identity and the truth behind the family legend.

Henderson also says the show’s researchers dug up some information on her father’s mother that “blew my mind.”

On the "African-American Lives 2" Web site, you can meet Henderson, quiz yourself on source documents the researchers used, hear from genetic genealogy experts, and see the show participants’ ancestral events plotted on a historical timeline.

Henderson sees what she learned as a springboard for more discoveries. “It’s part of a chapter, or it’s the first edition. It answered a lot, but it set up more questions for us.”

 Check local air times on the show's Web site.


African-American roots
Tuesday, February 05, 2008 2:22:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, January 31, 2008
World Vital Records Launches International Collection
Posted by Diane

Starting Monday, Feb. 4, FamilyLink's World Vital Records subscription database site will be outfitted with a new, gargantuan World Collection of international records.

Built through partnerships with more than 20 record-holding organizations, the World Collection has more than 1.5 billion records from about 35 countries, including England, Canada, Australia, France, Ireland, Scotland, Hungary and Portugal. It’ll double World Vital Records’ offerings.

Some of the new collection's major components:
  • UK census records (1851 to 1901) from FindMyPast.com, to be posted county-by-county through out the year, including record images
  • newspapers from Australia, the Bahamas, Chile, Ecuador, England, Ireland, Canada and Mexico
Other partners include Archive CD Books businesses in Canada and Australia, Irish reference publisher Eneclann, the Godfrey Memorial Library in Connecticut, UK records site British Origins and Australian book distributor Gould Genealogy.

The World Collection, which includes the US Collection records already on World Vital Records, costs $149.95 per year, but you can sign up for $99.95 until Feb.4. [Note: We've just learned of a new World Collection discount—$119.95 if you sign up by Feb. 11.]

The US Collection by itself costs $49.95 per year, or you can get two years for $79.95 if you sign up by Feb. 4.

We're going to give the World Collection a whirl and report back. If you try it, click Comment and let us know what you think.


Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy
Thursday, January 31, 2008 5:02:03 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Great Registers are Great California Resource
Posted by Diane

California’s “Great Registers”--the voter registration lists counties published by law every two years—are now searchable on the subscription database service Ancestry.com.

They contain more than 30 million names of people who registered to vote from 1900 to 1944 (and through 1968 for a few counties). Their frequency makes them great for filling gaps between federal censuses.

Search by name and county, then click on a name in the results to see a digitized images of the registration books page showing that person. You’ll see his or her name, occupation, address and party affiliation. Some registers show an age, and early ones may give naturalization details. This one is from 1916.



Women received the right to vote in 1911 in California, so you won’t see them in the Great Registers until 1912.

Ancestry.com's images came from the collections of the California State Library in Sacramento—where you can access the lists from 1866 to 1898, too. Local libraries and genealogical societies in California often have Great Registers for their areas, and many counties' lists are on Family History Library microfilm (you can borrow it though your local Family History Center).

Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Thursday, January 31, 2008 9:23:01 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, January 30, 2008
25,000 Acres of Civil War Battlefields Protected
Posted by Diane

The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), a group that preserves Civil War battlefields from encroaching development, did some math and announced its 2007 stats.

Last year, CWPT secured the permanent protection of 1,616 acres at 12 battlefields in five states: Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia

One of those site is the Glendale battlefield (also called Frazier's Farm) in Henrico County, Va., where three Confederate divisions converged the retreating Union Army June 30, 1862.

An estimated 75 percent of Glendale's core fighting area is now preserved, at a price of $4.1 million. CWPT works by purchasing acreage or conservation easements (legally enforceable preservation agreements with landowners).

CWPT's 2007 totals pushed it past the 25,000 milestone: Over two decades, the group has protected 25,289 acres of battlefields at 99 sites in 18 states.

On tap so far for 2008: Passage of the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, which reauthorizes government funding for matching grants to preserve Civil War battlefields.


Historic preservation
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 3:10:58 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 29, 2008
New Online Magazine Highlights African-American Genealogy
Posted by Diane

The Washington Post today launched The Root, an online magazine for African-Americans.

It covers current events and culture, but its name says genealogy. So does its editor—Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard University history professor who became a household name after helping Mae Jemison, Oprah Winfrey and other well-known African-Americans find their roots in PBS' 2006 series “African-American Lives.”

One of the online magazine's three main sections, Roots features an article on getting started, a video about ethnic DNA testing and several book recommendations. It also has video clips from this season’s "African-American Lives 2," in which Gates works with more famous folks and one applicant from the ranks of everyday citizens.

From there, the Mapping and Family Tree links both go to a free family tree builder (you must register to use it). The DNA link, after flashing past a disclosure faster than one could hope to comprehend the first sentence, takes you to Gates’ AfricanDNA testing and research service.

I’m hoping to see this site grow—especially considering its name, there’s so much more to African-American genealogy research and resources than it currently covers.


African-American roots | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 3:58:41 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, January 25, 2008
Search Great Western Railway Shareholders on British Site
Posted by Diane

British genealogy database site FindMyPast has added the first names from an index to Great Western Railway Shareholders.

This release has records dating from 1835 to 1910. Ultimately, you’ll be able to search information on 290,000 people—including 77,000 shareholders, plus executors and spouses—dating from 1835 to 1932.

Most of the records cover shareholders’ deaths, since the change in share ownership had to be registered. If your ancestor’s in here, you could see his or her name; address; date of death, probate, marriage or other event; and the names of the other parties.

The Great Western Railway, built so Bristol could compete with Liverpool as a commercial port, was founded in 1833 and became the Western Region of British Railways when the railway was nationalized in 1948. It linked London to the West Country, South Wales and the southwest England.

FindMyPast registered users can view details on shareholders with seven pay-per-view units ($14.30 for 60 units) or an Explorer subscription (about $178).

The original shareholders’ records are at the Society of Genealogists’ London headquarters.


Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, January 25, 2008 3:50:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]