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# Friday, April 11, 2008
Edit Your Photos Online!
Posted by Grace

When it comes to image editing, the gold standard is Photoshop. Even if you haven't used the full-blown version, you've likely come across its less expensive sibling, Photoshop Elements.

Now, a free version of the software is available online—with 2 GB of storage thrown in. Adobe Photoshop Express offers many of the features included with Elements, such as cropping, color correction and some fun filter and distortion options. (Be aware, though, that agreeing to the terms of service gives other users the rights to display, print and distribute your shared images. If you don't want your pictures to go public, don't opt to share them through the site.)

Photo sharing site Flickr also recently rolled out photo editing abilities in partnership with Picnik. All Flickr users can access the basic editing options, and becoming a premium member unlocks more features. Both Picnik and Photoshop Express have some integrated functionality with other websites, like Facebook and Picasa.

Although the sites don't offer a lot in the way of restoration and delicate touchups, both Photoshop Express and Flickr are good options for people who don't want to pay a lot for a program they'll use only to resize or crop their pictures.


Family Heirlooms | Photos
Friday, April 11, 2008 10:46:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, April 10, 2008
British Colonial Slave Records Cover 1812 to 1834
Posted by Diane

Those with African ancestors from the Caribbean, Sri Lanka or other former British colonies, take note: Slave registers of former British colonial dependencies, covering 1812 to 1834, are now part of subscription database sites Ancestry.co.uk (which also has a pay-per-view option) and Ancestry.com.

The registers name 2.7 million slaves and 280,000 slave owners in 17 former dependencies: Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Berbice (part of what's now Guyana), Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Dominica, Grenada, British Honduras (now Belize), Jamaica, St. Christopher, Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Tobago, St. Vincent and Mauritius (an island off the coast of Africa).

Other information includes parish, age of slave, and sometimes, birthplace. Often, a slave used the surname of his owner, and ages were generally guessed.

Hundreds of thousands of African slaves worked on sugar, tea and tobacco plantations in British colonies. Britain made the slave trade illegal in 1807 and outlawed owning slaves in 1834.

Starting in 1812, slave owners had to complete slave registers every three years so the government could stem illegal trading.

Not all of the paper registers are part of the Ancestry.com or Ancestry.uk collection, including some from Jamaica, St. Christopher, Grenada, Dominica, Nevis, St Lucia, Demerara, Berbice, Montserrat, Bermuda, St. Vincent, Mauritius and the Cape of Good Hope. The originals are at the British national archives.

You can find more on researching British Colonial-era slaves at the national archives Web site. FamilyTreeMagazine.com offers tips and resources for finding Caribbean ancestors.


African-American roots | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, April 10, 2008 8:26:36 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Genealogy Classes
Posted by Diane

What some people call "spring" and "summer," genealogists refer to as "conference season." Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

Head over to our self-serve events calendar and add your society’s annual meeting, your library's workshop, your family history cruise or other genealogy-related event. (If you need 'em, posting instructions are on the Forum.)

Whether your family history travels take you across town or across the country, use our online research trip packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything. Here are just a few of the upcoming genealogical goings-on:
  • Besides going to classes at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, June 27-29 in Burbank, Calif., you can attend a genealogy blogger summit, sit in on ethnic research roundtables or access several genealogy databases free in the TechZone. If you’re a Southern California Genealogical Society member, you can register for $65; nonmembers pay $80. Day rates also are available.
  • Swing down to Philadelphia Sept. 3-6 for the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference. Hear about regional topics such as Colonial and Mennonite research, as well as broader subjects including tracing women and finding wills. Register for the whole shebang for $175, or a day for $95.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Wednesday, April 09, 2008 10:35:43 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]
# Thursday, April 03, 2008
We're Honored
Posted by Allison

When it comes to recognizing useful genealogical tools and services, we're used to doling out the honors—from our annual 101 Best Web Sites roundup to our "Libbys" libraries awards, coming in the July issue—rather than receiving them. But this week, we've gotten news that two awards have been bestowed upon Family Tree Magazine:
  • In a study of online traffic rankings, Utah-based professional research firm ProGenealogists found FamilyTreeMagazine.com to be one of the 50 most popular genealogical Web sites for 2008. Not surprisingly, heavy-hitting data providers Ancestry.com and RootsWeb (both owned by The Generations Network) topped the list. Some of the other rankings might surprise you—see the full list.
  • ScanMyPhotos.com customers selected this blog as the Best Genealogy Reference Tool and Family Tree Magazine as the Most Popular Genealogy Publication in the 2008 Artistry of Genealogy Awards. You can read about all the winners at ScanMyPhotos.com’s online Photo Preservation Center.
It’s nice to know that genealogists find our tools, tips and information so useful. We’d love to hear your feedback, too (both compliments and critiques): Tell us how you think we can make our magazine, blogs and Web site even better by posting a comment.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, April 03, 2008 10:51:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Announcing Family Tree Kids!
Posted by Diane

Got a kids or grandkids who are interested in family history? Need to put together a genealogy project for students or a scouting group? We created Family Tree Kids! just for you.

The site, designed for children ages 8 through 12, has family history-related games and crafts; activities that’ll help kids build their family detective skills and learn about their families; and a fun family tree kids can download, fill in with ancestors' names, and print.

A grownups’ section offers a resource toolkit for parents and teachers who are helping kids with genealogy projects.

Our partnership with Tamagotchi, makers of the popular digital pets, inspired Family Tree Kids! Familitchi, the newest version of Tamagotchi’s pets, encourages kids to learn about family history.


Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites | Genealogy for kids
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 7:22:29 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Free Site Has Lowcountry Slave Records
Posted by Diane

Tidal marshes in the coastal areas of South Carolina, Georgia and extreme northeast Florida lent themselves to rice cultivation. Plantation owners would seek out slaves from Africa’s Windward Coast—Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia—where rice was indigenous.

The traditions of these Africans make up the rich Gullah-Geechee culture, and their lives are the focus of Lowcountry Africana, a free Web site that launched last Saturday with research guidance and records.

Its Lowcountry Lives link serves up life stories (hosted on project partner We Relate, a genealogy wiki) of Lowcountry ancestors. Right now, stories cover slaves from Drayton family plantations and their descendants.

An online Research Library has a reading room (which links to off-site articles), resources for teachers, and links to free African-American databases on the historical records site Footnote, another Lowcountry Africana partner (most of Footnote’s records are by subscription or pay-per-view).

The Search Records link takes you to the Lowcountry Africana Community in the AfriQuest database (also hosted by We Relate, AfriQuest will launch June 19 with a range of user-contributed records).

There, you can browse records or search by name, place and/or keyword. Matches link to source information and images or transcriptions. For example, the 1871 Freedman's Savings and Trust Record listing for Ceasar Smith linked to a transcription showing his birthplace, residence, age, occupation, family members’ names and more (naturally, you still want to find the original record).

The records also include bounty claims (shown below) and other documents from Freedmen’s Bureau field reports, as well as wills, estate inventories, Southern Claims Commission records and papers from Drayton family records.



You can submit your own records to Lowcountry Africana, too (click Help on the Submit Items page for instructions).

African-American roots | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 7:15:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Our Latest Issue ...
Posted by Diane

This special Family Tree Magazine edition is for display only today:


Genealogy fun
Tuesday, April 01, 2008 8:37:26 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [11]
# Monday, March 31, 2008
Does Genealogy Make You Smart?
Posted by Diane

American Mensa—the 50,000-member association for highly intelligent people—is making genealogy the focus of its Sept. 12-14 colloquium in Salt Lake City.

At Tracking Granny’s Granny: The Genealogy Quest, “Mensans” (who qualify for membership by scoring in the 98th percentile or higher on an intelligence test) will attend sessions on photos, genetic genealogy and online research. They'll also take a field trip to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Family History Library.

Registration is open to the public, so folks of humbler intellect are welcome, too. Me, I’d probably be unable to shake the feeling I’m back in sixth grade and just finished my long-division worksheet dead last. Maybe a Mensan, after completing his own family tree in record time, would help me defeat my brick walls.

On the other hand, I wonder which came first: the genius or the genealogy? All that ancestral research and reading and analysis is bound to prod your brain into forming new synapses and becoming sharper. Maybe even Mensa sharp.

If nothing else, perhaps sitting long enough in a roomful of certifiably smart people will make some of it rub off.


Genealogy Events
Monday, March 31, 2008 12:44:32 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, March 28, 2008
Favorite Sites: Ohio Heritage, Tenement Tour, Animated History
Posted by Diane

I wish I had time to thoroughly examine all the cool sites I come across every day (or maybe I should say, I wish I were more resistant to the temptation to surf).

So instead of bookmarking and then forgetting about today’s finds (and later on, wondering why my Favorites list is so darn long), I’ll share a few:
  • Growth of a Nation: This 10-minute animated movie, complete with a voice-over reminiscent of my 7th-grade history teacher, nicely sums up the United States’ progress from 13 Colonies to a country with 50 states.
Now, to go clean out some of those Favorites ...


Genealogy Web Sites | Social History
Friday, March 28, 2008 3:45:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]