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# Friday, September 26, 2008
FindMyPast Adds English Census, Baptism Records
Posted by Diane

If your ancestors were born or lived in London, you’ll want to take note of two new additions to FindMyPast’s paid-access online records:

  • In its ongoing effort to redigitize the 1901 English census—using new scanning technology to produce clearer images and better transcriptions than earlier versions of that same enumeration—the company added 4.6 million records covering the county of London.
This summer, FindMyPast and the Origins Network began working with FamilySearch to index the 1841 to 1901 British censuses (read our report). You can search the 1841 through 1861 indexes free on FamilySearch Record Search.
  • FindMyPast’s growing collection of parish records now includes 2.3 million new baptisms, including 346,000 from East London. The parish records are a joint project with the UK Federation of Family History Societies.


census records | International Genealogy | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 26, 2008 10:01:48 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 25, 2008
101 Best Web Sites: Military History and Records Portal
Posted by Diane

Peruse this week’s highlights from our 101 Best Web Sites for family history:
  • eHistory: We put this free Ohio State University site in our military research category for rich records of conflicts—including the The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. (the OR), battle overviews, Miller's Photographic History of the Civil War, maps and timelines.
  • Access Genealogy: Besides oodles of links, this free portal also serves up census, vital, immigration, cemetery and military records; plus biographies and such Native American essentials as the 1880 Cherokee census and the Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes (aka the Dawes Rolls).
You can search by surname, or go to United States Genealogy to browse databases by title.
See the rest of our 2008 101 Best Web Sites picks on FamilyTreeMagazine.com.


Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Thursday, September 25, 2008 2:15:42 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Tales of Terrific Family Tree Teamwork
Posted by Diane

Waaaaaay back in April, to play up the promising possibilities of genealogical research collaboration, we asked for your entries in our Terrific Family Tree Teamwork Contest.

We heard a lot of great stories, but managed to winnow them down to the winners, who're portrayed in the November 2008 Family Tree Magazine. There’s something to learn from each example:
  • Our grand prize-winners, Bev Ophoven Ewing and Kathleen Lenerz, have never actually met. In 1998 they discovered a cousin connection online. Now, they tackle family mysteries by bouncing ideas around, building off each other’s thinking and divvying up research tasks.
  • Gwendolyn Cameron and her cousins wanted to learn about their great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran. They traced him to the state hospital where he'd died. The group organized a memorial service, and since our November issue went to press, the hospital has restored its historic graveyard. A rededication is scheduled for tomorrow.
  • Susie Bullion recruited her team by creating a memory quilt with squares relatives filled with stories. To share the history, she and her siblings typed up the stories, researched background information and turned them into a family memory book.
  • Valerie Craft’s family history research began as a college project that never ended. Her mom served both as fan and teammate, especially helpful in putting Valerie in touch with distant relatives.
All the teams won our State Research Guides CD; the grand prize also includes Family Reunion Organizer software from RootsMagic, a Web site from MyGreatBigFamily.com and free batch photo scanning from ScanMyPhotos.

See these and other teamwork tales in our Exclusives for Registered Users Forum (note you must be registered with the Forum and logged in to view this section).


Celebrating your heritage | Family Tree Magazine articles
Thursday, September 25, 2008 9:49:27 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Update Your Christmas Card List
Posted by Diane

Two recent genealogy industry name changes to note:
World Vital Records created FamilyLink.com, then chose FamilyLink.com as its new corporate name (World Vital Records stuck around as the name of the company's database service). The name change lets FamilyLink.com become a full-on corporate Web site while FamilyHistoryLink.com remains a networking site.

Genealogy Industry
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:53:39 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy Resource Confusion? New Online Directory Promises Help
Posted by Diane

Genealogy Today’s Illya D’Addezio tells me he’s in the final steps of creating an online genealogy directory that’ll let you find and access multiple resources from one place.

Using the free Live Roots site, which launches Oct. 10, you can search a variety of genealogy databases and publishers’ catalogs, and learn where information from the same resource exists in multiple places, online and off.

With the same genealogy information frequently printed in books and hosted on numerous Web sites in a variety of forms (indexes, transcriptions, record images, narratives, etc.), this tool may help you sort out the confusion—and show you where to find the actual records all that data came from in the first place.

You'll be able to search Live Roots on a name, place or other keyword, then link to the online resources, learn how to access the offline ones, or click to commission a researcher who can get a record for you.

We’ll spill more details about the site as they’re available.


Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:32:11 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Monday, September 22, 2008
MyHeritage: Facebook for Families?
Posted by Diane

MyHeritage, the Israel-based genealogy site that made a splash a couple years back with its celebrity look-alike photo search, has made another step toward its goal to be “the Facebook for families.”

(This right after Footnote launched its “Facebook for the deceased.” Facebook has to be feeling really good about itself right now.)

MyHeritage just acquired Kindo, a London based, internationally focused online family networking service that’s reminiscent of Geni. Part of the deal has MyHeritage setting up operations in London.

Also boosting MyHeritage’s social networking aspirations is a recent $15 million venture capital investment (including funds from a former Facebook investor).

One more update: The site's new photo tagging technology uses the facial recognition feature that powered the celebrity look-alike search to let users automatically tag the people in their photos (similar to what Google is doing with its Picasa software).


Genealogy Industry
Monday, September 22, 2008 5:02:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 19, 2008
Free Database of the Week: Immigrants' Deaths in Quarantine
Posted by Diane

After perusing the November 2008 Family Tree Magazine article on the book and documentary Forgotten Ellis Island, reader Joan Griffis tipped us off to a free resource: a listing of immigrants who died in quarantine before reaching Ellis Island.

Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, located in New York’s outer harbor, had hospitals that served as quarantine stations in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most of the sick were immigrants whom medical inspectors removed from ships before they arrived at Ellis Island.

Griffis sent us a link to researcher Cathy Horn’s listing of 418 people who died at the quarantine stations from November 1909 through June 1911. Their names and death information come from death certificates in Richmond County, NY.

You can search the names or browse them. Check out the background information about the quarantine stations, too.


Free Databases | immigration records
Friday, September 19, 2008 4:39:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
101 Best Web Sites: Free Immigration Info and Swedish Records
Posted by Diane

Here are the two 101 Best Web Sites picks we're highlighting this week:
  • Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild: This guild of volunteers has tirelessly transcribed more than 8,000 passenger manifests, many from less-famous ports. Search by surname, captain's name, port of arrival or departure, and ship name.
And there's more: The guild’s Compass section offers how-to help for researching immigrants; a new adoption section has advice for adoptees and birth parents who want to reunite with their biological family members.
  • Genline: Genline delivers images of 16 million-plus pages of church records (virtually everything available) to your computer. Subscriptions start at about $23 for 20 days. You also can go to the resources section to learn Swedish terms you’ll encounter in your research and get how-to articles.
Link to the rest of our 101 list on FamilyTreeMagazine.com.


Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | International Genealogy
Friday, September 19, 2008 3:10:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 18, 2008
Footnote to Digitize Homesteaders' Case Files
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription service Footnote is embarking upon a project to post hundreds of thousands of US homesteading records online.

Those records comprise land entry case files of people who claimed land under the Homestead Act of 1862, which opened the door for Americans to own government land in exchange for making improvements (such as residency, raising crops and planting trees).

A land entry case file might include an application for land, witnesses’ testimonials, military records, citizenship papers and more.

Footnote already contains 1,824 case files for people who registered homesteads at the Broken Bow, Neb., land office between 1890 and 1908. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) had microfilmed these; the rest of the General Land Office (GLO) records are still on paper.

You can search land patents at the Bureau of Land Management’s GLO records site, but until your ancestor’s full land entry case file is digitized, you’ll need to order copies of it from NARA. If your ancestor applied for a land claim but didn’t “prove up,” the GLO database won’t contain a patent for him.

NARA, the National Parks Service, the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and FamilySearch are partners in the digitization project.


Footnote | Public Records | Research Tips
Thursday, September 18, 2008 4:17:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
I *Heart* Awards!
Posted by Diane

A great big thank-you to Renee Zamora over at Renee’s Genealogy Blog, who honored us with the I Heart Your Blog award!

Now it’s my turn to nominate seven—only seven!—blogs I heart. (I tried to avoid any repeats.) Here are my picks:

Geneablogie
I’ll forgive lawyer Craig Manson for coming up with this blog title before we could. He offers thoughtful takes on topics you don’t see covered many other places.

The Genealogue
I love me some irreverent genealogy humor. Chris Dunham probably spent half his grade school career writing on the blackboard (I’m half afraid of what he’ll say about getting an I Heart Your Blog award.)

Granite in My Blood
I can definitely appreciate someone who appreciates a cemetery. Midge Frazel (who’s related to none other than Isaac Denison) posts a potpourri of intriguing gravestone photos, family photos and research updates.

Library of Congress Today in History Blog
The library's director of communications Matt Raymond researches  blog-worthy historical events and then tells us about them . . . not a job I'd love at all.

Photo Detective
Besides writing our Photo Detective blog, Maureen A. Taylor keeps a photo news and research blog on her own site. It’s the first place I heard of a photosynth.

The Practical Archivist
Archivist Sally Jacobs has sound photo-preservation advice with titles like “The Chemical Sandwich of Doom.” And I couldn’t not like her blog description.

Q&Q Blog
I’m a writer, and Brian Klems of our sister magazine Writer’s Digest eloquently answers writers’ questions.

Here are the rules for award recipients:
1. Can put the logo on his/her blog
2. Must link to the person who gave the award
3. Must nominate seven other blogs and link to them
4. Must leave a comment on each of the nominated blogs

Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, September 18, 2008 12:56:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]