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# Thursday, October 16, 2008
Playing Blog Tag: Fives and 10s
Posted by Diane

This is my first game of blog-tag. To play, I’m supposed to answer questions my tagger, Dear Myrtle, sent. Here goes:

10 Years Ago I ...
1. Became assistant editor of Decorative Artist’s Workbook magazine.
2. Took a week-long painting workshop in Florida so I’d know what I was talking about.
3. Would answer the magazine’s e-mail using an AOL account on a shared computer.
4. Moved into my first apartment that was all mine.
5. Knew the names of only two of my great-grandparents.

Five Things on Today's To-Do List
1. Finish up our E-mail Update newsletter.
2. Edit an article about library online catalogs.
3. Be interviewed for the DearMyrtle podcast.
4. Prepare for my first-ever genealogy lock-in tomorrow night.
5. Get together with a friend to plan another friend’s baby shower.

Five snacks I enjoy (just five?)
1. Nature Valley granola bars
2. Snyder’s of Hanover Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzel Pieces
3. Trader Joe’s Jo-Jo cookies
4. Chocolate-covered pretzels
5. Fig Newtons

Five Places I’ve Lived
1. Beaverton, Ore.
2. St. Louis
3. Cincinnati
That's all there is, guys, and I might be here awhile.

Five Jobs I’ve Had
1. Ice cream scooper
2. Cashier/hostess at a Big Boy
3. Department store gift-wrapper
4. University law library information desk staff
5. Newspaper stringer
(Don’t worry, I’m qualified to work for Family Tree Magazine—the odd jobs are just more interesting to mention.)

Five Blogs I Tag
1. Maureen A. Taylor at our Photo Detective Blog
2. Bruce Buzbee at the RootsMagic Blog
3. The editors of our sister publication Memory Makers magazine at their blog.
4. Lisa Louise Cooke at Genealogy Gems
5. Schelly Talalay Dardashti at Tracing the Tribe


Genealogy fun
Thursday, October 16, 2008 11:21:29 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Footnote Releases First Civil War Pensions
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote released its first digitized Civil War Widows’ Pension files today.

Footnote’s collection has 5,257 record images so far. They’re part of a pilot project, announced about a year ago, to work with the National Archives and Records Administration (which holds the original pension records) and FamilySearch to digitize 3,150 pension files of Civil War widows.

FamilySearch and Footnote plan to digitize all 1,280,000 pensions in the series. Pension records were never microfilmed, so until now, your only option to get your ancestor's pension was to travel to NARA in Washington, DC, hire a local researcher, or order copies for $75 or more.

The digitized records are part of Footnote’s $69.95 annual subscription.

You can view the records free at Family History Centers and at NARA facilities. A Civil War pension index is free on the FamilySearch Record Search pilot site.


FamilySearch | Footnote | Military records
Thursday, October 16, 2008 9:04:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Free Database of the Week: Cook County Naturalization Records
Posted by Diane

If your immigrant ancestor settled in Chicago or the surrounding area, here's one for you:

Cook County, Ill. (home of Chicago), has posted a database of transcribed information from declarations of intention filed in the county’s circuit court between 1906 and 1929.

A declaration of intention, sometimes called “first papers,” was the first step toward becoming a US citizen.

Records are still being added. So far, the database contains information from more than 150,000 of the 400,000 declarations of intention filed. A grant from the National ArchivesNational Historical Publications and Records Commission funds the project.

The search is pretty flexible: You can search on a name or part of a name, birthdate, birth place, occupation or other parameters. My search on Syria as the country of birth netted 94 matches.

Click on a match to see the date the intention was filed, birth information, occupation, current residence, port of departure for the United States and date of arrival.

To order the original declaration of intention (for a search fee of $9, plus photocopying charges), click the How to Order link at the bottom of the page.

See Family Tree Magazine's online guide to learn more about finding your ancestors’ naturalization records.


Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:54:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Monday, October 13, 2008
Your Family in the Great Depression
Posted by Diane

Pack-rat tendencies, the Clean Plate Club, freezers crammed with food, and a fear of borrowing money: These are Great Depression legacies CNN’s iReporters mention an article on CNN.com.

We've had our own Great Depression storytelling session going on in the Forum (it’s related to an upcoming Family Tree Magazine article).

One Forum member how her grandfather tracked his salary in his diary, watching it fall from $224 a week to $135 a month. Things improved when he got a new job in 1941.

Ask your relatives how your family made do during the Great Depression and how their lives changed, and share those memories in the Forum. Nowadays we all probably could use the perspective.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Social History
Monday, October 13, 2008 4:33:36 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 10, 2008
101 Best Web Sites: Overseas Cemeteries and Stateside Resource
Posted by Diane

Here are two more of our 101 Best Web Sites for researching your family tree:
  • American Battle Monuments Commission: Search for almost 125,000 US War dead buried in 24 overseas cemeteries (the Corozal American Cemetery database also names civilians who worked on the Panama Canal), as well as more than 94,000 military commemorated on Tablets of the Missing.
See the rest of our 101 Best Sites in the Research Toolkit area of our Web site.


Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, October 10, 2008 3:12:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 09, 2008
FamilyRelatives.com Adds Irish Wills and More
Posted by Diane

The UK subscription and pay-per-view data service FamilyRelatives.com has upped its content for Irish researchers.

The collection released today includes land records, the Ireland Topographical Dictionary (with descriptions of counties, cities, boroughs, corporate markets, post towns, parishes, and villages—good things to know about for finding your ancestors' records), indexes and abstracts of wills as far back as the 1400s, and more.

The abstracts of wills are significant because they were first published before the 1922 Four Courts fire in Dublin that destroyed the wills stored in the buildings.

FamilyRelatives.com subscriptions cost about $65 per year; pay per view units cost about $10 for 60 units that expire after 90 days. (Viewing a search results page costs two units; most records cost one unit each to view.)


UK and Irish roots
Thursday, October 09, 2008 3:00:40 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 08, 2008
World Archives Project Webinar Coming to a Computer Near You
Posted by Diane

If you’re interested in dipping a toe into the world of volunteer historical records indexing, Ancestry.com's free World Archives Project Webinar might be for you.

The hour-long Webinar will explain details such as how World Archives Project indexing works, the time commitment and benefits to volunteers. It's Thursday, Oct. 23 at 8 pm EDT, and you can register on Ancestry.com.

Ancestry.com also holds free Webinars on such topics as researching German ancestry and preserving heirlooms. Click to sign up or watch archived sessions


Ancestry.com
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 3:16:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
26 Basic Computer Tips
Posted by Grace

In the September 2008 issue's Toolkit, we revealed the answers to our readers' most common desktop dilemmas—answering questions such as how to print sideways, how to safely shop online and how to enlarge text on Web sites.

David Pogue of The New York Times recently posted in his blog 26 more basic tech tips—for using computers, cameras and the Internet—including gems like these:
  • You can double-click a word to highlight it in any document, e-mail or Web page.
  • You don’t have to type http://www into your Web browser. Just type the remainder: nytimes.com or dilbert.com, for example. (In the Safari browser, you can even leave off the .com part.)
  • You can switch from one open program to the next by pressing Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command+Tab (Mac).
If you want even more pointers, browse through the comments—as of this morning there were more than 1,100 posts, many with more great tech tips.


Tech Advice
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 9:59:39 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Ohio County Gets Grant to Digitize Vital Records
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch are continuing their collaboration by cosponsoring a records digitization grant just awarded to the Probate Division of the Summit County Common Pleas Court in Akron, Ohio.

The grant, administered by the National Association of Government Archive and Records Administrators, is worth $150,000—but it’ll be delivered in the form of services rather than money.

FamilySearch will digitize 550,000 individuals' Summit County marriage records (1840 to 1980), 46,000-plus birth records (pre-1908) and more than 22,000 death records (also pre-1908).

Ancestry.com will create an index linked to the images that’ll be free on the probate court’s Web site, FamilySearch and Ancestry.com.

The project should be completed by the end of next year.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Public Records
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 11:45:21 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Friday, October 03, 2008
Free Database of the Week: Census Records of Nebraska
Posted by Grace

I picked up this great resource from our Nebraska State Research Guide: Census Records of Nebraska from Nebraska & Midwest Genealogical Record.

From the main page, you can view Nebraska territorial and state census extractions published in vols. 9-22 of the Nebraska & Midwest Genealogical Record, the journal of the Nebraska Genealogical Society. The database includes the 1854, 1855 and 1856 territorial censuses, plus a couple federal mortality schedules at the bottom of the page.

If you're hot on the trail of a Cornhusker ancestor, you can also browse surnames in the Nebraska & Midwest Genealogical Record name index.

A great reference to determine historical boundaries is Nebraska Counties, which has maps from when the territory was formed in 1854 to the state's last county name change in 1925.


census records | Free Databases
Friday, October 03, 2008 3:20:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]