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<2009 March>

More Links

# Monday, 02 March 2009
Superstitious Ancestors? Enter Our Challenge for a Chance to Win
Posted by Diane

It’s both 15 days till St. Patrick's Day and your last chance to get in on Family Tree Magazine’s March 2009 “Lucky Charms” All in the Family Challenge.

To enter, tell us about a lucky charm or superstition in your family. For example, when I was a kid, whenever someone was getting married or we had a soccer tournament or good weather was needed for some other reason, Mom would set a figurine of Mary in the kitchen window (facing outside, or it wouldn't work).

Maybe you’ve saved Grandpa’s lucky penny or you throw a pinch of salt over your shoulder while cooking, just like Grandma always did.

Cross your fingers and describe your family’s lucky charm or superstition for us. E-mail your entry before March 9, and be sure to include your name and hometown.

If we select your entry to publish in the July 2009 Family Tree Magazine (knock on wood), you’ll win our Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy digital download.

Celebrating your heritage | Family Heirlooms | Family Tree Magazine articles
Monday, 02 March 2009 16:25:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 27 February 2009
Genealogy News and Resource Roundup
Posted by Diane

Weekend in sight! Here’s a gathering of genealogy updates that made their way across my desk this week:
  • Subscription and pay-per-view British genealogy service  has a new collection of Professional member lists including Engineers Who’s Who 1939 (which has many engineers at work preparing for war) and the 1923 Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
  • New on subscription site World Vital Records this week are 10 databases of birth, marriage and death information from genealogy books on Ireland, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. See the details here.
  • Check out upcoming additions on its Coming Soon page. They include improved US census images, naturalization records, more WWII draft cards, circuit curt criminal case files and more. | FamilySearch | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 27 February 2009 15:39:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Start This Sunday With Genealogy TV
Posted by Diane

Family historians get a two-fer this weekend on CBS “Sunday Morning”: Topics include keeping your family’s memories technologically accessible and the first national census. Bet this show would go great with pancakes.

Celebrating your heritage | Genealogy Events
Friday, 27 February 2009 11:46:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 25 February 2009
FamilyLink Raises $2.85 Million in Capital
Posted by Diane

Look for continued growth from, owner of World Vital Records, FamiliyHistoryLink, the soon-to-come and the We’re Related social networking application (which is not related to the wiki We Relate).

The company has raised $2.85 million in “Series B” funding (the second round of preferred stock in a private company offered to venture capitalists). The initial round of funding in August 2007 brought in $1.25 million.'s announcement also notes the company turned profitable late last year. Thirty people work at its US offices in Seattle; Boulder, CO; and Provo, Utah. It has development offices in India and the Philippines.

Genealogy Industry
Wednesday, 25 February 2009 11:50:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 24 February 2009
South Carolina Slave Records to Go Online
Posted by Diane

More genealogy records are coming to Lowcountry Africana, a Web site and research project to study the Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage of those with African-American roots in South Carolina, Georgia, and northeastern Florida.

Working with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Lowcountry Africana will digitize more than 25,000 documents from Charleston estate inventories dated 1732 to 1867. They include the names of more than 30,000 slaves.

More than 14,000 South Carolina bills of sale (1773 to 1872), most for transactions involving slaves, also will be digitized. They’re already indexed along with other resources on the South Carolina Archives Web site (click Series Descriptions to see what all else is there).

The index and digital images will be free on both Lowcountry Africana and the South Carolina archives’ site. You can volunteer to index the records at AfriQuest, another Lowcountry Africana site.

African-American roots | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, 24 February 2009 14:08:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Our Organizing Extravaganza
Posted by Diane

If you’re feeling guilty because you haven’t jumped on that New Year’s resolution to organize your genealogy files, this post won’t make you feel any better. (But be consoled by the tips at the end.)

The accumulated paper and other stuff was getting to be a bit much here at Family Tree Magazine. So last Friday, we held an all-out, all-day organizing extravaganza.

Not a file drawer, bookshelf, box, or folder on the server escaped our critical “do we really need this?” collective scrutiny. (Here, Allison displays her recycling skills.)

Associate editor Grace Dobush and art director Christy Miller sorted through props and film from way back before photo shoots went digital.

Where was I? Taking care of my desk drawer, an “after” desperately waiting to happen.

It always looks worse before it looks better. We emptied boxes in a requisitioned cubicle and sorted and arranged. This …

became this …

and this …

I feel refreshed. Energized! Like our time investment in revising filing systems and straightening storage spots will make us more efficient and quicker on the job.

If you want to have your own organizing day, pizza for lunch helps the motivation. And see these tips on

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun | Research Tips
Tuesday, 24 February 2009 12:29:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Monday, 23 February 2009
Slave Spies Helped Win Civil War
Posted by Diane

Interesting article on CNN today about African-American slaves who helped the Union effort in the Civil War by spying on their Southern owners.
After Confederate president Jefferson Davis’ slave William Jackson escaped in 1861, he provided the Union with valuable information he’d overheard about supply routes and strategy. Harriet Tubman, Robert Smalls and countless others also delivered secret intelligence. Union soldiers called their reports “black dispatches.”

Ken Dagler, author of a book titled Black Dispatches (who’s also “written extensively on the issue for the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence”) tells CNN that slaves’ reliance on oral tradition gave them practice memorizing details.

For the life of me, I couldn’t find Dagler’s book online to link to. But I did find this article on the CIA Web site by a P.K. Rose of the CIA Directorate of Operations, and a Library of Congress listing for a book Black Dispatches also by P.K. Rose.

Waaaaaaait a minute. Dagler works for the CIA ... so does P.K. Rose ... are you catching my drift?

African-American roots | Military records
Monday, 23 February 2009 09:41:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 19 February 2009
Photo Book Discount at Shutterfly
Posted by Grace

Heard through the grapevine that Shutterfly is offering 20 percent off its photo books—plus two free 8x10s—with the promo code BOOKSANDPRINTS. Offer ends March 10.

Celebrating your heritage | Photos
Thursday, 19 February 2009 08:53:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Newspaper Site Unveils User-friendly Search Updates
Posted by Diane

The historical newspaper and document subscription site GenealogyBank just announced a few changes to its search:
  • You can simultaneously search all GenealogyBank's digitized newspapers from one or more states by clicking on Historical Newspapers and selecting your states.
  • To search papers from a city (or two or more) in the same state, start by clicking on the state, then select your cities from the map.
  • To search specific newspapers, select a city as previously described, then choose titles based in that city. (Looks like you can't search papers published in different cities.)
  • You can limit your search to recently added content, too, by choosing from the dropdown menu on any of the abovementioned search pages.
  • To limit your search to article category (such as obituaries or birth notices), click on the category you want on the left side of your search results page.
GenealogyBank subscriptions cost  $19.95 per month or $69.95 per year.

Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 13:52:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Pennsylvania State Library May Face Severe Cuts
Posted by Diane

According to the Web site, the State Library of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg will see massive cuts if Gov. Ed Rendall’s proposed budget for 2009-2010 goes through.

Of the library's 57 positions, the plan would eliminate 50 and transfer one, leaving six staff members to maintain public access to the library’s resources.

Those resources include government publications, a book collection Benjamin Franklin started, historical newspapers, and a genealogy room with maps, state and county histories, church and cemetery records, and more.

The library’s budget would be half its current $4.8 million.

Read the PennLive article here and see the budget proposal on the Pennsylvania Library Association Web site.

Libraries and Archives
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 12:23:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]