Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories
August, 2014 (12)
July, 2014 (16)
June, 2014 (18)
May, 2014 (17)
April, 2014 (17)
March, 2014 (17)
February, 2014 (16)
January, 2014 (16)
December, 2013 (11)
November, 2013 (15)
October, 2013 (19)
September, 2013 (20)
August, 2013 (23)
July, 2013 (24)
June, 2013 (14)
May, 2013 (25)
April, 2013 (20)
March, 2013 (24)
February, 2013 (25)
January, 2013 (20)
December, 2012 (19)
November, 2012 (25)
October, 2012 (22)
September, 2012 (24)
August, 2012 (24)
July, 2012 (21)
June, 2012 (22)
May, 2012 (28)
April, 2012 (44)
March, 2012 (36)
February, 2012 (36)
January, 2012 (27)
December, 2011 (22)
November, 2011 (29)
October, 2011 (52)
September, 2011 (26)
August, 2011 (26)
July, 2011 (17)
June, 2011 (31)
May, 2011 (32)
April, 2011 (31)
March, 2011 (31)
February, 2011 (28)
January, 2011 (27)
December, 2010 (34)
November, 2010 (26)
October, 2010 (27)
September, 2010 (27)
August, 2010 (31)
July, 2010 (23)
June, 2010 (30)
May, 2010 (23)
April, 2010 (30)
March, 2010 (30)
February, 2010 (30)
January, 2010 (23)
December, 2009 (19)
November, 2009 (27)
October, 2009 (30)
September, 2009 (25)
August, 2009 (26)
July, 2009 (33)
June, 2009 (32)
May, 2009 (30)
April, 2009 (39)
March, 2009 (35)
February, 2009 (21)
January, 2009 (29)
December, 2008 (15)
November, 2008 (15)
October, 2008 (25)
September, 2008 (30)
August, 2008 (26)
July, 2008 (26)
June, 2008 (22)
May, 2008 (27)
April, 2008 (20)
March, 2008 (20)
February, 2008 (19)
January, 2008 (22)
December, 2007 (21)
November, 2007 (26)
October, 2007 (20)
September, 2007 (17)
August, 2007 (23)
July, 2007 (17)
June, 2007 (13)
May, 2007 (7)

Search

Archives

<March 2009>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
22232425262728
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234

More Links








# Friday, March 13, 2009
Genealogy News Corral
Posted by Diane

It’s Friday and time to round up the week’s genealogy news bits.
  • From Research Buzz’s Tweet yesterday, the National Library of Scotland has two new resources. One is a digital archive of images including WWI photos, Walter Macfarlane’s collection of genealogies of ancient Scottish families (compiled around 1750), and items from the first printing presses in various Scottish towns.
The library's new digital maps collection gives you access to high-resolution images of more than 6,000 county, town and military maps dating from 1560 to 1935.
Ancestry.com also added more city directories covering 1935 to 1945, which you can use as a kind of 1940 census substitute. (Don’t be alarmed—the 1940 census isn’t missing. It’s just not yet available, and won’t be until 2012, when we’ll all have a big party outside the National Archives.)
  • Dick Eastman and others have blogged and Tweeted about the New York Times' Immigration Explorer Map. Choose a foreign-born group and a year, and see  where in the United States people from that group were congregating at the time.  It's fun to play with, and if your ancestors have gone missing  for a span of time, you might get some clues for where to look.

Ancestry.com | Genealogy Industry | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 13, 2009 2:42:03 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Second Life Residents Take Genealogy To a New Level
Posted by Diane

Illya D’Addezio at Genealogy Today sent a note about his new Genealogy HUD for the virtual world Second Life (SL). The HUD (short for heads-up display) lets SL residents seamlessly use the genealogy search engine Live Roots from within SL.

SL is an online role-playing game in which residents have characters (avatars) that interact with each other, participate in group activities, travel, etc.

A child of the 80s, I hear "role-playing" and tend to think of Dungeons & Dragons—but this is more like, well, real life.

"Many people think SL is all about games and role playing, which there is plenty of," D'Addezio says. "But there are also an increasing number of genealogists joining, dozens of genealogy content areas developing, and numerous voice chats taking place on a regular basis.”

Besides letting SL residents access Live Roots, the Genealogy HUD also helps them compile a list of surnames they're researching to compare with other residents wearing the HUD. Learn more and get the HUD at Genealogy Today.

D'Addezio says he’s also building an interactive family history village where “SL visitors will be able to issue actual search queries to many of the Live Roots data partners from within SL, learn about different genealogy companies, purchase books, magazine subscriptions, etc.”


Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, March 13, 2009 9:38:19 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Can You Guess This All-American Girls League Player?
Posted by Diane

Yesterday, a woman who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) stopped in the store where my husband works.

They got to talking, and she signed a baseball card for him, which he gave to me.

The AAGPBL started in 1943 in Chicago to keep ballparks in business, as young men (and potential fan favorites) were being drafted into the military. Cities in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin had teams. Players wore skirted uniforms and, in the first few years, attended charm school at night.

Before I show you this player’s card, can you guess who she is?

She signed in 1948 with the Springfield Sallies, left briefly, then returned in 1951 to the Fort Wayne Daisies. She was the winning pitcher against the Rockford Peaches to give the Daisies their first pennant in 1952. Bonus hint: She’s in this Sallies team photo and this Daisies photo.

Click Comments to make a guess. I'll post the card on Monday.

Was your relative in the AAGPBL? Start your search at the league Web site, try local newspapers and check the Northern Indiana Center for History.


Female ancestors | Research Tips | Social History
Friday, March 13, 2009 7:32:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, March 12, 2009
FamilySearch Names Winning Genealogy Programs
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has announced the winners of its new genealogy software award program.

To be eligible, programs had to be compatible with FamilySearch’s Application Programming Interface (API), which allows developers to make their programs work with the FamilySearch site (including the “New Family Search” online tree-building tool, now being gradually rolled out to LDS members).

The 2009 FamilySearch Software Award winners, which include desktop programs, online tools and developers’ tools, were named last night at the FamilySearch Developers Conference in Provo, Utah.

Here's the list (click a program’s name to visit its Web site):

Desktop Productivity
Ancestral Quest (Incline Software): Best Listing Tool
FamilyInsight (Ohana Software): Best Standardizer
RootsMagic 4 (RootsMagic): Best Dashboard

Desktop Syncing or Tree-Cleaning
Ancestral Quest (Incline Software): Most Comprehensive Syncing
FamilyInsight (Ohana Software): Best Person Separator
RootsMagic 4 (RootsMagic): Easiest to Sync

Desktop Use of Media
Charting Companion (Progeny Software): Best for Desktop Printing

Web Productivity
Grow Branch (US Family Tree): Best Web Site Feature for Publishing
(LDS Church members can use this service to submit ancestors for temple work.)

Web Use of Media
Generation Maps: Best Web Site Feature for Printing
TreeSeek: Best Web Site Feature for Mapping (requires users to have a “New Family Search” account)
 
Developers Choice Awards
David Pugmire’s fsapi.net: Best API Library
Ben Godard’s fs-ubiquity: Potential Future Impact on the Genealogy Industry

See FamilyTreeMagazine.com's genealogy software guide for information desktop programs for Mac and Windows.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Software
Thursday, March 12, 2009 10:05:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Speaking of Irish Roots and Women's History ...
Posted by Diane

March is both Irish-American Heritage Month and Women's History Month. (If you're an Irish-American Woman, double hats off to you!)

March 2, President Obama followed his predecessors' example and proclaimed March Irish-American Heritage Month. (Wonder if he was thinking of his own Irish roots when he signed the paper?)

The next day, again following precendent, Obama also proclaimed March Women's History Month.

You're guaranteed a reason to celebrate: Even if you're not one of the 30.5 million Americans who have Irish ancestry, I'm pretty sure you have female ancestry. See FamilyTreeMagazine.com for resources on tracing both:

Celebrating your heritage | Family Tree Magazine articles | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 7:42:08 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 10, 2009
To Save or Not to Save?
Posted by Diane

My mom’s been helping clean out Grandma’s garage. Last night when I visited, Mom was telling me about the piles of old receipts Grandma’s been hanging onto all these years.

Mom had pulled out some papers—the hospital bill for my aunt’s birth, the building materials order for the family’s first home—and the rest were in what-do-we-do-with-this? limbo.

Of course, I had to go through it all. I took a bunch of papers, including the bill for Mom’s first communion around 1954



and the receipts for her second-grade schoolbooks (someone played connect-the-dots on the back)

 

and 12th-grade tuition (including a $25 graduation fee).

I’ll definitely save stuff related to my mom. But what about the other kids’ schoolbook lists, random furniture receipts, a refrigerator repair ticket, ancient correspondence from an insurance company, BBB reports on business schools an aunt was thinking about attending, and similar items?

Theoretically, it’s great to keep every piece of paper. But with limited space and crowded lives, reality demands most of us be choosy about what we save. What would you do with these papers? Click Comments (below) to reply.

Added to my to-do list: Review the February 2007 Family Tree Magazine guide for what to do when you inherit the family archives (print copies are sold out, but this issue is available as a PDF download). And if you're considering donating family materials to a historical archive, see the advice on our Now What? blog.

Family Heirlooms | Family Tree Magazine articles | Libraries and Archives
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 9:15:12 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [13]
# Monday, March 09, 2009
Q&A With Beta-Free GeneTree
Posted by Diane

The family networking and genetic genealogy site GeneTree has shed its beta skin and emerged, as the company’s announcement describes, “a simple, intuitive way to regularly communicate with extended family, and to securely share and store family contact information, personal profiles, photos, video and ancestry documents.”

You also can order both mitochondrial DNA and Y-DNA genetic genealogy tests, add the results to your profile and search for people who match.

GeneTree president and COO Matt Cupal and I had a quick Q&A over the phone today:
GI: What would you consider GeneTree’s greatest strength?
MC: Probably the positioning that we’ve had along, which is that it’s a family social network, but it has this unique twist of using DNA to extend your concept of family.
GI: Could you give me a quick rundown of GeneTree’s post-beta features?
MC: We’ve improved a lot of the components of the social network, so it’s easier to invite people and stay connected. For example, the page you land on now is a news feed that tells you everything that’s going on in your networks—that could be more DNA connections, or another family member has added a photo or updated the family tree with more people. That's also e-mailed to you once as week as a digest.

We’ve made some dramatic improvements in our family tree building software. It’s intuitive and easy to use. We’ve also added a GEDCOM upload. We’re working on improving it, always, but right now you can have up to 2,000 people inside your GEDCOM.

One of the really cool things about the site is that you can do collaborative family tree work, so you and your cousins and all your other relatives can be on at the same time and make things happen.

GI: Do many people who haven’t ordered a DNA test from GeneTree have their family information on the site?
MC: About 5 percent of the people who come on the site have actually taken DNA tests. It’s a no-cost system to be a member and have your family information there, and that's by far the majority of members.

GI: How many members are there?
MC: We’re moving toward 100,000, and we’ve got about 1.5 million profiles right now—that’s people on trees.
GI: Now that beta’s over, what developments are you planning?
MC: Surname studies are fairly high on the list. We’re also looking at ways we can expand this to the rest of the world. We’re intrigued by the idea of allowing people from multiple sites to come into the system. Maybe they’re a member of Geni or TGN [The Generations Network, owner of Ancestry.com] or any number of systems—we’d like to enable them to use the DNA facilities.

We want to make DNA more understandable to the general population—those who are strongly interested in genealogy and those who are more passively interested—to help them better understand how they can use DNA.

We’re starting with an educational component. We’re also designing some new DNA tests to be a little more understandable—still based on the same principles, but tests that can grab the imagination of the general populace more than, say, the particular values of your Y-markers.

GI: What’s your take on the genetic genealogy market right now?
MC: Clearly it’s going to be a challenging time this year. Something we’re working on to help offset that is some lower-priced alternatives, so people can get in the game at a lower number and get their feet wet.
We'll keep you updated on these developments. See the genetic genealogy toolkit on FamilyTreeMagazine.com' for more DNA answers.


Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy
Monday, March 09, 2009 4:04:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Tips From Genealogy Geniuses
Posted by Diane

Shout out to the Green County (Ohio) Genealogical Society, which hosted us at Saturday’s meeting. We administered a light-hearted genealogy IQ test and had a great conversation about preserving photos, reading gravestones and putting family information online.

The tips flowed in both directions. A couple from this enthusiastic group:
  • Newsletter editor Diana Nelson suggests checking what’s behind old framed photos (not to be confused with encased photos such as daguerreotypes, which shouldn’t be taken apart). Someone might’ve enclosed a written identification or more photos inside the frame.
  • A person whose name I didn’t catch (I’m sorry!) uses aluminum foil to safely capture impressions of gravestone transcriptions. After making sure the stone is sturdy and secure in the ground, she’ll mold a sheet of foil onto the stone. You can reuse the foil, or save and frame the impression the same way you can a wax rubbing.
Here’s the group pondering our quiz (there were some smart cookies in the room!).



I vigilantly made sure all kept their eyes on their own papers.


Genealogy fun | Genealogy societies
Monday, March 09, 2009 11:24:55 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Friday, March 06, 2009
It's Friday—Time to Round up the Genealogy News
Posted by Diane

Here are some genealogical happenings that perked up our ears up this week:
  • Roots Television posted a video about Chris Haley—nephew of Roots author Alex Haley—and his first meeting with newfound cousin June Baff Black at last weekend’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live! family history show. Haley learned through DNA testing that he has Scottish Ancestry; the video shows how the test led him to Black.
  • News site SwissInfo launched We Shall Not Stay Long, a section for those whose ancestors left Italian-speaking areas of Switzerland for better lives in the Americas and Australia. You’ll find articles from expert historians and “witnesses to history,” photos and more.
  • Remember watching “Daniel Boone” on TV in the 60s? In the current Genealogy Gems Podcast, host Lisa Louise Cooke interviews Darby Hinton, who played Daniel Boone’s son, Israel.
  • FamilySearch’s volunteer indexing program recently completed a bunch of projects for the free FamilySearch record search pilot site, including church records for Cheshire, England (1538 to 1907). Indexes for the 1920 Washington, DC, US census; 1865 Massachusetts state census; and 1885 and 1935 Florida censuses are still being double-checked, but you can browse the Florida census images now.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | International Genealogy
Friday, March 06, 2009 2:59:12 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 05, 2009
Cologne Archive Collapse: All is Not Lost!
Posted by Grace

When the Stadtarchiv Köln—or City Archive of Cologne—collapsed Tuesday afternoon, two people died, surrounding buildings were irretrievably damaged, and more than a thousand years of records were buried in the rubble.

The archive contained 65,000 documents, the oldest coming from the year 922. The archive's holdings—more than 16 miles of files—included tens of thousands of maps, photos, posters and one-of-a-kind artifacts from the Middle Ages. The collection was valued at $500 million, according to Welt.

The city archive, which first found a place in Cologne city hall in 1406, withstood World War II with no losses. Officials say the building fell into a crater created by work on a nearby subway line. The building that collapsed was built in 1971. According to Wikipedia, it was built with an estimated service life of only 30 years. The archive reached its holding capacity in 1996; some material has been removed for storage elsewhere.

While emergency workers attempted to stabilize the building with concrete, about 100 volunteers have pitched in to save valuable documents from the rubble since Tuesday night, according to a city press release. A small portion of the archives was in an unharmed area of the building. Rain is expected over the next few days, so a temporary roof will be set up over the collapse site to attempt to save more documents.

Hamburg genealogist Andrea Bentschneider did research at the Cologne archive once and describes its holdings as "gigantic."

The collapse comes at an especially bad time, she says, because German privacy law recently changed to allow easier access to civil records. The city archive of Cologne had announced that as of this month, all death records up to 1978, marriage records before 1928 and birth records before 1898 would be available for research without restriction.

"We can only hope that these civil records as well as all other records were secured and saved on microfilm or a similar medium. Otherwise 1,000 years of Cologne's history may be lost forever," Bentschneider says.

It seems that much of the archive's content may be safe. Welt reports that former city archive head says a large part of the archive’s pre-1945 files were microfilmed; the backups are stored in the Barbarastollen archive in the Black Forest.

And FamilySearch filmed 171 rolls of film from the Cologne archive in 1984, says public affairs manager Paul Nauta. The library has been able to help other archives before by providing copies of the lost documents. FamilySearch’s holdings include these items from the Cologne archive:
  • Genealogy and coast of arms 1350-1880
  • Tax lists 1487-1703
  • Orphans house registers 1592-1788
  • Soldier pay records 1552-1613
  • Court records, inheritance and land 1220-1798
  • Court minutes 1413-1652
  • Town council minutes 1440-1653
"This is one of the clarion calls for why preservation services offered by FamilySearch and other like organizations can be so critical. Most genealogy consumers are aware of the convenient access value, but the tragedy of the Cologne archive reiterates the value for preservation," Nauta says.

Historic preservation | Libraries and Archives | Public Records | Vital Records
Thursday, March 05, 2009 9:39:31 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]