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# Thursday, March 19, 2009
Ancestry.com Additions Help You Find Living Relatives
Posted by Diane

Funny coincidence.

I was sitting here proofing the final version of our July 2009 Family Tree Magazine article on reverse genealogy (searching for living relatives) when I got an announcement from Ancestry.com about its new/updated collections of recent records. Which could help you find, say, a cousin or second cousin.

Now, through a partnership with the people finder MyLife.com (formerly Reunion.com), your Ancestry.com search results may include links to MyLife.com’s public information profiles on more than 700 million living people.

But wait, there’s more: In the next week or two, Ancestry.com will replace its current US public records database with one containing more than 525 million names, addresses, ages and possible family relationships of US residents between about 1950 and 1990.

Finally, Ancestry.com launched an upgraded collection of obituaries extracted from papers all over the world—helpful because survivors named in relatives’ obituaries may be cousins. (Also see last week's post about Ancestry.com's "1940 census substitute.")

See the details on the Ancestry.com blog.


Ancestry.com | Genealogy Web Sites | Public Records
Thursday, March 19, 2009 2:50:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Seeking Michigan Adds Free Death Records
Posted by Diane

The historical records site Seeking Michigan has added Michigan death certificates from 1897 to 1920. You can search athe index and click to view a record—free.

Run a basic search by name or construct an advanced search by typing keywords and assigning a data field for each term (such as first name, last name, city/village/township, etc.). The advanced search is the same for all Seeking Michigan's collections, so scroll to the bottom of each field pull-down menu for fields specific to the death records.

To browse the death records, click View Collection next to the basic search box (or just use this link).

The records are available through a partnership with the Library of Michigan. Also on Seeking Michigan, you’ll find Civil War photographs and records, WPA property invoices (documents describing the land, buildings and surroundings of building in rural Michigan), oral histories, maps and more. Here's an overview of the collections.


Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | Vital Records
Thursday, March 19, 2009 8:19:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Search Wyoming Historical Newspapers Free Online
Posted by Diane

The Wyoming State Library has posted the first set of historical Wyoming newspapers from the Wyoming Newspaper Project.

This project involves digitizing a 70-year collection of the state’s newspapers from 1849 to 1922.

So far, more than 407,000—about half—of the newspaper images are online. They span 1867 to 1922 and include 200 titles such as The Cheyenne Daily Leader, Laramie Sentinel, Natrona County Tribune, South Pass News and Torrington Telegram.
 
You can run a keyword search or browse by title, year, city or county. You’ll download the pages with matching terms as PDF files.

Newspaper announcements may be particularly helpful for vital information since Wyoming didn’t start keeping statewide birth and death records until 1909, and marriage records, until 1941. Plus, the state's birth records are closed for 100 years.

This clipping is from the March 9, 1886, Cheyenne Sun Individualities section, which reports comings and goings of folks around town.

Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips | Vital Records
Wednesday, March 18, 2009 7:53:43 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, March 17, 2009
St. Patrick’s Day Stats
Posted by Diane

Enjoy these numbers along with your celebratory corned beef and cabbage, soda bread and green beer:

30.5 million US residents claim Irish ancestry, the second most frequently reported ancestry, according to the Census Bureau's Ancestry 2000 report.

4.5 million Irish immigrants traveled to the United States between 1820 and
1930
.

4.2 million
, roughly, is the population of Ireland.

248 is the number of consecutive years New York City has put on its St. Patrick’s Day parade.

100 pounds of green dye were added to the Chicago River St. Patrick’s Day, 1962. The river was green for a week. (See the 2009 dyeing in this video.)

24 percent of Massachusetts residents have Irish ancestry, says the Census Bureau.
 
9 cities or towns in the United States are named Dublin (also from the Census Bureau).

0 is the number of snake species native to Ireland (which has more to do with geography than St. Patrick, if you ask the National Zoo).

And you'll find innumerable tips and resources for tracing your Irish roots in our Irish genealogy research toolkit.


Celebrating your heritage | Genealogy fun | Social History | UK and Irish roots
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 9:41:28 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, March 16, 2009
TimesMachine Takes NYT Subscribers Back to Old Editions
Posted by Diane

Our contributing editor David A. Fryxell shared this genealogically cool benefit available to New York Times home delivery subscribers: The TimesMachine (I love puns!), an online archive of digital papers from 1851 to 1922.

New York Times subscribers can log into the site, pick a date and click to flip the pages of that day's edition. If you don't subscribe, you can try it out with a few sample editions.

The TimesMachine is suited to browsing, since it doesn't have a search. But anyone can search past editions of the New York Times using a different tool, the Article Archive.

The Article Archive delivers individual articles in PDF form (1851 to 1980) or text-only (1981 to present). Articles from 1851 through 1922 are free, and articles from 1981 to present are free. If your archive search returns articles dated 1923 through 1980, you’ll be asked to pay before you can download those articles.


Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Monday, March 16, 2009 2:19:18 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Show and Tell: All-American Girls League Player Card
Posted by Diane

Phyllis correctly guessed the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) player whose card I'm excited to show off: Pat Scott, pitcher for the Springfield Sallies and Fort Wayne Daisies.

After meeting her, my husband said he bets she could still get out there and throw a pretty good fastball.

See last week's post for AAGPBL research resources.

Female ancestors | Genealogy fun | Social History
Monday, March 16, 2009 9:06:27 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]