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# Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tips From a Family Reunion Whiz
Posted by Diane

Remember our blog post about a year ago about the upcoming super-size Miner-Minard-Miner-Minor 2008 family reunion? 

Organizer Mark Miner sent us a post-party update. Maybe you can steal some inspiration for your own annual gatherings: He's someone who knows how to put on a reunion. Below, a few takeaways.
  • Enlarge your invite list. From his genealogy research and family Web site, Miner estimates 50,000 people were eligible to attend. They didn't all get engraved invitations, though—he used the media to get the word out, and more than 115 cousins traveled to the three-day reunion last June.

  • Consider sponsorship. It wouldn't work for everyone, but this celebration's reach and the family’s roots near Pittsburgh earned it official status as part of that city's 250th birthday.
  • Visit a historical site. “Our primary event was in the Sen. John Heinz History Center," Miner writes. "Guests were treated to remarks by history center CEO Andy Masich and Pittsburgh 250 executive director Bill Flanagan, as well the unveiling of a photo-memorial to cousin Erick Foster, killed serving in Iraq in 2007.”
Photo and memorabilia displays included a photograph of Oklahoma pioneers James R. and Lydia (Miner) Brown and letters from a cousin, Corwin D. Tilbury, who served on Pittsburgh’s city council during the city’s 150th birthday in 1908. (Mark put period postcards and photos on a Pittsburgh 150 Web page.)
In the July 2009 Family Tree Magazine (on newsstands May 5) look for tips on using family reunions to (gently) squeeze genealogy information from relatives.

And click Comments below to share your own reunion advice.


Celebrating your heritage | Family Reunions
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 7:58:03 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 23, 2009
What's NOT in Ancestry Library Edition
Posted by Diane

In Family Tree Magazine articles including our May 2009 guide to the subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com, we often suggest Ancestry Library Edition—free to patrons at many public libraries—as a budget-friendly way to access most of Ancestry.com's collections.

What exactly do we mean by “most”? Here’s a list of Ancestry.com databases that aren’t in Ancestry Library Edition (due to licensing and other issues), and some alternate resources for each:
  • Family and Local Histories Collection
    These town, county and family histories and journals aren't in Ancestry Library Edition, but they are part of HeritageQuest Online, another service many libraries offer (and it's usually accessible to patrons from home via the library’s Web site).
  • Historical Newspapers Collection
    See if your library offers access to ProQuest Historical Newspapers or GenealogyBank.
  • Passenger and Immigration Lists Index
    The original data in this index to approximately 4,588,000 individuals came from P. William Filby’s Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Though it's not as up-to-date, see if the library has the book. Note Ancestry Library Edition does have the Ancestry.com database of National Archives immigration passenger lists.
  • Biography and Genealogy Master Index
    This database lists millions of Americans who’ve been profiled in collective biography volumes such as Who's Who in America. Some libraries offer this index separately.
  • PERSI
    The Periodical Source Index, a collection of 2 million-plus references to family history articles published in US and Canadian periodicals since 1800, is searchable (in more-updated form) using HeritageQuest Online.

Ancestry.com | Libraries and Archives
Monday, March 23, 2009 8:50:31 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, March 20, 2009
Is It Just Us?
Posted by Diane

We couldn’t help but notice the similarities between this chart:



and this one:

(Available on TeamRankings.com.)

Just sayin'.

Genealogy fun
Friday, March 20, 2009 3:56:43 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
Genealogy News Corral, March 16-20
Posted by Diane

Roundin’ up the week’s genealogy news bits. Yee-haw!
Click here to see Family Tree Magazine's Twitter page and follow us (you need a free registration with Twitter to follow someone).

Or click here to learn more about Twitter.
  • Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter got a makeover (or maybe a makeunder, to those keen on the new subtle colors). Go on over and have a look.

Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives
Friday, March 20, 2009 2:34:01 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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]