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<2009 April>

More Links

# Tuesday, 07 April 2009
How Y-DNA Can Work in Your Genealogy Search
Posted by Diane

For a good example of integrating genetic genealogy into your family history research, see this USAToday article (Tweeted by Blaine Bettinger and Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak) about Chris Haley’s DNA connections with a Scottish man.

Haley is a Maryland State Archives research administrator and the nephew of the deceased Roots author, Alex Haley.

Haley took a Y-DNA test, which examines the paternal line (the father’s father’s father, and so on), and found a couple of matches through’s Y-DNA database. One match was a man in Scotland, whose daughter June Baff Black had just started doing genealogy (talk about beginner’s luck).

Though Haley and Black haven’t yet been able to find a paper trail leading to their common ancestor, the match on 45 out of 46 markers confirms they’re on the right track.

Roots Television has a video about their first meeting, which happened in March at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show in London.

You can order a DNA test through It's free to search's DNA database by last name (via a search box at the bottom of the DNA landing page) or enter your test results from another company.

The USAToday story also mentions a limitation of Y-DNA testing. Since it’s a relatively new science, you may not find a close match in online databases as quickly as Haley and Black did. | Genetic Genealogy
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 10:02:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, 06 April 2009
OGS in Pictures
Posted by Grace

Diane and I spent the weekend up by Lake Erie at the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference to give away copies of the magazine and show our latest CDs.

The table where Diane and I sat saw a steady stream of visitors. We love meeting fans! Surprisingly, the gigantic cover of our November 2007 issue only got knocked over once.

Diane took advantage of downtime to edit an upcoming story about the National Archives by Rick Crume, who was also in attendance.

And there was time for cake.

Our fan club!

An impromptu family reunion—my mom stopped by! Mom was in town to visit her family, which is from the north central Ohio area.

On the way back south, Diane and I got a teensy bit lost and ended up driving past a nuclear power plant. No gills so far, so I think we're good!

If you went to the OGS conference, leave a comment and let us know how your weekend was!

Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun
Monday, 06 April 2009 12:23:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Campaign Urges Families to Preserve Their Heritage
Posted by Diane

The founders of the International Association of StoryKeepers and the Treasury of Family Heritage family networking site launched the Great Heritage Campaign March 31 to encourage families to preserve their traditions and stories.

Treasury of Family Heritage co-founder Dennis Stack calls the campaign “a call to action for members of the heritage industry to help bridge the disconnect between its various elements and to drive the movement in an interactive way.”

He adds that his site is a “key piece” of the campaign, serving as a platform where families and heritage-related businesses can connect and preserve stories.

To use the Treasury of Family Heritage, you set up a profile (choose from a family, business or social page), then upload video, audio, images or stories. Packages range from free to $15 per month, depending on storage size.

In the crowded area of family networking/storykeeping sites (Geni, MyHeritage, Genetree, TribalPages, to name just a few), genealogy sites with networking components (Footnote,, FindMyPast, etc.), wikis (WeRelate is one), and genealogy applications for general social networking sites (including FamilyBuilder’s Family Tree and FamilyLink’s We’re Related), will the Great Heritage Campaign direct attention to the Treasury of Family Heritage? We'll have to wait and see.

The Great Heritage Campaign doesn't seem to have its own Web site, but you can watch a video on the Treasury of Family Heritage site.

Celebrating your heritage | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, 06 April 2009 10:45:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
We're Honored!
Posted by Diane

We’re excited to be on ProGenealogists’ list of the 25 most popular all-around genealogy blogs, based on Technorati ratings, overall content and industry experience of the bloggers.

(As a former high school student, I know “popular” doesn't always correlate with “helpful”—but I hope in this case it means lots of researchers are finding good advice on the Genealogy Insider blog.)

Subscribe to all the blogs on the list to stay updated on genealogy news and resources. Thanks to ProGenealogists—a professional research firm with experts in a range of areas—for including us! We got this special badge to wear, too.

Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, 06 April 2009 08:44:20 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, 03 April 2009
Talking Genealogy in Northern Ohio
Posted by Diane

I had a chance to interview Ian Frazier, author of the book Family (Picador, $16) Thursday evening before the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference started up in Huron (on Lake Erie midway between Cleveland and Toledo). 

Frazier was the speaker at the society’s golden anniversary banquet. The book—one of my favorites—is about Frazier’s family, from the time his ancestors settled small towns in the Western Reserve to his own childhood in the northern Ohio town of Hudson. His incredibly detailed research comes across in the book, so I asked him how he organized it all and decided what to keep and what to leave out. You’ll see his answers in an upcoming Family Tree Magazine.

I snapped a picture of the banquet:

And here's Frazier signing books afterward:

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Friday, 03 April 2009 20:34:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 02 April 2009
Help Tracing Roots in Europe
Posted by Allison

Need a hand crossing the pond? You'll find help in our newest CD, the Family Tree Passport to Europe.

Given the popularity of our heritage articles in Family Tree Magazine—"When are you going to do an article on [insert ancestral homeland]?" is an oft-asked question in our inbox—we're excited to have a way for folks to tap into the great advice we've offered on European genealogy.

The CD combines 22 guides to researching in these nations and regions
(some articles cover more than one country):
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Scotland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Wales
Plus articles on Jewish roots and major ports of emigration. The guides include hints for finding and using records, identifying ancestral villages, dealing with foreign language barriers and understanding historical events that affect your ancestors' circumstances—and your genealogy search. Many guides include helpful maps to put your family in geographic context.

And of course, there are lots of recommended resources for learning more—and all the Web sites are hyperlinked for one-click access.

For those of you who subscribe to our e-mail newsletter, look for a special discount offer on this CD to hit your inbox tomorrow.

Don't get the newsletter? Now's a great time to sign up—in addition to genealogy news, tips and advice each Thursday, you'll get the opportunity to download our 42-page PDF e-book Best of the Photo Detective. Visit our newsletter page to subscribe for free.

Family Tree Magazine articles | International Genealogy
Thursday, 02 April 2009 09:00:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 01 April 2009
Obama Cousin Prank Pays Off for FamilyLink
Posted by Diane

FamilyLink pulled a fast one on the 19 million users of its We’re Related Facebook application today.

We’re Related users received notifications that Barack Obama had confirmed them as a fourth cousin once removed. Genea-Musings' Randy Seaver posted his notification and the linked pages explaining the “relationship.”

A Learn More link at the bottom of the explanatory page fessed up about the April Fool's Day prank.

Some think the joke is funny, some don’t (and some who didn't click through probably believe it). Either way, FamilyLink is getting a lot of buzz. According to the AllFacebook blog, We’re Related is experiencing five times its usual traffic today.

FamilyLink CEO Paul Allen linked to We’re Related users’ Tweets on Twitter.

Genealogy Web Sites | Social Networking
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 15:19:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Quiz: Are You an April Fool?
Posted by Diane

Can you pick out the historical hoax? Take our April Fool's Day quiz and find out.

The quiz is on Survey Monkey. Once you've submitted your responses, you'll be redirected to the answers on

Genealogy fun
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 08:14:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogist Discovers Royal Roots*
Posted by Diane

Our warmest congratulations to this lady:

*April Fool's! Think of all the fun** you can have today with the Newspaper Clipping Generator.

**Please play responsibly. Not for purposes of "discovering" Great-grandpa's long-missing obituary or giving "evidence" of Aunt Helen's secret career in international espionage.

Genealogy fun
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:10:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 31 March 2009
Irish Times Newspaper Archive Free Through April 4
Posted by Diane

The Dublin-based Irish Times newspaper is celebrating its 150th birthday, and you can access the digital archives—covering 1859 to 2009—free through April 4.

Keyword search or browse by date using the gray search box on the right side of the home page. You can download articles—such as this list of birth announcements—as PDF files.

Don't stop there—continue your genealogy search with the resources and guidance in's Irish roots toolkit.

Free Databases | UK and Irish roots
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 07:58:57 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]