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# Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: New Online Records
Posted by Diane

This week’s roundup (late from last week or, as I prefer to see it, early for this week) focuses on record additions to genealogy database sites:
  • New on FamilySearch's free record search pilot: 1920 US census indexes (no record images for this one) for Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois and Massachusetts; and Arkansas marriages (with images) from 1837 to 1957 in Clay, Crittendon, Desha and Monroe counties.
  • Subscription site Footnote ($69.95 per year) added Cherokee resources including the Guion Miller Rolls (info and free index on Archives.gov) and Cherokee Indian Agency records, plus Civil War Union service records from Kentucky, Southern Claims Commission approved claims from Alabama and Georgia, and two historical newspapers.
What’s up Footnote’s sleeve? Vietnam service awards and photos, Eastern Cherokee Applications of the US Court of Claims, and Southern Claims Commission approved claims for Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Subscription-based Family Tree Connection ($29.95 per year), which focuses on smallish record sets, has more names and images in its collections of WWII ration books and association reports and rosters.
  • Subscription site Ancestry.com ($155.40 per year) is adding family histories (usually, at least one per day; see the recent additions page for titles) and updated obituary collections from the US, UK and Ireland, and Australia and New Zealand.
Coming soon: a recently discovered 1890 census fragment listing black farmers in Delaware, South Dakota territorial and state census images, returns from US military posts (regular reports that include names of people stationed there), and WWII draft cards from Illinois.
If you know of content additions not included here, by all means, click Comments (below) and share the news.


Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, April 08, 2009 10:09:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Lives, History Lost in Italy Earthquake
Posted by Diane

Monday’s 6.3 magnitude earthquake in central Italy killed 250 people (a toll that may grow) and severely damaged historical buildings in the town of L’Aquila, where the quake was centered.

On the Genealogy Blog, Leland Meitzler reports on the damage to the Archivo di Stato (archives), National Museum of Abruzzo and other buildings.

Also see photos on Tom Kemp’s GenealogyBank blog.

The extent of historical records loss isn’t yet known. The Family History Library has some microfilmed civil registration records from the L'Aquila archives.

L’Aquila, founded around 1240 AD, is about 70 miles from Rome in mountainous central Italy. It's the capital city of the Province of L'Aquila and of the Abruzzo region.


International Genealogy | Libraries and Archives
Wednesday, April 08, 2009 8:34:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, April 07, 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 Ancestry.com’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 Ancestry.com. It's free to search Ancestry.com'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.


Ancestry.com | Genetic Genealogy
Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:02:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, April 06, 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, April 06, 2009 12:23:15 PM (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, Ancestry.com, 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, April 06, 2009 10:45:27 AM (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, April 06, 2009 8:44:20 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, April 03, 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, April 03, 2009 8:34:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, April 02, 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, April 02, 2009 9:00:29 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, April 01, 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, April 01, 2009 3:19:54 PM (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 FamilyTreeMagazine.com.


Genealogy fun
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 8:14:27 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]