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<2009 April>

More Links

# Monday, 27 April 2009
Some Databases Malfunctioning
Posted by Diane is working on the site issues that are causing some data sets not to return search results, search product manager Anne Mitchell reports on teh blog thought the problems, which apparently began over the weekend, had been fixed, but Mitchell's team is focused on databases blog commenters report still aren't working. Those include several from Ontario, Canada, as well as Historic Newspapers and Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969. 

Commenters also complained about the lack of earlier notification, such as an alert on's home page.
Monday, 27 April 2009 15:07:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Be First to Try FamilyTeller Online Community
Posted by Diane

We first met Matt Unger over the Internet when associate editor Grace Dobush covered his Papa’s Diary Project blog—where he transcribes and annotates his grandfather’s diary one day’s entry at a time—for the May 2008 Family Tree Magazine.

Unger sent us a note this week—seems he heard from a lot of people asking for advice on creating similar projects with their own family materials. They inspired him to put his Web development and publishing background to work on an online community called FamilyTeller.

In Unger's own words, FamilyTeller “will allow people to more easily scan, organize, annotate and share family artifacts on the Web.”

Can you beta test this new service? For a discounted subscription rate, you’d get assistance digitizing and uploading documents and photos, automatically catalog and organize them, try a few transcriptions, create a blog-style Web site to share with your family, and more—as well as, of course, provide feedback on your experiences with the site.

Benefits include lifetime discounts on subscription and service fees, plus the chance to influence what the site will be like.

Wanna try it? Fill out this online form and Unger will contact you.

Celebrating your heritage | Genealogy Web Sites | Social Networking
Monday, 27 April 2009 09:20:25 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 24 April 2009
Attention Googlers: Workshop is Tuesday
Posted by Allison

How many times a day do you search Google? Today, I'm up to only 7. But some days—when I'm not away from my desk so much—I'm searching the Web 20 or 30 times.

Because so much of my job is about finding and sharing information, I'm constantly seeking new and better ways to search. On Tuesday, I'm going to share the secrets I've learned in an online workshop called Googling Your Genealogy: 7 Essential Strategies.

If you've never attended an online workshop (or "webinar") before, it's kind of like attending a in-person genealogy seminar--only "cozier," because you can do it from the comfort of your own computer. You'll be able to listen, view the presentation slides, even ask questions. Learn more about the experience on our Online Workshops page.

The workshop is at 7 p.m. EDT and registration costs $49.99. I hope you'll join me!

We'll be doing more online workshops in the future, so if there's a topic you'd like us to offer, go ahead and e-mail me.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 24 April 2009 16:26:22 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy News Corral, April 20-24
Posted by Diane

Here's our roundup of the week's genealogy news bits:
  • The New England Regional Genealogy Conference is now underway in Manchester, NH. If you're in the area, stop by today or tomorrow to take classes, check out the exhibitors and participate in the Ancestors Road show.
  • Subscription records site enhanced its record image viewer to let you view newspaper images at up to 200 percent (before the most you could get was 100 percent). You also can print the zoomed record, save images to your computer and share images with friends and family.
  • Roots Television (genealogy tv you watch online) is bringing back the Down Under series, which has genealogists discovering intriguing stories about tombstones and those who’ve passed on.
  • FamilySearch online indexing volunteers reached a big milestone this week, transcribing their 250 millionth historical record. Record #250 million was part of Nicaragua civil registrations, extracted by three online indexers from Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras.
FamilySearch Indexing, begun in January 2006, now has more than 100,000 volunteers worldwide typing away.
  • This also from FamilySearch: Its expanded the Knowles Collection, a free database of Jewish records from Britain, to 40,000 names. You can download the database in GEDCOM or Personal Ancestral File format from FamilySearch’s Jewish resources page.

  • Update: has change its blog to disable commenting on posts once they've reached two weeks old. That's so staff can "track all comments in a more timely manner and reply as needed." See more on the blog.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | Videos
Friday, 24 April 2009 15:06:38 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 23 April 2009
FamilyLink Releases Free Photo-Sharing App for iPhone
Posted by Diane

If you have an Apple iPhone, FamilyLink has developed a free application that will let you share photos with family.

From the announcement: “FamCam is the simplest way to send photos privately and securely to family members. Send any photo from your phone with a couple clicks. Create persistent family groups just for photo sharing.”

Here’s a bit more information from Apptism.

Click here to download FamCam from iTunes.

Genealogy Software | Social Networking
Thursday, 23 April 2009 09:18:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 22 April 2009 Adds Border Crossings into Canada
Posted by Diane

Those who used the May 2009 Family Tree Magazine article on immigrants to Canada will be pleased to learn that, sister site to, has added border-crossing records from the United States to Canada between 1908 and 1935. (Thanks to Dick Eastman for the tip.)

The database may hold the key for "missing" immigrant ancestors. Between 1901 and 1914, more than 750,000 people entered Canada over the US border. Many were European immigrants who originally settled in the American West.

Americans also routinely crossed the border to visit friends and family.

But this database isn’t available with the $155.40 US-focused subscription, reports Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings. You need an or a World Deluxe subscription to access it.

Note Canadian citizens returning home weren’t recorded, nor were those who had a Canadian parent. And Lisa A. Alzo, who wrote our May 2009 article, says those who crossed where ports either didn’t exist or were closed wouldn’t be listed. | Canadian roots | immigration records
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 14:59:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Meet Our Family Tree Huggers
Posted by Diane

For people who research genealogy, “tree hugging” has a second meaning. That's the one we have in mind as we recognize several members our online community as Family Tree Huggers.

Over the years the Forum has been up and running, these especially active members have enhanced the entire community’s experience with their observations, research advice, questions and inspiration.

These folks, who represent a range of research levels, will have this nifty badge to use as a forum avatar and to put on their own Web sites and blogs. They’ll serve as a sounding board for feedback on article topics, genealogy Web sites, industry news, etc.

Thanks to Valerie Craft, Jackie Fry, Linda Matthews, Dae Powell, Cat Smith and Linda Swisher for helping to make our Forum a welcoming place. Get to know this group of researchers a little better.

And we’re on the lookout for more Family Tree Huggers who post frequently to the Forum and help make it a great place for genealogists to hang out. Let us know if you're interested.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 12:19:09 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 21 April 2009
See World's Historical Documents Free on New Site
Posted by Diane

The World Digital Library, a free, online collection of documents, photos, maps and art from countries and cultures around the world, launches today.

You can choose from seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) for viewing descriptions of the materials. Text on the records themselves isn’t translated.

On the home page, click on the map to see a sample of content from that region. Use the slider on the timeline at the bottom of the screen to change the era from which the samples are taken.

Links at the top of each page let you search the record descriptions or browse by place, time, topic, type of item or originating institution.

Images from Syria, where my great-grandparents were born, include a late-19th century panorama of Beirut—showing what it would’ve looked like about the time they lived there.

More examples of digitized content: centuries-old calligraphy from Iran, an 1851 John Tallis and Co. map of Brazil, the 1866 book The Gabrovo School and Its First Trustees from Bulgaria, and a photo of African-American major league baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson from the United States.

There’s some content from nearly every UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) member country. (On the country listings page, you can click to see content from each place.)

World Digital Library is hosted by the Library of Congress, with support from UNESCO and partner institutions around the world. Partners are seeking more materials and the means to digitize them, especially for the developing world.

Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy | Libraries and Archives
Tuesday, 21 April 2009 09:10:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Monday, 20 April 2009
Can Genealogy Web Sites Make it Easier to Cite Sources?
Posted by Diane

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find information about your ancestor on a database site such as, FamilySearch or Footnote, and just click to add the ancestor information and a properly formatted source citation to your genealogy software?

Mark Tucker, the software architect who blogs at Think Genealogy, says the technology exists to make this happen. He created a video to prove it.

It sure looks simple: On a sample Web site he'd set up, Tucker clicks a "quick citation" link next to digitized pages from a family history book. Then, switching back to his RootsMagic 4 software, he shows how the source citation and information about his ancestor has been automatically exported to the software. (Tucker says this also could work in Family Tree Maker 2009 and Legacy Family Tree 7.)

At the end of the video, he encourages you to contact database companies you use to encourage them to adopt this easy method of source citation. You also can take a survey about your source citation needs.

Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Software | Videos
Monday, 20 April 2009 08:34:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Friday, 17 April 2009
If Books Could Talk...
Posted by Grace

Don't you wish sometimes that you could ask the books you read questions? Well, the Santa Monica Public Library has a special Living Library program going on tomorrow where you can check out a person.

The offerings include "a Mormon, an animal rights activist, a police detective, a fat activist, a feminist, a married Jewish lesbian mom, a little person and an ex-gang member," among others, according to the LA Now blog. You can borrow one for a half hour conversation, as long as you return the "book" in the same condition you received it in.

Libraries and Archives | Oral History
Friday, 17 April 2009 14:40:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]