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<2009 May>

More Links

# Friday, 08 May 2009
Genealogy News Corral, May 4-8
Posted by Diane

Here are the news bits that came across our desks this week
  • Subscription genealogy site launched a collection of German phone directories dating from 1915 to 1981. The books, which are, of course, in German, list names and addresses of more than 35 million people who lived in Germany’s major cities, as well as many businesses. 
  • British subscription and pay-per-view site added merchant seaman crew indexes with 270,000 names of seafarers between 1860 and 1913. British ships created these lists every six months, including everyone from captains to able seamen, from engine room staff to stewardesses.
  • The 1916 census of Canada is now available free at Family History Centers through their on-site service. (Meaning this census isn’t on the FamilySearch pilot site—you must go to a Family History Center to search it.)
  • A late addition: The New England Historic Genealogical Society is adding digitized back issues of the journal The American Genealogist, to its subscription databases at Vols. 1 through 8 (published as Families of Ancient New Haven) and Volumes 9–13 (dated from 1933 through 1937), are available now in separate databases. Additional volumes will be added. NEHGS memberships start at $75. | Canadian roots | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 08 May 2009 14:02:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
"Today Show" Visit Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty
Posted by Diane

The "Today Show" broadcast today from Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The Ellis Island video features a “walk-through” of immigrants’ experiences with host Meredith Vieira and Save Ellis Island director Judith R. McAlpin. Here’s the video.

Another clip shows the anchors’ also climbed inside the Statue of Liberty to announce the crown will re-open to the public July 4. Read and watch on the Today Show site.

Also read our article (from the November 2008 Family Tree Magazine) about the immigrant hospital on Ellis Island.

immigration records | Videos
Friday, 08 May 2009 10:00:02 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 07 May 2009
Technical Issues
Posted by Diane

So. Our blog software had to be upgraded this morning, and the URL format for individual posts is different in the new version.

We discovered too late that the links to all our previous blog posts also have been retroactively changed. Which in one fell swoop rendered incorrect a number of links in our weekly E-mail Update newsletters and in the magazine.

We're going to do as much as possible to make it easy for you to find the posts you want. In the mean time, you can find recent articles on the main page of the blog.

To find past posts, you can use the date or topic categories in the left margin, or run a search using the Search box below the categories (enclose phrases in quotation marks).

If you're looking for some Genealogy Insider post in particular, leave a comment and we'll give you a link.

Family Tree Magazine articles
Thursday, 07 May 2009 16:50:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 06 May 2009
New Navigation Features Coming to
Posted by Diane

For those of you who subscribe to, I wanted to point out the Ancestry Insider's post about new navigation features coming to the site.

Those include a new record viewer that shows a record image and details side by side (which should reduce all the clicking back and forth and waiting for pages to load), and a new Person Page in Ancestry Member Trees that'll be easier to read and focus more on sources.

Learn more and see screen shots on the Ancestry Insider blog.
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 14:34:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
FamilySearch Adds Alabama Death Index and More
Posted by Diane

New records on the free FamilySearch record search pilot site this week include a statewide death index for Alabama—more than 1.8 million names—dating from 1908 to 1974. Note this is an index; the database doesn’t contain record images.

As FamilySearch digitizes records, webmasters often add the images before the indexes are completed. You won’t be able to search such collections for a name until the index is added, but you still can browse the record images.

To browse, click the region of interest in the map on the pilot site home page. You'll see a listing of collections by country; click the collection title you want. Next, choose from the subcategories (which might be counties, dates, or alphabetical ranges—it depends how the records are organized).

Afew of the collections containing images but no indexes (yet) are civil registrations from Jamaica’s Trelawney Parish, the 1892 New York state census and Catholic Church records from Avila, Spain.

To see a listing at indexing projects underway (read: get a peek at what’ll be available online), go to the FamilySearch Projects and Partner Projects Web pages.

FamilySearch | Free Databases
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 14:23:55 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Enter to Win Our Organize Your Genealogy Life! CD
Posted by Diane

We’re hard at work putting together a CD called Organize Your Genealogy Life! with Family Tree Magazine’s best advice and resources for sorting and storing your genealogy research, computer files, heirlooms and photos. We hope it’ll make you a more efficient researcher and ease your clutter-induced stress.

Whenever we tell people about this CD, they describe their overstacked desks (or dining room tables), overflowing file drawers and overstuffed hard drives. Maybe something resembling this:

So we thought we’d hold a little drawing—you submit a photo of your disorganized genealogy space, and we’ll randomly select three photos whose submitters will receive this CD free.

There are two ways you can enter:
  • Uploading your photo to our Flickr group. This is be easy if you’re already on Flickr: Just click Join to join our Flickr pool. If you’re not on Flickr, you’d need to become a member, which requires you to have a Yahoo! ID—click the aforementioned Join link to be guided through the steps. It’s not hard; but it does take a few minutes, which brings us to option two.
Either way, your photo should be 72-dpi JPG files, and you should include your name, hometown and e-mail address. Post or e-mail your photo by June 16 (updated). By entering, you agree to let us use your name and submitted photo in any and all print and digital media.

Just for the record, the photo above isn't my genealogy space—it's that of the researcher who won an organization contest we ran in 2002. She also had stuff int eh trunk of her car. Just goes to show any year is a good year to get organized.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Research Tips
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 10:02:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 05 May 2009
Learn Secrets for Finding Ancestors in Online Census Records
Posted by Diane

Census records are among the first resources genealogists check for relatives. But it doesn’t take long to discover it’s not as easy as typing a name into a database and out pops your ancestor.

Our next Webinar will teach you secrets for finding census records both on free and fee-based sites. Online Census Secrets: Best Web Sites and Search Tips to Find Your Ancestors covers:
• key facts about US censuses and census Web sites
• how to access online census records for free
• how to use the major online census collections at, HeritageQuest Online and other sites
• a comparison of different sites’ records and indexes
• search strategies for finding elusive ancestors
The Webinar takes place Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m. EDT. Registration costs $49.99, but you’ll get $10 off when you register before midnight May 11.

Not only will you participate in the live, interactive class (you see slides and demos and hear the presentation; you can ask questions at any time by typing into a box and hitting Send); but you'll also get access to the recorded Webinar after it’s over, a PDF of the presentation, our “Master the Census” article, and an online census records reference chart.

Learn more about our Online Census Secrets Webinar and register on

If you’ve never taken an online workshop before, click here for more details about how Webinars work.

census records | Webinars
Tuesday, 05 May 2009 09:31:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 04 May 2009
US "Who Do You Think You Are?" Will Premiere This Fall (Unless It Won't)
Posted by Diane

NBC's genealogy-reality TV series "Who Do You Think You Are?" will now premiere this fall, according to Genealogy Gems blogger and podcast host Lisa Louise Cooke.

Reports about the show surfaced last year (we covered it in the September 2008 Family Tree Magazine). Genealogists were thrilled when it was finally scheduled to begin in April, but the premiere was postponed. Let's hope this new date sticks.

The US version of "Who Do You Think You Are?", hosted by Lisa Kudrow of "Friends" fame, is based on Britain's successful show of the same name, which traces celebrities' family trees.

NBC's Web site for the show also says the network has partnered with to produce a microsite where users can start their own family trees and learn more about the featured celebrities' trees.

Celebrity Roots
Monday, 04 May 2009 16:38:29 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Create Facebook Pages for Family With New Footnote App
Posted by Diane

Footnote has created a new Facebook app that lets you create an “I Remember” Facebook page for someone, with photos and stories about the person. Others can add memories, too, by writing on the person's wall.

Here's an example of an I Remember Facebook page:

What's written on the Facebook I Remember page also shows up in the Comments section on the person’s Person page on Footnote:

Go here to learn more and download the free I Remember app to your Facebook page.

Footnote is a subscription-based historical records site, but it also has free social networking features that let you create Footnote Pages about people, places or events.

You must be be a registered Footntoe member—but you don't have to subscribe—in order to create or add to a Footnote Page. You can search existing Footnote pages here.

Footnote | Social Networking
Monday, 04 May 2009 15:03:03 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Live Roots Adds Family History Library Catalog Search
Posted by Diane

Just a heads-up that you can now search the Family History Library (FHL) Catalog from within the Live Roots online genealogy resource directory.

Go to Live Roots’ search page and scroll down to the list of partner sites. Type your search into the FHL box and select the type of search. The place and keyword searches are my favorites—the place search finds all kinds of records associated with the place you enter; a keyword search finds resources with you search term in any part of the catalog listing.

Then click the Search FHL Catalog button.

In the search results, click a record title for more details. You’ll see the listing from the FHL online catalog, except that the right side of the page has tips for accessing the record (including visiting a Family History Center near you).

In these instructions, you can click Help (at the bottom) for an in-depth explanation of FHL catalog listings.

Other Live Roots partner sites include the subscription sites, Footnote, Genealogy Bank, World Vital Records (you need a subscription to those sites to view results from their premium databases), eBay, Twitter and others.

Note that for some of these partner sites, particularly the genealogy database services, you may get better results by going to the site and using its search form. The addtional search fields for life dates, place, nationality, etc., will help you target your search.

For more information on Live Roots, see our previous blog posts.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Monday, 04 May 2009 09:38:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]