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<2009 May>

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# Friday, 22 May 2009
Genealogy News Corral May 18-22
Posted by Diane

Here are some quick genealogy news updates for the week. We hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and get an opportunity to reflect on your ancestors’ sacrifice for their country.
  • British subscription and pay-per-view site added more than 200,000 Canadian civil service records from 1872 to 1918. The records reveal the civil servant's name, position, department, length of service, salary and date of appointment. The earliest ones also provide civil servants' national origins and religion.
  • FamilySearch has added a total of 3.5 million-plus new records to 13 collections on the free FamilySearch Record Search pilot. The additions come from Brazil, the Czech Republic and Italy; and the US states of Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • The State Library of North Carolina and the North Carolina State Archives have posted a free collection of North Carolina family records including nearly 220 family Bible records and the six-volume Marriage and Death Notices from Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette: 1799-1893.

Canadian roots | Free Databases | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives
Friday, 22 May 2009 16:38:34 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 21 May 2009
Money-Saving Deals on IAJGS and FGS Genealogy Conferences
Posted by Diane

Two upcoming genealogy conferences are offering ways to save on registration fees, plus some opportunities for extra edification and fun:
Among the IAJGS' special workshops are a document- and photo-preservation session ($10) and the delicious-sounding Tasting World Jewish Cuisines: Turkish, Syrian, and Ashkenazi-Italkeni Recipes, with cookbook authors Sheilah Kaufman and Aliza Green ($20). Click here to register.
Bonus for early arrivals in Little Rock: A free Ice Cream Social Tuesday, Sept. 1, 3-5 pm for registered conference-goers.
The Federation of Genealogical Societies is an umbrella organization for genealogical societies. Its conference, planned in conjunction with the Arkansas Genealogical Society, features classes, an exhibit hall, genealogy field trips and banquets.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Jewish roots
Thursday, 21 May 2009 17:33:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Find Revolutionary War Officers Free at GenealogyBank
Posted by Diane, the subscription site best known for its collection of digitized historical newspapers, has added thousands of US military records to its historical documents collection and made a portion of them free for a limited time.

The records include US military registers, which provide the name, birth date, location, rank and date of death of officers who served in the US Army, Navy or Air Force from the American Revolution to Korea.

In honor of Memorial Day, you can access the list of Revolutionary War officers for free (you'll need to register first).

It looks like search results mix the military registers with other historical documents. (So far, I've gotten error messages when trying to view images of the registers. I wonder if the site is overwhelmed.)

According to GenealogyBank's anouncement, it looks like we can expect millions more records added to the site this year.

Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Thursday, 21 May 2009 15:31:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Blog Reports From the NGS Conference
Posted by Diane

In case you missed one of our posts from last week's National Genealogical Society conference in Raleigh, NC, here's a list. I've added reports from other bloggers, too:
Several folks were Tweeting, too. Read many of the 140-or-fewer-characters-at-a-time updates here.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry
Wednesday, 20 May 2009 15:52:30 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Ellis Island Hosts Stars, Expands Museum
Posted by Diane

Our lucky New York-based colleague Guy LeCharles Gonzalez attended the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards yesterday. He got the scoop on the latest Ellis Island exhibits and rubbed elbows with the stars (well, at least he was in the same room).

Here’s Guy’s report:

Emilio and Gloria Estefan (below) accepted the inaugural B.C. Forbes Peopling of America Award in a star-studded 8th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards ceremony yesterday, hosted by actress Candice Bergen in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island.

The awards celebrate the lives and work of individuals who immigrated to America and their descendants; with the Forbes honor going to those who arrived through a port other than Ellis Island. It reminds us that America continues to be the destination for those seeking freedom, hope and opportunity.

Accepting the award alongside her husband, musician Gloria Estefan noted the common denominator shared with the day’s other honorees—Joe Namath, Eric Kandel and Jerry Seinfeld—that no matter where they or their families had come from, or when, they all sought to escape some form of tyranny. In America, they’d found a home where they could live freely and pursue their dreams.

Sponsored by the Forbes family in honor of patriarch B.C. "Bertie" Forbes, the Peopling of America award is also named for the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation's newest project: the Peopling of America Center.  

The center will expand the Ellis Island Immigration Museum to include the entire panorama of the American immigrant experience—from native American groups to today's New Americans, whose numbers are growing exponentially.

The new center is an ambitious $20 million effort to make Ellis Island even more compelling and relevant for the coming decades, with the goal of telling all of our stories about being and becoming Americans.

Its precursor, the Peopling of America exhibit, is in the Great Hall's former Railroad Ticket Office, where immigrants could make travel arrangements to their final destinations in the United States. Several displays visually chronicle the more than 60 million people who’ve come to the United States, voluntarily and by force, since 1600.

This map details sources and destinations of the Atlantic slave trade:

This exhibit compares immigration (blue arrows) to emigration (red arrows) by decade:

Other displays include an interactive Map of Diversity, which can show the number of people in each state who claim a certain race or ancestry (based on US census data); maps and charts of historical immigration patterns; and the American Flag of Faces, a "living and interactive exhibit" to which anyone can add a photo (names and captions are searchable online).

See more photos of the ceremony and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum here.

Celebrating your heritage | immigration records | Museums | Social History
Wednesday, 20 May 2009 11:16:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Where to Find a Genealogist-for-Hire
Posted by Diane

When it starts accepting clients in June,’s ExpertConnect service (read our post about it) will be just one option for hiring people to do research tasks, such as photographing a gravestone or photocopying a record. Here are a few others:
  • Genealogy Freelancers: This site lets you post your project details and get bids from professionals around the world.
  • Genlighten: Here, you also can collect bids for research tasks. The focus here is on lookups, record retrieval and similar services.
  • Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness: These volunteers have signed on to do simple research favors for free (except expenses such as mileage and photocopying fees). You’re encouraged to return the favor by helping out someone else. | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:59:01 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4] to Launch Professional Genealogy Service
Posted by Diane

You may have heard mentions of a soon-to-come service called ExpertConnect. It’s designed to let people who need research services—anything from simply getting a record or taking a gravestone photo to a full-scale research project—gather bids from people who can offer them.

After a bid is accepted and the service completed, gets a cut of the fee.

Anyone can register to offer lookups and other simple research services, but those offering services for more-involved research projects have to register as a professional with ExpertConnect.

That’s the source of some controversy, since there’s no industry standard for what makes someone a professional genealogy researcher. (See the Genea-Musings blog post on the Association of Professional Genealogists discussions last month.) settled on a series of qualifications; those offering professional-level services on ExpertConnect must satisfy several.

Other points of contention: Under the ExpertConnect contract, the client owns the copyright for any research reports the expert generates. And a ranking system similar to eBay’s lets clients rate the experts, leaving reputations vulnerable to clients who don’t understand the uncertain nature of genealogy research. says that experts will be able to request reviews of questionable rankings, and that the ExpertConnect system can head off problems by letting experts and clients renegotiate projects as they progress.

ExpertConnect will start accepting clients in June. You can check out the types of services available here; click Join to register as a service provider.

My next post will give you other options for hiring out your research tasks.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:38:59 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 18 May 2009
New Podcast Episode Has Census Tips and More
Posted by Diane

The latest episode of the free Family Tree Magazine podcast delivers census records help, genealogy social networking tips and more.

In this May 2009 episode, Curt Witcher, who manages the renowned genealogy department at the Allen County Public Library, chats with host Lisa Louise Cooke about special “non-population” census records and how to glean important genealogical information from them. Contributing editor David A. Fryxell serves up creative tips for using the census. And Justin Schroepfer, marketing director for historical records subscription site Footnote talks about I Remember, a brand new Facebook application just launched this month.

Listen now at or in iTunes. Click below for RSS subscriptions options: 

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

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census records | Podcasts | Social Networking
Monday, 18 May 2009 14:02:12 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Saturday, 16 May 2009
Genline Updates Mean More Swedish Records
Posted by Diane

Swedish records subscription site Genline has added a bunch of records, made some user-friendly upgrades and formed a partnership that’ll help you discover free and low-cost photos and documents from all over Sweden.

Yesterday, I got a tour of the updates from Peter Wallenskog from Genline’s board of directors. Here's an overview:

  • Record additions underway include birth, marriage and death records through 1920. Coming soon: parish books and vital records up to 1937.
  • Household examination books (akin to censuses), which you currently find by browsing, are being indexed by farm name. Many farms were owned by the same family for generations. About 40 percent are already indexed; that’ll probably be 90 percent by the end of the year.
  • Genline is adding very high-resolution, clear images, with tools so you can enhance them by increasing contrast, remove specks, and more.
  • A transcription feature, introduced just a few days ago, lets users build a personal name index to Genline records by transcribing names as they find them. Other users can search on those names, vote for one or another transcription, and contribute their own version of a transcription. 
  • Familjeband is a Swedish family history site where users build family trees, upload photos and communicate on a message board. Through an agreement with local groups in the Sverges Hembygdsforbund (Swedish Local Heritage Movement), Genline is helping develop a section of Familjeband called Bygdeband (now in beta), where these local groups are uploading photos, letters, probate papers, deeds and other records. Related records are linked, and a map shows places associated with records in the database.

Familjeband is accessible through a free registration and is in Swedish. Later this year, it’ll get an English interface, and records in Genline will be linked to related records in Familjeband. Eventually, it’ll cost a little—maybe $4 a month, says Wallenskog—to access records in Familjeband.

  • Genline also hopes to partner with Swedish heritage groups on this side of the pond to add records and photos to Familjeband. So far, groups from Kansas are uploading documents from Swedish schools and churches. 

Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy
Saturday, 16 May 2009 10:25:54 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, 15 May 2009
Sir Walter Raleigh and North Carolina Genealogy
Posted by Diane

Raleigh, NC, is named for Sir Walter Raleigh. He’s the English explorer whose royal charter to colonize “the Colony and Dominion of Virginia” (which at the time extended far beyond present-day Virginia) resulted in the lost colony of Roanoke Island in 1591—but also paved the way for later colonization in the New World.

Sir Walter’s statue outside the convention center looks like he’s surveying his dominion.

The area’s first permanent European settlers came south from the colony of Virginia around 1650. The Province of Carolina was established in 1660. In 1712, North Carolina split off’ it became a royal colony in 1729 and was the 12th state to ratify the US constitution in 1789.

Here are some North Carolina genealogy links:

Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 15 May 2009 11:41:52 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]