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# Tuesday, June 23, 2009
CNN Site Explores African-American Family Histories
Posted by Diane

CNN iReporter Neal Kelley, of Lawrenceville, Ga., has traced his African American family’s roots to his great-grandfather, a slave in Louisiana in 1842, and he’s hoping to discover his ancestors’ African homeland.

The story of Kelley’s genealogical explorations is part of the Journeys section on CNN’s Black in America Web site.



As you listen to Kelley and other iReporters talk about their families, you see their ancestors’ migrations on a map and a slideshow of family documents and photos.

You also can hover over states on the map for statistics on African-American residents now and then.

Click the surnames above the map to see each family’s story. Click Nation for an overview of historical African-American migrations by era. Use the Submit or see all link at the bottom of the page to share your own photos and videos.
African-American roots
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 1:22:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, June 22, 2009
Footnote Rates to Rise
Posted by Diane

Footnote spokesperson Justin Schroepfer tells us that starting August 1, the historical records service is raising its annual subscription rate by $10, to $79.95.

But there's a limited-time special for basic (free) members who want to subscribe and current subscribers who want to renew. Until the end of July, those folks can subscribe or renew for a year at $59.95.

See the special offer page here.


Footnote
Monday, June 22, 2009 1:00:14 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, June 19, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: June 15-19
Posted by Diane

Passing on these genealogy news bits we rounded up this week.
  • The Connecticut State Library, which is facing a staff reduction due to the state's Retirement Incentive Plan, will be closed on Mondays for the summer. Starting July 1, the library’s new hours will be Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • After record additions throughout the first half of the year, the 1911census.co.uk site (developed by subscription and pay-per-view site FindMyPast.com with the British national archives) now has the complete 1911 census for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It also includes full details of British Army personnel and their families stationed overseas.
Read more about 1911census.co.uk in our post from last week.
  • The free FamilySearch Record Search pilot added 6 million new records this week, including Louisiana and Idaho death records; the 1920 census for Delaware, the District of Columbia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Mexico; and digital images of church records were also added for Mexico (the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur).
  • We hear that MyGenShare.com is almost ready for beta testing. Founder Barry Ewell said the launch was delayed until late summer to expand the site’s educational resources and take advantage of better technology to improve user experience.

FamilySearch | Free Databases | Libraries and Archives | UK and Irish roots
Friday, June 19, 2009 2:11:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 18, 2009
See Great Depression, WWII Videos on Archives' YouTube Channel
Posted by Diane

Look for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to launch a YouTube channel tomorrow (June 19) in conjunction with its 75th anniversary celebration.

We should see some fascinating footage released over the coming weeks: videos documenting the “space race” and Moon landing, a series on NARA’s presidential libraries, US Department of War WWII reels, and Department of the Interior Great Depression footage.

Tune in tomorrow at www.youtube.com/USNationalArchives (the channel isn't available quite yet).


Libraries and Archives | Videos
Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:37:38 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Preview of Ancestry.com's Member Connect
Posted by Diane

This is an update to yesterday's post about Ancestry.com's soon-to-be-released Member Connect feature.

Ancestry.com has posted a Member Connect preview page. I also have some screen shots of what the service will look like. These are mock-ups, so they may be a little different from what you see when Member Connect launches in a month or two.

The new record viewer (below) has a panel showing who's edited and saved the record you're looking at. You also can use the panel to comment on the record.



When Ancestry.com thinks a person in someone else's tree matches someone in your tree, you can view a page like this one, showing information on the potential match from the other tree. New and conflicting information is highlighted; you can choose to ignore it, use it to replace your own information, or add it as alternate information.  



This is the Member Connect recent activity panel that will appear on your Ancestry.com home page. It shows your connections' recent family tree updates and saved hints relating to common ancestors.


Ancestry.com | Social Networking
Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:43:17 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, June 17, 2009
101 Best Web Sites for Genealogy in 2009
Posted by Diane

Our 2009 list of 101 Best Web Sites for genealogy is now online!

For this year's edition of our annual list, we went with 10 categories of 10 sites each, plus one site (maybe you can guess which one) that’s in its own class. We also turned the focus a bit more to the Web 2.0 sites that are changing how you do online genealogy.

We also adjusted our system for indicating free and fee-based sites: Sites that are mostly free but for which you might eventually get out your credit card for some thing or another are marked by one dollar sign ($). Subscription sites and those where you must pay for any meaningful content get a double dollar sign ($$).

Go on over to the list and click through to these great genealogy resources. Got any favorites you’d add, or beefs with any of our picks? Post your feedback to our 101 Best Sites forum.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 1:52:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
New Networking Features Coming Soon to Ancestry.com
Posted by Diane

I got a preview yesterday of Ancestry.com’s new Member Connect feature, a collection of social networking tools that will roll out in the next month or two along with the new image viewer.

The idea behind Member Connect, explained Ancestry.com product manager David Graham, is to put you in touch with others who are interested in the same family lines.

Some aspects, such as being able see who's commented on records, are similar to those on records site Footnote.

Member connect has a few components integrated into Ancestry.com searches and family trees:
  • When you search and view a record, you'll see member names of Ancestry.com users who’ve edited the record (for example, by entering an alternate transcription of the name), or saved the record to a tree or shoebox.
You’ll also get suggestions for related message boards (such as the Roberts surname board for your search on Jeremiah Roberts) and people who’ve listed related research interests in their profiles (for example, others looking for Robertses in Muncie, Ind.). Then you can visit that person’s tree or contact him through the site.
  • A tab in your Ancestry.com member tree will show you other members’ ancestors who may match people in your tree. If the match looks promising, a Connect button links the trees and shows you more details—including buttons highlighting new or conflicting information. You can remove the connection altogether, or click the buttons to decide what to do with each fact: keep the new information out of your tree, it as an alternate fact, or use it to replace your information.
You also can contact the member with the matching tree through Ancestry.com to thank him or ask about any errors. This way, the “good data” in Ancestry.com trees will become more prominent than erroneous data, Graham says.
  • As you link to others’ trees, you build a network of researchers—called “connections”—who share your genealogical interests. More tabs show you your connections’ activity related to people common to both trees, including updated information and records and new records added.
Graham promises Ancestry.com will respect your privacy if you don’t want people to see whether you’ve saved a record to your shoebox or added someone new to your tree. You’ll be able to set privacy preferences in your account profile.

People on your trees whom Ancestry.com believes are living (no death date and born less than a hundred or so years ago) won’t show up as potential matches.

Update: We've added Member Connect screen shots and a link to Ancestry.com's preview page here.


Ancestry.com | Social Networking
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 1:21:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
Chronicling America Helps You Find Even More Old Newspapers
Posted by Diane

We’re big fans of the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America site, where you can both search digitized newspapers published in 11 states and Washington, DC, between 1880 and 1922, and search a directory of historical newspaper titles by date and place.

I used the directory to compile a list of papers that might have articles naming my Bowie County, Texas, ancestor in 1913 and 1914. It even gave me information on repositories that hold each title, which years they have, and whether the paper’s on microfilm or in print.

The Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, partners in the National Digital Newspaper Program, awarded new digitization grants to the University of Illinois, Urbana; Kansas State Historical Society; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Montana Historical Society; Oklahoma Historical Society; University of Oregon, Eugene; and University of South Carolina, Columbia.

That means you’ll start seeing newspapers from these states on Chronicling America. The site recently added its 1 millionth newspaper page; a number that eventually will grow to 20 million pages dating back to 1836.


Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 9:35:15 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Hear Family History News and Tips in Our Free Podcast
Posted by Diane

Our June 2009 Family Tree Magazine Podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke, is now online and ready for you to tune in.

This month, Family Tree Magazine editors and expert contributors deliver the scoop on
  • upcoming genealogy events—just in time for summer conference season
  • options for hiring genealogists to help with research tasks big and small
  • ways to genealogically capitalize on family reunions
  • what’s new at Swedish data site Genline
  • the truth behind heraldic myths
See the show notes and have a listen (it's free!) on FamilyTreeMagazine.com or click here to subscribe.


Podcasts | Research Tips
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:27:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Rocky Mountain Genealogy High
Posted by Diane

Our adventurous editor Allison Stacy traveled to the Family History Expo in Loveland, Colo. (north of Denver), June 12 and 13, where she ran the Family Tree Magazine booth.



Visitors could take advantage of show specials on CDs, a drawing for our State Research Guides and Passport to Europe CDs, and free magazines and handouts.



Unique at the Expo was a Blogger Bistro and Twitter Café, where attendees could use workstations and watch conference events on a big-screen tv. Read what the designated “Bloggers of Honor” had to say at Arlene H. Eakle’s Genealogy Blog, HistoricalTownMaps (Bernie Gracy), Becky’s Grace and Glory (Becky Jamison) and Family Tree Climbing (Sarah Strong).

You also can watch video interviews from this and other Expos here and see the schedule of upcoming Family History Expos here.

The Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, Allison reports, is brand-new, convenient and super-nice (and, she was told, one of only two places in Colorado to serve buffalo fries).



The Rocky Mountains were tantalizingly close.



Genealogy Events | Videos
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:06:56 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]