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# Thursday, June 25, 2009
Free: Search Louisiana Obituary Index 1804-1972
Posted by Diane

The Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index is now online at the New Orleans Public Library Web site.

The database has references to obituaries and death notices published in New Orleans newspapers from 1804 to 1972, and biographical information from older Louisiana biography collections.

You can use three options to find a name in the database:
  • Use the basic search form (below) to search by surname, first and middle names, and the death date. You can use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard at the beginning or end of a name. A Browse button by each field lets you select from an alphabetical listing of all available terms for that field. The Search button is at the bottom of the form.

  • Click the Advanced Search link to add age, birth date, cause of death and other terms.
  • At the bottom of the basic search form, click a letter of the alphabet to browse entries for surnames beginning with that letter. (I wasn’t able to get any of these surname listings to load.)
Matches give you the publication name, date and page number where you can find the original obituary or biographical information. Click Ordering Obituaries for instructions on requesting the item (the cost is $2 per item).

The index is from the New Orleans Public Library's card file of more than 650,000 names. Putting it online was a nearly-10-year endeavor of the library and the Historic New Orleans Collection.

Free Databases | Libraries and Archives | Newspapers | Vital Records
Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:55:39 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Ancestry.com Launches Expert Connect
Posted by Diane

Just wanted to let you know that Ancestry.com’s ExpertConnect service, which we gave you some details on last month, is live at expertconnect.ancestry.com.

Project manager Lane Hancock says more than 400 genealogists have registered to provide genealogy services ranging from quick lookups to broad research projects. Experts who've registered to provide custom research must fulfill several qualifications.

Here’s what the site looks like:



Click Start a Project to begin the process of deciding what type of service you need and requesting bids from registered experts.

Or use the Find an Expert link (on th eleft side of the page) to search for specific experts to start a project with. You'll be able to select the type of service you need and the associated geographic location, heritage or religion, time period and/or repository. You'll get a list of experts who've indicated expertise in the options you selected. Click a name to see the person's profile.

Use the My Projects area to keep track of projects you've started.

It’s free to search the experts. After you've selected an expert for your project, you submit funds for the estimated cost to Ancestry.com. They’re held until the project is completed, then released to the expert.

See the Expert Connect FAQs for more on how the service works.


Ancestry.com
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:36:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
Genealogists Jam the Jamboree This Weekend
Posted by Diane

The genealogy world is on the move. Judging from all the blog posts and tweets, a whole bunch of you are headed to Burbank, Calif., for the Southern California Genealogical Society’s (SCGS) Jamboree 2009.

Attendees can choose from nearly 100 lectures, including a workshop from our Photo Detective, Maureen A. Taylor. Ethnic research classes focus on the British Isles, with others on Eastern European, Italian and African American ancestors.

The Small, Small World facilitated roundtable discussions on Saturday afternoon let folks exchange tips about researching overseas ancestors.

Blogger Summit 2:  Son of Blogger—the sequel to last year’s inaugural meeting for genealogy bloggers—features leading bloggers including Lisa Louise Cooke, Dick Eastman, George G. Morgan and others.

The free exhibit hall will be packed with database and software companies, publishers, societies and other genealogy service providers. Stop by the Family Tree Magazine booth (#118) to meet Cooke, who hosts both the Family Tree Magazine podcast and the Genealogy Gems podcast, and pounce on show specials for how-to genealogy helps.

Registration costs $90 for all three days; and $45 or $50 for a single day. (SCGS members get discounts.)

There are some free sessions on Friday morning: a Librarians’ Boot Camp, Kids’ Family History Camp, and beginning genealogy classes.

For more details and updates, see the Jamboree home page and blog.


Genealogy Events
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:25:31 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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]