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# Friday, July 10, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: July 6-10
Posted by Diane

Some of the genealogy news bits we rounded up this week:
  • The Genealogy Guys will record their podcast before a live audience at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference. The audience will get to submit questions for possible inclusion in the podcast. The conference is Sept. 2 to 5 in Little Rock, Ark.; the podcast recording is 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. Look for location information at the conference.

  • Geni is offering a free two-week trial of its Geni Pro premium service, which includes more stats, matches and member collaboration than the free basic service. (Geni Pro subscriptions are normally $4.95 per month.)

  • Ancestry.com’s subscription-based Canadian site, Ancestry.ca, has added French Deaths by Guillotine 1792-1796, with 13,000 names of French citizens executed during the Reign of Terror. The names come from a book written in 1796 by a French journalist.
  • ProQuest, the creator of the HeritageQuest genealogy service, ProQuest Historical Newspapers and other databases for libraries, is working on a new search platform that’ll make I easier to find information related to your genealogy search. Expected launch is 2010.
The company is also adding Boston’s Jewish Advocate (1905 to 1990), Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent (1887 to 1990) and the Detroit Free Press to Proquest Historical Newspapers.

Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy | Newspapers | Podcasts | Social Networking
Friday, July 10, 2009 4:08:53 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
New African-American Genealogy Database Coming This Fall
Posted by Diane

If you're researching African-American roots, look for a new database this fall from ProQuest, creator of the HeritageQuest Online genealogy service (available free to patrons of subscribing libraries).

ProQuest African-American Heritage will combine records with research guidance.

Records will include censuses, slave and freedmen records; birth, marriage and death records; church records; court and legal records; genealogies and family histories. Other than the US census and Freedman’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. records (both also are in HeritageQuest Online), ProQuest didn’t name specific records.

Social networking tools come from AfriGeneas, a popular Web site and forum on African-American genealogy; an exclusive version of the classic guide  Black Genesis by James M. Rose and Alice Eichholz (Genealogical Publishing Co.); and other reference books.

For more information about ProQuest African-American Heritage, to watch a video and to sign up for a notification e-mail when the service is released, visit ProQuest's Web site.


African-American roots | Libraries and Archives
Friday, July 10, 2009 2:58:59 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, July 09, 2009
Fee-Free Weekends at Historic Parks
Posted by Diane

Want to immerse yourself in history but still save a few bucks this summer? Plan to visit a national park on one of these two entrance fee-free weekends:
  • July 18-19
  • August 15-16
You've got more than 100 parks to choose from, including Georgia’s forts Pulaski and Frederica, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana, Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico, and Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Wyoming.

Learn more about National Park Service fee-free weekends here.


Celebrating your heritage | Museums | Social History
Thursday, July 09, 2009 2:01:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 08, 2009
FamilyLink Launches "Facebook for Genealogists"
Posted by Diane

FamilyLink has launched a new social networking site especially for genealogists called GenealogyWise.

Randy Seaver, whose Genea-Musings blog clued us in to the quiet launch of GenealogyWise, has posted some screenshots and thoughts. FamilyLink likely invited a small group to join so the site will already be lively when an official announcement goes out.
 
GenealogyWise does appear to be buzzing with activity. Similar to Facebook, you create a profile, find friends, set up groups, upload photos and invite people to events. There’s also a discussion forum, blog and video areas any GenealogyWise member can contribute to, a genealogy search (this links you to the World Vital Records subscription site), a store (also goes to World Vital Records) and a chat area.

FamilyLink is also owner of World Vital Records, the We’re Related and MyFamily Facebook applications, WorldHistory.com interactive history site, and several other ventures.

Interestingly, FamilyLink has another genealogy social network, FamilyHistoryLink, launched in 2007 as FamilyLink (it was renamed when the company took FamilyLink as its corporate name). FamilyHistoryLink still wears a beta label and looks dated in comparison to GenealogyWise. I wonder if FamilyLink will phase it out?

Facebook has a well-established genealogy community, with more than 500 genealogy groups and several genealogy applications. Can GenealogyWise compete?

Would you stick with the all-encompassing Facebook, switch to GenealogyWise’s dedicated genealogy network, or use both—or neither? Let us know by clicking Comments below.


FamilyLink | Genealogy Web Sites | Social Networking
Wednesday, July 08, 2009 11:01:37 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [10]
# Tuesday, July 07, 2009
World’s Oldest Bible Reconstructed Online
Posted by Diane

A Bible handwritten in the fourth century, edited as many as 800 years later, and portioned off in the 1800s has been made whole online.

The Codex Sinaiticus (“Sinai book”), the world’s oldest Christian Bible at 1,600 years old, was in a Sinai desert monastery when a scholar found it in 1844. He removed portions over the years to publish them, and most of the ancient Greek text ended up in Britain via St. Petersburg.

The institutions that hold parts of the manuscript—the United Kingdom’s British Library; the University Library in Leipzig, Germany; the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg; and St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai—joined the project to put the Codex Sinaiticus online.

Its 400 leaves of parchment (prepared animal skin) include the complete New Testament, much of the Old Testament, plus books not officially part of either.

You can browse the pages by book, chapter and verse; read an English translation for some of it; learn how the book was created, digitized and conserved, and read historical research about it.

Though Codex Sinaiticus isn’t a strictly genealogical project, the in-depth look inside a globe-spanning historical digitization project is fascinating.


Historic preservation | Libraries and Archives
Tuesday, July 07, 2009 2:39:32 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, July 06, 2009
The Generations Network Becomes Ancestry.com
Posted by Diane

Online genealogy business The Generations Network has changed its name to Ancestry.com.

The new moniker acknowledges subscription genealogy Web site Ancestry.com as the company’s most prominent brand, says CEO Tim Sullivan. "Our company has a long and fascinating history, and we've been through several name changes over the years. But we started with Ancestry.com, and it now feels completely natural to let our company once again share the Ancestry.com brand with our flagship product."

Here’s a timeline of Ancestry.com’s name changes:
1983: Ancestry
1997: Ancestry.com
1999: MyFamily.com
2006: The Generations Network
2009: Ancestry.com

Gotta say that we like the shorter, print-friendlier name—no more bulky references to announcements from “Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com …” in the magazine.

Other Ancestry.com properties include Family Tree Maker, Genealogy.com, MyFamily.com, Rootsweb, MyCanvas and several international genealogy sites.


Ancestry.com | Genealogy Industry
Monday, July 06, 2009 8:06:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, July 03, 2009
How Our Ancestors Celebrated the Fourth of July
Posted by Diane

Did you know John Adams thought we all should celebrate the Fourth of July on the second of July—the day in 1776 when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve Richard Henry Lee’s resolution of independence?

Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America ... It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward.”

But Americans chose to solemnize and celebrate on July 4, the date Congress finally approved the Declaration of Independence. Here are some of the ways our ancestors marked the occasion:
  • In 1777, in Bristol, RI, 13 gunshots were fired on July 4, once at morning and again at evening. Philadelphians rang bells, fired guns and lit candles.
  • In 1778, Gen. George Washington gave his soldiers a double ration of rum on July 4 and ordered an artillery salute.
  • In 1781, Massachusetts recognized July 4 as a state celebration.
  • In 1785, Bristol held a Fourth of July parade—now the United States’ oldest continuous Independence Day celebration.
  • In 1817, the Erie Canal broke ground in Rome, NY.
  • In 1828, Charles Carroll broke ground on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
  • In 1848, workers laid the cornerstone of the Washington Monument.
  • In 1870, Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  • In 1938, the Fourth became a paid federal holiday (three years later, Congress corrected the omission of Washington, DC, employees from this legislation).
  • In 1973, the Boston Pops Orchestra began hosting an annual music and fireworks show alongside the Charles River.
Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only two signers of the Declaration of Independence to become president, died on July 4, 1826—the 50th birthday of the United States. Get more Fourth of July history on this American University professor’s Web site.


Social History
Friday, July 03, 2009 10:48:16 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, July 02, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: June 29 to July 2
Posted by Diane

This week’s news roundup is coming at you a day early, but it's still chock-full:
  • The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com, has a poignant new ad campaign you’ll probably catch on some media or other (if you’re worried you’ll miss it, see it on Ancestry.com’s YouTube channel). 
  • Ancestry.com also has developed an Ancient Ancestry Finder that guesses your haplogroup (ancestral origins) based on a few questions. It’s fun, and the haplogroups have cute names such as "Boatbuilders" and "Inventors," but keep in mind it's not necessarily accurate. At the end, you get a pitch to buy a $79 DNA test to determine if the Finder is correct.
  • If you’ve been thinking of trying the databases at NewEnglandAncestors.org, now might be the time. The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering $15 off new memberships during July.
  • This week, FamilySearch enhanced its free Record Search Pilot with 12 new collections, which have records from Argentina, Australia, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain. New United States collections were added for Delaware, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Utah.
International indexing projects now underway involve records from the Czech Republic; Baden, Germany; and South Africa—click here if you’re interested in volunteering.
  • The Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC) at the Houston Public Library's downtown Julia Ideson Building is changing its research hours during a renovation. Now through Aug. 31, HMRC is open Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, it'll be open by appointment—call (832) 393-1313 to make one.

Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genetic Genealogy | Libraries and Archives | Newspapers
Thursday, July 02, 2009 11:18:55 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Footnote, Gannett Kick Off Partnership With 60s Flashbacks
Posted by Diane

Subscription historical records site Footnote struck a deal to digitize newspapers from Gannett Co., the largest newspaper publisher in the United States with 84 dailies including USA Today.

With the upcoming 40th anniversaries of the Apollo moon landing July 16 and the Woodstock music festival August 15-18, Footnote started with newspapers covering these events—Florida Today and New York’s Poughkeepsie Journal.

You can relive these two landmark events free (or experience them for the first time) at Footnote’s Moon Landing and Woodstock pages.

Footnote will continue to digitize the full run of these and other Gannett newspapers.


Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites | Newspapers | Social History
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 3:02:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Free Genome Scanning Offer
Posted by Diane

A new genome profiling service called TruGenetics has an introductory offer: The first 10,000 registrants at the site get free genome scanning.

You can get start registering with TruGenetics here.

Genome profiling can give you information about deep ancestry—where your ancient ancestors came from, but not information that’s likely to help you find relatives within a genealogically researchable time frame. 23andme, a similar service, charges $399 for genome scanning.

I haven’t tested this offer. If you do, post a comment here and let me know what you think.

Thanks to Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Rick Crume for this tip!


Genetic Genealogy
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 9:01:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [7]