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<2009 September>

More Links

# Monday, 28 September 2009 Adds Census Indexes from Footnote
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site announced a partnership to provide its US Collection subscribers with access to historical records site Footnote’s indexes to the 1860 and 1930 US censuses. members can search the two censuses on and see a transcription of basic information from matching records.

To view the digitized census returns, they'll need to subscribe to Footnote. Or, of course, they can access census records in HeritageQuest Online or Ancestry Library Edition through a library; visit a Family History Center to use Footnote there for free; search subscription site; or use census microfilm at a library, Family History Center or National Archives facility.

Footnote’s 1860 census index also is part of the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot.

A subscription to the World Vital Records US Collection costs $39.95 for a year. A subscription  to Footnote costs $79.95 a year.

census records | Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, 28 September 2009 08:44:47 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 25 September 2009
Genealogy News Corral: September 21-25
Posted by Diane

Is it the end of September already?? Here's our last new roundup for the month 
  • Today’s the last day to get the $55 early bird registration special for the Mesa Family History Expo, Jan. 22-23 in Mesa, Ariz. If you miss the deadline, you still can save by preregistering for $65. Admission at the door costs $75. The exhibit hall is free to the public.
  • Those with African-American roots, mark your calendars for the International Black Genealogy Summit at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind., Oct. 29 to 31. It’s the first gathering of African-American historical and genealogical societies from the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Watch this blog for more details.
  • On his Genealogy Blog, Leland Meitzler reported on the SwedGen Tour, in which a team of Swedish genealogy experts is stopping at several research facilities to give presentations on Swedish genealogy resources (including subscription records site Genline and the Släktdata vital records site)  and offer one-on-one consultations. See the schedule and preregister at the SwedGen Tour site.
  • I came across a neat blog today called Dear Annie. A Minnesota woman is posting 700 postcards (images and transcriptions) that her Great-aunt Annie Bartos, who died in 1983, saved during her 90 years.

African-American roots | Family Heirlooms | Genealogy Events | International Genealogy
Friday, 25 September 2009 14:44:31 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 24 September 2009
Ways to Say "Woot!" for Family History Month 2009
Posted by Diane

Question of the day: What do we celebrate in October? Columbus Day, yes. Halloween. The start of the Christmas season, in most shopping malls.

October also is Family History Month. In 2001, Congress first passed a resolution introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who wrote, "By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.”

Similar legislation has passed in several years since. I couldn't find an official declaration for 2009 (anyone else?), but family history enthusiasts continue to celebrate Family History Month in October.

Don’t hesitate to hold your own party. Give yourself a whole Saturday at the library or Family History Center, ask a relative your burning family history questions, put some photos in an album, jot down a family story, or tell your state representative how much you appreciate your public library's genealogy resources. The New England Historic Genealogical Society has more ideas.

Here’s a sampling of genealogy classes and other special events we’ve heard about. Check program schedules for your local library and genealogy society to see what’s going on near you.
  • Saturday, Oct. 3, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County offers classes, Genealogy and Local History Department tours, and free consultations with Hamilton County Genealogical Society experts. More events happen throughout the month, including a library lock-in Oct. 17. See the Genealogy Section of the library’s October Calendar (a PDF download) for more details.
  • The Fort Myers-Lee County Library in Florida has a free Family History Month class series on Saturdays in October. For more info, mouse over the listings on the library’s online calendar.
  • The Indiana State Library in Indianapolis has lots of classes planned, including dating photographs, Indiana marriage laws and getting started.
  • Online genealogy class Web site GenClass is sponsoring a competition for a free genealogy class—write a 1,200 word essay about a creative way you’ve honored your ancestors and what inspired you. Get the entry instructions here.
Have yourself a happy Family History Month!

African-American roots | Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives
Thursday, 24 September 2009 10:17:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Jamie the Intern Bids Family Tree Farewell
Posted by Jamie


As my summer here at Family Tree Magazine comes to a close, I realize that I have learned so much in a mere three months.

When I first came to Family Tree Magazine, I vaguely knew what genealogy was; I didn’t understand that so many people loved researching dead people and what a huge industry it is.

I have learned so much just by checking the facts in articles, selecting reader tips and organizing back issue content. I would find myself engrossed in an article about the windfall of genealogy information that can be found in religious records or cemeteries, when I should have only been checking to make sure the links in those articles worked. I have a greater understanding of history and how it affects looking for my ancestors.

I never thought learning about genealogy and my family history would be so exciting, so enlightening, so entertaining or so addicting. Every article I worked on was like a clue in a giant treasure hunt that lead me down a path to where “x” marked the spot.

Three months ago, I had no idea what my families’ pasts held for me. And while my Kiely and Lehan branches still need lots of research, I have barely even touched the maternal side of my family tree. Completing the search will definitely be a journey that is life long and one that will help me to understand not only where I came from but where I am going.

I really get why “roots mania” has taken hold in America: Genealogy is interesting, fun and a hobby that turns seemingly ordinary people into gen junkies relatively quickly. I can’t go into a thrift store without scanning the names in old Bibles. When I was recently in Washington, D.C., I went to the Smithsonian and saw an old slave register, the first thing coming mind was “Are these names indexed?” I was also upset to learn that the National Archives and Records Administration doesn’t pull records on Saturday, even if they are open.

I can find family histories on GoogleBooks with a few clicks of a mouse and I can use USGenWeb to find a death index for Kentucky that I would have never found before. I can ask – and answer ­– questions on GenForum. I even created a family tree on

My summer spent here at Family Tree Magazine was certainly a whirlwind and worthwhile experience. Now, just wish me luck on getting by without digital census records on demand.

Family Tree Firsts
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 13:31:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Tour in a Free Webinar
Posted by Diane

Since it launched in 2007, historical records subscription site Footnote has added millions of record images to its collections of military records, 1860 and 1930 census records, naturalizations, city directories, newspapers, photographs and more.

Family Tree Magazine is happy to be able to bring you a free, 30-minute webinar that Footnote created with a tutorial of the site—a personalized tour showing you:
  • what records are on Footnote
  • search demos
  • Footnote image viewer
  • creating Footnote Pages about your ancestors with information and images you upload (Footnote's free "basic" members also can create pages and view other members' contributions)
To watch the webinar, click the big orange button below. On the resulting page, you’ll need to type in your first and last name and e-mail address, and then click Register to launch the webinar player.

(If you get a “Player in Progress” window, don’t close it or navigate away from it until after the webinar is over, or you’ll stop the webinar.)

Footnote | Webinars
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 08:51:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 18 September 2009
Genealogy News Corral: September 14-18
Posted by Diane

Without further ado, our genealogy news roundup for the week:
  • Subscription site (sister site to the US-focused has added London parish records, which among other events cover deaths from the bubonic plague and the 1666 Great Fire of London. They’re part of a collection of London records from 1538 to 1980.
  • Google Books, where you can search millions of out-of-print books, is partnering with On-Demand Books to let you use any Espresso Book Machine to print books in the public domain that Google has digitized from. (There aren’t a lot of places to find these book machines—click here for locations.) Learn more on the Google Books blog.
  • FamilySearch Indexing has launched new indexing projects from Indiana, Idaho, Canada, Spain, Guatemala, and Peru. The 1920 census index for Ohio is undergoing preparation for publication on the free FamilySearch site. Hooray! (We’re from the Buckeye State.) The 1920 census for Texas; Carroll County, Ind., marriages; and several international collections also are being readied for release.
  • World Vital Records lowered the price of its World Collection subscription to $99.95 (from $119.95). This collection gives you access to all the site’s US records, plus those from Canada, the UK, Ireland and other countries. See the November 2009 Family Tree Magazine for our guide to using World Vital Records.
  • Don’t forget to visit the Michigan Genealogical Council Web site for information on an online petition in support of the Library of Michigan, as well as links to news of budget-related library cuts across the country.

census records | FamilySearch | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 18 September 2009 10:29:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Hitting the genealogy jackpot
Posted by Jamie


I have previously explained to you the difficulty in tracing the Royce line of my family tree because of issues with my grandfather’s paternity. Well, I have busted through that brick wall and have made my way to my great-great-grandfather James Henry Royse of Fleming County, Ky.

Frequent name, location and even wife changes (every generation in my direct Royce line from my father to my great-great-grandfather has had multiple wives) made my research difficult.

While working at Family Tree Magazine, I've had to go through the entire catalog of back issues, so I have learned a wealth of ways to trace my roots as well as sharpen my searching skills. One of the back issues suggested looking at forums or joining a Listserv to see who else is researching your family tree. I stumbled across a distant cousin on GenForum who had replied to a post about the Royse family of Fleming County, Ky., in which he referenced an ancestor with a name and birth date similar to someone in my line.

He had left his e-mail address, so I wrote him with all of the details I had about our potential common ancestor. I received a speedy reply that indicated we weren’t talking about the same ancestor, but he did have research on my collateral line. My new-found cousin then kindly made copies of everything he had on my branch and mailed it to me.

I didn’t know what to expect, but when I received the information I raced to open it. At first I glanced over it and saw that the earliest ancestor listed was Thomas Royce, born 1569 in Martock, Somersetshire, England. I then scanned the list looking for James Henry Royse, which my cousin had kindly highlighted for me, and all of the information listed matched my research from the censuses, FamilySearch and other resources I had used on

I then read the whole document through and learned a great deal about my family. My ninth-great-grandfather, Robert Royce, was a constable and was elected to the First General Assembly of New London, Conn. My seventh-great-grandfather, John Royce, and sixth-great-grandfather, Moses Royce, both had trouble with Indians, as John died from an Indian attack on his Pennsylvania farm and Moses’ wife was kidnapped by Indians, never to be heard from again.

My fifth-great-grandfather was quite a character. Arron Royce/Royse fought in the battle of Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War with Col. George Washington and General Braddock. They were captured by the French, and Arron, Daniel Boone and Washington all escaped. He also served as a captain in the Revolutionary War (apparently, I need to get my Daughters of the American Revolution application ready). Arron also is responsible for changing the family name from Royce to Royse, after a fight with his brother John that caused Arron to even move to Fleming County.

This all leads back to my great-great-grandfather James. His son, Allen Taylor Royse, who isn’t in my direct line, decided to change our family name back to Royce. That explains why some census years and other records list the last name as Royse in some cases and Royce in others for James’ family.

Full-fledged fact or family folklore? We shall see. Of course this all needs to be verified through my own research, but that shouldn’t be too hard as my cousin cited all of his sources. And even if he hadn’t, at least his research would have been a great guide for me to trace my family tree.

Family Tree Firsts | Social Networking
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:16:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Thanks for Sharing Your Family Photos!
Posted by Diane

Late last month we put out a call for photos of your ancestors; one person’s photo will be on the cover of the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine, our special 10th Anniversary Issue. I’m excited that you were excited to share your family photos. Thank you!

Our art director Christy Miller, who designs Family Tree Magazine covers, wanted to add her thanks and an update on how selection is going. This from Christy:
We were thrilled to see your response to our call for photos. With more than 300 submissions (and a few more waiting in our in-boxes), it's definitely going to be a challenge choosing just the right photo for the cover.

Every picture you sent tells a story about your family—such as the three sisters having a tea party, the 1909 off-roaders, this American Indian family whose members were removed to Oklahoma, the young woman in this gorgeous hand-colored portrait, this fun wedding-day photo, this one showing some old-fashioned PhotoShopping  … we could go on.
A few people even sent unidentified photos, hoping someone else will recognize the faces of those pictured.
So all the pictures speak to us. For magazine cover purposes, we’re especially liking photos where you can see the subjects’ faces clearly, they’re making eye contact with the viewer, and their expressions are open and friendly (as if to say, “pick up this magazine!”).
Thanks for sharing your photos with Family Tree Magazine. We're thoroughly enjoying looking through them. And don't worry if your photo doesn't get chosen for the cover—we may use it inside the magazine during the year (we'll contact you in that case).
P.S. Does anyone else see a resemblance between the young woman in this photo and actress Julia Roberts?

Family Tree Magazine articles | Photos
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 10:56:19 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Resources for Tracing Hispanic Roots
Posted by Diane

Today’s the start of Hispanic Heritage month, honoring the histories of the United States’ 46.9 million residents of Hispanic origin, who according to the Census Bureau make up the nation's largest ethnic minority.

About 64 percent of the country’s Hispanic residents have a Mexican background; 9 percent are Puerto Rican; 3.5 percent, Cuban; 3.1 percent, Salvadoran; and 2.7 percent, Dominican.

Four Hispanic surnames ranked among the 15 most common last names in the 2000 US census: Garcia (placing eighth with 858,289 occurrences), Rodriguez (ninth), Martinez (11th) and Hernandez (15th).

Researching Hispanic roots? Here are some places to start:
  • Our online Hispanic Heritage Toolkit has resources and tips for learning about Mexican, Spanish, Portuguese, Basque, Central and South American ancestors.
See our advice for research in the Caribbean, too.
The site also has a growing collection of church, civil registration and census records from the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Besides researching your Hispanic roots, here are a couple of other ways to mark the occasion:
  • PBS is airing "Latin Music USA," a documentary series, Mondays, Oct. 12 and 19, from 9 to 11 p.m. ET. | FamilySearch | Hispanic Roots | immigration records | International Genealogy
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 09:50:25 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Monday, 14 September 2009
FamilySearch Record Search Site Updates
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch sent a note to let us know about recent additions to its free Record Search Pilot site. Those include:
  • records from Brazil; Mexico; British Columbia, Canada; the Czech Republic; and Hungary
  • Philadelphia, Pa. marriage indexes, 1885 to 1951
The Record Search site changed a bit earlier this month. From the home page, you can search across all collections. To find a specific database, click Browse Our Record Collections below the search form. On the resulting map, click the region you’re interested in searching, then click the title of the database you want to search.

On the individual database page, click About This Collection to go to the FamilySearch Wiki page on the database. There, you’ll see a sample record image and information on the creation, content, coverage and reliability of the collection.

census records | FamilySearch | International Genealogy | Vital Records
Monday, 14 September 2009 08:51:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]