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# Thursday, October 01, 2009
New Webinar: Finding Vital Records Online
Posted by Diane

Varying availability and privacy restrictions can put getting your US ancestors’ official birth, marriage and death records among your more frustrating genealogical pursuits.

Help is on the way in our next webinar, Vital Records: Researching Your Ancestors' Births, Marriages and Deaths Online.



This session, presented by Lisa Louise Cooke (known for the Genealogy Gems and Family Tree Magazine podcasts), will cover vital records in the United States, including
  • An overview of US birth, marriage and death records and what's in them

  • Answers to the burning question of why coverage and access varies from place to place

  • Types of vital records Web sites to keep an eye out for

  • Online resources vital records and indexes

  • Even if the record you need isn’t on the web, how to use online resources to get offline records
Participants receive access to a recording of the webinar, PDF copies of the presentation slides, and bonus Family Tree Magazine articles on vital records.

The webinar is Oct. 21, 7 pm EDT. Early birds save $10 on registration—it costs $39.99 until Oct. 8. And the first 10 registrants have the opportunity to submit information for possible use as examples in the presentation.

Click here to register.


Vital Records | Webinars
Thursday, October 01, 2009 5:08:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Part Library Catalog, Part Blog = Catablog
Posted by Diane

I learned a new word this week. I read about catablogs on the Archives 2.0 wiki (about libraries that use Web 2.0 technologies).

A catablog, the wiki explains, is a library blog that provides short descriptions of collections in blog posts. The posts are tagged and categorized so visitors can easily find topics they’re interested in.

The library materials themselves aren’t on catablogs, but you can use the catablog post to find out what’s in a collection and link to a library catalog listing or finding aid for the item.
  • UMarmot from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is the original catablog, according to Archives 2.0. Choose from categories such as Civil War, Rhode Island, and Immigration and Ethnicity. Posts describe collections including the Simeon Bartlett Account Books, 1792-1867 (business records from a Williamsburg, Mass., freight hauler, farmer and sawmill owner), and Civil War Diaries, 1862-1863.
Some library blogs aren’t dedicated catablogs—rather, they combine posts about historical collections with those on events and other news. For examples, see the Library of Congress blog, the Ohio Historical Society Collections blog and the Columbus (Georgia) Public Library Genealogy & Local History blog.

If your library has a catablog or a traditional blog, consider subscribing to e-mail alerts or to its RSS feed (look for this button to add the blog to a blog reader).

Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 4:00:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Footnote's New Holocaust Collection Free Through October
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) just released the Interactive Holocaust Collection of a million Holocaust-related records.

The records are online for the first time—and they’re free through October.

The records, which contain millions of names and 26,000 photos, include:
  • Concentration camp registers and documents from Dachau, Mauthausen, Auschwitz and Flossenburg.

  • The Ardelia Hall Collection of records related to Nazi looting of Jewish possessions.

  • Captured German records including deportation and death lists from concentration camps.

  • Nuremberg War Crimes Trial proceedings.  
The Interactive Holocaust Collection also has 600 personal accounts, provided by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, of those who survived or perished in the Holocaust. They’ll feature social networking tools that let you search for names and add photos, comments and stories, and create Footnote pages. These will remain free.

You can search the collection from Footnote's regular site or through a special Holocaust site with stories of victims and survivors, tools for setting up Footnote Pages to memorialize Holocaust ancestors, information on concentration camps, and descriptions of the original records at NARA.

Note the pages may load slowly at first due to high traffic. 

After October, the collection will be accessible with a Footnote subscription ($79.95 a year). As stated, the personal accounts will stay free. 


Footnote | Free Databases | Jewish roots
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 9:11:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, September 28, 2009
WorldVitalRecords.com Adds Census Indexes from Footnote
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site WorldVitalRecords.com 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.

WorldVitalRecords.com members can search the two censuses on WorldVitalRecords.com 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 Ancestry.com; 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, September 28, 2009 8:44:47 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 25, 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, September 25, 2009 2:44:31 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 24, 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, September 24, 2009 10:17:07 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Jamie the Intern Bids Family Tree Farewell
Posted by Jamie


FTM_internlogo.jpg

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 FindMyPast.com.

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, September 22, 2009 1:31:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Tour Footnote.com 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, September 22, 2009 8:51:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, September 18, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: September 14-18
Posted by Diane

Without further ado, our genealogy news roundup for the week:
  • Subscription site Ancestry.co.uk (sister site to the US-focused Ancestry.com) 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, September 18, 2009 10:29:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Hitting the genealogy jackpot
Posted by Jamie

FTM_internlogo.jpg

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 Ancestry.com.

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, September 16, 2009 12:16:39 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]