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# Tuesday, November 17, 2009
So a Genealogist Walks Into a Bar . . .
Posted by Diane

Just when I needed a laugh this morning, reader Crystal Pickett emailed links to a few of her favorite funny genealogy sites. Yes, there is such a thing as genealogy humor. For example:

Cyndi’s List: Humor (from Crystal)

My Elusive Ancestors (from Crystal)

Strange but true epitaphs (On an auctioneer's tombstone: "Going! Going!! Gone!!!")

Genealogy Humor (turns out you can be your own grandpa)

Census Whacking (blogger Randy Seaver's links to funny names in census records)

Heir Jordan, Extreme Genealogy (video on Roots Television)

The Genealogue

To thank Crystal, here are the lines she’s searching: Shaw/Burtley from Mer Rouge, La.; and Crutch/Crutcher and Wilburn from Vaughn Miss. and Pickens, Miss. 

Click comments if a name rings a bell, or to add a link to your favorite funny genealogy site.


Genealogy fun
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 4:57:11 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, November 16, 2009
How to Win Your ShopFamilyTree.com Wish List!
Posted by Diane

It’s fun playing Santa this time of year, so we’re offering a chance to win your favorite how-to genealogy books, CDs, digital downloads and more.

Just fill out your ShopFamilyTree.com wish list by Wed., Dec. 2, and you’ll be entered to win everything on your list up to $150. (You’re still entered if you already had a wish list.) No purchase necessary to create a wish list or to win.

Four lucky winners will be announced on ShopFamilyTree.com on December 3. You’ll find wish list instructions and giveaway details on ShopFamilyTree.com.


Genealogy fun
Monday, November 16, 2009 3:13:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, November 13, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: November 9-13
Posted by Diane

Subscriptions to these publications are included with an NEHGS membership, which starts at $75 per year.
  • Subscription site WorldVitalRecords has added newspaper content from Alaska, California, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Texas, Wisconsin, Mexico and the UK. Click here to see the titles and other details. The papers are accessible with a World Vital Records subscription ($39.96 per year).
  • David Ferriero was sworn in this week as the 10th Archivist of the United States. The new director of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was formerly the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries, and he’s served in leadership positions at other academic libraries. You can read more about Ferriero on NARA's website.


Free Databases | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives | Newspapers
Friday, November 13, 2009 2:04:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 12, 2009
Foonote Extends Free Holocaust Records Access
Posted by Diane

Due to its overwhelming popularity, Footnote’s Holocaust Collection—which was to remain free for the month of October—will now be free to access for the rest of the year.

On January 1, 2010, these records will become part of the $79.95-per-year paid subscription to Footnote. (You’ll still be able to get them free, though, if you visit a National Archives and Records Administration facility and use an on-site computer.)

You can access Footnote's Holocaust Collection here.

More Resources

FamilyTreeMagazine.com Jewish genealogy articles

Family Tree Magazine Jewish Genealogy Guide in ShopFamilyTree.com


Footnote | Free Databases | Jewish roots
Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:18:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
And Our January 2010 Cover Model is …
Posted by Diane

Way back in September, when we put out a call for readers’ ancestral family photos, one of which we’d feature on the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine, we didn’t know we’d get so many terrific candidates. It was difficult to choose just one, but we persevered.

Gracing our January 2010 cover—and helping us unveil the new look of Family Tree Magazine—is [cue drum roll] Marjorie May Newell, grandmother of submitter Sandra Simon-Rosa of Belgrade, Mont.



Sandra says Marjorie was a fashionista with a great sense of humor.



Subscribers are starting to receive the January issue now; it’ll be available on newsstands and at ShopFamilyTree.com starting Dec. 1.

See the rest of the photos in our slideshow and on Flickr.

You’ll see the images inside issues throughout the year, and in the 2010 Family Tree Magazine Desk Calendar, available soon (we’ll let you know) from ShopFamilyTree.com. Thanks to Sandra and all who sent photos for sharing their family memories with us.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun | Photos
Thursday, November 12, 2009 10:04:44 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Ancestral Cover Photos Slideshow
Posted by Diane

The redesigned January 2010 Family Tree Magazine—our 10th anniversary issue—is going to subscribers this week!

This is the issue featuring a reader’s family photo on the cover. We’ll announce the winner and show you the cover tomorrow, but first we wanted to share this slideshow of the 300-plus lovely, amusing and touching photos you sent.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Click here to see the ancestral cover photo submissions on Flickr.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Photos | Videos
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 3:54:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Online Military Research Guide Free Through Nov. 15
Posted by Diane

Many of you are honoring the veterans in your family by researching their service with Ancestry.com’s free-through-Friday military records access and in other resources.

To give you a hand, our online military research overview—regularly part of the Family Tree Magazine Plus membership—is free through Sunday night, Nov. 15.  It tells you about available records and where to find them for major conflicts back to the Revolutionary War.

Access our military research guide here. Want more military research resources? Here are some recommendations.

Free articles:
Family Tree Magazine Plus articles (you must be a Plus member to access these):
ShopFamilyTree.com:


Family Tree Magazine articles | Military records | Research Tips
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 10:22:36 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Search Ancestry.com Military Records Free Through Nov. 13
Posted by Diane

For the rest of this week, you can search subscription site Ancestry.com’s military records collection for free in honor of Veterans Day.

That includes the latest addition, more than 600 Navy cruise books from 1950-1988, giving names and photographs of roughly 450,000 servicemen deployed at sea, as well as details about the voyage.

I recommend searching the WWI draft cards, too. Nearly every male resident (citizens and aliens) born between 1873 and 1900 had to register.

Start searching on Ancestry.com’s military records landing page. When you click to view record details, you'll be prompted to sign up for a free registration if you're not already logged in to the site.


Ancestry.com | Military records
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 7:54:50 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Cincinnati Library Digitizes Sanborn Maps
Posted by Diane

Our friends at our local Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County let it slip today that they’re digitizing their local Sanborn maps and putting them online. They’ve already got two volumes scanned.

Wondering what Sanborn maps are? The Sanborn company published them regularly from 1867 to 1970 to evaluate fire insurance liability in urban areas. Between publications, the company would issue updated maps on single sheets to be glued into a volume of maps.

The maps are detailed street plans at a scale of 50 feet to one inch on large sheets of paper—one sheet shows about four to six city blocks. You can see building outlines, locations of windows and doors, building use (including the names of most public buildings), property boundaries, house and block number, street names, street and sidewalk widths, fire walls, composition of building materials and more.

You can learn a lot about your ancestor’s house and neighborhood, or research the history of your own old house.

Each map volume has a title page showing the publication year and an index of the streets and addresses covered in that volume. You just look up the address or building name to find the sheet number for the large-scale map it appears on. There’s also an index map of the entire mapped area, with the sheet numbers for each large-scale map in that volume. If you don't know the address, you can use this index map to guess the sheet number you need.

Sanborn maps cover most urban areas. Many public and university libraries have Sanborn maps in print or on microfilm for the local area. The Library of Congress has a huge collection. At some libraries, you can access ProQuest’s database of digitized maps (check your library’s Web site or ask at the reference desk).

Back to the Cincinnati library’s collection: Each index page and map sheet is an individual PDF document. First, check the index page to find the map number you want. I was looking for my great-grandfather’s store, H.A. Seeger Cigar Manufacturer, which operated for decades at the corner of 12th and Pendleton in downtown Cincinnati.

I clicked on volume 2, published in 1904, and checked the index:


Then I downloaded sheet 148. H.A. Seeger's Cigars is circled in yellow:


Dwellings are labeled D and stores are labeled S. My relatives probably attended the Roman Catholic church across the street and bought bread from the bakery seven doors down.

More resources: Walking with Your Ancestors: A Genealogist's Guide to Using Maps and Geography by Melinda Kashuba

Free Databases | Land records | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 5:29:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, November 09, 2009
Brick Wall Strategies Webinar Update
Posted by Diane

Every genealogist has a brick wall ancestor, it seems--so just about everyone can use the advice in our next webinar, titled (predictably) Brick Wall Strategies.

I'll be hosting the hourlong session Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. Eastern, and as I began preparing for the webinar, I thought: This would be a perfect time to call in a professional who helps family historians surmount their research obstacles every day.

So I'm delighted to announce that David Allen Lambert, online genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, will be joining me for as the co-host of the webinar. David will offer advice on participants' specific brick wall problems, and be on hand to answer questions during a live Q&A period.

Other good news: We're extending the early bird rate of $39.99 until Thursday (Nov. 12) at midnight. Register now to receive this $10 discount.

Can't make it on Nov. 18? Take advantage of the discount to get access to the webinar recording (which you can view as many times as you'd like), as well as the bonus materials provided only to participants in the live webinar--including a PDF of the presentation slides and our Genealogy Guidebook of 100+ brick wall busting ideas.

When you sign up, you'll have the opportunity to submit your brick wall problem for a chance to receive personalized advice from David.



More resources:

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Webinars
Monday, November 09, 2009 5:54:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]