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<2009 December>

More Links

# Tuesday, 01 December 2009
Recording Memories of Christmases Past
Posted by Diane

It’s easy to get so busy tracing your ancestors’ lives that you forget to leave traces of your own life.

Which is why I think the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories is so neat. It’s a series of daily blogging prompts for Dec. 1 to 24 that GeneaBloggers author Thomas MacEntee set up to encourage participants to write about Christmases past.

Click here to learn how you can participate. Even if you don’t blog, you could use the prompts to start a holiday memory book you can pass on to your kids or grandkids.

MacEntee will link to participants’ posts each morning on his blog. You can read each day’s posts by clicking on the date on this calendar.

Celebrating your heritage | Genealogy fun | Oral History
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 13:03:50 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 30 November 2009
UK Site Adds Registers of Doctors, Midwives, Dentists
Posted by Diane

Got a doctor or midwife among your British relatives? UK-based genealogy database site added a million records of doctors, dentists and midwives who practiced from 1853 to 1943.

The records come from several sources, including the London List Medical Directory, Nisbet’s Medical Directory and the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians. After 1858, the UK’s General Council of Medical Education and Registration began keeping medical registers.

You can see a list of databases in the medical registers collection at (you’ll need to scroll down on the page).

Search and view the registers with a subscription (about $50 a year); the records aren't available on a pay-per-view basis.

Related resources from Family Tree Magazine:

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots
Monday, 30 November 2009 10:01:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Cyber Monday Genealogy Deals
Posted by Diane

For your genealogy shopping enjoyment, we wanted to share Cyber Monday deals we’ve heard about. These expire Monday, Nov. 30, at midnight, so get a move on. Click comments to add deals you've heard about.
Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention our own Black Friday/Cyber Monday specials. We're offering free shipping on any order size, plus we've marked down many products at Use code FAMILYFS09 to get the free shipping.

Family Tree Magazine subscriptions are deeply discounted there, too, at 42 percent off newsstand price. For an even better discount, check out our VIP program: $49.99 for a year of the print magazine, a one-year membership to Family Tree Magazine Plus online articles, and an exclusive Family Tree Toolkit. All in all, a $61 savings. Details at

Genealogy Industry
Monday, 30 November 2009 08:53:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Editor’s Pick: 2009 Annual CD
Posted by Diane

Our CD with PDF versions of all seven 2009 Family Tree Magazine issues is hot off the presses (so hot, actually, that it’s not yet in stock, but it’s available now for pre-order).

Though I love my paper copies of Family Tree Magazine, you can’t beat the ability to keyword-search all 532 pages of how-to genealogy guidance on our 2009 CD. It’s super-fast to find all references to, say, the Civil War—no need to flip back and forth between pages. And of course, it saves space and you can tuck it into your laptop case for taking to the library. 

But I think the best thing about our annual CDs is the end of typing in URLs. You can just click to visit the recommended websites.

I’ll stroll down memory lane (since we’re already working on our May 2010 issue) and list my favorite articles from each 2009 issue:
  • Power Hour: this January 2009 guide breaks down 14 genealogy tasks so you can accomplish them on your lunch hour

  • Cheap Thrills: a special section in the March 2009 issue with money-saving research strategies

  • Hair Apparent: I love the photos and information in this May 2009 article on hairstyles through history, and how they can help you date photos

  • Special Help: our July 2009 guide to finding and using federal non-population censuses

  • National Archives Web Guide: NARA’s website is one of my favorite sources for learning about US records

  • Under Surveillance: this November 2009 article helps you avoid red tape when requesting US government records—I followed the instructions to obtain my ancestor’s alien registration record

  • Guide to Genetic Genealogy: genetic genealogy articles in the December issue debunk DNA myths, highlight online DNA databases and help you discover family health history
Heritage guides in 2009 cover Danish, Mexican, German, Canadian, Jewish, American Indian and African-American ancestors.

The CD works on both PC and Macintosh systems with the free Adobe Reader (version 6.0 or higher). Learn more and pre-order at

Editor's Pick
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 08:12:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 23 November 2009
Easy Ways to Talk Family History Over Turkey
Posted by Diane

Combine nostalgia, holiday traditions, grandma’s pumpkin pie and immediate access to a bunch of relatives, and what do you get?

An atmosphere ripe for talking about family history.

Thanksgiving is a good time to tell and listen to stories, get IDs for mystery faces in photos, and share your genealogy discoveries. It doesn’t have to be weird or forced—don't announce “Time to talk about genealogy!” just as everyone’s settling in to watch football.

Here are a few easy, unobtrusive ways to start family history discussions.
  • Identify the "connector" at the gathering—the relative who knows everyone and starts conversations. Get this person curious about your research by sharing a genealogy discovery or a photo related to his or her ancestor. 
  • Show off a photo of an ancestor who looks remarkably like a relative who'll be there.
  • Over dinner, ask about family recipes, for example, “Where did Grandma learn to make pie like this?”
  • Bring up a Thanksgiving from your childhood: “Remember the time Aunt June used salt instead of sugar in the sweet potatoes?”
  • Mention changes to an old family home you drove past recently—maybe it’s on the market, or someone built an addition.
  • You probably have at least one relative who’s interested in your research. Arrange to show that person some genealogy records at the Thanksgiving gathering, and you may arouse others' curiosity (but be prepared for people to ask for copies).
  • If your child or grandchild is working on a family history project for school or scouts, let him bring his blank ancestor chart and ask relatives for help filling it in.
More resources from Family Tree Magazine:

Celebrating your heritage | Oral History | Research Tips
Monday, 23 November 2009 08:58:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 20 November 2009
Genealogy News Corral: November 16-20
Posted by Diane

  • In preparation for the Civil War sesquicentennial from 2011 to 2015, the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) and Cleveland State University's Center for Public History and Digital Humanities launched a website about Ohio’s role in the Civil War. You can submit content for several areas of the site. See the OHS newsletter for more information.

  • FamilySearch updated several collections on its free Record Search Pilot site: the 1920 US census index (Texas, Ohio and Iowa were added), Massachusetts marriages, Spanish civil registers, Brazil Catholic church records, and Mexico Catholic baptisms. To see details of each collection, click the appropriate region on the site’s map, click the collection title, then click About This Collection.

  • Pedigree database site OneGreatFamily created a page to help you discover Mayflower ancestors. You’ll find a list of passengers and information about their journey, and if you have a tree on the site (requires a subscription or a free trial), you can see if your branches match up with a Mayflower tree. Follow the directions on OneGreatFamily's Mayflower page to get started.

  • If you’re going to the National Genealogical Society (NGS) annual conference in Salt Lake City April 28 to May 1, NGS has arranged air travel discounts of 2 to 7 percent with Delta/KLM/NWA, and car rental discounts of 8 percent with Thrifty. See the NGS website for how to take advantage of these deals.

FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Friday, 20 November 2009 13:41:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 19 November 2009
Footnote Releases American Indian Collection
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote released a new records collection focusing on American Indians. It includes:
  • Ratified Indian Treaties dating back to 1722

  • Indian Census Rolls featuring information including age, place of residence and degree of Indian blood

  • The Guion Miller Roll, an important source for Cherokee ancestors

  • Dawes Packets, containing original applications for tribal enrollments, as well as other documents relating to the Five Civilized Tribes

As with Footnote’s other records, members can search, annotate and add comments to records. Visitors also can view pages for other American Indian tribes, which feature a timeline and map, photo gallery, stories and members’ comments.

The records are available with a $79.95 annual subscription to Footnote (a free seven-day trial is available). Access the collection here.

Related resources on

American Indian roots | Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 19 November 2009 20:01:50 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Free MyHeritage CD With January 2010 Issue
Posted by Diane

If you’ve already gotten your January 2010 Family Tree Magazine, you’ll notice it’s wrapped with a little present: a CD containing free FamilyTreeBuilder software from MyHeritage, a genealogy and family networking website.

The CD works on Windows 98 or newer. Pop in the CD and the download should begin automatically. If it doesn’t, use the finder to navigate to your CD drive and click on the icon. Need technical help or have questions about the software? See the MyHeritage Help Center or Family Tree Builder pages.

The CD comes with both subscriber issues (now being delivered) and newsstand issues (available Dec. 1 at bookstores and on

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:00:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Search DAR Genealogy Indexes Free Online
Posted by Diane

The Daughters of the American Revolution, a 119-year-old lineage society for women descended from patriots of the American Revolution, has added its Genealogical Research System to its public website.

The system, which is free to search, includes several genealogical databases:
  • The Genealogical Records Committee National Index (also called the GRC Index) was already on the site, but if you’ve used it before, it has a different interface as part of the Research System. It indexes 20,000 volumes of transcribed gravestones, family Bibles and other records (and not just from the Revolution era) DAR members have collected.
  • The Ancestor Database of ancestral data from applications of DAR members (who must prove their descent from a Patriot).
  • A Member search, which lets you enter a deceased DAR member's number for limited information on her ancestors.
  • The Descendants index, still under construction, lets you search for names in generations between the DAR member and the Revolutionary War ancestor. It includes much 18th and 19th-century information.
Read more about what’s in each database here.

Start searching here (click Enter Site).

Each database has a separate search. Try alternate spellings, as the search doesn’t automatically find them. It does find partial names, though: If you search on Mary Smith, for example, you’d also get entries for Maryann Smith and Mary Smithson.

Depending on the database you search, you may be able to click to the resource’s listing in the DAR’s online library catalog, or to see basic information (name, birth and death dates, parents’ and children’s names) about an ancestor named in a DAR application.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of some DAR materials; search its online catalog to see if it has the title you need. Then you can rent it by visiting a branch Family History Center near you.

The DAR takes requests for photocopies by fax or postal mail (not e-mail); see the Search Services page for more information.

Free Databases | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 19 November 2009 08:47:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Editors Pick: Family Tree Legacies
Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine editor Allison Stacy and I talked about everything we’d want in one of those “record your family history” books, and Family Tree Legacies: Preserving Memories Throughout Time is the result. We’re a little biased, but we love how well-organized, versatile and pretty it is (and we think it would make a good Christmas or wedding gift).

This book is a three-ring binder with blank fill-in pages for all kinds of information, and a CD in the back that has printable versions of all the fill-in pages.

Lovely tabbed separators divide the book into themed sections, each focusing on a different type of family history information.

Sections let you record details about your immediate family, extended family, memories and traditions, photographs, family heirlooms, relatives who served in the military, newspaper articles featuring family members, places that are prominent in your family history, family recipes and important dates.

Each section begins with tips and tricks (the one below gets you started finding newspaper articles about your family members) . . .

. . . and then has specially designed pages to record information. The pages below are in the Family Heirlooms section.

There’s also an introduction with 10 steps to discovering your family history and a reference guide with helpful references, websites and books. We also love the fold-out family tree chart (below).

You can use the stickers to mark historical family events in the calendar section, maps in the Places section and more.

We’re hoping Family Tree Legacies will become a keepsake you can pass on to future generations. 

Celebrating your heritage | Family Heirlooms | Genealogy books
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 17:09:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]