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<2009 December>

More Links

# Thursday, 03 December 2009
Editors Pick: Photo-Retouching Webinar
Posted by Diane

We also could call this “Give Great-grandma a Makeover.” Everybody’s got a few family photos marred by scratches, creases and fading. Sometimes it’s the only picture you have of an ancestor or of a special event, such as a wedding.

In our next Family Tree University webinar, Family Tree Magazine art director Christy Miller, who wields photo retouching skills on a daily basis, will show you how to digitally correct these flaws and bring your old family pictures back to life.

Early color photos are especially prone to fading. Here's an example of what photo-retouching can do for faded pictures:

Every participant is invited to submit a photo. Christy will demo the techniques on several of these photos during the webinar. After the session, each participant will receive a digital copy of his or her retouched photo.

Christy and Family Tree Magazine editor Allison Stacy also will offer tips on getting good scans of your pictures, recommend user-friendly (and wallet-friendly) photo-editing software, and tell you how to get professional help for repairing badly damaged pictures.

The webinar, Photo Retouching: How to Bring Old Family Photos Back to Life, is next Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. Eastern. Registration costs $49.99.

Your registration includes participation in the live presentation and Q&A session, access to the webinar recording to view as many times as you like, our downloadable Genealogy Guidebook featuring 100+ brick wall-busting tips, and a digital copy of your retouched photo.

Click here to register at After you register, use the link on your order confirmation page to confirm your webcast registration.

Family Heirlooms | Photos | Webinars
Thursday, 03 December 2009 09:00:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 02 December 2009
150 Years of the Irish Times Free Through Dec. 14
Posted by Diane

The Irish Times newspaper is celebrating 150 years in publication by letting you access its digital article archive free through December 14.

Got to the Irish Times 150 landing page to get started. Type your search terms into the search box on the right and click Search, or you can click the Browse tab to browse issues by date.

The results list, which you can sort by oldest, newest, or closest match, shows a portion of the beginning of the article (so not necessarily the part containing your search term). Click a match to see the entire article, with your search terms highlighted. You can print the article or download it as a PDF.

Newspapers | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 12:57:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Wanted: Funny Tombstone Photos
Posted by Diane

You’re pacing a cemetery, intent on finding an ancestor’s grave, when you see a headstone that makes you do a double-take. Maybe it even elicits a chuckle—or causes you to stifle a chuckle, depending on who's around.

Maybe the deceased or his family wanted to make a final, lasting statement, like this man, who campaigned until the bitter end (reader Ruth Anne Nelson sent us the picture for a 2006 All in the Family challenge). Or maybe the humor is coincidental. Either way, naturally, you photograph the stone.

Post that photo to our Funny Tombstone Photos Flickr group, and we might publish it in an upcoming book about funny tombstones and/or in Family Tree Magazine. You also could win an gift card!

And even if you don’t have a photo, show us your sense of humor by writing knee-slapping captions for others’ pictures—we’ll put the funniest ones in the book, too.

The submission deadline is March 31, but submit earlier for more chances to win a gift card.

You'll find the submission instructions—for submitting via Flickr or e-mail—with the gift card drawing details, and, of course, funny photos, on our Funny Tombstone Photos Flickr page. (You may need to scroll down a little to the About section.)

The fine print: By submitting, you verify that you are the copyright holder of the photo or caption. You also grant F+W Media, Inc., permission to use your contribution in any and all print and electronic media.

Cemeteries | Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 11:20:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# 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]