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# Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Photo Retouching Befores and Afters
Posted by Diane

I just watched Allison and Christy rehearse tomorrow’s Family Tree University webinar on how to retouch family photos, and I wanted to share some screen shots showing a few of the impressive photo fixes you’ll learn:

Fixing tears and creases (this is reader Susan Freier's photo, featured in our 2010 desk calendar).
 


Adjusting color (which also makes this document easier to read)


This is my favorite photo makeover. After adjusting the color and removing the brown splotches, this print


looks like this


Christy retouched these photos using the free Picasa software, not an expensive photo-editing program. Pictures with lots of scratches, dust specks and other marks take some time to correct, but you can do it at home at not too much expense.

Important things to remember when you digitally retouch a photo: Start with a good, high-resolution scan of the picture; save an unedited original; and regularly save retouched versions as you work, in case you make a mistake.

You can read more about the webinar Photo Retouching: How to Bring Old Family Photos Back to Life in my earlier blog post.

You can register at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Photos | Webinars
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 3:31:36 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, December 07, 2009
Footnote's WWII Records Free Through December
Posted by Diane

In honor of Pearl Harbor Day today, subscription site Footnote is making its WWII records collection—with more than 10 million records, documents and photos from the National Archives—free to the public for the rest of December. Included are
  • Missing Air Crew Reports, more than 16,605 case files and related records of the US Army Air Forces
  • Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls listing all personnel assigned to ships based at Pearl Harbor between 1939 and 1947
  • Army and Navy Judge Advocate General case files.
  • Submarine Patrol Reports, 1941 to 1945,
  • Naval press clippings collected from 1942 to 1960 by the Public Information Department of the 13th Naval District, headquartered in Seattle
  • Holocaust records (Footnote had already made this collection free through the end of the year)
Access the records from Footnote's WWII landing page.

Helpful resources from FamilyTreeMagazine.com:
Addition: If you’re looking for a WWII veteran's military service records, the National Archives and Records Administration restricts access to these for privacy reasons. Veterans and next-of kin (surviving widows/widowers who haven’t remarried, children, siblings and parents) can request them from NARA’s National Personnel Records Center through the eVetRecs online system or by mail or fax.

If you’re not next of kin, you may be able to get limited information from WWII service records. See NARA’s website for information.


Footnote | Jewish roots | Military records
Monday, December 07, 2009 9:21:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, December 04, 2009
Genealogy News Corral: Nov. 30-Dec. 4
Posted by Diane

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has posted some of its digital images from World War I on photo-sharing site Flickr. Images show soldiers, nurses, battles, posters and more. Get more details about LAC’s WWI photo collection on its website.

Two new online videos you might want to take a peek at:
The National Archives and Records Administration’s NARAtions blog is running a “Family History Friday” series, which explains a different genealogical record or resource each week. This week, read about seamen’s protection certificates, a kind of early passport mariners purchased to identify their nationality in case of impressments by the British.

If you’re planning to create family photo gifts for the holidays, keep an eye on sites such as Snapfish and Shutterfly. Snapfish is running a deal a day through Dec. 25; Shutterfly also has a bunch of sales. Feel free to click Comments and add other photo bargains you know of.


African-American roots | Ancestry.com | Canadian roots | Libraries and Archives | Photos
Friday, December 04, 2009 3:18:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 03, 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 ShopFamilyTree.com. After you register, use the link on your order confirmation page to confirm your webcast registration.

Family Heirlooms | Photos | Webinars
Thursday, December 03, 2009 9:00:59 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 02, 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, December 02, 2009 12:57:34 PM (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 Amazon.com 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, December 02, 2009 11:20:51 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, December 01, 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, December 01, 2009 1:03:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, November 30, 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 Familyrelatives.com 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 FamilyRelatives.com (you’ll need to scroll down on the page).

Search and view the registers with a Familyrelatives.com 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, November 30, 2009 10:01:21 AM (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 ShopFamilyTree.com. 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 ShopFamilyTree.com.


Genealogy Industry
Monday, November 30, 2009 8:53:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, November 24, 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 ShopFamilyTree.com.

Editor's Pick
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 8:12:59 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]