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# Friday, December 11, 2009
Genealogy News Corral December 7-11
Posted by Allison

Diane took a well-deserved day off today—but not before completing this week's roundup of news. I'm posting it here in her absence:

The Missouri Historical Society recently updated its searchable Genealogy and Local History Index with information from St. Louis-area graduation programs, the Anheuser-Busch employee magazine, a St. Louis County justice of the peace marriage register and more.
 
The National Archives and Records Administration  is holding a meeting to discuss proposed changes to research facilities at the Washington, DC, location. The meeting is 1 pm, Dec. 17, in the archives’ in the Robert Warner Research Center. If you can’t be there but want input, see the information on the NGS UpFront blog.

World Vital records has added more than a dozen genealogy databases from UK-based Anguline Research Archives, including registers from the Sherborne School (Dorset, England), parish registers of Norton-in-the-Moors in Staffordshire and Burford in Shropshire, the 1898 book Old English Social Life and more. See the full list in the latest Family History Bulletin.

The Priceless Legacy Co., which creates commemorative personal biographies in print and audio format, has signed on as the personal history provider for Ancestry.com's Expert Connect service.

Have an enjoyable weekend!

 


Ancestry.com | Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy | UK and Irish roots
Friday, December 11, 2009 5:04:53 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 10, 2009
Ancestry.com Upgrades Census Collection
Posted by Diane

If you’ve been unable to find your ancestors in US census records on subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com, it may be time to try again. The site just released enhanced images and/or indexes for six more census.

Added to upgrades implemented a few months ago, that means improved images for the 1790 through 1900 censuses, and better indexes for the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1900 censuses. In all, that's 200 million improved census records.

Ancestry.com’s new indexes and images are a result of a resource-exchanging partnership with FamilySearch announced in 2008. FamilySearch provided Ancestry.com with its census images; Ancestry.com gave its index to FamilySearch volunteer indexers to use as a “first draft.”

Digital enhancements and higher-resolution images have given the records a cleaner look. In some cases, you can read names that were previously illegible because they were too light, dark, blurry or faded, or were obscured by something such as tape.

Here’s a before (left) and after (right) from the 1860 census; see more examples on Ancestry.com.



Improvements to the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census collections are the works.

Ancestry.com | census records
Thursday, December 10, 2009 1:18:25 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Hanukkah History
Posted by Diane

The eight days of Hanukkah begin this Friday at sundown, when Jews light the first candle on a special nine-branch menorah.

The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees defeated the Seleucid Empire in the second century BC. There was enough oil to burn for only one day, but the light miraculously burned for eight days.

Use these links to learn more about Hanukkah history and traditions:
If you’re researching Jewish ancestors, make sure you check out the free JewishGen collection on Ancestry.com and Footnote's Holocaust records collection (free through the end of December).

Here are some how-to helps from FamilyTreeMagazine.com:


Genealogy Web Sites | Jewish roots
Thursday, December 10, 2009 9:03:57 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Editors' Picks: Family Tree Magazine Desk Calendar
Posted by Diane



There are so many things I love about our first-ever desk calendar. Foremost are the beautiful photos—all from Family Tree Magazine readers—and the stories behind them. 
           
There’s also the genealogy tip of the month, and a ShopFamilyTree.com coupon on the back of each month. And the nice size (it fits into a CD case) that’s just right to tuck into a stocking (it also won’t take up too much real estate on your desk).

Click here to learn more and get one of your own.

Editor's Pick
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 2:29:49 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy Archives Update
Posted by Diane

New subscription genealogy site Genealogy Archives ($39.95 per year), which launched in July has made some updates and additions to the site, including:
  • Member Profiles, where you can manage your account, view search history, save records and more
  • Ancestor Alerts, which you set up via your profile—enter basic information on a person you’re searching for, and get an e-mail alert when the site finds potential matches in its databases
  • a Search Guide to help members search the site and learn about its records
  • new collections including 200,000 US census records and 100,000 census record images (note that except for the 1860 and 1930 census indexes, which come from Footnote, this isn’t a complete collection—for example, the 1900 census record count is 6,519)
More than 200,000 Canadian immigration, passenger and vital records are coming soon
  • an FAQ for membership questions and to contact site support
  • made the records search in the members-only area more sophisticated, with more fields and the option to choose date ranges
The Genealogy Archives blog will help you keep up on changes to the site.

Genealogy Archives doesn’t have a free basic membership, which can make it a little hard for you to test the waters. Nonmembers can use the links to genealogy resources at the bottom of the home page, read the Expert Series of how-to articles and view information about the site’s collections. Note that most are indexes, rather than document images, and many databases are available free on other sites.

You can sign up for a free seven-day trial to access the members-only area, search the records and use the community forums (you’ll need to enter your credit card number). If you decide not to join, remember to cancel before the trial period is up to avoid being charged.


Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 12:28:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# 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]