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# Thursday, January 28, 2010
Best of 2001: Genealogy at University Libraries
Posted by Diane

We told you all about the family history treasures waiting in college and university libraries in the April 2001 Family Tree Magazine.

Genealogists don’t often think of popping over to the nearest academic library for ancestor searching, so I’m posting part of that article, written by University of Houston librarian Gay Carter, for the 2001 installment of our 10th-Annivesary “best of” series:
University libraries are particularly noted for special collections of government documents, microfilm, microfiche, local history materials, ethnic resources, and rare books and manuscripts. Some universities have archives housed separately from the general library. Here's a sampling of microform collections especially interesting to family historians:
  • American Culture Series, 1493-1875 (University Microfilms): publications on all aspects of American life. Here you'd find, for example, History of the Old Cheraws, about South Carolina, 1730-1810, originally published in 1867. The American Farrier and Family Medical Companion, published in 1852, gives advice on popular medical remedies.
  • Confederate Imprints (Research Publications): official and unofficial publications of the Confederacy. It contains such items as the organization of the army, instructions for mail carriers, hymn books and sheet music.
  • History of Women (Research Publications): publications by and about women up to about 1920. An Essay on the Education and Genius of the Female Sex (1795) and The Good Housekeeper (1839) are just two examples.
  • Western Americana (Xerox University Microfilms): publications about and contemporary with each successive frontier. The Navigator: Containing Directions for Navigating the Monongahela, Allegheny, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers …, published in 1814, was a guide for travelers. Miners and Business Men's Directory for the Year Commencing January 1st, 1856 could help trace a participant in the gold rush.
Special collections often aren't indexed in the library's catalog. Be sure to ask a reference librarian about any special holdings that may aid your research.
Carter also recommends visiting college and university libraries for histories, chronologies, bibliographies, biographical directories, directories, newspapers, maps and atlases and state codes and law reports. (Update: While working on today's e-mail newsletter about this post, I came across a University of Cincinnati Libraries blog post about church records in its collection—specifically mentioning a church my German ancestors may have attended.) 

Make sure you check the library visitor policy before you go. You may have to flash your driver’s license or get a special ID badge.

Related resources from FamilyTreeMagazine.com:


Family Tree Magazine articles | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:47:10 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Wednesday, January 27, 2010
10 Genealogy Books & CDs for $10 Each
Posted by Diane


Feel free to join me in taking a swig of coffee every time a 10 appears in the following post:

To celebrate Family Tree Magazine’s 10th anniversary (our first issue was January 2000) we’re having a 10 for $10 sale in ShopFamilyTree.com. Get your 2010 roots research started off on the right foot—inexpensively—by picking up 10 genealogy how-to helps for a cool $10 each, including:

Books
  • Family Tree Problem Solver by Marsha Hoffman Rising
  • Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs by Maureen A. Taylor
  • The Family Tree Guide to Finding Your Ellis Island Ancestors book by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
CDs
  • our 2005, 2007 and 2008 collections of back issues
  • International Genealogy Passport
  • Family Tree Essentials: Guide to 15 Key Records for Finding Your Ancestors
  • Family Photo Essentials

And our 2010 Desk Calendar (it comes with a ShopFamilyTree.com coupon for each month)

For more details about each of these $10 items, see our ShopFamilyTree.com 10 for $10 page. Shipping is always free on orders over $25.

Now to go find some walls to bounce off ...


Editor's Pick
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 10:49:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, January 26, 2010
National Archives Bans Photography in DC Exhibit Areas
Posted by Diane

You’ve got about another month if you want to take pictures inside the exhibition areas of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) building in Washington, DC.

NARA announced that starting Feb. 25, members of the public will be prohibited from filming, photographing and videotaping in exhibition areas. (The press release gives the date as Feb. 25, but the Federal Register says Feb. 24—I'll let you know when I find out which is correct.)

Archivists are concerned that exposure to flash photography is hastening fading of the Charters of Freedom—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights—and other documents on display in the National Archives Experience.

Archivists estimated the documents were subjected to about 50,000 flashes a yeardespite an explicit 30-year ban on flash photography, signage to that effect throughout the exhibit area, and reminders from security guards.

The advent of cameras with automatic flash have made the no-flash policy almost impossible to enforce, according to NARA’s press release. The ban on all photography followed internal analysis and a 60-day public comment period. Click here to read the announcement in the Federal Register, which includes public comments received and NARA responses.

Will not pulling out your camera make a visit to Charters of Freedom less enjoyable or meaningful? Here's an interesting blog post from the Washington City Paper on how this new rule could change the experience of visiting museums.

You won’t be able to take a picture of your family admiring the Declaration of Independence, but you still can get images of the historical documents safeguarded at NARA: Download them free from the Charters of Freedom website or, if you visit NARA in Washington, DC, you can pick up a free color copy.


Libraries and Archives
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 3:21:32 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
A Look at NBC's New Genealogy Show
Posted by Diane

The trailer for NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" a celebrity genealogy series premiering March 5, is now available. What do you think?



"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Genealogy Industry | Videos
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 1:00:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [27]
# Monday, January 25, 2010
Search Australian Convicts Free Through Jan. 31
Posted by Diane

Starting in 1788, Great Britain sent about 160,000 convicts to Australia, predominantly New South Wales.

Today, an estimated one in five Australians has a convict ancestor. Think you’re among them? To mark Australia Day (Jan. 26), Ancestry.com’s Australian site is letting you search 2.3 million convict and criminal-related records free through Sunday, Jan. 31

Note that you’ll need to sign up for a free registration to search. (If you subscribe to Ancestry.com’s World Deluxe Collection, the convict records are included in your subscription.)

Thanks to @NSWGenealogy for tweeting this news.


Ancestry.com | International Genealogy
Monday, January 25, 2010 9:57:41 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, January 22, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Jan. 18-22
Posted by Diane

There was a plethora of genealogy news this week to gather for our Friday roundup:
  • Footnote hinted on its Facebook page about a new Civil Rights-era records collection to launch in February in partnership with Gannett. Get a glimpse here.
  • The free FamilySearch Record Search pilot site has added 25 million new records for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Guatemala, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States. They include 1920 US census indexes for Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Maine; 1935 and 1945 Florida state censuses; Indiana marriages and more.
  • Subscription site GenealogyBank is adding 280 new African-American newspapers. The first 50 were released this month; see the titles, where they were published and the years of coverage on the GenealogyBank blog.
  • Ancestry.com also announced it’s getting rid of its Member Connections feature (note this is different from Member Connect, which was launched last year). It would let you let you enter an ancestor’s name and get a list of Ancestry.com members also researching that person, but now you can do pretty much the same thing by searching Public Member Trees.
  • The National Archives in Washington, DC, is holding a public meeting next Friday, Jan. 29, at 10:45 am to discuss how the archives meets the needs of the research community. Get details on the NGS UpFront blog.


African-American roots | Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Footnote | Libraries and Archives | Newspapers
Friday, January 22, 2010 9:45:08 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, January 21, 2010
Genealogy Pages to Fan on Facebook
Posted by Diane

As more and more genealogy organizations create profiles (called fan pages) on Facebook, you can keep tabs on societies, repositories and businesses just as easily as you stay in touch with friends.

Once you’ve "fanned" an organization (see how-tos at the end of this post), its status updates show up in your feed just like your friends’ updates do. They’ll include fun facts, resource highlights, research tips, news, event information, sale announcements and requests for feedback. On the organization’s page, you’ll see wall posts from other fans who share your interests.

Here are some types of organizations to consider fanning (to give you examples, I've included links to some fan pages I found):
You can fan an organization by going to its fan page and clicking the “Become a fan” button at the top:



If your feed tells you that your friend Joe Smith became a friend of the Springfield History Museum, you can click the accompanying link to become a fan, too, or to visit the museum’s fan page. Similarly, if you get a notification that someone suggested you become a fan of an organization, you'll see a “Become a fan” link and a "Learn more" link.

To search for fan pages, type an organization’s name into the search box in the upper right corner of your Facebook page.

If you want to unfan an organization, that’s easy, too: Just go to the fan page and click “Remove me from fans” near the bottom of the left margin.




Social Networking
Thursday, January 21, 2010 3:33:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, January 20, 2010
How to Get the Most Out of Every Genealogy Record
Posted by Diane

Waaaaaay back in 2000, Family Tree Magazine was born. To celebrate 10 years of helping genealogists trace their family trees, I’ll be sharing some of our best advice from each year of publication.

Kicking things off, Marcia Yannizze Melnyk’s advice from October 2000 helps you squeeze every drop of usefulness from genealogy records. It's still  quite relevant—not everything has changed in the world of genealogy.
Leave no stone unturned. Many types of records provide clues that are often overlooked. Take what I call the “Doberman” approach to your genealogy research: Latch on to a fact and don't let go until you've gotten everything out of it. Squeezing every single scrap of information from a record as a clue to other research will pay big dividends. “Ask” every document these questions:

• Why was the document created in the first place?

• Are you looking at the original or a copy?

• To whom does the document pertain?

• How close to the original event was the document created?

• Who are the witnesses, informants or other persons mentioned in the document?

• Are any family relationships stated or implied?

• Did the person executing the document sign with a signature or mark?

• Is the information reliable, usable, or simply a clue to further research?

• What's the full citation for the document?


Family Tree Magazine articles | Research Tips
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:53:34 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Irish Site Seeks Photos of Every Square Km
Posted by Diane

Want to see your Irish ancestral homeland? Contributing editor SharonDeBartolo Carmack alerted us to a free community photo project sponsored by Ireland’s Ordnance Survey.

The Geograph Project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometer of Ireland

The project divides the country into a grid. Contributors register for free, then use a map or enter a place name to identify the square of the grid associated with their photo, and finally, upload the photo with a description and other information. (More on submissions here.) 

You also can browse images from the site’s map. “I was surprised to see someone had uploaded a photo of the National School in the small townland of Ardvarney, where my ancestors lived,” Carmack said.


Genealogy Web Sites | Photos | UK and Irish roots
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 11:09:55 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, January 15, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: January 11-15
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry magazine, published for 25 years by Ancestry.com, will be discontinued after the March/April 2010 issue. For more information, see the staff's message on the magazine’s website.
  • In case you missed it, NBC has announced that the US version of "Who Do You Think You Are?" will air Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m.


Ancestry.com | Canadian roots | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Videos
Friday, January 15, 2010 3:36:48 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]