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# Wednesday, March 03, 2010
We're Bundled Up
Posted by Diane

…. and we don’t mean because of the weather.



We took our CDs, books and webinars that offer genealogy help with three of the topics you’re most interested in, packaged them up into themed “bundles” and discounted them to give you a great deal. Three bundles are available at ShopFamilyTree.com:
  • The Organized Genealogy Bundle: Organize Your Genealogy Life! CD, Organization Made Easy webinar recording, Organize Now! book, 2010 Family Tree Magazine Desktop Calendar
You'll find more details on the contents of each bundle in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Editor's Pick | Family Heirlooms | Genealogy books | Research Tips
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 4:40:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Video: "Who Do You Think You Are?" on "Today"
Posted by Diane

Lisa Kudrow appeared on "Today" this morning to talk about “Who Do You Think You Are?” which premieres (in case you hadn’t heard) this Friday on NBC at 8 pm (7pm central).

She describes the episode about her own roots (airing March 19) as “relentless” because it deals with the Holocaust—but if you hang in there, she adds, there’s a "happy surprise" at the end. Kudrow also calls Emmitt Smith, whose episode airs March 12, a “great teacher.” Here’s the "Today" video:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Looks like the Today anchors, who’ve explored their own ancestries for television, plan to tune in.

See the Genealogy Gems blog for a schedule of upcoming “Who Do You Think You Are?” promotional appearances.

And here’s an episode lineup:
  • March 5: Sarah Jessica Parker
  • March 12: Emmitt Smith
  • March 19: Lisa Kudrow
  • March 26: Matthew Broderick
  • April 2: Brooke Shields
  • April 9: Susan Sarandon
  • April 23: Spike Lee


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Videos
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 1:23:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Genetic Genealogy: Oh, the Possibilities
Posted by Diane

Interest in genetic genealogy was expanding beyond genealogy circles by April 2006, when this week’s “Best of Family Tree Magazine” article was published. Colleen Fitzpatrick shared an example of how DNA testing can help you theorize how and where your family may have migrated.

Though not everyone’s looking to trace their roots back to the Vikings, I like this example because it shows some of the possibilities of genetic genealogy—a field where scientists continue to make door-opening discoveries for family historians.
Follow genetic fingerprints to new theories. DNA can point to a previously unrecognized episode in your family's past. “Oddball” test results sometimes signal nonpaternity events (adoptions, name changes, illegitimacies), which can link you with unexpected people and places.

Take my Fitzpatrick surname study. Although the DNA profiles (haplotypes) are relatively diverse, most of the 75 participants match one another on 20 or so markers out of 26. This shows that we share a common background—it's just far back in the past. Three people don't fit that mold, however: They match the rest of the group on no more than seven markers.

Two of these three men—a Catholic priest from New Jersey and a retired engineer from New South Wales, Australia—match each other exactly. And they've traced their families back to two small towns only 10 miles apart on the west coast of Ireland. The American's Fitzpatrick family immigrated during the Great Famine; the Australian's Fitzpatrick ancestors went “down under” in the early 1900s. How could these men match each other exactly but be so different from the rest of the Fitzpatrick study group?

Our questioning has led to some interesting theories, developed from what we know about the history of western Ireland. One potential explanation is that the men descend from a Viking who made a pit stop on his way around coastal Ireland, leaving behind a genetic souvenir. Another possibility: The pair descends from a survivor of the Spanish Armada's 1588 wreck on the west coast of Ireland.

As online databases grow to include a more diverse collection of haplotypes, we may find more matches to these men. If they match an Erikson or a Peterson, we can further probe the first possibility. If they match a Lopez or Garcia, we can explore the second theory. Or we may devise altogether new theories. But whatever we discover, they'll have a fascinating new chapter to add to their family sagas.
Family Tree Magazine Plus members can read the entire article online.

Related resources from Family Tree Magazine:


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genetic Genealogy
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 12:20:10 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 01, 2010
Roots Television Site to Close
Posted by Diane

Roots Television, a website launched in 2006 with genealogy videos, will close March 10—unless an interested party acts quickly to adopt the site.

An e-mail to Roots Television mailing list subscribers from Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, who launched the site along with media producer Marcy Brown in September 2006, said other outlets are now helping to fill the “genealogy channel” void.

“Genealogy is finally going mainstream. Some of you are probably already watching 'Faces of America' on PBS and 'The Generations Project' on BYU,” Smolenyak writes. “And many, I'm sure, have heard of the imminent launch on NBC of 'Who Do You Think You Are?' (a series I'm proud to be affiliated with, and for which, I wrote the companion book). The non-genealogical world is finally waking up to the long overlooked potential of what we roots-sleuths do on a daily basis.”

The message linked to an online article about genealogy popping up in mainstream media such as "The Simpsons," "Faces of America" and “Who Do You Think You Are?”

“I hope that you have enjoyed the hundreds of high quality videos that RootsTelevision.com has produced or selected. From the viewing numbers and kind comments, I know that many of you have. It's been a privilege to give the genealogical community this resource, but this seems the appropriate time to move on,” Smolenyak writes.

The message ended with a note that anyone interested in acquiring the site should contact Smolenyak immediately.

RootsTelevision.com will feature some of the most popular videos in the coming days. A few of my favorites: “Heir Jordan," the Unclaimed Persons videos and the Down Under series.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, March 01, 2010 8:12:53 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, February 26, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: February 22-26
Posted by Diane

Here are some of this week's genealogy news bits:
  • Ancestry.com is holding an Ultimate Family History Journey Sweepstakes to help launch “Who Do You Think You Are?” The grand prize is $20,000 in travel money (!), expert help with your genealogy research, and Ancestry.com subscriptions. Twenty first prize winenrs get a World Deluxe Subscription. Enter at Ancestry.com (scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on the sweepstakes promo) before April 30, 2010, at 11:59 pm ET.
  • British subscription and pay-per-view site Findmypast has launched a London Collection with baptism, marriage and burial records dating as far back as 1538. It also has London and West Kent Probate Indexes from 1750 to 1858, and names of participants in the Matchworkers' Strike of 1888. (Many of these records are also in Ancestry.com’s London Parish Records collection, launched last year.)

Ancestry.com | Jewish roots | UK and Irish roots | "Who Do You Think You Are?"
Friday, February 26, 2010 3:10:04 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, February 25, 2010
Are You "Jeopardy!" Material? Try Your National Archives Knowledge
Posted by Diane

The National Archives is reliving the glory of its appearance on the game show "Jeopardy!" with a May 12 public viewing of the episode, which aired in January and featured an entire category devoted to historical treasures housed in the archives.

That was life imitating art for us: The episode almost eerily echoed our December 2005 Family Tree Magazine feature on the archives’ National Archives regional research facilities. (See the caricature of host Alex Trebek in our earlier blog post.)

When the "Jeopardy!" staff arrived at the archives headquarters in Washington, DC, to shoot video, visitors swarmed Trebek. He and the Clue Crew filmed in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the Public Vaults, and the exhibition "BIG! Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the National Archives."

Join in the viewing May 12, at noon, in the archives' William G. McGowan Theater. You can watch the National Archives-related footage on YouTube.

Would you be a "Jeopardy!" champion? Remember to frame your responses as questions. (The correct responses are at the end of this post.)

For $200: In 1940, in a letter to the president this then 14-year old future world leader asked FDR for a $10 bill. Yet he doesn't cash the checks we send him for Guantanamo.

For $400: American history might've been very different if this future country had agreed to the offer of statehood contained in Article 11 of the Articles of Confederation.   

For $600: No one knows how it got there, but there's a handprint in the lower left-hand corner of this important national document, just beneath the concluding words "and our sacred honor."

For $800: One of the archives' treasures is a 1912 wax cylinder recording, like this one, of this American president talking about his Progressive Party's movement for social and industrial justice.  

For $1,000: The Constitution was signed by representatives of each of the 13 colonies except for this one, which opposed increasing federal power.  Because it was the last to ratify, it is now our 13th state.

Correct responses
$200: Who is Fidel Castro?
$400: What is Canada?
$600: What is the Declaration of Independence?
$800: Who is Theodore Roosevelt?
$1000: What is Rhode Island?


Genealogy fun | Libraries and Archives
Thursday, February 25, 2010 5:22:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Lots O' Census Tips in the May 2010 Family Tree Magazine
Posted by Diane


The May 2010 Family Tree Magazine, now mailing to subscribers and available for pre-order at ShopFamilyTree.com, celebrates one of genealogists’ favorite resources: the census.



The Census Extravaganza! includes articles on:
  • data collected for each US enumeration, from 1790 to 1930 that could solve ancestral mysteries

  • What you can do now to be ready to find your ancestors in the 1940 census, set for release in two short (we hope) years

  • How to find and use census records from your ancestral homeland
This issue also has guidance on researching Dutch roots, sharing photos online, searching HeritageQuest Online (the historical records service you can access through many public libraries), searching the Daughters of the American Revolution online databases, organizing your hard drive and more.

Of course, you’ll also find our listing of the Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs, (which you also can see on our website).

You can purchase a digital version to download right now.

The print version is available for preorder from ShopFamilyTree.com (it comes with a Census Research Toolkit CD, so it costs a little more than the digital download).

census records | Editor's Pick | Family Tree Magazine articles
Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:16:01 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Ways to Leave a Family History Legacy
Posted by Diane

“What do I do now?” is something I hear from readers every once in a while, as in, I’ve done all this research—now what should I do with it?

What I like about this “Best of” excerpt from Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s “How to Be a Good Ancestor” article in the April 2005 Family Tree Magazine is that it helps answer that question. These are a few of her ideas for putting together and passing on your family history.

Start scrapbooking. Only your imagination limits the scrapbooks you can create. There's the standard heritage album, but also consider these five themes:
  • Family reunion: Make a scrapbook of the gang's get-together, including programs, photos and interviews.

  • School: Create school scrapbooks for yourself and for your spouse, as well as your children. Scan or photocopy yearbook pages and include memorabilia (report cards, your graduation tassel) plus journaled memories of events and friends.

  • Cemetery: Photograph grave markers, and find death certificates and obituaries.

  • Immigration and migration: Maps, passenger lists, passports and naturalization records document your ancestors' travels. Record their modes of transportation with images of prairie schooners or the ships that bore them across the Atlantic.

  • House history: Include deeds, pictures (take photos of similar buildings, if the houses aren't around anymore), descriptions of the furniture and décor, and information on the people who lived in each house.
Assemble an album. Photo albums are a natural legacy project. Just be sure to identify the photos with names, dates and places. One must-have guide for learning how to find and identify photographs: Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs, revised edition (Family Tree Books), by Maureen A. Taylor.

But what about all those cool documents you've been collecting, such as military records, passenger arrival lists, vital records, censuses, and wills? Start a binder for each surname and organize documents and charts for each individual behind tabs in acid-free sheet protectors. Place a label on each sheet protector identifying the document and the source where you got it. Not only is this project a great legacy, but it also forces you to keep your research in order.

Put your family history into words. If writing is a pastime you enjoy, try one of these projects:
  • Book: This is the ultimate way to hand down your history legacy because you can give copies to everyone in the family — and even to libraries and archives. My book You Can Write Your Family History (Genealogical Publishing Co.) provides genealogy-focused writing and publishing advice.

  • Essays: Compile a collection of essays on topics such as your own experiences or memories of relatives, then copy and distribute them to kin. If you collect the essays in a binder, you and other family members can add to them easily.

  • Articles: Maybe you don't have enough information to fill a book, but you still want to publish your research results or tell other researchers about a brick wall you've conquered. Genealogical society journals and newsletters are good places to do this. Consult Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century edited by Henry B. Hoff (New England Historic Genealogical Society) for help writing a publication-worthy article.

  • Letters: Whether you mail them or not, compose letters to the youngest members of your family to tell them what life was like when you were growing up. Write about your parents and grandparents, recording your fondest memories of spending time with them in addition to facts about their lives. Make copies for all the kids in your family, and present them on a special occasion.
Feast on family food heritage. Gather family recipes to create a book, CD or Web site for your kin who like to cook. Along with each recipe, include a photo of the dish and the cook who's most famous for it, a brief biography of the chef, and notes about the holidays or occasions when the dish was served. If your family has a strong cultural background, such as Italian or Hispanic, incorporate some food history gleaned from ethnic cookbooks. When family members gather for a meal, don't forget to turn on that tape recorder or video camera. Capture some of the food-focused conversation to include in the recipe book.

Related resources Family Tree Magazine:


Celebrating your heritage | Family Heirlooms
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 4:51:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Tuesday, February 23, 2010
New Family Tree Chart Service to Launch March 8
Posted by Diane

Wanted to let you know that the Family ChArtist, the decorative family tree chart-printing service from Generation Maps, will launch March 8.

As I mentioned in a post last week, the web-based service will let you create and print a free 8-1/2 by 11-inch decorative chart—which I think will be pretty popular (especially after everyone gets excited about their family trees from watching “Who Do You Think You Are?”). You'll be able to purchase larger versions to print at home, or order them printed on nice paper.

You can read more about the service and how it works in the press release on The Chart Chick blog.

Keep checking the Chart Chick blog for more peeks at the Family ChArtist's features, and watch this video by Mark Tucker of the Think Genealogy blog:


Celebrating your heritage | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 4:47:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, February 22, 2010
Sneak Peek at Footnote's "Newer Viewer"
Posted by Diane

Historical records site Footnote has been quietly working on a “newer viewer”—a new-and-improved version of the site's record viewer.

Here's the current version:



With the updates, Footnote wants to make record images load faster and be easier for you to work with, and to make browsing to related images easier. Read about the new features and get a look at them on Footnote's blog.

The newer viewer isn’t ready for release yet, but Footnote is letting you try it out and provide feedback. Give it a whirl using the link at the bottom of Footnote’s post.

Footnote
Monday, February 22, 2010 2:02:34 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]