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# Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Taking Our Own Research Advice
Posted by Diane

Picking up research tips is among the fringe benefits of working for Family Tree Magazine. And the advice works! Here are two examples from my genealogy search:

For our August 2010 article on church records research (subscribers start getting this issue at the end of May), Sunny McClellan Morton interviewed Catholic records expert Ann McRoden Mensch.

Then and there (doing genealogy on the job is another fringe benefit), I went to Mensch’s Local Catholic Church and Family History Genealogical Research Guide, surfed around until I found information on the Cleveland archdiocese, clicked a link and filled out the archives’ online request form.

(Update: the Catholic research guide has moved since the August issue went to press. Many links to state information on the new site don't seem to be working, but see the Comments on this post for instructions on how to access the old site.)

A few weeks later, I received in the mail a copy of a funeral register from my great-grandfather’s church in Cleveland, showing his name (it's hard to make out here, but he's third from the bottom).



Last year, while editing our November 2009 federal records article by David A. Fryxell, I realized that that same great-grandfather—who wasn’t yet naturalized in 1940—would’ve had to register with the government under the Alien Registration Act.

That day, I requested his Alien Registration form (form AR-2) from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service’s online Genealogy Program. The record, showing his first name as “Fablo,” supports my case that the “Fadlo Hadad” I found on a 1900 passenger list is the right guy.

Our November 2009 issue is available in ShopFamilyTree.com; it’s also digitized on our 2009 annual CD.

Family Tree Magazine Plus members can access Fryxell’s article on our website.

Church records | Family Tree Magazine articles | immigration records | Research Tips
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 3:02:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
Preservation Groups List Endangered Sites
Posted by Diane

Two preservation organizations—the Civil War Preservation Trust and the National Trust for Historic Preservation—have released their annual lists of most-endangered sites this week.

Budget cuts are a culprit in both lists. “This year nearly 30 states have experienced cuts to parks’ and sites’ budgets, and a recent survey estimates as many as 400 state parks could close,” says the National Trust’s announcement.

Commercial development is a huge threat, too. One site—Virginia’s Wilderness Civil War battlefield—made both organizations' lists because of plans to build a massive shopping center at the entrance.

Read more about these endangered battlefields on the CWPT website:
  • Gettysburg, Pa.
  • Wilderness, Va.
  • Picacho Peak, Ariz.
  • Camp Allegheny, WV
  • Cedar Creek, Va.
  • Fort Stevens, Washington, DC
  • Pickett’s Mill, Ga.
  • Richmond, Ky.
  • South Mountain, Md.
  • Thoroughfare Gap, Va.
Find more about these 11 most-endangered historic sites on the National Trust website:
  • America's State Parks & State-Owned Historic Sites
  • Black Mountain, Ky.
  • Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson, NJ
  • Industrial Arts Building, Lincoln, Neb.
  • Juana Briones House, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Merritt Parkway, Fairfield County, Conn.
  • Metropolitan AME Church, Washington, DC
  • Pågat, Yigo, Guam
  • Saugatuck Dunes, Saugatuck, Mich.
  • Threefoot Building, Meridian, Miss.
  • Wilderness Battlefield, Va.


Historic preservation
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:11:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, May 17, 2010
Just Posted! May Podcast Covers Cemetery Records, NGS Conference News
Posted by Diane

We’re talking cemeteries in our May 2010 podcast, now available free through iTunes and at FamilyTreeMagazine.com.
  • Going behind The Editor’s Desk, podcast host Lisa Louise Cooke chats with Allison Stacy about our upcoming book Grave Humor, which finds the lighter side of cemeteries with contributors’ photos of hilarious headstones.
  • The Top Tips segment has Sunny Morton, author of the July 2010 Family Tree Magazine article “Tombstone Tales,” discusses the questions you should be sure you ask when searching for cemetery records.
  • In 101 Best Web Sites, Cooke talks to David Day about his Names in Stone cemetery mapping website.
  • For Safe Keeping, Family Tree Magazine online editor Grace Dobush offers advice for taking tombstone rubbings.
  • My News From the Blogosphere installment takes a departure from the cemetery theme to review some of the news that came out of the National Genealogical Society annual conference earlier this month.
Missed an episode? See details about earlier podcasts on our Podcast page.

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast
Podcasts
Monday, May 17, 2010 9:28:36 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 14, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: May 10-14
Posted by Diane

The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) released its annual endangered battlefields report, History Under Siege, yesterday. Gettysburg, Pa., site of the war’s largest and bloodiest battle, tops the list of 10 most endangered Civil War battlefields. See the rest of the report on the CWPT website.

FamilySearch added millions of new free records in eight searchable collections: Delaware birth records; the 1875 Minnesota state census; Cook County, Ill., birth records; name indexes for Alabama, Colorado and Illinois; and digitized church records from Litomerice, Czech Republic. Search them at FamilySearch’s Record Search pilot or beta search site.

British subscription site Findmypast.co.uk has made available the full Great Western Railway Shareholder Index, covering 1835 to 1932, along with images of the original records.

GenSoftReviews, a free website that lets you rate and review the genealogy software programs you’ve tried, now has more than 500 programs listed (including 244 full-featured programs, 170 utilities, and more than 80 other useful programs).

I got an e-mail from a new Stockholm-based website called MentoMori that sends your messages and instructions to your loved ones after your death, and will also handle shutting down your social networking accounts. See the FAQs here. Basic and Premium service packages range from about $46 to $92 per year.


FamilySearch | Free Databases | Historic preservation | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 14, 2010 3:07:10 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, May 13, 2010
Walgreens Cancels Plans to Sell DNA Test
Posted by Diane

Walgreens drug stores canceled plans to sell a genetic testing kit because the FDA hasn’t reviewed it.

After Pathway Genomics announced this week that its Insight Saliva Collection Kit would be sold at Walgreens, the FDA told Pathway Genomics that the kit meets the definition of a device and is subject to FDA approval.

Though it's been discussed on genealogy websites, the test kit isn't a genetic genealogy test. Instead, it's meant to assess medical conditions and risk for diseases such as Alzheimer’s. (Pathway Genomics also sells ancestry testing kits on its website.)

The kit was to cost $20 at Walgreens. Then you’d send your sample to Pathway Genomics and pick which tests you want (Drug Response, Pre-pregnancy Planning and other Health Conditions) at a cost of up to $249.

The kit is raising concerns about people getting medical information without input from their doctors. Similar testing is available by mail from companies including 23andMe and DNATraits (part of Family Tree DNA).

Read more about this story here.


Genetic Genealogy
Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:44:29 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Bundles of Joy
Posted by Diane


We’ve added four new product “bundles” to our online store, each offering a discounted price on a group of products that help you with a particular area of your research:

To help you solve stubborn research problems, the Brick Wall Buster Bundle has the 101 Brick Wall Busters book, our best-selling book The Family Tree Problem Solver by Marsha Hoffman Rising and our Brick Wall Strategies webinar recording,

For optimizing your census research, the Census Bundle has the Census Secrets CD, the Online Census Secrets webinar recording, and the May 2010 Family Tree Magazine Census Extravaganza issue.


If you want to take advantage of all the internet has to offer your family tree, the Online Genealogy Bundle has our Trace Your Roots Online CD, Search Engine Tips & Tricks: Google Techniques to Boost Your Research webinar recording, and five of our popular Family Tree Magazine Web Guides.

If you're getting started, you want to ramp up your research or it's time to consolidate your collection of Family Tree Magazines, the 10th Anniversary Bundle has Family Tree Magazine 10-Year DVD with every issue of the magazine through 2009, our 2010 Genealogy Desktop Calendar (featuring reader’s ancestral photos and ShopFamilyTree.com coupons), our 10 Best–Ever Tips download, and 15 percent off any Family Tree University course.

See these and our other genealogy bundles at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Editor's Pick | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, May 13, 2010 8:38:12 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Archives.com, Gates Partner on African-American Genealogy
Posted by Diane

Historian and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, who’s hosted “African-American Lives,” “Faces of America” and other genealogy shows on public television, has joined online genealogy newcomer Archives.com as an advisor.

The site has a new African-American research section featuring Gates. According to the announcement, it also will publish a set of African-American genealogy records never before available online.

“Professor Gates will apply his knowledge and passion for African Heritage towards helping Archives provide the tools and resources needed to explore African American family history, and even trace roots back to Africa,” said the announcement.


African-American roots | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 2:14:22 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Award-Winning Article Helps Jewish Roots Researchers
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to Tracing the Tribe blogger and Jewish genealogy expert Schelly Talalay Dardashti, who received a National Genealogical Society (NGS) Award of Excellence for her September 2009 Family Tree Magazine article "Ties That Bind."

The article provides guidance on researching your Jewish roots. Dardashti was honored in the Genealogical Methods and Sources category.

“The award is presented to an individual or nonprofit organization for a specific, significant single contribution ... that discusses genealogical methods and sources and serves to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advances or promotes excellence in genealogy,” according to the NGS announcement.

Need help researching Jewish ancestors? Dardashti’s award-winning "Ties That Bind" article is available in several forms:


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Industry | Jewish roots
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:18:47 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
How to Get a Decorative Family Tree Poster
Posted by Diane

So you’ve gathered a few generations’ worth of names and dates, and now you want to display your family tree on your wall.

Nowadays you have more options than ever—from free to pricey and do-it-yourself to full-service—for creating a decorative family tree poster. Here are some that we’ve come across:
  • Family networking site Geni announced yesterday that you can turn your Geni tree into a decorative family tree poster you can customize and order on archival photo paper for $29.99 (a framed one costs $119.99). Learn more on the Geni blog.
  • Most genealogy software programs, including RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree and Family Tree Maker, will let you create a family tree chart to hang on the wall. Progeny Genealogy makes add-on "charting companion" software you can use to enhance the charting capabilities of several desktop family tree programs.
  • If you have a family tree on Ancestry.com, you can import the information into MyCanvas and design and print a chart for free, or order one on nice paper in a variety of sizes. (From your tree on Ancestry.com, click the Publish button in the navigation bar at the top of the page.)
  • Generation Maps’ new Family ChARTist service lets you create a decorative tree and print a free 8.5x11 version at home, or order professionally printed larger sizes.
  • You can buy decorative charts to fill out by hand from several vendors, including Fun Stuff for Genealogists and the Family History Store. Or type free decorative family tree chart into Google for blank trees you can download and print. Our Family Tree VIP members receive a printable decorative tree as part of their exclusive Family Tree Toolkit.


Celebrating your heritage | Family Heirlooms
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:25:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, May 07, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: May 3-7
Posted by Diane

  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) plans to launch a public wiki that will allow you to create pages on records or themes. If you can't attend the organizing meeting at the NARA building in Washington, DC, on May 7th, you can contribute ideas by e-mail—see the archives’ blog post for details.
Also check out the archives’ wiki for planning the wiki.


Asian roots | Canadian roots | NARA
Friday, May 07, 2010 3:21:09 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]