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# Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Family Tree University's Google classes
Posted by Grace

Everybody googles. Heck, I google things about every 4.5 seconds, it seems. And no genealogist should be without a solid working knowledge of this beast of a search engine. That's why we've got a whole Google track over at Family Tree University. Our courses starting June 21 include two just on Google.

In Lisa Louise Cooke's Google Tools for Genealogists, you'll learn about Google Earth, historical maps and more. Here's a sample:
A new feature in Google Earth is Historical Imagery. Click the clock icon on the Tool Bar and a slider bar will appear at the top of the map indicating how far back map images are available for your location. In the case of San Francisco we can turn the hands of time back to 1946 image. To return to modern day just unclick the clock icon or move the slider back up to the current year.
In the new Mastering Google Search class, Cooke gives you the tools to harness the search engine's power. Here's an example of using Google's image search:
Go to Image Search and look for a portrait of a historical figure such as George Washington. In the results pages you'll see many faces of George Washington. However, as you move on through the search results, soon you'll come across other things, like a photograph of George Washington’s false teeth. Not exactly what you were looking for.

To eliminate the unwanted images and narrow in on the desired images, go back to the search box and click the Advance Image Search link. You'll see a blue box near the top and then a white box below. Within that box the first option is Content Types: return images that contain. Click on Faces and click the Search button again.  

Now every search result is a facial image. It might be a portrait on a stamp or on a coin, but it will be a face. We have succeeded in narrowing the original search results down from 6.7 million images to 548,000 images. Think how well this might work with an ancestor who is not quite is famous as George Washington!
Not sure how online classes work? No problem! Just sign up for our free FTU Crash Course that's happening tomorrow! In the half-hour webinar, you'll meet some of our instructors, get a guided tour of the virtual campus and learn how online learning works. One lucky registrant will win a free FTU course of his or her choosing, and everyone who attends get a valuable coupon code. (Even if you can't attend the webinar live, sign up and you'll get a link to view the recording and still be entered into the drawing!)

And remember -- Family Tree University's June webinar, Brick Wall Busters, is still taking registrants at the early bird price until tomorrow (June 9) at midnight. You can sign up for just $39.99 and submit your own brick wall for some expert advice.


Family Tree University | Research Tips | Webinars
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 4:55:14 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Shoestring Travel Sites and Other Favorite Tips From the Podcast
Posted by Diane

In celebration of the free Family Tree Magazine Podcast's second birthday, host Lisa Louise Cooke remembers some of her great guests and favorite advice with this guest post:

It’s a kick traveling down memory lane as we celebrate the 2nd birthday of the Family Tree Magazine Podcast this month. What really struck me as I was preparing to write this blog post are some of our stats. In two years we’ve had more than 40 expert guests, including:
In total, we’re talking about 15-plus hours of content so far. It’s like attending a virtual genealogy conference from the convenience of your own home! And sometimes you learn surprising things that you might not otherwise hear.

For example, Maureen A. Taylor is known as the Photo Detective, but did you know that in her family she’s also referred to as the Family Cheapskate?  In the February 2009 podcast episode, she pulled some of her best tips out of her article Research Trips on a Shoestring (March 2009 Family Tree Magazine).

I could easily see where this label came from! Not only does Maureen have a knack for seeing critical clues in photos, but also for spotting good deals online. She recommended some of her favorite-yet- less-well-known travel sites, including Farecast.com, Kayak.com and Travelzoo. I'd never heard of any them, but now regularly check them for deals.

In that same podcast episode, my conversation with Patricia M. Van Skaik of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was also an eye opener.

As a Californian, I hadn't considered libraries in Ohio to be high on my list of research locations, but Patricia changed all that. Cincinnati Library genealogy holdings cover all 50 states and 23 foreign countries, and the collection is more than 150 years old. In fact, back in 1850, Cincinnati was the sixth largest city in the nation—which makes it a hotbed of records from that time period. Add in a map collection ranked in the top three in the country and I’ll never look at distant libraries the same way again!

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

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Libraries and Archives | Podcasts | Research Tips
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 3:12:48 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, June 07, 2010
Ways to Walk in Your Ancestors' Shoes
Posted by Diane

According to their passenger list, my Haddad ancestors first arrived on US shores Nov. 11, 1900. That was five days after President William McKinley was re-elected, beating challenger William Jennings Bryan. The next day, the World’s Fair in Paris closed. A little more than a month later, the new main building of the Ellis Island Immigration station was opened.

Want to find out what was happening on or about an important event in your family’s history? These sites can help:

History.com's This Day in History: You’ll see a top story from on today’s date in history; click View Calendar to select another date.

Any Day in History: Pick a date and get a list of famous people’s birthdates, holidays and a timeline of historic happenings on that date.

New York Times On This Day: Find events on today’s date, or click the tiny Go To previous date link for a clickable list of dates.

On-This-Day.com: Select a date to get a list of historical events on that date.

BrainyHistory: Select a year range, then a year, and get a list of events that happened on most days of the year.

Library of Congress Today in History: Get a look at some library materials related to historic events on today’s date. Click archives to enter another date.

On This Day in History: Pick a date and see events, births and deaths that happened on that day.

What happened in my birth year?: Type in your birth year (or any year) and you’ll see a countdown and get an essay—letter by letter—about what life was like and what happened that year. This cool tool only goes back to 1900, though.

Timelines.com: Find out what happened this week in history and browse timelines such as American history, technology, famous people and sports. At the bottom of the page, click What Happened On to select a date.

Related resources from Family Tree Magazine:


Social History
Monday, June 07, 2010 3:41:40 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, June 04, 2010
National Doughnut Day slideshow
Posted by Grace

The Salvation Army declared the first Friday of June National Doughnut day in 1938 to commemorate the World War I soldiers' affinity for the sweet treats. Women volunteers with the Salvation Army handed out doughnuts to the men on the front lines, who then took their predilections home with them. (That's where the name Doughboy comes from.)
 
We scoured the Library of Congress' photo archives for historic pictures of doughnut-eating in action.

Visit our website to see the slideshow (You can click through to our Flickr page to see the details and descriptions of the photos.)


Genealogy fun | Libraries and Archives | Photos
Friday, June 04, 2010 2:35:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Jamboree Time!
Posted by Diane

The hip and happening Southern California Genealogy Jamboree is June 11-13 next week in at the Los Angeles Marriott Hotel Burbank.

If you’re going, visit booth 117 to see the latest Family Tree Magazine genealogy books and CDs, and say hi to two of our BFFs: Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor and Family Tree Magazine Podcast host Lisa Louise Cooke.

On the Southern California Genealogy Society website, you’ll find a schedule of classes and special events, registration information and an exhibitor list on the Southern California Genealogical Society website.  Check out the Jamboree blog, too.

Cooke is hosting a live episode of her own Genealogy Gems Podcast with guests Taylor, “Who Do You Think You Are?” insider Suzanne Russo Adams and Chris Haley, archivist and nephew of Roots author Alex Haley. It’ll take place Sat., June 12 at 1 pm in the hotel Pavilion. I hear audience members could win prizes! Here’s more info via video:



Friday, June 04, 2010 1:11:18 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Which Family Tree Magazine Cover Do You Prefer?
Posted by Diane

These are the two cover options we're looking at for our November issue, with a lead story about organizing your research and saving space. Which do you like better, A or B?



Click Comments to reply (we also have these on our Facebook page if you'd like to comment there). Thanks for your input!

The November 2010 issue starts mailing to subscribers in mid-August and will be available in ShopFamilyTree.com starting Sept. 7.

Family Tree Magazine articles
Friday, June 04, 2010 12:41:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [36]
# Thursday, June 03, 2010
Search the 1901 Irish Census Free Online
Posted by Grace

The National Archives of Ireland has released the 1901 Irish census in a free online database. All 32 counties—encompassing both of what’s now the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland—are covered in this census.

You can search by name, county, and other factors. You can use an asterisk as a wildcard in a surname. The site automatically adds a range of plus or minus five years to ages. (The site was slow when I tried it this morning, so you might need to let the initial rush subside before trying your search.)

The 1911 census also is searchable on the site. The 1901 and 1911 censuses are the only surviving full Irish censuses open to the public.

The Irish census is unique because you can see the original household manuscript returns (the forms filled out by the head of each household on census night), rather than just transcribed enumerators’ books.

The basic topographical divisions for the census are county, district electoral division (or DED), and townland or street.

A number of townlands/streets are missing from the database 1901 and 1911. According to the Irish national archives website, these forms weren’t microfilmed or digitized. The material will be put online as soon as possible.

More Irish genealogy resources from Family Tree Magazine.


census records | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, June 03, 2010 8:24:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Free FTU webinar next week!
Posted by Grace

Have you been curious about Family Tree University but didn't know exactly what it was or how it would work? Have we got a webinar for you!

Join us Wednesday, June 9, at 1 p.m. Eastern (that's 10 a.m. Pacific), for a free half-hour tour of FTU. Some of our fantastic instructors will be on hand to talk about their courses and answer questions.

By the way -- if you can't call in during the live webinar, you should still sign up and you'll receive an e-mail with a link to the recording so you can watch it any time you like.

PLUS: One lucky registrant will win a free course from Family Tree University! The winner will be randomly selected from all registrants. We'll announce the winner during the Crash Course, but you don't have to be present to win -- we will contact the winner by June 11.

Sign up for the free webinar today!


Family Tree University | Webinars
Tuesday, June 01, 2010 5:15:58 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Happy 2nd Birthday to the Family Tree Magazine Podcast!
Posted by Diane

In celebration of the free Family Tree Magazine Podcast’s entry into its terrific twos, producer and host Lisa Louise Cooke is writing several guest posts on her favorite podcast memories. Here’s the first:

You know how toddlers are … they explore their surroundings, get their hands dirty, and chat with anyone and everyone. Now that our busy toddler the Family Tree Magazine Podcast is turning 2 years old, I thought it would be a great time to pull out the scrapbook and reminisce about the first two years.

It all started back in early 2008 when I met editor-in-chief Allison Stacy at a genealogy conference, and the podcast was just a twinkle in her eye. Over the next two years I’ve been a kid in a candy store exploring the world of genealogy with the folks at Family Tree Magazine.

Right out of the starting gate, it was clear the podcast offered the perfect opportunity to give the magazine’s authors a new voice—literally and figuratively. I loved David A. Fryxell’s article on genealogical freebies called “No Purchase Necessary” in the June 2006 issue. But it was even better to chat with him on the show and not only discover that he shares my passion for maps, but also learn that free website tools such as NationalAtlas.gov and The National Map were his favorites from the article.

Another big advantage to the podcast is that it has offered a unique opportunity to get to know library treasures around the United States. In Episode 5, Susan Kaufman, director of the genealogy library at the Clayton Library in Houston, makes a strong case for a strategy often missed by genealogists: scouting for records in libraries NOT in the area where your ancestor lived.

When I asked Susan to name one of her favorite collections (is that sort of like asking a mom to name her favorite child?!) she included the Cuban Papers. It turns out that the Cuban Papers' only connection to Cuba was the fact they were once archived there. The collection of 1,400 microfilm rolls covers early colonial records (1500 to 1700) pertaining to the development of the Gulf Coast area—and yet reaching surprisingly far beyond into states like Illinois! I imagine many podcast listeners found their field of research expanding after that episode.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be back to continue this trip down memory lane as we celebrate the Family Tree Magazine Podcast turning 2 years old!

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

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Podcasts
Tuesday, June 01, 2010 10:11:15 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 28, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: May 24-28
Posted by Diane

Library and Archives Canada has begun adding digitized copies of service files to its database of more than 600,000 men and women who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during World War I as soldiers, nurses and chaplains. When a photocopy or digital copy is requested, the file will be scanned and the digital images added to the database.

Subscription genealogy site Archives.com has provided all 9,000 members of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) a three-month membership. (Those who join NGS during the next six months also can take advantage of this offer.)  Archives.com also has added The Dictionary of American Family Names to its databases, letting members look up the origins of more than 70,000 US surnames. Read more about both developments on the Archives.com blog.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post about military research, subscription site World Vital Records is making its military records collection free through June 1. You’ll find more information in the site’s announcement.

This was a fun post on the National Archives blog: The staff compares modern facial hair standards for members of the US Army (only men can have it!) with photos of Civil War US Army officers whose mustaches might get them reprimanded today.


Canadian roots | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | NARA
Friday, May 28, 2010 10:35:36 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]