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# Thursday, July 01, 2010
Save $ and Be a Better Genealogist With Our 4th of July Sale
Posted by Diane


It’s Fourth of July sale time at ShopFamilyTree.com and FamilyTreeUniversity.com! Here’s how you can save $$ while becoming a better genealogist:
  • At ShopFamilyTree.com, you can save 40 percent on Family Tree Magazine products by entering offer code SFT111 when you check out (some exclusions apply). This offer expires July 5.
Click here to start browsing our genealogy how-to books, CDs, back issues, digital downloads and webinar recordings.
  • At Family Tree University, you can take $13 off any genealogy course registration by entering the code 13COLONIES. This offer also expires July 5.
Courses include Land Records 101 (starting July 19 or Sept. 13), Tracing Immigrants (starting July 21), Digital Photography Essentials (starting July 19) and more—click here to see all our FTU offerings.

Editor's Pick | Family Tree University | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, July 01, 2010 9:27:05 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Search Revolutionary War Records Free on Footnote July 1-7
Posted by Diane

I blogged earlier about Revolutionary War resources, including subscription genealogy site Footnote’s pension and service records.

Lo and behold, Footnote announces those records will be free to all starting tomorrow, July 1, through July 7.

You’ll need to register for a free basic Footnote membership to search these records. Get started at www.footnote.com/revolutionary-war.


Footnote | Free Databases | Military records
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:35:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Resources for Revolutionary War Ancestors
Posted by Diane

Do your US roots run all the way back to the American Revolution? This Independence Day, research your Revolutionary War ancestors using these resources:
  • Revolutionary War Websites:15 websites where you can learn more about the struggle for US independence and research your Revolutionary War ancestors.
  • Black Loyalists: Our History, Our People: As many as 30 000 American slaves took advantage of Britain’s promise of freedom to slaves who joined the British troops. As the war ended, many moved to Canada with other Loyalists.
  • Sons of the American Revolution: This lineage society with a research library in Louisville, Ky., is for males who are descended from a Revolutionary War Patriot.
Need help researching your Colonial and Revolutionary War ancestors? Check out these resources from ShopFamilyTree.com:


Military records
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:53:14 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Access the 1911 Canadian Census Free Through July 4
Posted by Diane

Got Canadian ancestors? In celebration of Canada Day tomorrow, Canadian subscription genealogy site Ancestry.ca is making its 1911 Canadian Census records free through July 4.

You’ll need a free basic registration with the site to access the  records. Get started by clicking here.

The census includes the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan; and the territories of Yukon and Northwest. You may find an individual’s address, occupation, place of birth, immigration year, family members, religion, and parents’ birthplaces.

For more help  researching your Canadian roots, see these resources from Family Tree Magazine:


Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:28:08 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 25, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: June 21-25
Posted by Diane

Thanks to the World Cup, you can once again access records on British genealogy site FindMyPast.co.uk free for a limited time this weekend. You’ll need to register for a free account by midnight June 26 for access between 9a.m. Sunday and 9a.m. Monday (note that these are UK times—midnight June 26 in the UK equals 7p.m. EST June 25, according to the World Time Converter, so you'll have to get a move on). Get details about this offer on FindMyPast.co.uk.

FamilySearch is starting new indexing projects for civil births in Jamaica (1878–1899); Arkansas WWII draft registrations (1942); Washington, DC, deaths (1874–1959); and North Carolina Freedmen Letters (1862–1870) from former slaves to the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. The indexes will eventually be searchable free on FamilySearch. To volunteer for any of these projects, visit FamilySearch Indexing.

Ancestry.com has announced its discovery that actor Robert Pattinson, star of the popular “Twilight Saga” vampire books and movies, is related to Vlad the Impaler (considered by some to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula) through the British royal family. Genea-Musings blogger Randy Seaver points out, though, that the company doesn’t specify the exact relationship, and that Pattinson’s link to British royals and their link to Vlad the Impaler doesn’t guarantee Pattinson is related to Vlad.


Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots | FamilySearch | UK and Irish roots
Friday, June 25, 2010 2:37:14 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
See the world with Google Earth
Posted by Grace

We're putting together four new classes for the next session of Family Tree University, which starts July 21! Lisa Louise Cooke's new class Google Earth for Genealogists will show you how to use a powerful free program in your genealogy search. Here's a taste of what you'll learn:
Because land doesn't move, it's one of the few elements of our ancestors' lives that we can always count on. Consider an old photograph: Buildings may have changed but the surrounding landmarks such as hills, valleys and rock formations still stand today and can aid in identification.

Let's start using Google Earth by searching for an address that you probably have to get a feel for what I mean by this: the house where one of your sets of grandparents lived.
  1. In the Search panel type the address in the Fly To box and click the magnifying glass icon.
  2. The globe in the 3D viewer will start to turn and very quickly will zoom in to that location.
  3. Place a placemark on that location so you keep track of the exact spot by clicking the Placemark button in the Viewer Toolbar.
  4. When the New Placemark box opens, label the placemark with the exact street address and your grandparents' names.
  5. Click OK.
You have now located your first ancestral home on Google Earth. Great job! 
Learn more and sign up here

Family Tree University | Research Tips
Friday, June 25, 2010 12:49:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 24, 2010
Historical Photo Database Shows NYC's Lower East Side Tenements
Posted by Diane

The Tenement Museum in New York City’s Lower East has launched on online database of more than 1,300 images from the museum’s collection.



Photos show the neighborhood, historic and contemporary photographs of 97 Orchard Street (the restored tenement where the museum is located) and historic portraits of people who lived and worked there.

You can browse, run a basic search by keyword, or run an advanced search on a name, place, year range or other terms. If you click on an image in your search results, you can enlarge it or save it to your favorites (in which case you’ll need to create a free account).

By 1900, more than 80,000 tenements had been built in New York City, according to History.com. About 2.3 million people—two-thirds of the city’s population, many of them poor immigrants—lived in tenement housing. The building at 97 Orchard Street was home to 7,000 people from more than 20 nations between 1863 and 1935.

Author and photographer Jacob Riis exposed the miserable conditions of tenement houses in his book How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890. (Read it on Google Books). The book was instrumental in urban reforms regulating the construction of tenements.

Free Databases | Museums | Photos | Social History
Thursday, June 24, 2010 11:04:06 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
10 Reasons to Enroll in Family Tree University
Posted by Allison


Family Tree University is the only program that combines a friendly, accessible style of genealogy instruction—popularized by Family Tree Magazine—with a state-of-the-art online learning environment to make genealogy education rewarding and fun.

Whether you're a family history newbie or veteran researcher, here are 10 reasons to take a Family Tree University course:

1. Easy-to-follow lessons show you how to find and use genealogy resources. Too often, how-to seminars and articles tell you that resources are available to you, but don't explain how to actually use them or where to get them.

2. The content is developed by experts who know genealogy and frequently write and teach about their course topics. You benefit from the expertise of someone who's been there and has experiences to share.

3. Courses are designed specifically for people who do genealogy for fun. Our students are people who, like you, want to get more from their hobby. Family Tree University isn't for professionals seeking certification (although you will get a "diploma" for each course you complete!).

4. There's a course for every genealogist. Class topics cover everything from using different types of records to preserving and sharing your research—check out our complete course list. (Don't see the course you'd most like to take? Email us.)

5. You can go to class in your jammies. There's no set time you have to show up for class—you can log in at 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning, whatever's convenient to you. And there's no one else in the room to see your bedhead or bunny slippers.

6. Connect with other genealogists. Each course has a private message board just for the students and instructor, where you can bounce around ideas and share your challenges with other researchers just like you.

7. You'll become a better researcher. The time, effort and money you invest in taking a Family Tree University course will pay dividends by teaching you how to trace your ancestors more efficiently, confidently and cost-effectively.

8. See research tools and techniques in action. Some concepts are easier shown than told. Family Tree University courses integrate photos, screen shots and even video demos into the lessons to enhance your learning experience.

9. You can save class materials for future reference. Each lesson and reading assignment is available as a PDF download, so that even after your course session concludes, you can keep all the materials to refer to later.

10. You'll make research progress. Our classes incorporate exercises that allow you to practice techniques and apply what you've learned to your own family history work.

Be sure to watch our "crash course" video to see a demonstration of how our courses work.


Family Tree University | Research Tips | Videos
Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:30:10 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, June 23, 2010
French Canadian Roots? Search the Drouin Collection Free June 24-26
Posted by Diane

Got French Candian ancestors? You’ll be thrilled to know that subscription genealogy site Ancestry.ca (the Canadian sister to Ancestry.com) is making its Drouin Collection—best available French Canadian genealogy resource—free for three days from June 24-26.

See the full Ancestry.ca announcement on Dick Eastman’s Genealogy blog. The freebie celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, a national holiday of Quebec on June 24. You’ll need a free Ancestry.ca registration to access the records.

(Note that the Drouin collection also is on Ancestry.com, but isn’t being made free there.)

The Drouin Collection has millions of names from family books of the Drouin Genealogical Institute, founded in 1899. Information comes from Quebec vital and notarial records, Acadian Catholic church records, Ontario Catholic church records and early US French Catholic church records. The collection dates from the beginning of European settlement to the 1940s, documenting many Quebec families over three centuries.

Want more information on researching your French  Canadian ancestors? See the French Canadian research guide in the June 2006 Family Tree Magazine, available as a digital download from ShopFamilyTree.com. (Family Tree Magazine Plus members can access the guide on FamilyTreeMagazine.com.)


Ancestry.com | Free Databases | French Canadian roots
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 1:10:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Tried the Free FamilySearch Record Databases Lately?
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch sent out an announcement that it’s added millions of names and digital images in 29 collections at the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot Site.

The same content is searchable at FamilySearch Beta, where a new interface and search options are being tested. Click Show Advanced to see all the search fields, which include birth and death year and place, as well as information about parents and spouse. You also can add year ranges designate search terms as exact.

I searched for the same ancestor on both sites, and the beta site seemed to do a better job of weeding out irrelevant results.

Many of the new records are international, comprising church, civil registration or census records from Costa Rica, France, Hungary, Mexico and Spain. In addition, the 1910 US census index grew by nine more states.

In all, the site has 428 record collections and counting. You can see them listed both on the Record Search Pilot and on FamilySearch Beta site.

You can get help using the genealogical resources of FamilySearch on FamilyTreeMagazine.com:


FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 12:42:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]