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<July 2010>

More Links

# Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Meet Lindsay the Intern!
Posted by Diane

Everyone, please say hi to Lindsay, the Family Tree Magazine intern! As she helps put together magazine issues, books and digital downloads, she’s hoping to learn all about genealogy while gaining experience in the magazine biz.

Lindsay will keep you updated on how her genealogy education is going right here on the Genealogy Insider blog—here’s her first post:
Earlier this year, my mom sent me the following email:

“Lu, you won't believe this, but we are related to Audrey Hepburn! She is my 13th cousin, one time removed! We are also related to a host of other famous people, on my mother's side. Katharine Hepburn is our 4th cousin 2 times removed, Isaac Newton is our 3rd cousin 13 times removed, Howard Hughes is our 8th cousin 1 time removed and then we are related to Edwin Hubble, Ed and John Tilly, more Mayflower passengers, several First Ladies, Jane Austen 8th cousin 5 times removed, Richard Lovelace, another author 5th cousin, 9 times removed, Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Browning 14th cousin, 1 time removed. Anne of Russia, who was an Empress of Russia, Alexandre Dumas is our 12th cousin, 5 times removed.

“Now this is just from my Grandma's Father's side of the family.  We are probably related to some much more amazing people and we will figure it out, eventually.”
Are you thinking, “what a strange and diverse group of relatives”? I didn’t give this message too much thought at the time. I probably said something along the lines of “That’s so neat, Mom! Several First Ladies?” and thought little more of it.
That is, until I joined Family Tree Magazine as its 2010 summer intern. My name is Lindsay Sena and even though I started this internship a month ago, I’m still just beginning to learn the ins-and-outs of genealogy research. I may be fresh out of college, but I realize that it would be nonsensical to pass up the amazing resources at FTM (read: it will be years until I can afford my own subscription to

So last week I finally sat down and began filling out a five-generation chart. Luckily, my mom offered me information that went far beyond five-generations—including one line that a cousin traced all the way back to the 16th century (I hope to verify this—you may see why I have developed a skepticism of this information). Because my family tree was overflowing, I transferred the data to a tree on and have been regularly updating and revising.

It is a privilege to be working at Family Tree Magazine. I understand now why people are so passionate about genealogy; it’s the thrill of unraveling the mystery, which is your unique heritage. I’ve already uncovered some pretty juicy stuff, and I plan to blog at least once a week with my progress.

So, Genealogy Insider readers, as I embark on this genealogy journey, please offer me any suggestions and advice—I can use all of the help I can get!

Family Tree Firsts
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 4:12:22 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Monday, July 12, 2010
NARA Opens Voting for Website Redesign
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is redesigning its website to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

Check out the four design options and cast your vote here. Update: Voting has closed, but you still can use this link to check out the design options.

All the new home page designs feature fewer links than the dizzying number on the current home page. I love all the information on the site, but it can be difficult to find what you need.

You can learn more about the NARA redesign—including how the public participated in creating the organizational structure of the new site—here.

Family Tree Magazine guides you through finding genealogy answers on NARA’s current site in our National Archives Web Guide, available from

Family Tree Magazine articles | NARA
Monday, July 12, 2010 4:39:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Thursday, July 08, 2010
101 Best (Free) Genealogy Websites for 2010!
Posted by Diane

We’re excited this week to announce the 101 Best Genealogy Web Sites for 2010—a compilation of our favorite free sites for researching family history.

This year’s 101 Best Websites are all free—and by free, we mean the primary function or content is free. You can go to the site and find what you wanted to find or do what you intended to do without getting out your credit card.

The sites appear in the September 2010 Family Tree Magazine (now mailing to subscribers), and we’ve also posted them free on so anyone can click right through to these great tools for family tree research.

The sites are divided into 13 categories (for big, free sites; genealogy records sites; sites for researching immigrants; African-American research sites; etc.). Just click a category name to see the sites in that category.

So start exploring these 101 websites and see what ancestral discoveries you make.

You’ll soon begin to see the selected sites wearing their “101 Best Sites” badges. Congratulations to all the selected sites, and a huge thank-you for putting our family histories within a little closer reach.

For more help researching your family tree on the web, see the Online Genealogy store at

Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Thursday, July 08, 2010 11:05:36 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Your Civil War Ancestors
Posted by Diane

Do you have a treasured photo of a Civil War ancestor? To mark next year’s sesquicentennial of the start of the War Between the States, we’re putting together a special Civil War 2011 commemorative calendar featuring Family Tree Magazine readers’ ancestors.

If you’d like your Civil War ancestor—male or female, adult or child—to be featured, just submit your photo to our Civil War ancestors’ Flickr pool.

Note that you must have a Flickr membership (free or paid) to upload photos or add comments. Click here to learn more about Flickr.

Please include in the caption any details you know about the photo and who's in it, and tell us where you found it (for example, in your family's collection, at a historical society, etc.).

You may submit as many times as you like. There’s no need to post your real name if you prefer not to, but to be credited if your photo is selected for the calendar, please provide your name and your city or town of residence. (The photo above shows Martin Dively, third-great grandfather of Andrea A. Walter.)

If you have questions or wish to submit a photo by other means, you may e-mail your question or submission to us. Please attach a high-resolution image (at least 300 dpi).

And for the fine print: By submitting photos and captions via Flickr or e-mail, you verify that no other party holds copyright to the image. You also grant F+W Media, Inc., permission to use your contribution in any and all print and electronic media.

Military records | Photos
Wednesday, July 07, 2010 3:45:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Free Family Tree Magazine Webinar: Ask the Editors
Posted by Diane

I’m excited and nervous all at the same time about this week’s editor’s pick: For the first time ever, we’re hosting a live, online Q&A session with readers.

It’s in the form of a free webinar called Ask the Editors: Family Tree Magazine Answers Your Questions, on Wed., Aug. 11, from 7 to 8 pm Eastern.

Yours truly will host, along with publisher/editorial director Allison Stacy and online editor Grace Dobush.

The part that makes me a little nervous is that it’s mostly unscripted: You can ask any question you have about genealogy, research methods or Family Tree Magazine. While we can’t guarantee resolutions to research problems, we’ll try to tackle anything you throw our way.

Click here to register for our free Ask the Editors webinar.

After you submit your registration, you’ll get a confirmation e-mail with the link you’ll use to attend the webinar when it’s time (you’ll also get reminder e-mails as the date approaches). After the webinar, attendees will receive an e-mail with a link to access a recording of the webinar.

And don’t forget to check out our July 21 webinar, Ellis Island: Find Your Ancestor in a Sea of Online Records. As of today, you still can save $10 on registration.

Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, July 07, 2010 3:11:02 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, July 06, 2010
NARA Archives I Adds Saturday Record Pulls in July
Posted by Diane

Great news for those taking research vacations this month to the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC, called Archives I.

Archives I is starting a pilot program to “pull” paper records (retrieve them from storage for viewing in the Research Room) on Saturdays during July.

The Saturday pull times are 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Previously, staff did not pull any records on Saturdays. (Note that Archives II in College Park, Md., isn't participating in the pilot program.)

Weekday pull times are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, there’s an additional pull at 3:30 p.m.

Researchers at the archives need to fill out and submit a Reference Service Slip for each requested record, which staff will retrieve at the next pull time. Without Saturday pulls, weekend researchers have to submit their requests early, or limit themselves to using microfilm, which is self-service.

For information on researching at the National Archives in Washington, DC, see its online guide.

You can use many National Archives resources at home through Learn how to make the most of this site from our National Archives Web Guide, available from

Tuesday, July 06, 2010 10:16:40 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, July 02, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: June 28-July 2
Posted by Diane

A free website called London Lives has posted 240,000 manuscripts and 3.35 million names of “non-elite” 18th-century Londoners. Sources include criminal and court records, parish registers, workhouse records and more. (Click here for more details about the resources.) Registration isn’t necessary to search, but you can register to create a personal workspace and link documents together into biographies.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has announced that Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, head of the National Archives and Records Administration, will speak at the FGS annual conference Focus on Societies Luncheon on Aug. 18 in Knoxville, Tenn. Learn more on the FGS conference blog.

Two items from the National Archives and Records Administration this Fourth of July weekend: First, the archives has a new logo, which will be featured on the archives’ first-ever float in the National Independence Day Parade. What do you think? I like it!

Second, the National Archives is launching a video series called Inside the Vaults, which will take you behind the scenes as staff and research highlight new finds at the archives, and report on “complicated and technical subjects.” The first video features the conservation of the Declaration of Independence and a mysterious handprint in the lower-left corner of the document.

Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA | UK and Irish roots | Videos
Friday, July 02, 2010 3:21:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Tell Us What You'd Like to See in Family Tree Magazine
Posted by Diane

This is the time of year when we plan future Family Tree Magazine issues and how-to genealogy products, so we're hoping you'll lend a hand by sharing your thoughts on some ideas we cooked up for 2011 and beyond.

Please take our 3-minute survey by clicking here.

At the end, you'll get a coupon code for 15 percent off the genealogy books, CDs, Family Tree Magazine back issues, and webinar recordings in

Family Tree Magazine articles | Sales
Friday, July 02, 2010 8:43:04 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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 and! Here’s how you can save $$ while becoming a better genealogist:
  • At, 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 | 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

Footnote | Free Databases | Military records
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:35:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]