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<2010 August>

More Links

# Tuesday, 31 August 2010
New Genealogy Classes for September
Posted by Grace

Thinking of going back to school? Family Tree University's September session begins Monday, Sept 13, and we've got three new courses for you. Read on for the whole course catalog!

New: Organize Your Genealogy: Get Your Research in Order (and Keep It That Way)
Whether you work on paper or do everything online, getting your research organized is essential to keeping track of ancestors and making sure you know where to put new ones in your family tree.

New: Trace Your Polish Roots: Strategies for Searching in the US and Poland Trace your ancestors from America to Poland. This course will debunk myths, explain history and point you to the most useful records.

New: Newspaper Research 101: Find Your Ancestors in American News Sources
In this class you'll learn how to find and use newspaper archives—online, on paper and on microfilm—to put together missing pieces of your genealogical research.

These classes will help you preserve your family's legacy and get creative with your genealogy:

Editor's Pick | Family Tree University
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:22:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Family Tree Maker 2011 Released
Posted by Diane

Online genealogy company has released Family Tree Maker 2011, an updated version of its genealogy desktop software.

You can purchase Family Tree Maker with a full subscription or a free trial. The software also comes with either a printed or electronic Companion Guide. It starts at $39.95 online at and at some retail stores.

The 2011 version has more than 100 improvements, including:

Smart Stories: An editor that lets you drag and drop text and photos from your Family Tree Maker tree into story pages that update automatically when you make changes to your tree.

Timelines: You’ll be able to find and add more events to your ancestors' timelines and add your own historical events.

Charts: The 2011 version has four new fan chart styles. You can enhance charts with backgrounds, borders and embellishments, and change fonts based on fact type.

Improved integration: A hallmark of Family Tree Maker is its ability to search’s records collections for people in users’ family trees when the computer is connected to the internet. An subscription is required to see results. Uploading and downloading of your tree is faster in version 2011, and you can see your Member Connect activity and related message board posts right on your home page.

Media management: Drag and drop, cut and paste, and categorize multiple items at the same time. A new tool helps you locate missing media files.

Enhanced reports: Ancestor and descendant reports have been enhanced, and there’s a new surname report. You can now sort your custom reports, and save and reuse report settings. is holding a free Family Tree Maker 2011 webinar Sept. 15 at 8 pm Eastern. You can register by clicking here. | Genealogy Software
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 08:35:40 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 30 August 2010
Two Days Left in $250 Giveaway!
Posted by Diane

You have only two more days to enter to win our $250 shopping spree! The sweepstakes ends Aug. 31 at 11:59 Eastern.

You can enter up to once per day at (Read all the rules here.)

The winner will be able to choose from hundreds of expert genealogy how-to books, CDs, and other products, such as

Genealogy fun | Sales
Monday, 30 August 2010 10:14:32 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Friday, 27 August 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Aug. 23-27
Posted by Diane

  • The Federation of Genealogical Societies has re-launched its Society Hall online directory. If you think you know the name of the genealogical society, historical society, family association or library you want to contact, you can search by keyword; otherwise, choose a state from the drop-down menu for a list of societies in that state (note that the directory might not include every society in the state).
  • An Irish library and museum website called Ask About Ireland has posted an important Irish record group free online: Griffith’s Primary Valuation is an accounting of property values in Ireland that took place between 1847 and 1864. You can search by a family name and place, or use the Place Name search to search by just a place. 
Each result contains the family name, the first name, county and parish. Click links to see details for the individual (landlord and tenant names, location, and publication information for the original map), the person’s residence plotted on a map, and a copy of the original Griffith's Valuation page entry.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Free Databases | Genealogy societies | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 27 August 2010 14:42:33 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0] Launches Largest Online School Yearbook Collection
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site beefed up its school yearbook collection to total 10,000 yearbooks and 60 million records (names), staking a claim to the largest searchable collection of yearbooks available online.

I like the idea of yearbooks as genealogical resources because of the potential of finding a photo of an ancestor as a young person, and learning about interests such as tennis or science (you won't find that in the census).'s collection contains two databases: US School Yearbooks, which already was on the site; and US School Yearbooks Index, the new additions.

The yearbooks come from military, public, parochial and private high schools, junior highs, academies, colleges and universities from almost every state. The books date from 1875 to 1988. Click here to search.

The search can be a bit frustrating. The first and last names you type in won’t necessarily be near each other on the yearbook pages in your search results, so you’ll get a lot of irrelevant matches. Adding a place of residence and a birth year or range will help.

Once you do find somebody, you can page through the book to see if he or she is photographed or listed elsewhere (such as with the football team or on a “Most Popular” list). Also try to find yearbooks for other years the person spent at that high school or college.
Friday, 27 August 2010 12:28:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 26 August 2010
Posted by Diane

Funny stuff! On, the companion website to our latest book, Grave Humor, you can:
  • See funny tombstone photos (some from the book, some sent in by our fellow funny gravestone enthusiasts)
  • Meet the author, Mr. M.T. Coffin.
  • Download free Grave Humor wallpaper for your computer, iPhone or iPad
  • Submit photos of the funny gravestones you’ve encountered in your cemetery adventures
  • ... and, of course, buy a copy of Grave Humor for your very own (on sale now for $8.79!) 

Grave Humor

Cemeteries | Editor's Pick | Genealogy fun
Thursday, 26 August 2010 09:01:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Library Contest Seeks Historical Treasures for Digitization
Posted by Diane

Do you own a historical record that cries out for digitization? Maybe a diary from a Civil War ancestor, a payroll ledger from a shipping company or a Colonial-era letter?

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is holding its second annual Digitization Contest to find historical treasures to scan and post online.

Documents, letters, diaries, and even large-scale items such as posters and maps are eligible. To enter, complete the short online entry form by the Oct. 1 deadline.

A panel of judges will narrow the entry pool and post information about the treasures online for public voting. The library will digitize the treasures receiving the most votes and add the images to its free Virtual Library website.

The library’s digitization equipment (updated even since our tour just a couple of years ago)  can create high-quality images of fragile items without causing damage.

Learn more on the Digitization Contest website.

Family Heirlooms | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives
Wednesday, 25 August 2010 13:00:29 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Listen Up! August 2010 Podcast Now Available
Posted by Diane

A bunch of booth visitors at last week’s Federation of Genealogical Society conference said “I love your podcast!” You can see what they mean in the just-released Family Tree Magazine Podcast August episode, available now for free through iTunes and on our website.

Here’s what you’ll discover:
  • Tips and websites for determining whether you’ve found your Harry Smith (or whomever) from author and professional genealogist Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
  • A discussion on news from the blogosphere with yours truly
  • A sneak peek at the upcoming November 2010 Family Tree Magazine with publisher and editorial director Allison Stacy
Get the August 2010 Show Notes on

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Genealogy Web Sites | Podcasts | Research Tips
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 16:50:10 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 23 August 2010
A Visit to the East Tennessee History Center
Posted by Diane

I blogged a bit a couple of weeks ago about the East Tennessee History Center and the research collections inside. Friday morning while attending the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, I wandered the three or four blocks over to the center for a peek.

The center, renovated and expanded in 2004, is in the old Federal Customs House, constructed in 1874.

The Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, part of the Knox County Public Library, is on the third floor. The staff graciously let me take some photos, which are normally prohibited in the research rooms. The collection covers East Tennessee as well as other regions and states, especially those where folks who left Tennessee ended up.

The reading room was once a Federal courtroom, with the reference desk positioned about where the judge ruled from his bench.

Downstairs on the first floor, part of the Museum of East Tennessee history occupies what used to be a post office. Exhibits—multilayered with documents, artifacts, images, video and audio—start with the Cherokee Indians who inhabited the area and go all the way through the settling of the frontier, the work of the Tennessee Valley Authority and up to the World’s Fair of the 1980s.

Inside an old reassembled log cabin, you could watch a video about the Civil War in East Tennessee.

I especially liked the displays focusing on regional Appalachian crafts such as broom-making, basketry and quilting,

as well as the blue grass, gospel, country and other musical genres that evolved here. 

You can pay a virtual visit to the East Tennessee History Center here

Libraries and Archives | Museums | Social History
Monday, 23 August 2010 10:37:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Saturday, 21 August 2010
All Smiles at FGS!
Posted by Diane

A couple of photos for you from the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Knoxville, Tenn:

Terry Nicholson (right), a fellow Ohioan, was the lucky winner of our door prize, our 10 Years of Family Tree Magazine DVD. That's Family Tree Magazine publisher and editorial director Allison Stacy congratulating her.

Four of our Family Tree University instructors gathered at our booth yesterday for a meet-and-greet with FTU students and prospective students. There was even some "FTU!" chanting, led by Find Your German Roots instructor James M. Beidler (second from right). The others pictured are (left to right) Tim Pinnick, instructor of Finding African-American Ancestors in Newspapers; Jana Sloan Broglin, Finding Ancestors in the US Census; and Diana Crisman Smith, US Military Records and Land Records 101.

You can read all about FTU instructors at

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Saturday, 21 August 2010 11:37:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]