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# Thursday, September 16, 2010
Please Stand By ...
Posted by Diane

You might've noticed that this blog's links to pages FamilyTreeMagazine.com and FamilyTreeUniversity.com haven't been working for the past few hours. Those sites are down, but rest assured my colleagues a floor below me are working hard to get them back online.

For those who subscribe to our free, weekly e-mail newsletter, which contains links into the above sites, we're planning to hold it until tomorrow so we can make sure the sites are working properly.

We apologize, and thank you very much for your patience.

Update: It looks like we're A-OK again, and the newsletter has gone out. Thanks again for bearing with us!



Thursday, September 16, 2010 5:05:56 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
International Genealogy Passport Helps You Trace Ancestors Around the World
Posted by Diane



One of the newest additions to ShopFamilyTree.com is our CD International Genealogy Passport: Your Ticket to Tracing Your Roots in the Old Country.



This is an update to the International Genealogy Passport we published in early 2007 (our very first CD). That one was popular, so we thought it was time for a brand-new version with updated listings of websites, books and archives for countries around the globe, plus some other enhancements.

Distance, language, hard-to-access records and travel costs can make it challenging to do genealogy research in your ancestral homeland, so the new International Genealogy Passport gives you a head start with:
  • country-by-country genealogy resources for Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean
  • best websites for learning about history, culture, records and genealogical research (just click each URL to visit the site)
  • bibliographies of how-to books and published indexes to relevant records for each place. Book titles link to free online versions when available
  • addresses, phone numbers and websites of important repositories
  • expert tips for contacting overseas repositories
  • our guide to tracing your ancestors to the old country—without having to book a plane ticket
  • maps of 53 countries show you major administrative divisions, capitals and large cities
The new International Genealogy Passport CD is available now for pre-order for $14.99 at ShopFamilyTree.com (it qualifies for our free standard shipping on US orders over $25).

If you’re a Family Tree Magazine VIP member, remember to log in to the store to get your 10 percent discount.


Editor's Pick | International Genealogy | Research Tips
Thursday, September 16, 2010 10:08:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy Tips Galore in Our Latest Free Podcast
Posted by Diane

The September 2010 edition of the free Family Tree Magazine podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, is now available. You can listen in on chats abut family history resources and tips including
  • Space-saving ideas for your genealogy stuff, from Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Rick Crume
  • Grace Dobush talks about new scanners that are small enough to take along on your next research trip
Get the show notes (which list products and websites mentioned in the episode) on FamilyTreeMagazine.com. You can listen there, too.
Family Tree University | Genealogy Web Sites | Podcasts | Research Tips
Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:16:11 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 15, 2010
FamilyLink to Offer Maps From Historic Map Works
Posted by Diane

In a new partnership, genealogy social networking company FamilyLink, (owners of the World Vital Records subscription site and the FamilyLink Facebook app, among others) will soon provide FamilyLink members with access to the historical maps collection of Historic Map Works.

Based in Maine, Historic Map Works has 1,510,883 online map images. You can search and view maps on the site, but you need credits or a subscription to access advanced features. (Some libraries also offer an institutional version of the site.)

According to FamilyLink's press release, the site will add more than 1.3 million maps and 1 million names from Historic Map Works. FamilyLink users will be able to find homes and properties of ancestors, and to overlay old maps on top of current ones to see exactly where their ancestors lived.

I’m not sure whether the maps will be accessible to FamilyLink’s basic (free) members, or whether they’ll be accessible to members of Family Link Plus, a new subscription membership that provides access to genealogy records. I'll let you know what I find out. Update: Gena Philbert Ortega, FamilyLink's Genealogy Community Director, confirms that the maps will be available to FamilyLink Plus members.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Social Networking
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:43:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Genealogy Tips for Hispanic Heritage Month
Posted by Diane

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept. 15, the anniversary of the 1821 declaration of independence for the Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

September also is marks the independence days of Mexico (16th), Chile (18th) and Belize (21st).

President Lyndon Johnson approved Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded the observation to cover a 30-day period ending Oct. 15.

The month celebrates the long and important presence of people of Hispanic descent in North America. The Spanish fortress of St. Augustine, Fla., founded in 1565, is the first continuously inhabited European settlement in North America. The Spanish explored the US Southwest in the 16th century and founded Santa Fe, NM, in 1610.

The website Our American History/La Historia de Nuestra América relates the part the Spanish and Hispanic Americans played in the American Revolution—a role I have to admit I’ve never learned much about.

You can research Hispanic roots with help from our Hispanic Heritage Toolkit, which has articles including
...and more.

In ShopFamilyTree.com, you can snap up our digital research guides to Mexican roots and Spanish and Portuguese roots.

If it’s language tips you need (maybe for reading records or visiting your ancestral homeland), try our Everything Guides to learning Spanish and learning Brazilian Portuguese.


Hispanic Roots | International Genealogy
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 2:15:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, September 13, 2010
Free Genealogy Backup Service Launches Today
Posted by Diane

BackUpMyTree, a free online backup service for your genealogy files, launched today.

After you install BackupMyTree software, created by the team behind Pearl Street Software and its Family Tree Legends genealogy program (purchased by MyHeritage in 2007), the software will automatically find family tree files on your computer. It creates a remote, off-site backup you can restore if necessary, and maintains multiple previous versions of your files.

You also can opt to manually upload files through your browser, rather than install the BackupMyTree software.

The service is free. “In the future, we will offer a Pro version of our service for a small yearly fee,” says creator Cliff Shaw. “This version will offer more features, but we will always keep the free version the way it is.”

In addition, there’s no limit on the file size you can store—yet. “If we impose some sort of limit in the future, it will be a very high limit, and we will let all our users know,” Shaw says.

Note that photos and other media included in your tree aren’t yet backed up. According to the site’s FAQ: “We plan on adding this in the near future. Family Tree Maker [genealogy software] often stores photos inside the file, so these photos are backed up as a function of being included in the file.”

BackupMyTree software works on Windows systems. The service supports the genealogy applications Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File, RootsMagic 4, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Legends, Family Tree Builder, and GenoPro.


Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | Tech Advice
Monday, September 13, 2010 11:31:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Friday, September 10, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Sept. 6-10
Posted by Diane

  • Today (Sept. 10) marks the 20th anniversary of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum opening in 1990. More than 35 million people have visited the museum, which highlights the immigrant experience and the growth of America during the peak immigration years of 1880 to 1924. You can read more about the museum on the Ellis Island website.
For help searching online for your Ellis Island ancestors, download our Ellis Island Web Guide from ShopFamilyTree.com or use the book The Family Tree Guide to Finding Your Ellis Island Ancestors (on sale for $12.99).
  • Pay-per-view genealogy website ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk was officially relaunched with a new look and and new search features, including search results plotted on maps, to make it easier for you to find ancestors. The site offers records dating to the beginning of civil registration in Scotland in 1855, as well as parish records dating back as far as 1538.
  • FamilySearch’s army of volunteer indexers have started work on the 1930 census, currently the most recent US census available to researchers. As with several other FamilySearch census indexes, volunteers will start with Ancestry.com indexes and create a second comparison index from scratch, then arbitrate discrepancies to reduce errors. FamilySearch also will extract additional fields of census data for improved searchability. You can read more about this project on the FamilySearch blog.


census records | FamilySearch | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 10, 2010 10:03:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 09, 2010
Course Preview: Trace Your Polish Roots
Posted by Grace

If you're among the more than 9 million Americans with Polish roots, Trace Your Polish Roots: Strategies for Searching in the US and Poland will help you find your Polish ancestors by debunking myths, explaining history and pointing you to the most useful records. Ceil Wendt Jensen teaches the class, which includes helpful information like this:
The first step to finding your Polish ancestors starts here in the United States. The core records to look for are the US census and naturalization papers. The census will pinpoint the date of arrival in the US for the family members and state if the males had alien status or were naturalized. It will also offer the key to finding the region the family hailed from: German Poland, Russian Poland or Austrian Poland. Poland was not on the map for 123 years, so ethnic Poles carried papers stating they were subjects of the governing countries.
Sign up here! The next session starts Monday, Sept. 13.


Family Tree University
Thursday, September 09, 2010 5:43:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
What's in The Family Tree Sourcebook?
Posted by Diane


I’m a little biased this week in choosing the book that was my baby for most of the spring and early summer.

The Family Tree Sourcebook, now available for pre-order (and on sale at 34 percent off), is a reference book with all the information you need to trace your roots across the United States:
  • A summary of genealogy research in every state, with a historical overview, vital records information, tips on other major records to look for and places to begin, and maps showing county boundaries.
  • Detailed county-level data telling you which county office to contact for court, probate, vital, and other types of records. Here’s an example:

  • Names, addresses, phone numbers and websites for helpful libraries, archives, and genealogical and historical societies in each state.
  • Bibliographies listing genealogical and historical books that will help you further your research in each state.

  • Special sections on the best websites for state-based research, as well as broader-scope, national resources.
The book comes with a free 30-day trial of Family Tree Magazine Plus, our members-only, online archive of expert genealogy articles from past issues of Family Tree Magazine. (The book’s content also is searchable online as part of a Plus membership.)

You can pre-order The Family Tree Sourcebook now (and get the sale price) at ShopFamilyTree.com.

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, September 09, 2010 10:35:29 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Major Updates to FamilySearch Beta Site
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has announced a major upgrade of its FamilySearch Beta site. Its usefulness has already outpaced FamilySearch's familiar Pilot Record Search site. New features, including the following, make the beta site easier to use and nudge it closer to replacing FamilySearch.org:
  • A new web address at beta.familysearch.org  (though fsbeta.familysearch.org still works).

  • New records, including all those found at the Pilot Record Search site and more, for 450-plus collections.

  • Alphabetized browsing (click All Collections on the FamilySearch Beta home page to access it) so you can quickly find the collections you’re looking for. In most cases, the collection title begins with the name of the state or country where the records were created.

  • If you’re interested in only collections with record images, you can click All Collections, then check a box at the bottom left to see only titles of collection with images.

  • You can type apostrophes into the search fields to find names such as O’Hara.

  • You can filter your search results by collection category. 

  • When viewing a record, you can click to see the previous or next record image in the collection.

  • Census results now list all household members with their genders and ages.

  • If you’re searching Trees (a link on the FamilySearch Beta home page), where the information from FamilySearch’s Ancestral File is, you can find people by event year—that is, the year of birth, death or marriage.
  • For easier navigation and viewing of the site, you’ll find new labels in the header and footer, enhanced color contrast, and visited links that change colors once you’ve already clicked them.


FamilySearch
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:31:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]