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# Tuesday, September 21, 2010
NY Historical Society Slavery Collection Goes Online
Posted by Diane

On the New York History blog today, I saw that the New York Historical Society has digitized nearly 12,000 pages of materials documenting US slavery, the Atlantic slave trade and the abolitionist movement.

NY Historical Society Slavery Collection

The diaries, account books, letter books, ships’ logs, indentures, bills of sale, personal papers and institutional records date form the 18th and 19th centuries, and come from 14 collections. Among them are records of the New York Manumission Society and African Free School, papers of the Boston anti-slavery activist Lysander Spooner, records of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, and an account book of the slave trading firm Bolton, Dickens & Co.

The materials aren’t searchable by name, but you can browse them on the society’s website. Use the Quick navigation pull-down menu to choose a collection, then a record image viewer will open in a new window.

African-American roots | Genealogy societies
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:36:12 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, September 20, 2010
Exploring German Roots
Posted by Diane

Here in Family Tree Magazine’s hometown of Cincinnati, where the population in 1900 was 60 percent German-Americans and a downtown neighborhood is called Over the Rhine, Oktoberfest is a pretty big deal.

The oldest and biggest Oktoberfest, of course, starts in late September in Munich, Germany—which is celebrating its 200th Oktoberfest this year.

Oct. 12, 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen held a grand horse race in Munich to celebrate their wedding five days earlier. The successful event was held again the next year and the next, and Germans—who continue to claim the largest ancestor group in US censuses—brought the celebration to the United States.

Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest includes the Chicken Dance and plenty of goetta, aka “Cincinnati Caviar.” Supposedly, ours is the largest celebration in the United States. Other Oktoberfests take place across the country in towns such as  La Crosse, Wis.; Fredericksburg, Texas; and Tulsa, Okla.

Here’s our article about how a fellow Cincinnati genealogist unpuzzled surname variations to discover his German roots.

Our German Heritage Toolkit has helpful articles for you to explore your own German roots, including
... and more. For extra assistance, you can download our research guide to German ancestors, available from ShopFamilyTree.com or look into our Find Your German Roots Family Tree University course

Family Tree Magazine Plus members with German roots can check out our online research guides to Prussian and Bavarian ancestors, and to Germanic ancestors who lived outside of German borders.


German roots | International Genealogy | Research Tips
Monday, September 20, 2010 2:54:22 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 17, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Sept. 13-17
Posted by Diane

  • FamilySearch.org recently added 5 million new indexed names and images to its free databases. These 48 new and updated collections come from 19 different countries, including the first records from Nicaragua and Sri Lanka. Also included are church and civil registration record from Brazil; baptism, marriage and death records from Canada; Swedish church records; vital, tax and other records from the United States; and more. You can search the records at FamilySearch beta.
  • I came across a website called Tools of History, a collaborative digitization project for historical manuscripts, photographs, maps, drawings, books and artifacts from south central New York State. Among the collection sare photos of the Daughters of Charity at Lourdes Hospital, Atlases of Chemung County and something intriguing called the “murder pamphlet collection” (looks to be old books, letters, sermons and other accounts of cases in the area). Definitely a site worth exploring if you have ancestors there.
  • Ancestry.com has introduced a new feature called Suggested Records that, well, suggests records for you to check. The suggested records list is being tested on results pages in the 1900 census and the WWI draft registration collections.
If the record you’re viewing has been saved to any member family trees, the list will suggest other records have been saved to the same nodes on those member trees. Randy Seaver takes a close look at Suggested Records on his Genea-Musings blog.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Libraries and Archives
Friday, September 17, 2010 3:52:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Happy Constitution Day!
Posted by Diane

Today is Constitution Day, the 223rd anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution Sept. 17, 1787. (It wasn't ratified by the necessary nine states until 1788.)

Ours is the oldest and shortest written constitution among major governments. More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced; 33 have gone to states for ratification and 27 have actually become part of the Constitution. The first 10 of those are the Bill of Rights, added in 1791.

The law establishing Constitution Day was passed in 2004 (before that, today was known as Citizenship Day). Here are some links for more information:
  • The National Constitution Center’s Constitution Day website (you can see which Founding Father you’re most like and take a US citizenship quiz)
Find out more about the Revolutionary era in The Everything American Revolution Book by Daniel P. Murphy, Ph.D., available from ShopFamilyTree.com.


Social History
Friday, September 17, 2010 11:18:29 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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]