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# Friday, September 24, 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Sept. 20-24
Posted by Diane

  • The California Family History Expo is coming up Oct. 8-9 in Pleasanton, Calif. The exhibit hall is free, but you must register ($65 in advance; $75 at the door) to attend classes. Here’s a neat option for those who can’t go to the whole conference: If you’d like to attend just a few classes, you can do so for $12 per class. Register on the Family History Expos website
  • The FamilySearch Beta site has added nearly 2 million new digital images of historical records this week from the Dominican Republic, Italy, Jamaica, Spain, and the United States.
Note that not all of the new records are indexed yet, which means that they’re not included in the search, so you may need to browse. Use the filters on the left side of the Collection List page to navigate to the country, then possibly the type of record and/or province, then select the record set you want to browse.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives | Museums | NARA
Friday, September 24, 2010 1:10:01 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, September 23, 2010
More on Ancestry.com's Acquisition of Footnote
Posted by Diane

Does it feel like Ancestry.com’s been on a shopping spree, with this year’s acquisitions of Swedish records site Genline, research firm ProGenealogistsand now iArchives, parent company of historical records subscription service Footnote?

iArchives started in 1994 and provides document digitization services to libraries, universities, archives and newspapers across the country. Footnote launched in January 2007 as a way to bring that content to home users.

We suspect that even more than the Footnote website, Ancestry.com values the relationships and contracts that iArchives has already established with record-holding institutions. That would make it easier for Ancestry.com to negotiate content digitization agreements.

We love that when it launched, Footnote provided something different for genealogists at a time when online genealogical innovation seemed to have stalled. Footnote’s search interface, records viewer, social networking options and emphasis on history in addition to genealogy still distinguish it from other genealogy database sites.

We just hope Footnote doesn’t turn into another Genealogy.com, a site Ancestry.com purchased in 2003 and still maintains, but has allowed to languish while it pours resources into the stronger Ancestry.com site. We’re also curious how this acquisition will affect another Ancestry.com competitor, Archives.com, which offers Footnote’s census indexes to its subscribers.

The genealogy of the genealogy industry does seem to always lead to Ancestry.com. Rather than a long explanation, here's a quick sketch of the acquisitions and major content partnerships I could think of (Ancestry.com has formed content partnerships with many organizations; I listed only two).


Ancestry.com | Footnote | Genealogy Industry
Thursday, September 23, 2010 11:56:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
Introducing Family Tree University Independent Study
Posted by Diane


I wanted to let you know about a new way to take Family Tree University courses that’s now available at ShopFamilyTree.com:

Family Tree University Independent Study Courses let you access all the course study materials—syllabus, lessons, exercises and Reading Assignment articles from Family Tree Magazine—on a CD or as a PDF download to go through at your own pace.

Available Independent Study Courses include:
All the courses were developed by genealogy experts (meet the instructors here) and include examples of genealogy records; step-by-step demos; links to related online content such as articles, videos and tutorials—everything you need to improve your research skills and develop an in-depth understanding of the topic.

So what’s the difference between Independent Study and regular Family Tree University courses? Independent Study offers the expertise for you to use now or weeks from now, as fast or slow as you’d like. Regular Family Tree University courses cover the same topics with a bit more structure, with a set four-week session and interaction with an instructor.

See all the Family Tree University Independent Study Courses here. The PDF downloads are available now; the CDs are available for pre-order with an estimated ship date of Sept. 30.

Editor's Pick | Family Tree University
Thursday, September 23, 2010 10:29:57 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Ancestry.com to Acquire iArchives and Footnote.com
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire iArchives, Inc., and its subscription genealogy website Footnote.com.

The purchase price will be about $27 million in a mix of Ancestry.com stock, cash and assumption of liabilities. The transaction, which will make iArchives a wholly owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com, is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2010. As part of the transaction, Ancestry.com expects to issue approximately a million shares of common stock.

“This acquisition will provide the company with a complementary consumer brand, expanded content offerings, and enhanced digitization and image-viewing technologies,” states Ancestry.com’s announcement.

Here’s the full announcement on Ancestry.com’s iArchives acquisition.

Update: See our additional commentary on the acquisition here.


Ancestry.com | Footnote | Genealogy Industry
Thursday, September 23, 2010 8:41:54 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [8]
# Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Register Now for FREE FTU Class: Discover Your Family Tree
Posted by Diane

When you’re a family history newbie, the prospect of diving into your roots research can seem overwhelming.

We’ll help you get started with our free, two-week Family Tree University course called Discover Your Family Tree: Genealogy for the Absolute Beginner.

This course, which begins Monday, Oct. 11, will start you on the fun and rewarding journey of discovering your roots. You’ll learn how to begin, where to look for information to extend your family tree, what to do with what you find and how to put it all together. Family Tree Magazine publisher and editorial director Allison Stacy is the instructor.

Family Tree University courses are self-paced. You download each lesson (two for this course; four for most others) and any accompanying articles and go through it at your computer, or you can print the materials. Each lesson concludes with a quiz or exercise. You’ll receive feedback from your instructor via e-mail, and you can communicate with the instructor and your fellow students on a message board.

Registration is open now at FamilyTreeUniversity.com for the free, two-week class Discover Your Family Tree: Genealogy for the Absolute Beginner.

The next session of Family Tree University how-to genealogy courses begins Oct. 11. You can see all the offerings on FamilyTreeUniversity.com.


Family Tree Firsts | Family Tree University | Research Tips
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 1:41:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]