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# Monday, October 04, 2010
Be Our Family Tree Firsts Blogger!
Posted by Diane

In another of our Family History Month happenings, Family Tree Magazine seeks a genealogy newbie to blog about exploring his or her roots.

We're looking for someone who enjoys writing and is interested in his or her family history, but is just starting—or hasn't yet started—to research it.

To enter, compose your first blog post and fill out our entry form.

Magazine editors will select a winner based on the strength of the application to be our Family Tree Firsts Blogger. Then, over six months, the blogger will have access to our how-to genealogy products, classes and webinars, and products, services and surprises from our partners. The blogger will blog twice a week to tell the world about his/her genealogical experiences and finds, and he/she will even appear in a future issue of Family Tree Magazine.

We’re super excited about seeing the world of genealogy through the eyes of a newbie! If you’re new to genealogy and you love to write, click here to apply. Or if you know someone who fits the bill, send him or her to this post. The deadline is Oct. 31.


Family Tree Firsts
Monday, October 04, 2010 1:35:12 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 01, 2010
Enter Our Ultimate Family History Giveaway Sweepstakes!
Posted by Diane

Yesterday, I mentioned a couple of Family History Month surprises up our sleeves. Here’s one: The Ultimate Family History Giveaway!

Enter once per day for a chance to win more than $2,000 worth of genealogy products! They includeThe sweepstakes ends at 11:59 PM Eastern time on Oct. 31, 2010. Click here to enter.



Friday, October 01, 2010 4:21:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
Genealogy News Corral: Sept. 27-Oct. 1
Posted by Diane

  • The UK family history subscription and pay-per-view site Findmypast.co.uk has launched a collection of transcribed Devon parish records in association with the Devon Family History Society. The records include baptisms from 1813 to 1839, marriages from 1754 to 1837, and burials for 1813 to 1837.
  • Cheri Hunter of Decatur, Ill. will receive the Community Service Award
  • Fred Katko of Peoria, Ill., will receive the Special Recognition Award
  • Christian Bender a student from Oglesby, Ill., will receive the Youth Award
  • Curt Witcher Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind., will receive the Distinguished Service Award
  • Margaret Collins of Springfield, Ill., and Daniel W. Dixon, of Auburn, Ill., will receive the Individual Writer Award as co-winners.

  • In a late addition to today's roundup, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society announced today that all issues of the society's NYG&B Record (563 issues dating back to 1870) are accessible to society members on the society's website. You can search every word of the issues, or use a new surname search engine.

Genealogy societies | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 01, 2010 10:30:31 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 30, 2010
Celebrating Family History Month in October!
Posted by Diane

Tomorrow starts an exciting month around here—Family History Month! In 2001, Congress first passed a resolution, introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who wrote, "By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.”

Similar legislation has passed in several years since. To my knowledge, there wasn’t an official declaration  this year, but family history organizations continue to observe Family History Month in October.

We’ve already told you about our free, beginner-oriented 10 Steps to Discover Your Roots webinar (Oct. 16) and Discover Your Family Tree Family Tree University course (running for two weeks starting Oct. 11).

We’ve also got a couple more surprises up our sleeves—stay tuned right here!

Family History Month often brings great opportunities to improve your genealogy skills, find out about new resources and meet others who share your passion for the past! Check program schedules for your local library and genealogical society to see what’s going on near you.

Here are some of the genealogy classes and other special events we’ve heard about (listed by state; click the link for more information on the event).

If your group is holding a special Family History Month event, please click Comments at the end of this post to share the news. Be sure to include a link where people can learn more.

California
Genealogical Society of North Orange County Family History Month 2010 Events, Yorba Linda area

California Genealogical Society and Library events (download a flier using the link about halfway down this page), San Francisco

Oakland Regional Family History Center Family History Month classes (click “See flyer” link to download schedule), Oakland

2 Norman Park Senior Center, Chula Vista, Annual Seminar

9 California Family History Day, Sacramento

Florida
Southwest Germanic Genealogy Society Family History Month series, Fort Myers (Fridays in October)

Illinois
Ela Area Public Library Family History Month events, Lake Zurich

Robert W. Lowe Public Library District Family History Month genealogy consultations (by appointment), Sheridan

23 Illinois State Genealogical Society Fall Conference, Peoria

Indiana
Allen County Public Library Family History Month events (click to download PDF of calendar), Fort Wayne

23 Indiana State Library Genealogy and Local History Fair, Indianapolis

Massachusetts
16 Family History Day 2010 with Ancestry.com and NEHGS, Boston

Oklahoma
Muskogee Public Library Family History Month events, Muskogee

Oklahoma History Center Family History Month activities (click on the “registration form” link), Oklahoma City

Go ahead and hold your own party, too. Give yourself a whole Saturday at the library or Family History Center, ask a relative your burning family history questions, bake Grandma's famous cookie recipe, jot down a family story, or tell your state representative how much you appreciate your public library's genealogy resources.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives
Thursday, September 30, 2010 11:26:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Finding Family in Historical Books Online
Posted by Diane


After learning a few years back that her Railey ancestor owned a farm in Logan County, Ky., our own Allison Stacy had a “why not?” moment and checked the HeritageQuest Online collection of digital books (accessible through many public libraries).

She was flabbergasted to learn that in the early 1900s, an unknown-to-her descendant, William Edward Railey, had written two books with information about the clan: History of Woodford County and Sketches of Randolphs and Their Connection. The second one traces the Railey line from Colonial Virginia to Allison’s grandmother’s older brother.

Our next Family Tree University webinar, Historical Books on the Web: Millions of Tomes at Your Fingertips, will show you how to find old books— family histories, genealogies, county histories, church histories and more—contianing research others have already done about your family.



The webinar is Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 Central/ 5 Mountain/ 4 Pacific). Presenter Nancy Hendrickson, a contributing editor to Family Tree Magazine, will show you:
  • What you can learn about your family in historical books
  • Where to find free books
  • How to search books on the Web
Can't find a book about your family? No luck locating a certain title online? Registrants will have the opportunity to submit family information, and Nancy will demonstrate search techniques using several submissions from webinar attendees.

Registered attendees also receive access to the webinar recording to view again, a PDF of the presentation slides for future reference, as well as bonus handouts.

Sign up now—the webinar is 20 percent off in ShopFamilyTree.com until Oct. 13 at 11:59 pm.


Editor's Pick | Webinars
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:14:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The Hand-in-Jacket Pose in Old Pictures
Posted by Diane

Flipping through our copy of Hallowed Ground magazine, I was struck by several photos of Civil War army officers posed like this unidentified soldier:

Civil War soldier
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

I’ve seen photos like this before, and I always thought that the men were imitating the painting of "Napoleon in his Study." The emperor, I’d heard, clutched his torso because of a stomach ulcer.

But it seems odd (at least to me) that when you have what would’ve been a rare opportunity to capture your likeness for posterity, you'd decide to undo a couple of coat buttons and stick your hand inside the opening.

When I looked into it, I learned that men who posed this way weren’t necessarily imitating Napoleon, and that he wasn’t sticking his hand in his coat because of an ulcer (though he did have one, according to Napoleon.org).

I found many explanations online, such as “he didn't trust anyone and liked to keep his hand on his wallet” and “painters at the time charged by the limb.” But experts on Napoleon Series site’s FAQ say that the hand-in-jacket pose was  “a common stance for men of breeding” and appears frequently in 18th-century portraiture. Even some ancient Greek and Roman statues have hands in togas.

Napoleon probably didn’t actually sit for the painting; an admirer commissioned that work and the artist painted it from memory.

After consulting historians about the hand-in-jacket pose, author David Feldman writes that certain gestures were indeed part of photographers’ standard poses. For example, you’ll often see two men posed shaking hands or with hands on each others’ shoulders, meant to convey a friendship or familial relationship. Holding a Bible and pointing off-camera are other standard poses.

The historians also suggest that putting a hand in a jacket, or on a table or other object, also might’ve been a way of keeping the hand still for long sitting times.

Here’s Gen. George B. McClellan and his staff:

Civil War Ge. George B. McClellan
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Civil War resources from Family Tree Magazine:

Civil War | Photos | Social History
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 3:34:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, September 27, 2010
Attention: Genealogy Beginners! Get Started With Our Free Webinar
Posted by Diane

Know someone who's kind of interested in genealogy but hasn't really been bitten by the bug yet?

In honor of Family History Month in October, we're offering a free webinar called 10 Steps to Discover Your Roots: How to Get Started in Genealogy. It’ll take place on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. Central, noon Mountain, 11 a.m. Pacific).

Click here to register.

To share the fun of genealogy during Family History Month, we’re inviting genealogical societies and libraries to broadcast this live webinar to their members and patrons. If your organization is interested in receiving an event kit with instructions and publicity materials for hosting your own "viewing party," please click here to e-mail us.

Note that this free 10 Steps to Discover Your Roots webinar isn’t to be confused with our also-free, two-week Family Tree University course Discover Your Family Tree, starting the week of Oct. 11. Sign up for both if you want!


Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun | Webinars
Monday, September 27, 2010 10:21:01 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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]