Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!



July, 2017 (4)
June, 2017 (4)
May, 2017 (4)
April, 2017 (5)
March, 2017 (7)
February, 2017 (6)
January, 2017 (6)
December, 2016 (7)
November, 2016 (9)
October, 2016 (3)
September, 2016 (5)
August, 2016 (3)
July, 2016 (7)
June, 2016 (4)
May, 2016 (8)
April, 2016 (3)
March, 2016 (9)
February, 2016 (9)
January, 2016 (11)
December, 2015 (7)
November, 2015 (12)
October, 2015 (9)
September, 2015 (13)
August, 2015 (15)
July, 2015 (15)
June, 2015 (14)
May, 2015 (13)
April, 2015 (18)
March, 2015 (17)
February, 2015 (15)
January, 2015 (12)
December, 2014 (12)
November, 2014 (16)
October, 2014 (20)
September, 2014 (17)
August, 2014 (18)
July, 2014 (16)
June, 2014 (18)
May, 2014 (17)
April, 2014 (17)
March, 2014 (17)
February, 2014 (16)
January, 2014 (16)
December, 2013 (11)
November, 2013 (15)
October, 2013 (19)
September, 2013 (20)
August, 2013 (23)
July, 2013 (24)
June, 2013 (14)
May, 2013 (25)
April, 2013 (20)
March, 2013 (24)
February, 2013 (25)
January, 2013 (20)
December, 2012 (19)
November, 2012 (25)
October, 2012 (22)
September, 2012 (24)
August, 2012 (24)
July, 2012 (21)
June, 2012 (22)
May, 2012 (28)
April, 2012 (44)
March, 2012 (36)
February, 2012 (36)
January, 2012 (27)
December, 2011 (22)
November, 2011 (29)
October, 2011 (52)
September, 2011 (26)
August, 2011 (26)
July, 2011 (17)
June, 2011 (31)
May, 2011 (32)
April, 2011 (31)
March, 2011 (31)
February, 2011 (28)
January, 2011 (27)
December, 2010 (34)
November, 2010 (26)
October, 2010 (27)
September, 2010 (27)
August, 2010 (31)
July, 2010 (23)
June, 2010 (30)
May, 2010 (23)
April, 2010 (30)
March, 2010 (30)
February, 2010 (30)
January, 2010 (23)
December, 2009 (19)
November, 2009 (27)
October, 2009 (30)
September, 2009 (25)
August, 2009 (26)
July, 2009 (33)
June, 2009 (32)
May, 2009 (30)
April, 2009 (39)
March, 2009 (35)
February, 2009 (21)
January, 2009 (29)
December, 2008 (15)
November, 2008 (15)
October, 2008 (25)
September, 2008 (30)
August, 2008 (26)
July, 2008 (26)
June, 2008 (22)
May, 2008 (27)
April, 2008 (20)
March, 2008 (20)
February, 2008 (19)
January, 2008 (22)
December, 2007 (21)
November, 2007 (26)
October, 2007 (20)
September, 2007 (17)
August, 2007 (23)
July, 2007 (17)
June, 2007 (13)
May, 2007 (7)



<2010 October>

More Links

# Monday, 11 October 2010
NOAA Releases Free Civil War Map Collection
Posted by Diane

I was surprised to get an announcement about a new collection of Civil War maps, charts and documents from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but it actually makes perfect sense:

Under the auspices of the NOAA is the Office of the Coast Survey, which president Thomas Jefferson established in 1807 to produce nautical charts that would provide for maritime safety, defense and the establishment of national boundaries. By the start of the Civil War, the Coast Survey was a leading scientific agency, charting coastlines and determining land elevations. It still surveys coasts and produces nautical charts today.

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in 2011, NOAA has gathered materials the Coast Survey prepared during the war years into a free, online collection called Charting a More Perfect Union.

The collection, which will help you visualize terrain, ports, and coasts as they were from 1861 to 1865, includes:
  • 394 maps and nautical charts used for naval campaigns, and troop movements and battles. You can search the maps by keyword(s), state or region, year or chart number. If you click Search without entering terms, you’ll get a list of all the documents in the collection (not in alphabetical or chronological order).
In your map search results, click to preview the map, such as this map of Atlanta, in the site’s image viewer:

Links in your list of search results let you open a high-resolution version of the map as a JPG or a MrSID (a kind of graphic file). A Cincinnati-area map I found opened very slowly as a jpg, but it enlarged to incredible detail. You can right click (on a PC) or control-click (on a Mac) and choose Save As to save the map to your computer.

Find more Civil War resources in our Civil War genealogy toolkit.

Research your Civil War ancestors with help from our guide, available in the July 2007 Family Tree Magazine digital edition.

Civil War | Free Databases | Military records
Monday, 11 October 2010 13:43:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 08 October 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Oct. 4-8
Posted by Diane

  • A friendly reader told us about another genealogy app for the iPhone called Traces, which searches the databases at the FamilySearch beta site. The reader (who’s not affiliated with the product other than using it) recommends it as “far and away the best iPhone app ... I've found to facilitate actual genealogy research and database searching.” See a list of iPhone/iTouch genealogy apps on the website.
  • The National Archives is holding a day-long symposium called The Civil War: Fresh Perspectives on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, at its Washington, DC headquarters. It’ll feature panel discussions related to themes from the archives’ special exhibit, Discovering the Civil War. Registration is required, along with a fee of $50. Click here to learn more and register.
  • UK family history subscription website and FamilySearch are beginning a project to digitize the Greater Manchester County Record Office’s cemetery registers and institutional records (from gaols, schools and workhouses), which date as far back as the 16th century. When the project is complete, you’ll be able to search indexes free at FamilySearch. The indexed information will link to the records at, where you’ll be able to view the record images for a fee.
  • There’s more for those with UK roots: has added 60 more years of town plans and other maps to its collection, which now covers 1850 to 1996. In addition, new spy maps produced by the Russian military from 1950 to 1997 cover 16,000 sq km of the UK, including 103 major towns and cities. You can search and browse maps for free and purchase printed or downloadable PDF versions.

FamilySearch | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Software | NARA | UK and Irish roots | Vital Records
Friday, 08 October 2010 15:10:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, 07 October 2010
How to Win a 2011 Genealogy Desktop Calendar!
Posted by Diane

We’re so happy our three 2011 desktop calendars are available for pre-order at, that we're giving away one of each. Those include ...

... the 2011 Genealogy Desktop Calendar, full of beautiful ancestor photos from Family Tree Magazine readers.

2011 genealogy desktop calendar

... the 2011 Civil War Desk Calendar, with historical photos of readers’ Civil War ancestors, as well as camp life and other scenes, plus facts from our forthcoming book Life in Civil War America.

2011 Civil War Desk Calendar

... the 2011 Grave Humor Desk Calendar, featuring the adorable skull people from the Grave Humor book illustrator Marc McChesney.

2011 Grave Humor Desk Calendar

So how can you win a calendar?? Just click Comments at the end of this post and add a comment answering this question:

What’s one thing on your genealogy to-do list for 2011?

At 10 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday morning, Oct. 12, we’ll draw three winners—one for each calendar—from the folks who comment. We’ll announce the winners’ names in a post on Tuesday, so you’ll need to visit the Genealogy Insider blog Tuesday to see if it’s you! 

PS: If you'd like info on how to Comment on Genealogy Insider blog posts, please click here.

Genealogy fun
Thursday, 07 October 2010 10:31:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [157]
New Records, Printable Trees on FamilySearch
Posted by Diane

This week, FamilySearch published its first digital Chinese collection, along with additional digital image collections from Belgium, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines and Puerto Rico.

Note that the indexes are still being created for these records, meaning you can’t yet search them by typing in a name. Instead, you view them as you would microfilm, by browsing the record images for the place and/or time period when you think your ancestor’s record was created.

You can view these records on the FamilySearch Beta site.

To find the database you want to browse, first scroll down and click the region under Browse by Location. For German collections, for example, click Europe.

Then you can use the Place filters on the left to home in on the place you need.

If you clicked the Germany filter, you’ll see seven German databases. The one with the “Browse images” link is the just-added database.

FamilySearch also added 20 million more records to the Civil War, Revolutionary War, and the 1851 England and Wales census collections. The Civil War collection lets you search an index, and links you to the subscription website Footnote to view the record. You’ll need a subscription to see it. The 1851 English and Welsh census collection employs a similar arrangement with subscription site

As a side note, if you click the Getting Started link from the FamilySearch Beta home page, you’ll see links to some pretty family trees you can download, then print and fill out.

Thursday, 07 October 2010 10:05:16 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 06 October 2010
October's FTU Class Lineup
Posted by Grace

If Family History Month has you thinking about expanding your own genealogy knowledge, it's a great time to sign up for a Family Tree University course. The spooky October session begins Monday the 11th, and we've got three new courses for you—one of them is free! Read on for the whole course catalog.

Strategies: Ethnic ancestors: Records and sources: Sharing history:

Family Tree University
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 15:33:26 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 05 October 2010
Best State Websites for Genealogy
Posted by Diane

Location, location, location: That’s what it’s all about in genealogy, because finding out where your ancestors lived is key to locating the records they left behind.  

That’s why, for the December 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine (now mailing to subscribers), we put together a list of 75 of the best US state-focused websites for genealogical research.

As a Family History Month gift, we’ve posted all the state websites online for everyone to check out, free. You’ll find at least one website per state.

Take some time to explore the sites for the states where your ancestors lived—you might find digitized documents, indexes to records, historical articles, finding aids, catalogs of holdings and more. I’ve already mined the Ohio Historical Society website for its death certificates index and the catalog of resources available at the state archives; and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission site is where I learned how to get records of Texas state penitentiary inmates (and thus confirm a family story).

Get more how-to resources for state research, include our downloadable State Research Guides, at

Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 14:17:38 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Monday, 04 October 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, 04 October 2010 13:35:12 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 01 October 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, 01 October 2010 16:21:21 (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 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, 01 October 2010 10:30:31 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 30 September 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.

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

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

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

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

16 Family History Day 2010 with and NEHGS, Boston

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, 30 September 2010 11:26:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]