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<2010 October>

More Links

# Friday, 15 October 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Oct. 11-15
Posted by Diane

We’ve got a host of announcements in this week’s roundup:
  • BackupMyTree, the free genealogy file back-up service that debuted last month, has added support for Reunion for Mac. Although the BackupMyTree software still works with only Windows, users of any operating system can manually upload files—now including Reunion files—through their web browser. Next week, BackupMyTree will add support for The Master Genealogist software, as well as a feature that allows users to include and exclude files in bulk.
  • Genetic genealogy testing company GeneTree is offering two new services designed to help you maximize your genetic genealogy testing efforts. If you buy a DNA Makeover report ($14.95), GeneTree staff will translate your Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA results from another lab into a GeneTree profile. For the Family Tree Diagnostic Service (also $14.95), a GeneTree consultant will review your family tree to find relatives you should consider having tested and what tests they should take to help you achieve your research objectives.
  • Leland Meitzler, organizer of the Salt Lake Christmas Tour annual research trip to Salt Lake City, announced that genealogy technology and social networking expert Thomas MacEntee will present eight classes during this year’s tour. A few topics are Building a Research Toolbox, Facebook for Genealogists, Build a Genealogy Blog, and Twitter: It Isn’t Just “What I Had For Breakfast” Anymore. The tour takes place Dec. 5 through 11, and you can register here
  • The Pennsylvania State Archives will close from Monday, Oct. 18 through Feb. 3 of next year for renovations. The $250,000 project will expand and modernize the lobby and public research areas. (Plans are still in place, though, to eventually replace the facility, which has water leaks and lacks environmental controls and fire suppression system.) Staff will continue to respond to telephone, e-mail and postal inquiries during the closure. You can download the press release as a PDF from the archives’ website. | census records | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Software | Genetic Genealogy | Libraries and Archives | Webinars
Friday, 15 October 2010 15:39:31 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 14 October 2010
Discover Your Roots With Us!
Posted by Diane

Are you (or is someone you know) somewhere near the starting line of a genealogy journey? Especially for you, we’ve put together a 132-page getting-started “bookazine” guide called Discover Your Roots.

Articles cover everything you need to know when you begin your family history search:
  • filling out forms
  • calculating cousin relationships
  • myths to avoid
  • choosing genealogy software
  • using popular websites
  • researching at the library, courthouse and cemetery
  • using genetic genealogy
... and more. (You can see the whole list of articles at

The guide also has a starter kit of 14 essential genealogy forms, plus a decorative, fold-out family tree you can fill in and frame. Even better, your purchase includes several money-saving bonuses:
  • a seven-day free membership to Family Tree Magazine Plus
  • a seven-day free trial to genealogy records site
  • $25 off a Family Tree University course
  • 15 percent off a purchase at
See page 1 of Discover Your Roots for details on redeeming these discounts.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Family Tree University | Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Thursday, 14 October 2010 09:30:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 13 October 2010
October 2010 Family Tree Magazine Podcast Just Posted
Posted by Diane

This just in: the October 2010 Family Tree Magazine podcast is now available for listening! Here’s what host Lisa Louise Cooke has in store for you in this episode:
  • Allison Stacy, Family Tree Magazine’s publisher and editorial director, fills you in on Family History Month events
  • Get started paring down your collection of papers with tips from online editor Grace Dobush on what to keep and what to toss.
  • Lisa and I talk about's acquisition of iArchives,’s parent company, and some questions genealogists are asking.

You can listen to the Family Tree Magazine Podcast in iTunes and on You can get the show notes on our website, too.

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

↑ Grab this Headline Animator | Footnote | International Genealogy | Podcasts | Research Tips | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 13:41:35 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy Talk on Good Morning America
Posted by Diane’s Anastasia Tyler and The Journey Takers author Leslie Albrecht Huber appeared on "Good Morning America" today to talk about’s most recent celebrity roots announcement: President Barack Obama is 10th cousins on his mother’s side with two of his biggest political critics, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

As Huber says in the clip, if you can trace your roots to colonial New England, you’re likely related to all kinds of well-known people. Although most genealogists realize 10th cousins isn't a big deal (it means the most recent common ancestor is a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent), it’s fun to see genealogy make an appearance in the national media.

You can watch the video on the "Good Morning America" website.

Read the announcement about the Obama-Palin and Obama-Limbaugh connections here. | Celebrity Roots
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 13:04:19 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Family Tree Magazine 2011 Desk Calendar Winners!
Posted by Diane

Thanks to everyone who entered our drawing for Family Tree Magazine’s 2011 desktop calendars, both here on the blog and on Facebook.

Congratulations to the winners! Here are their names and their genealogy to-do list items:

  • Marisa, proud soon-to-be owner of the 2011 Civil War Desk Calendar: My goal is to get old photographs scanned! I want to keep copies in their corresponding "people" folders and also add them online so far away family members can enjoy them.
  • Rebecca Morgan Kinnie, proud soon-to-be owner of the 2011 Grave Humor Desk Calendar: I want to determine if my great-great-grandfather actually died while fighting in the Civil War, or if he deserted. This would explain why he was named the father of my great-grandfather, who was born eight years after he supposedly died!

Peter, Marisa and Rebecca, please e-mail us your mailing address by next Tuesday, Oct. 19, so we can send your calendar.

If you’re not Peter, Marisa or Rebecca and you want your own calendar, you can use the discount code HISTORY10 to get 10 percent off the calendars at

Genealogy fun
Tuesday, 12 October 2010 12:04:57 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]