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<2010 November>

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# Friday, 05 November 2010
What Genealogy Class is for You?
Posted by Grace

Just for fun on a chilly Friday afternoon: We created a fun genealogy quiz that will tell you what kind of genealogist you are and what classes can help you learn more about tracing your family!

Click here to take the quiz. (Note: The Lady Gaga tickets being offered at the end aren't from us -- it's some kind of automatically generated ad. Sorry to disappoint any Gaga fans. :) )

Family Tree University | Genealogy fun

Friday, 05 November 2010 15:48:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 04 November 2010
Family Tree Maker for Mac Now Available
Posted by Grace has launched the long-awaited Mac version of its Family Tree Maker genealogy software.

The press release states Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac "is constructed from the bottom up to take full advantage of the Mac platform in terms of technology and user experience," but the features listed are very similar to those in the PC version:
  • searching: Search subscription genealogy site from Family Tree Maker and merge historical records and information you find into Family Tree Maker. You'll need an subscription to view most search results; the software comes with either a free trial or subscription to, depending which you opt to purchase.
  • Multimedia support: You can add photos, documents, audio, video and other media files to the people in your tree. Tools let you scan photos and document images right into your tree.
  • Family books, charts and reports: A strength of Family Tree Maker is the ability to publish attractive family tree charts and books.
  • Slideshows: Create slideshows from photos in your tree
  • Source citation: Standard source templates and other tools to help you cite sources.
  • Migration information: Timelines and interactive maps help you visualize family migrations and other events.
If you're switching from the PC version, you'll be able to transfer files directly into Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac from Family Tree Maker version 4 through Family Tree Maker 2006. To import files from Family Tree Maker 2008 or a later version, you can use the Windows-based conversion tool included with Family Tree Maker for Mac.

Look for our review of Family Tree Maker for Mac in an upcoming issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Pricing starts at $69.99 at (The PC version starts at $39.95.) You also can pick it up in retail stores, including Apple Stores, Amazon, Best Buy, Office Depot and Office Max.

System requirements include an Intel-based Mac with OSX 10.5.8 or later, 500MB available disk space for installation, and internet access (for web integration).

(Just a reminder -- Family Tree Magazine is not affiliated with Family Tree Maker software.)

If you're in the market for Mac genealogy software, check out the product ratings in the July 2008 Family Tree Magazine, available as a digital download from Get the lowdown on genealogy software for Macs or PCs in's free Software Guide. | Genealogy Software
Thursday, 04 November 2010 09:15:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, 03 November 2010
Get More From Family Tree Magazine With Plus and VIP
Posted by Diane

Since we introduced our Family Tree Magazine Plus membership a year ago,  this online archive of expert how-to genealogy advice has continued to grow.

Plus members receive:
  • online access to articles from past issues of Family Tree Magazine, right up through the current issue
  • guidance on family history research strategies, finding ancestors in the United States and your ancestral homeland, online genealogy, using a wide variety of genealogical records, preserving family photos and heirlooms, new and improved genealogy resources, and more
  • the convenience of being able to keyword-search this genealogy knowledge base 

(Of course, many of the articles on our site , as well as all the genealogy forms and cheat sheets, are freely accessible by anyone, and we regularly add new free content.) 

If you become a Family Tree Magazine VIP, you get the Plus membership and:

  • a subscription to the print Family Tree Magazine
  • 10 percent off any Family Tree University course registration
  • a 10 percent discount at (log into your store account before you shop)
  • our exclusive Family Tree Toolkit of genealogy forms and a frameable decorative family tree chart. 

Click here for FAQs about the Plus and VIP programs and how to use your membership

Editor's Pick | Family Tree Magazine articles | Research Tips
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 09:55:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 02 November 2010
FamilySearch RootsTech Conference Registration Opens
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch’s new technology-focused genealogy conference, RootsTech, has opened attendee registration at

Organizers of the conference, taking place Feb. 10-12 next year at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, aim to bring together creators and users of genealogy technology to accelerate innovation in the field and “define the future of genealogy.”

FamilySearch RootsTech chair Anne Roach and marketing magazine Anne Harrison, who talked about the event at last month’s Blogger’s Day, say it’ll educate technology users on the best technological practices and applications to use in their research, and educate software developers on the best technological solutions to genealogical problems.

Attendees can improve their genealogical know-how through classes, hands-on workshops, “birds of a feather” discussions and technology demonstrations that cover

  • Using social networking to collaborate as families and genealogical societies
  • Using cameras, scanners, and other preservation devices in your research
  • Using cloud computing
  • Using mobile devices and smartphone applications in your research
  • Handwriting recognition and automated transcription
  • Using web search engines and other finding tools GPS mapping for cemetery research, finding ancestral homes and more
  • Leveraging records digitization and preservation techniques and programs
  • Capturing your research in a range of media, and converting files from medium to medium
  • Understanding new genealogy markets

… and more. Opportunities for dialogue will include an “unconferencing hall” where anyone can give a spontaneous presentation. Roach said there will be classes for the technology novice (though people who have never used a computer might struggle), and the syllabus will indicate which classes best suit which skill sets.

A few sessions will likely be broadcast free on the conference website; in the future, a virtual attendance option might be available.

RootsTech combines the BYU Conference on Computerized Family History, the BYU Technology Workshop, and the FamilySearch Developers Conference into one event.

Registration costs $99 per person until Dec. 31, with a student rate of $35. The regular fee rises to $150 on Jan. 1. Conference hotel rates are $89 per night if you book in time.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events
Tuesday, 02 November 2010 11:19:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Tracing Ancestors in Voter Records
Posted by Diane

As you cast your vote today, after you first rejoice over the imminent disappearance of political ads, you may wonder if you can use voter records to track down your ancestors.

Maybe you can. State and local archives and libraries, town halls, and the Family History Library (FHL) may have town or county lists of registered voters or those who paid poll taxes.

Search your ancestral state archives website for voting, and try running a keyword search of the FHL online catalog on the town, county or state name and the word voting. You can rent promising microfilm by visiting your local FamilySearch Center. Subscription website has some voting-related records and digitized books, so if you’re a member, run the same search of its online catalog.

Here are some examples of the records you can find for various states and counties:

  • Every four years from 1803 to 1911, Ohio counted men age 21 and older in various counties to determine voting districts. These quadrennial enumerations are on FHL microfilm and in some local genealogical society collections. An 1863 list of Fallsbury Township voters is part of RootsWeb's free Tax and Voter lists search.
  • Chicago voter records, which can help you substitute for the missing 1890 census, are available for 1888, 1888 to 1890, and 1892, at the FHL, as is a 1937 voter registration list. Lists for 1888, 1890 and 1892 are on
  • The Wyoming state archives’ collection includes poll lists for various counties (type voting into the search box on the home page). You’ll find voting lists for part of Fremont County from 1907 to 1913 on microfiche at the FHL.
You'll find more resources for US counties in the Family Tree Sourcebook: Your Essential Directory of American County and Town Records, available from | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Research Tips
Tuesday, 02 November 2010 09:16:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, 01 November 2010
Sources for Citing Sources
Posted by Diane

We get plenty of questions around here about citing sources in genealogy research—what sources to cite, how to cite them, where to put all those citations, how to include citations in genealogy software, etc., etc.

That's why I'm pumped about our upcoming Family Tree University class, Source Documentation: How to Cite Genealogy Sources Accurately and Effectively

Source citation can sound complicated, but you'll learn that it's just a way of making sure you—or anyone else—can go back to the original source of the genealogical information you've recorded.

Different kinds of genealogy sources—books, census records, online databases, oral histories—require different citation styles. For books, for example, record the title, author, publisher and location, year of publication, where you found the book, library call number (if applicable), and the pertinent page numbers, like so: “Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo and Erin Nevius, eds., The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists (Cincinnati: Family Tree Books, 2004), 219-220.”

Our downloadable Source Citation Cheat Sheet has examples of citations for censuses, vital records and other sources. ProGenealogists also has a guide to citing online sources, including databases such as those on

Where you cite sources is important, too. Some genealogists include a full citation on the front of every photocopied record so the citation doesn't get separated from the data. Most genealogy software lets you type in citations or link to a digitized record when you add information to your tree. See our article for advice on adding source citations in your genealogy software

The classic tome on source citation is Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Genealogical Publishing Co.), also downloadable in digital format from

The Family Tree University course Source Documentation: How to Cite Genealogy Sources Accurately and Effectively, taught by Charlotte Bocage and available for the November session (starting Nov. 8), goes into depth about why to cite sources, how to cite them, including them in genealogy software, and using them in the course of your genealogy research.

(To register, click the “view upcoming course schedule” link or the Register link, then scroll down a little to find the Source Documentation course link.)

Family Tree University | Research Tips
Monday, 01 November 2010 15:02:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 29 October 2010
Genealogy News Corral: Oct. 25-29
Posted by Diane

  • British genealogy subscription site has released a collection of records from the Second Anglo-Boer War including details on 260,000 British service members and 59,000 war casualties. The database compiles information from more than 330 sources, and resolves errors and conflicting information in some of those sources. The war was fought from 1899 to 1902 between the British Empire and the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State.
  • The Troy (NY) Irish Genealogical Society has posted the records of Italian midwife Alesandra Matera, who practiced in the Troy area during the early 1900s. The transcribed records span 1909 to 1923 and document mostly Italian births, with some Syrians in later years. You can download the transcriptions as PDFs ordered by the father’s, mother’s or child’s last name (the transcriptions themselves are in chronological order, but you can use the Bookmarks bar in your PDF viewer to see the names in alphabetical order). Originals are in the archives of the Rensselaer County Historical Society.

FamilySearch | Historic preservation | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 29 October 2010 09:48:40 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 28 October 2010
French Records Free This Weekend at
Posted by Diane

Subscription site, the Canadian sister site to, is celebrating All Saints Day by making many of its historic records from France—roughly 50 million names—free to search from this Saturday, Oct. 30, to Nov. 1. 

This weekend's free records include:

  • Paris, France records, featuring more than 200 years of birth, marriage and death records
  • Marne, and Saone-et-Loire, France, birth, marriage and death collections, which feature vital records spanning nearly 400 years 
  • Upper Brittany, France, records collection, including rare immigration and military records, as well as vital records dating back to the early 1500s
  • Marseilles, France Marriages, 1810-1915, with nearly half a million records

You can see the French records collection and access the free databases (starting Saturday, Oct. 30) at <>. (You’ll need to set up a free registration with the site to view your search results.)

All Saints Day, Nov. 1 in Western Christianity, is a celebration of all the saints. It’s sometimes called All Hallows or Hallowmas. The night before, or “All Hallows Even,” is believed to provide the origin for the word Halloween.

You'll find a French-Canadian genealogy research guide in the June 2006 Family Tree Magazine, available as a digital download from | French Canadian roots | Vital Records
Thursday, 28 October 2010 16:57:02 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Putting the Ha! in Halloween
Posted by Diane

Put a little ha-ha in your Halloween with the funny tombstone photos in our book Grave Humor, by M.T. Coffin. To quote the book reviewer: “It’ll delight you with its witty jokes, quirky gothic illustrations and funny photos.” Aw, shucks.

This is my favorite stone—we found this unfortunately named lady in a local cemetery.

(See more funny tombstones from the book—and pictures other folks have submitted—at 

And I love our skull-people alter-egos (that's me, fourth from left):

You can get even more skull people in our 2011 Grave Humor Desk Calendar

Grave Humor is available from (Until October 31, you can use the code HISTORY10 to save 15 percent.)

Cemeteries | Editor's Pick | Genealogy fun
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 10:00:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Finding Genealogy Clues in Historical Books
Posted by Diane

Why are historical books important to your research? Because your family didn’t live in a vacuum, says Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Nancy Hendrickson.

I got a sneak peek today at her Historical Books on the Web webinar (taking place tomorrow, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. Eastern time). She says that clues you’ll find in books about the history of the places your ancestors lived include the big events that impacted their lives, what their everyday lives were like and, when you lose their trail, why or where they might've moved.

Some examples of local events you might learn about in historical books:
  • 1848 to 1849 cholera epidemic, which killed 4,000 in New York City
  • 1888 Children’s Blizzard in the Great Plains (so-called because many children were caught unaware in schoolhouses on what had been a relatively warm day)
  • 1869 Indian Raids in Kansas
  • Order No. 11 (a Union Army decree that forced the evacuation of rural areas in four western Missouri counties in 1863)
  • Great Fire of 1846 in Nantucket

You can get started looking for historical books about your ancestral locales by Googling history of [insert the town name], visiting county pages at USGenWeb, searching library catalogs (WorldCat is a good site for doing this) and searching for period books at sites such as Internet Archive and Making of America.

Nancy will get into detail about what you can find in historical books, and where and how to find them, in tomorrow’s webinar, Historical Books on the Web: Millions of Tomes at Your Fingertips. You can register to attend at (you'll receive our new Discover Your Roots guide with your registration)—and use the code HISTORY10 for 15 percent off with our Family History Month storewide sale. Sales | Social History | Webinars
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 15:47:34 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]