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<2010 December>

More Links

# Monday, 13 December 2010
NARA Invites Comment on 2010 Census Records
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is inviting you to have a say about what it’ll be like to research the 2010 census records in the future.

NARA is asking for public comment on the Appraisal and Records schedule for the census. These schedules list all the records created during Census 2010—not just the census forms you filled out, but also address canvassing maps, data summaries, various publications and more—and proposes standards for their retention or disposition.

For those records proposed for permanent retention, the schedule contains instructions for their transfer to NARA. For records are proposed for temporary retention, the schedule contains instructions for their later disposal.

The proposed schedule provides that the 2010 decennial census forms we all filled out will be preserved in the form of scanned images. (You can read about the archives’ preservation of digital images here.) It calls for those and other “permanently valuable” records to be transferred to NARA within 10 years after the census.

For more information and to link to the Appraisal and Records schedule, see this post on the archives’ NARAtions blog.

The documents are lengthy. You can get a summary of many of the documents proposed for preservation on the archives’ Records Express blog

Comments and questions regarding the proposed retention/disposition of records are being accepted on both of the above-mentioned blog posts through Dec. 30.

census records | NARA
Monday, 13 December 2010 11:15:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
12 Days of Genealogy: Questions for Grandma and Grandpa
Posted by Diane

While we love a calling bird and a lord-a-leaping as much as the next person, we’re not sure how those lovely gifts would fit into our family history research. So we’ve come up with our own countdown, 12 Days of Genealogy, that has ideas for genealogy presents you can give family or put on your Christmas list. The countdown commences now!

On the first day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me: a great book called Questions to Bring You Closer to Grandma and Grandpa: 100+ Conversation Starters for Grandchildren and Grandparents

With questions such as “What is your favorite family memory?” “How did the world you grew up in differ from today's world?” “Is there anything in life you wish you did, but never have?” this book will help grandkids—young ones and grown-ups—start conversations that will bring the generations closer and pass on family lore. 

Questions come in nine chapters including “On Our Family History,” “On Children, Parenting and Being a grandparent” and “Grandma and Grandpa’s Favorite Things.” There’s plenty of space to write in the answers, and you’ll also find advice for starting the conversation and using the book.

Learn more about the book Questions to Bring You Closer to Grandma and Grandpa on

A quick reminder: Today, Dec. 13, is the last day to order for ground shipping delivery by Christmas.

Oral History | 12 Days of Genealogy
Monday, 13 December 2010 10:07:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Help Choose the 2011 Family Tree 40!
Posted by Diane

In the July 2011 Family Tree Magazine, we’ll name the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs—the Family Tree 40. And we’d like your help in choosing from blogs nominated by the genealogy community.

To vote, use the survey at

The nominees are divided into eight categories. In each category, please choose five blogs (you'll get an error message if you choose too many).

Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20. You may vote multiple times. (If you have a genealogy blog, feel free to use this badge to encourage your fellow family historians to vote.)

Thanks a bunch to our Family Tree 40 panelists—Genealogy Gems blogger Lisa Louise Cooke, Genea-Musings blogger Randy Seaver, Myrt of the DearMyrtle blog and Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers—who helped in formulating the blog categories and qualifications, as well as narrowing categories with the most nominations.

For more on the Family Tree 40 blog categories and qualifications, see this Genealogy Insider blog post.

Click here to vote in the Family Tree 40.

PS: You can go here to easily click through to visit all the blogs in the Family Tree 40 voting!

Family Tree 40
Monday, 13 December 2010 09:32:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Thursday, 09 December 2010 Improves Basic Search Flexibility
Posted by Diane

You’ll start seeing some changes to subscription genealogy website’s Basic search form over the next few weeks. says its users asked for more flexibility in entering place and date information: What if you don’t know when and where an ancestor was born—but you do know he lived in a certain place at a certain time?

So you’ll soon be able to enter a place into a “Name a place your ancestor might have lived” field. That will search records for any life events—birth, residence, marriage, military service and death—that match that location. User testing revealed this moved relevant matches up in search results, says product manager Anne Mitchell.

The new form also adds a “Calculate it” button, which will estimate a birth year based on when your ancestor lived in the place you specify.

If you do know when your ancestor was born, married, died, served in the military or lived someplace else, you can click an “Add an event” link to add one of these life events and the place and date of that event.

Finally, the links to clear the form and show the Advanced Search form have moved to the bottom of the Basic Search form, next to the Search button.

The changes will begin rolling out to some US members today and become available to all users over the next few weeks.

Visit’s blog for more information and to see what the new form looks like. | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 09 December 2010 10:09:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 08 December 2010 Holiday Shipping Info
Posted by Diane

If you're planning on ordering magazines, books or CDs/DVDs from as Christmas gifts, you'll want to be aware of these ordering deadlines for delivery by Dec. 25. The dates below apply to addresses within the United States:
  • For shipping via the US Postal Service, order by 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Wed., Dec. 8 (that's today).

  • For shipping via ground transport, order by 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Mon., Dec. 13.

  • For two-day and standard overnight shipping, order by 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Mon., Dec. 20.
  • Products labeled "This item ships directly from the manufacturer" should be ordered by Eastern Standard Time Mon., Dec. 13.

Remember that also offers many downloadable digital products, such as research guides, Family Tree University Independent Study courses, Family Tree Magazine back issues, on-demand webinars, books and VIP memberships, which of course don't require shipping. And most of these digital products still count toward your $25 order total to receive free shipping on other items you might order at the same time. Sales
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 12:02:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Great Gifts on a Budget in Our Genealogy Vault of Savings
Posted by Diane

Our Vault of Savings is the place to stop if you need a thoughtful gift for a genealogy pal, but you also need to stick to a budget.

For genealogists, you can pick up discounted books and CDs such as:

  • The Family Tree Guide to Finding Your Ellis Island Ancestors by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack ($12.99, a 35 percent discount off the regular price)
  • Family Tree Essentials CD ($14.99, a 25 percent discount)
  • Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs by Maureen A. Taylor ($10, a 60 percent discount)
  • Family Tree Magazine State Research Guides CD ($37.99, a 40 percent discount) 

Memory crafters might enjoy:

  • Scrap City by Paul Gambino ($15, a 40 percent discount)
  • Modern Memory Keeper by Renee Parsons ($16, a 30 percent discount)

These are just some of the items in the vault.

Remember, you get free shipping on qualifying orders over $25. Family Tree Magazine VIPs also get an additional 10 percent of their orders (make sure you log into your ShopFamilyTree VIP account). 

Start shopping our Genealogy Vault of Savings here.

Editor's Pick | Sales
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:05:53 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 07 December 2010
Footnote Marks Pearl Harbor Day With Two Free WWII Collections
Posted by Diane

Today is the 69th anniversary of the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared “a date which will live in infamy.” The Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, caused more than 3,000 casualties and sank or damaged all eight US battleships anchored there. The next day, Congress declared war on Japan.

To mark the occasion, subscription historical records site Footnote has made two collections free during the month of December:

  • Pearl Harbor Muster rolls, the quarterly Muster Rolls and related documents for the United States Navy’s fighting ships, ground organizations, and shore facilities that were present on the island of Oahu during the attack. 
  • World War II Diaries, 1942-1945, submitted by most units in the Navy (most Marine Corps war diaries were submitted by aviation units such as fighter squadrons), provide a day-to-day record of operational and sometimes administrative activities. This database contains 251,082 document images, about 13 percent of the collection housed at the National Archives

Of course, Footnote’s Interactive USS Arizona Memorial, a searchable, life-size image of the memorial naming USS Arizona sailors killed in the Pearl Harbor attack, is always free.

Get help making the most of your Footnote subscription with our Footnote Web Guide, available as a digital download from

Wondering about your family’s WWII memorabilia? Learn more about it from the photos and information in Warman's World War II Collectibles by Michael E. Haskew.

Footnote | Free Databases | Military records
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 10:54:00 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 06 December 2010
Sneak Peek at the National Archives' New Website
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)—the agency that houses federal records including censuses, passenger lists, military service papers and more—will launch its redesigned website next Monday, Dec. 13.

You can preview the new site now at <> (click on the image for the new site). Note that the search on the preview site won’t work.

NARA developed the new site with help from users through surveys, voting, card sorts (a way of figuring out how users would organize the site) and usability testing. It’ll feature:

  • A new home page, selected by public vote in July
  • A new interactive map of NARA’s facilities nationwide
  • Historical documents and streamlined access to military service records (turns out that 81 percent of visitors are looking for this information)
  • Topically organized sections focused on the needs of both casual browsers and professional researchers (the current site divides articles for genealogists, researchers, members of the general public, etc., leading to multiple sections on the same topic)
  • Easy links to NARA's social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and blogs.

Read more about the redesign process on NARA’s website.

Genealogy Web Sites | NARA
Monday, 06 December 2010 15:51:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 03 December 2010
Genealogy News Corral Nov. 30-Dec. 3
Posted by Diane

Registration for the full event ranges from $175 to $245, depending whether you’re an NGS member, whether you make the early bird deadline (March 11), and whether you want a printed syllabus. You also can register for a single day of the conference, which costs $95 to $115.
  • Family networking site has launched Family Tree Builder 5.0, the latest version of its free genealogy software. New features include to-do lists, a Tree Consistency Checker (helps find mistakes in your family tree data by automatically identifying errors and inconsistencies in 40 categories), improved privacy settings, support for your DNA test results, custom reports, and the customizable family tree charts announced recently.

Learn more about Family Tree Builder at

  • The New England Historic Genealogical Society, which announced its new site in August, has officially deactivated the website (the old URL redirects to the new site). You can get a tutorial on searching the databases in the March 2011 Family Tree Magazine, on sale Jan. 11.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 03 December 2010 14:08:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Organize Your Photos with Nancy Hendrickson
Posted by Grace

The next round of Family Tree University classes start Monday, Dec. 6, including a new one from instructor Nancy Hendrickson: Organize Your Photos: Preserve Your Family's Pictorial Legacy.

In this course, Nancy (who also teaches our popular course Organize Your Genealogy) will offer advice on sorting through massive amounts of photos, creating a log to keep track of your images, and devising a system that can grow with your collection.

Here's what she has to say about determining what photos to keep and what to give away or trash:
By nature, genealogists are hoarders. The thought of getting rid of any old photos could very well send shivers down your spine. But the truth is, most of us have photos that aren’t worth keeping. Your first task is to do a rough pass through all the photos. You’re not organizing them yet. This time, you’re just making piles of images you want to…
  • keep and organize
  • scan and organize
  • discard
  • give away
  • or use in a scrapbook
As you sort into piles, you may find yourself torn between keeping something and throwing it away. For example, one image I have is very poor quality, and couldn’t be improved upon even with expert photo editing.

Did I keep it? Yes. Why? Because it’s the only photo I have of my grandfather with all of his children and their spouses. This is why considering the content of a photo is important when it comes to a culling your collection. Even if a picture is of poor quality, it may be the only one you have of a certain person or place.

NOTE: I want to stop here and point out that keeping or discarding an image is a matter of personal preference. Your choice may be to never discard an image, regardless of quality or subject matter. When it comes to editing photographs, you have to decide what’s right for you.
If you register with the coupon code FTU111, and you'll get 20% off your December classes plus a free 2011 calendar! Learn more about Organize Your Photos: Preserve Your Family's Pictorial Legacy and sign up here.

Family Tree University | Photos
Friday, 03 December 2010 10:10:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]