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<2010 December>

More Links

# Wednesday, 22 December 2010
12 Days of Genealogy: Family Tree University Independent Study Download
Posted by Diane

On the tenth day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me … a Family Tree University Independent Study course download

You can give the gift of genealogy learning, even if it’s too late for shipping by Christmas. FTU Independent Study downloads include the lessons, recommended reading, resource lists and other materials from Family Tree University classes.

Nearly 20 courses are available, including Tracing Immigrants, which helps you find important clues for tracking ancestors in their homelands. In the first lesson of this course, you’ll learn what key facts that will help you start tracing ancestors overseas:

  • The immigrant’s name (before and after immigration—many immigrants Americanized their names once they got here)
  • Date of immigration
  • Port of entry
  • Port of departure
  • Town or village immigrant came from
  • Place immigrant settled in the United States
  • Names of siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins
  • Religion (may give clues to parish back home)
  • Native language 

Click here to explore the available FTU Independent Study course topics

12 Days of Genealogy | Family Tree University
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 17:11:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 21 December 2010
12 Days of Genealogy: Family Tree Pocket Reference Download
Posted by Diane

On the ninth day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me … the Family Tree Pocket Reference download!

The Pocket Reference is a handy, timesaving collection of genealogy reference material—resources, tips, lists and need-to-know facts. The downloadable version is a fully searchable PDF. You'll get definitions for unfamiliar terms and acronyms, US state fast facts, family tree software at a glance, genealogy data websites, surname origins, cultural naming practices, census dates and questions, US immigration ports and more.

Here’s one quick example of what you'll find the military records section: 

Depending on when your ancestor was born, here are the war records to look for:

  • Born 1726-1767: Revolutionary War (1775-1783) records
  • Born 1762-1799: War of 1812 (1812-1815) records
  • Born 1796-1831: Mexican War (1846-1848) records
  • Born 1811-1848: Civil War (1861-1865) records
  • Born 1848-1881: Spanish-American War (1898) records
  • Born 1849-1885: Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) records
  • Born 1872-1900: World War I (1917-1918) records
  • Born 1877-1925: World War II (1941-1945) records
  • Born 1900-1936: Korean War (1950-1953) records
  • Born 1914-1955: Vietnam War (early 1960s-1973) records

Click here to get the Family Tree Pocket Reference from

12 Days of Genealogy | Military records
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 16:41:08 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
2010 Census Numbers Are In
Posted by Grace

The US Census Bureau in Washington, DC, announced today the first numbers from this year's census. As of April 1, 2010, the US population was 308,745,538. That's a 9.7% increase from the 2000 census.

The state with the biggest upswing in population was Nevada, which grew by 35% since 2000. Michigan and Puerto Rico had declines of 0.6% and 2.2%, respectively.

The bureau is required by law to report the population and congressional apportionment totals to the president by Dec. 31 of the year the census is taken. You can play with a neat interactive map of historical census data here.

Check out all our past articles on the census here. Or you might enjoy our Census Secrets CD or our Online Census Secrets webinar.

census records | Public Records
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 16:20:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 20 December 2010
12 Days of Genealogy: Family Tree Magazine Subscription
Posted by Diane

On the eighth day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me … a subscription to Family Tree Magazine!

America's No. 1 how-to family history magazine delivers the tips and tools you need to discover your family’s past. Our user-friendly approach to discovering, preserving and celebrating family history makes genealogy a hobby anyone can enjoy.

Check out to see some of the genealogy advice you’ll find in our pages. Try these for starters:

Click here to order a Family Tree Magazine subscription in the United States

Click here for a Family Tree Magazine subscription in Canada

Click here for an international Family Tree Magazine subscription

12 Days of Genealogy | Family Tree Magazine articles
Monday, 20 December 2010 22:30:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
'Tis The Season For Family Traditions
Posted by jamie

Whether it’s trimming the tree, lighting the menorah or preparing a holiday feast large enough to feed a small army, the holidays are that special time each year when we spend  time with friends and family. And all that togetherness makes for great family stories and traditions.


My favorite holiday tradition is opening up just one gift on Christmas Eve, before the entire family is nestled in their beds. This tradition started when my sister and I were very young and could barely wait until 6 a.m. to open our presents on Christmas morning. The gift is usually something small — like new slippers or pajamas — but we get a sample of what’s to come in the morning, when we wake up to the bounty of presents from Santa.


Some of my family’s holiday traditions are generations old. My mother-in-law claims her family has celebrated St. Nikolaus Day since her grandmother emigrated from Germany. Every year she calls us on Dec. 5 to remind us to put out our shoes so St. Nickolaus will bring us presents. And sure enough, on Dec. 6, we receive a package St. Nickolaus filled with goodies.


If your family traditions don’t span back that far, you can start your own holiday legacy by incorporating your ancestor’s likely customs from the Old Country. You can find some inspiration here. 


Does your family have any exciting or unique holiday traditions?

Social History
Monday, 20 December 2010 15:54:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Sunday, 19 December 2010
12 Days of Genealogy: On-Demand Webinars
Posted by Diane

On the seventh day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me . . . an FTU on-demand webinar

Family Tree University downloadable on-demand webinars give you how-to advice on genealogy topics from online research to brick walls to researching ancestors in various states. You’ll be able to use your computer to watch an hour-long presentation showing you research strategies, tips and the best online tools.

This census advice snippet is from the webinar Online Census Secrets: Best Web Sites and Strategies to Find Your Ancestors Webinar:

The government designated an official census day for each census. Of course, the enumerating didn’t all happen on this day, but the information the census takers collected was supposed to be accurate as of that date. If a baby was born after Census Day, he was supposed to be left out of the census. If a person died after Census Day, he was supposed to be recorded. Ages were also to be reported according to the person’s age on Census Day. Census takers and informants didn’t always comply with these instructions, however. These are the official Census Days:

  • 1790-1820: first Monday in August
  • 1830-1900: June 1
  • 1910: April 15
  • 1920: Jan. 1
  • 1930-1940: April 1
Click here to peruse our on-demand webinar offerings at

12 Days of Genealogy | Webinars
Sunday, 19 December 2010 21:46:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Saturday, 18 December 2010
12 Days of Genealogy: Family Tree Sourcebook
Posted by Diane

On the sixth day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me … The Family Tree Sourcebook: The Essential Directory of American County and Town Resources.

The Family Tree Sourcebook, a second edition of The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists, contains updated information on county-based records such as vital records, land records, probate records and more. You can look up a US county and find formation dates, parent counties, official contact information and websites, and available records and their start dates. 

You’ll also find a how-to article and books, organizations and websites for each state, as well as a listing of national genealogical sites and organizations.

And, the book comes with a month of searchable online access through a Family Tree Magazine Plus membership.

Click here to get yourself a copy of The Family Tree Sourcebook (on sale now at 33 percent off!).

12 Days of Genealogy | Genealogy books
Saturday, 18 December 2010 18:19:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 17 December 2010
12 Days of Genealogy: Trace Your Roots Online
Posted by Diane

On the fifth day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me … the Trace Your Roots Online CD. 

This CD offers the instruction you need to find ancestors online, including the best websites to search, effective search techniques, time-saving computer tricks, social networking sites and more. You’ll also find online searching caveats, such as this research trap to avoid: 

Trap: It doesn't matter whether online information comes from a record, a transcription or an index.

Fact: An online record is an original document that's been digitized for viewing on the Web. For example, and have posted images of original census enumerations. When you pull information from one of those images, you’re looking at the original record.

You have to be more careful with online transcriptions, which have typed text from original documents. You'll find transcriptions of passenger lists (on the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild site, for example), tombstone inscriptions (at Find a Grave and and all sorts of other records. Remember that typographical errors easily can sneak into transcriptions. Even a careful transcriber might not correctly read the handwriting on an original document. Always verify spellings and dates by checking the original record. 

Online indexes can help you find references to your ancestors in state vital records, books, periodicals and other sources. An index will contain only a fraction of the information recorded in the original source. When you locate your ancestor in, say, the Periodical Source Index (searchable via HeritageQuest Online, free through many libraries), jot down all the information, and then look for the genealogical or historical journal where the data appears. Or if your ancestor's name is in an online death records index, note the certificate number and request a copy from the state vital-records office.

The Trace Your Roots Online CD is available from

12 Days of Genealogy | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 17 December 2010 16:28:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Genealogy News Corral Dec. 13-17
Posted by Diane

  • Another new database from Library and Archives Canada is Medals, Honours and Awards, containing more than 113,000 references to medal registers, citation cards and records of military awards. It also has digitized images of some medal registers. You can search the database by name, regiment, rank and more; if you find a match, you’ll learn the medal awarded, the related battle or conflict, and a citation for the record containing the information. Because no service files exist for the Canadian military in the 1800s, these records may provide the only proof of service for 19th-century conflicts. 
  • FamilySearch has added nearly four million new digital images—nearly 1.7 million of them indexed—to its historical records collection. The additions include records from South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Guatemala, the Netherlands and the United States. Visit FamilySearch for a list of the collection titles with the new images, and how many of the records are indexed. Unindexed collections aren’t searchable, instead, you’ll need to browse those collections and view the records to find your ancestor’s name.
  • Richard Heaton e-mailed us about his site called Last Chance To Read, a searchable collection of thousands of pages of scarce British and Irish newspapers and other publications, most printed between 1710 and 1870. Once you register for a free account, you can do a search and order PDF copies of articles for about $4.75 via PayPal. See included titles here (scroll down).  
  • RootsMagic released a free update to version 4, version, which update adds several user-requested features and fixes a number of issues. Users may be automatically notified to download the update; if not, open the program and go to Help>Check for Updates or click here.

Canadian roots | FamilySearch | Genealogy Software | Military records | Newspapers | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 17 December 2010 16:06:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, 16 December 2010
12 Days of Genealogy: Family Tree Legacies
Posted by Diane

On the fourth day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me … Family Tree Legacies!

The book Family Tree Legacies: Preserving Memories Throughout Time is great for beginners, newlyweds or anyone who’s ready to create a lasting family keepsake from their genealogy information. You can get a good look at what’s inside the book in this blog post

It comes with how-to information and pages for recording family information of all kinds, plus a CD so you can print extras. You can download the Military Service Record, for writing about ancestors who served their country, as a free PDF from

Click here to order Family Tree Legacies from

12 Days of Genealogy | Genealogy books
Thursday, 16 December 2010 16:26:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]