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# Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Book Sheds New Light on Atlantic Slave Trade
Posted by Diane

I came across an article about a book you might be interested in, especially if your ancestors were African slaves or involved in the slave trade.

Between 1492 and about 1820, four enslaved Africans left the Old World for every European migrant. According to Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade by David Eltis and David Richardson, we know more about this forced migration than about European migration during the time. That’s because the slave trade generated profits, which usually meant record-keeping.

The book is based in part on the data in the online Transatlantic Slave Trade Database, which Eltis co-edited, containing information on 35,000 slave voyages from Africa to the Americas. (Read our post about the database's online debut in 2008.)

Detailed maps in the book show how almost every port in the Atlantic world at the time organized and sent out a slave voyage. Almost half of those voyages came from ports in the Americas.

The data let the authors determine trading patterns, for example, the United States drew more slaves from the area of Senegambia south to Liberia (on Africa’s west coast) than did any other part of the Americas. The authors also found the slave trade was going strong at the time it was finally suppressed.

The book also gives you a more personal look at the trade with information about people and conditions on board the ships, as well as writings from and images of a few passengers. You can read more about it in the article here, and find it listed on Amazon.com here

For help researching African-American roots, see the articles in our online toolkit. Find eight steps to get started tracing slave ancestors here.


African-American roots | Genealogy books
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 1:07:12 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Finding Massachusetts Ancestors
Posted by Diane


Whether your ancestors stepped onto Massachusetts soil from the Mayflower or immigrated later through one of the state’s busy ports, a wealth of genealogical records is yours to wade through. Our next webinar aims to help. 

Massachusetts Genealogy Crash Course: Find Your Bay State Ancestors takes place Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Pacific). Our expert presenters include

  • David Dearborn, staff genealogist with the New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • Midge Frazel, cemetery expert and Family Tree University instructor
  • David Lambert, New England Historic Genealogical Society online genealogist since 1993

You’ll learn essential Massachusetts history, tricks for locating records, details on vital and immigration records, primary ethnic groups and records they may have left, and the best websites for Massachusetts research. Here's a peek at some of Frazel's favorite sites:

Your registration for the live webinar includes:

  • Participation in the hour-long presentation and Q&A session
  • Access to the webinar recording to view as many times as you like
  • PDF of the presentation slides
  • PDF of our Massachusetts State Research Guide

The 20 percent off early-bird special ends soon, so register today.


Genealogy Web Sites | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Tuesday, January 04, 2011 2:19:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, January 03, 2011
While You (and I) Were Out
Posted by Diane

I hope you had some quality R&R over the holidays! I finished up my shopping and wrapping, hosted 35 relatives for a lively Christmas dinner (everyone pitched in, nobody spilled and we had a great time), continued preparations for the baby’s arrival in a month or so, caught up on past seasons of “Bones” on Netflix and packed away the holiday decorations. A relaxing and productive break.

It’s hard making your brain return from vacationland and get back to work (at least it is for me), but here goes! Here are some genealogical goings-on from the past coupla weeks, including a few announcements from FamilySearch:
  • FamilySearch also has started several new volunteer indexing projects, including US censuses, tax and vital records, and its first project in Polish. See the FamilySearch blog for details on each project and a contact link if you can volunteer.
  • British genealogy site Genes Reunited has added the original householder schedules for the entire 1911 UK and Wales census. The records are available by subscription or on a pay-per-view basis.
  • A.C. Ivory, one of the young genealogists profiled in the November 2010 Family Tree Magazine (in one of my most favorite articles I’ve worked on), has given his Find My Ancestor website and blog a new look. You’ll find new downloads and resources, a new logo, easier navigation, social media integration and more.
  • Those named to new positions in the genealogy world include Matt Wright as editor of the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ electronic quarterly, FGS FORUM; and Laura Murphy DeGrazia and Karen Mauer Green as co-editors of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s New York Genealogical and Biographical Record

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots
Monday, January 03, 2011 5:26:38 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 30, 2010
Inspiriation behind WWII Rosie the Riveter "We Can Do It!" poster dies
Posted by jamie

Geraldine Doyle, the inspiration for the iconic Rosie the Riveter "We Can Do It!" poster of World War II, passed away Sunday at age 86 of complications from severe arthritis.

Doyle was working at a Michigan metal factory in 1941 when a United Press International photographer snapped this photo of the slender 17-year-old laboring in a polka-dot bandanna:


Geraldine Doyle » Amazon.com

Artist J. Howard Miller was commissioned by the Westinghouse Corporation in 1942 to create morale-boosting posters for its factories. Miller was so smitten with the photo of Doyle, he drew upon it when producing the "We Can Do It!" poster:


"We Can Do It!" Poster » Wallstreetjournal.com

In 1942, Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb composed the popular song "Rosie the Riveter," about the new women's workforce. Shortly thereafter, a Norman Rockwell illustration of a red-headed riveter with the name Rosie painted on her lunch pail graced the cover of the Saturday Evening Post:


Rosie the Riveter illustration » Huffingtonpost.com

From then on, Westinghouse Corporation factory employees began associating the woman in the "We Can Do It Posters!" with the hard-working Rosie depicted in Rockwell's illustration.

Because the "We Can Do It!" poster was an internal Westinghouse Corporation project, the poster did not become a pop culture icon until her image was revived by advocates of women's equality in the workplace during the 1980s.

For decades Doyle was unaware she was the inspiration behind the "We Can Do It!" poster — she quit working at the factory one week after the photo was taken, because she feared she may permanently damage her hands on the equipment. It wasn't until 1982, when she came across the original photograph in a 1940s issue of Modern Maturity magazine, that Doyle realized she was the woman behind the classic image.

Doyle then began making appearances as Rosie the Riveter, signing autographs until her arthritis made it too painful for her to write.

"You're not supposed to have too much pride, but I can't help have some in that poster," Mrs. Doyle told the Lansing State Journal in 2002. "It's just sad I didn't know it was me sooner."

Historic preservation
Thursday, December 30, 2010 5:09:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Civil War News Corral
Posted by jamie

  • A retired CIA code breaker deciphered a 147-year-old message between Confederate officers. The dispatch indicates Maj. Gen. John G. Walker would not be sending additional troops to reinforce the Confederate hold on the Mississippi River. The same day, the Mississippi River fell to the Union.

  • Historians found a myriad of errors in Virginia history textbooks, and many of the errors relate to the history of the Civil War. The books include incorrect dates for the Battle of Bull Run and the end of slavery, as well as erroneous figures for the amount of men who led Pickett's Charge.

  • The United States Postal Service is celebrating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by releasing commemorative forever stamps depicting the major battles in the war. Souvenir sheets of two stamps will be issued annually, and the first set will be available April 12.

  • Members of the Cincinnati Sons of Union Veterans are working with a civil war preservation group in Georgia to restore a monument in Chickamauga National Battlefield Park. The monument marks where Gen. William Haines Lytle, a member of one of Cincinnati's founding families, was killed while leading union forces in a counterattack.

  • Many states are facing cutbacks and budget turmoil, leaving little funding for Civil War sesquicentennial celebrations. New York, North Carolina and other states have yet to allocate any money for the festivities, but Virginia and Pennsylvania are leading the charge with budgets of $2 million and $5 million.

  • Family Tree is celebrating the Civil War sesquicentennial with our latest book Life in Civil War America and with a special issue of Family Tree Magazine. Look for it on newsstands March 8.

Civil War | Historic preservation
Thursday, December 30, 2010 11:16:38 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Turn Your Family Tree Into a Personalized Memory Game
Posted by jamie

Online family tree builder and genealogy website MyHeritage.com has created a virtual family history memory game. No, it isn't a pop quiz on your family tree, but a matching competition similar to concentration.

To create the game, you must register for a free account and upload a GEDCOM file to the site. Users can then automatically generate personalized picture cards of close relatives and ancestors based on their family tree.



Following the same rules as a typical memory game, users can play online against other family members or solo against the clock. With a webcam option, players can even include a live picture of themselves in one pair of the cards.

Families who enjoy the online version of the game can order a hard copy for $20.
Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 3:53:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
FamilySearch Adds New Records Online
Posted by jamie

FamilySearch has expanded again, adding over a million records and images to its already gargantuan digital depository.

It bolstered state-specific collections, as well as collections from Canada, Spain and Venezuela, by adding more names and digital images to existing indexes. FamilySearch also updated the U.S. Social Security Death Index database with more names and digital images, and created new databases of records that were not previously available online.

The new and updated collections include:

Note the indexes are free to access, but you must create a free account to view digital images of the original record.

View all of FamilySearch's online offerings on its historical records collections page.


court records | FamilySearch | Vital Records
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 11:01:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, December 23, 2010
12 Days of Genealogy: Family Tree Magazine VIP Membership
Posted by Diane

On the 12th day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me … a Family Tree Magazine VIP membership!

Did you procrastinate on a gift for your favorite genealogist? Don't panic! The Family Tree Magazine VIP membership—a great last-minute gift that doesn’t require shipping—includes:

  • a subscription to the print Family Tree Magazine
  • access to the genealogy guidance in our searchable online article archive from past issues of Family Tree Magazine, as well as The Family Tree Sourcebook
  • 10 percent off purchases in ShopFamilyTree.com
  • …and more! ;

Click here to check out the benefits of a Family Tree Magazine VIP membership.


12 Days of Genealogy
Thursday, December 23, 2010 11:13:55 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
12 Days of Genealogy: Beginner's Guide Download
Posted by Diane

On the 11th day of Christmas, my genea-Santa gave to me … the Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy download!

Was someone on your Christmas list bitten by the genealogy bug this year? Our downloadable getting-started guide has important information for beginners to know in a user-friendly, engaging presentation. That includes:

  • Research principles (such as starting with yourself and working back in time)
  • How to fill out basic genealogy forms
  • Finding and using essential records, such as censuses and vital records
  • How to keep your research organized
  • Common myths and research traps to avoid
  • Best websites for genealogy research 

The Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy download is a fully searchable PDF your giftee can refer to again and again. Click here to get it from ShopFamilyTree.com


12 Days of Genealogy | Family Tree Firsts
Thursday, December 23, 2010 11:12:48 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, December 22, 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, December 22, 2010 5:11:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]