Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!



July, 2017 (3)
June, 2017 (4)
May, 2017 (4)
April, 2017 (5)
March, 2017 (7)
February, 2017 (6)
January, 2017 (6)
December, 2016 (7)
November, 2016 (9)
October, 2016 (3)
September, 2016 (5)
August, 2016 (3)
July, 2016 (7)
June, 2016 (4)
May, 2016 (8)
April, 2016 (3)
March, 2016 (9)
February, 2016 (9)
January, 2016 (11)
December, 2015 (7)
November, 2015 (12)
October, 2015 (9)
September, 2015 (13)
August, 2015 (15)
July, 2015 (15)
June, 2015 (14)
May, 2015 (13)
April, 2015 (18)
March, 2015 (17)
February, 2015 (15)
January, 2015 (12)
December, 2014 (12)
November, 2014 (16)
October, 2014 (20)
September, 2014 (17)
August, 2014 (18)
July, 2014 (16)
June, 2014 (18)
May, 2014 (17)
April, 2014 (17)
March, 2014 (17)
February, 2014 (16)
January, 2014 (16)
December, 2013 (11)
November, 2013 (15)
October, 2013 (19)
September, 2013 (20)
August, 2013 (23)
July, 2013 (24)
June, 2013 (14)
May, 2013 (25)
April, 2013 (20)
March, 2013 (24)
February, 2013 (25)
January, 2013 (20)
December, 2012 (19)
November, 2012 (25)
October, 2012 (22)
September, 2012 (24)
August, 2012 (24)
July, 2012 (21)
June, 2012 (22)
May, 2012 (28)
April, 2012 (44)
March, 2012 (36)
February, 2012 (36)
January, 2012 (27)
December, 2011 (22)
November, 2011 (29)
October, 2011 (52)
September, 2011 (26)
August, 2011 (26)
July, 2011 (17)
June, 2011 (31)
May, 2011 (32)
April, 2011 (31)
March, 2011 (31)
February, 2011 (28)
January, 2011 (27)
December, 2010 (34)
November, 2010 (26)
October, 2010 (27)
September, 2010 (27)
August, 2010 (31)
July, 2010 (23)
June, 2010 (30)
May, 2010 (23)
April, 2010 (30)
March, 2010 (30)
February, 2010 (30)
January, 2010 (23)
December, 2009 (19)
November, 2009 (27)
October, 2009 (30)
September, 2009 (25)
August, 2009 (26)
July, 2009 (33)
June, 2009 (32)
May, 2009 (30)
April, 2009 (39)
March, 2009 (35)
February, 2009 (21)
January, 2009 (29)
December, 2008 (15)
November, 2008 (15)
October, 2008 (25)
September, 2008 (30)
August, 2008 (26)
July, 2008 (26)
June, 2008 (22)
May, 2008 (27)
April, 2008 (20)
March, 2008 (20)
February, 2008 (19)
January, 2008 (22)
December, 2007 (21)
November, 2007 (26)
October, 2007 (20)
September, 2007 (17)
August, 2007 (23)
July, 2007 (17)
June, 2007 (13)
May, 2007 (7)



<2011 March>

More Links

# Friday, 11 March 2011
News Corral: March 11
Posted by jamie

Ireland's archival collections are now indexed online on the Irish Archives Resource website. The collection includes records of current and defunct government and local government agencies, individuals, landed estates, clubs, societies, trade unions, religious organizations, and cultural and political organizations. Click here to search the collection.

Early-bird registration ends today for the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference, scheduled for May 11-14 in Charleston, S.C. Editors from Family Tree Magazine will be exhibiting there, so make sure to stop by our booth for free handouts and special prices on CDs and books. Register for the conference here.

The 1916 census of Canada's western provinces is now available at the Library and Archives of Canada website. Unfortunately, the census has yet to be indexed, so searching for individuals will be slow unless you know exactly where to look. Click here for more information.

Family Tree Firsts blogger Nancy Shively received our special Civil War issue of Family Tree Magazine in the mail, and she's using it to explore her Confederate roots. Read her full story on

And while we're on the subject of the Civil War, the Confederate constitution was adopted 150 years ago today. Click here to view the original document.

Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy
Friday, 11 March 2011 15:24:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy Classes Starting Monday with a Coupon!
Posted by Grace

The next batch of Family Tree University courses starts on Monday, March 14. Click through on any of the titles below to learn more and sign up! PS: If you use the coupon code FTU0311 you'll get 20 percent off your registration in any March course! See all of Family Tree University's courses here.

Family Tree University
Friday, 11 March 2011 14:37:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Lesson Learned and Family History Innovation
Posted by Lisa

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the new and innovative RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. (Check out my blog about it here.) The wide range of family history and technology developer classes was something we really haven’t seen in mainstream genealogy conferences. And the exhibit hall was hands-down the most exciting high-tech genealogy space (and most expensive!) that family historians have ever seen.

It was quite amazing considering it was a first time event for FamilySearch. As Jay Verkler commented in my interview with him, they fully expected to make a few mistakes here and there, and strive for continuous improvements. The commitment has been made: RootsTech will be an annual event, and it will just get better and better.

While FamilySearch’s RootsTech roared onto the genealogy scene, it was the Who Do You Think You Are? Live event in London (Check out my blog about it here.) that featured a simple and yet very effective technological component: hands-on computer access.

As I scoured the vast aisles of the Olympia Conference Centre, everywhere I looked attendees were not just browsing exhibits, but they were also interacting with them. While there were banks of computers provided by FamilySearch in both the Internet Café area and the Family History Library area of the exhibit hall at RootsTech, a hands on experience was not the norm at most vendor booths. Of course, the challenge for vendors is that power hookup at events like these can be quite costly, and yet exhibit stalls from the largest to the smallest seem to be able to pull it off at Who Do You Think You Are? Live.

Having the ability to put their hands on keyboards, test drive software, search for ancestors kept attendees fully engaged and prolonged their stay at each stall. The level of engagement achieved at WDYTYA? Live is a great role model for future RootsTech conferences. Perhaps FamilySearch can work to negotiate lower fees in exchange for a larger number of power and Internet hookups. As so often happens with technology, it’s the access and hardware that tend to be the biggest hurdles, as there is no lack of interest or innovation!

And speaking of innovation, check out my newest video interview with Mike Dowdle of GenerationStation. Mike is the perfect example of someone who saw a need, had an idea, and succeeded in converging technology and family history into a cool new website tool.

You can view many more videos recorded at the RootsTech 2011 conference at the the Genealogy Gems Podcast Channel at YouTube.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun
Friday, 11 March 2011 10:10:53 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 10 March 2011
Family Tree 40 Best Blogs Winners
Posted by jamie

Genealogy blogs are serving a more and more important role in family history research. Anyone with internet access can maintain their own blog, sharing their best tips, research stories, information about their ancestors and more. Even our Family Tree Firsts blogger Nancy Shively has stumbled upon distant cousins by chronicling her research online.

Blogs are invaluable to the online genealogy community; that's why we started the Family Tree 40, our annual roundup of the best genealogy blogs as decided by our readers. The results are in — visit for a roundup of all the winners.

Family Tree Magazine articles
Thursday, 10 March 2011 15:03:05 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 09 March 2011
March Madness for Genealogists Free Webinars
Posted by jamie

If you're not a basketball fan, join Family Tree Magazine contributor Lisa A. Alzo for her March Madness for Genealogists free webinar series. Space is limited to the first 100 attendees, so you must reserve a spot to participate.

The available webinars include:
Getting Started in Genealogy: The Basics
Saturday, March 12, 1:00 p.m. EST
Register here.

Silent Voices: Tips and Tricks for Tracing Female Ancestors
Saturday, March 19, 1:00 p.m. EST
Register here.

Life Stories: How to Write a Compelling Family History Narrative
Saturday, March 26, 1:00 p.m. EST
Register here.

Read more about the free webinars on Lisa's blog The Accidental Genealogist.

Wednesday, 09 March 2011 11:45:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 08 March 2011 News Corral
Posted by jamie ended 2010 with 1.4 million subscribers, up 31 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009. The genealogy website also posted sales of $82.7 million for 2010, up 38 percent from a year earlier. Read the full financial report here.

If you have a British black sheep in the family, you may be in luck. has published parole records of some of the United Kingdom female prisoners sentenced during 1853 to 1871, and 1883 to 1187. The database includes 4,400 records and 500 photos, and is available to U.S. members with a world subscription. Click here to search the Licenses of Parole for Female Convicts collection.
Ever wish you could access your family history easily anywhere? Now there's an app for that. has unveiled a new genealogy app for iPad and iPhone. The Ancestry app features multi-generational family trees complete with images of family records and photos, giving users access to their family history on the go. The app is available as a free download in the iTunes Store. | UK and Irish roots
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 14:13:14 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Our Civil War Issue on Sale Now
Posted by jamie

We're celebrating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by devoting our May 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine to the war between the states. In this issue, we give you the inside scoop on tracing Blue and Gray ancestors, tips for preserving military uniforms, a guide to ordering an official military grave marker and more. It even includes a special excerpt from our new book Life in Civil War America.

Our special Civil War issue of Family Tree Magazine goes on sale today. Look for it on newsstands or purchase a copy from

Editor's Pick | Sales
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 09:36:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Saturday, 05 March 2011
"Who Do You Think You Are?" Episode 5 Recap
Posted by jamie

Spoiler Alert: If you don't already know what happened during Lionel Richie's episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” you are about to find out.

Singer-songwriter Lionel Ritchie explored his great-grandfather's history on his episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Richie began his journey at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where his mother, father and grandmother were professors. Gathering clues with his sister, Richie uses his grandmother's Social Security application to find her father's name — John Louis Brown.

He heads to his grandmother's birthplace of Nashville to learn more about J.L. Richie searches an old marriage registry and finds J.L. married Volenderver Towson on April 6, 1890. An archivist then shows Richie a copy of a divorce complaint, revealing J.L. was 50 when he married the 15-year-old Towson. A judge grants the divorce because J.L. abandoned his young wife for over two years.

Perplexed, Richie searches city directories from the 1880s, which list J.L. as a member of a black fraternal organization Knights of Wise Men. The group, founded in 1879, offered financial benefits to all members for illness and death. The Knights of Wise Men was a prototype of modern organizations that propelled the Civil Rights Movement, and J.L. was the national leader of the group.

According to an 1891 Chattanooga, Tenn., newspaper article, the Knights of Wise Men eventually collapsed because the group had to pay out a large amount of death benefits at once during a small pox epidemic; the treasurer then ran off with what was left of the money. For more on researching African-American ancestors in newspapers, see our Family Tree University independent study course here.

A 1929 Chattanooga city directory reveals J.L. was caretaker at a black cemetery, Pleasant Gardens. J.L.'s death certificate indicates he was buried in that cemetery. The document also lists J.L.'s father as Morgan Brown and his mother as unknown.

Richie visits Pleasant Gardens, distraught to see the graves overrun by weeds and grass. J.L. is buried in the pauper section of the cemetery, where most of the graves are unmarked.

Richie then finds J.L.'s pension application. At first he thinks J.L. was a soldier in the Civil War, but he was actually body servant — a butler to soldiers. Slaves were hired out for this dangerous job, and free blacks did it for low pay. J.L.'s owner was listed on the pension application as Morgan W. Brown, meaning J.L. could have been a slave and his owner could have also been his father. Learn more about tracing slave ancestors here.

At the Nashville Public Library, Lionel discovers there are two Morgan Browns in the area: Dr. Morgan Brown and his son Morgan W. Brown. Dr. Brown's journal reveals he owned a working slave plantation and one of the slaves, Mariah, gave birth to a son, Louis, in 1839, an unusual notation for a master to make in his journal. Dr. Brown was about 80 years old when Louis was born, but his son Morgan W. Brown was 39 at the time. It is still unclear which Morgan Brown is J.L.'s father.

Dr. Brown wrote his will during Mariah's pregnancy, granting Mariah and her child freedom, land and money for education of the child upon Dr. Brown's death. It is unclear if the executor of the estate, Morgan W. Brown, carried out Dr. Brown's wishes. For more on researching African American ancestors, see our guide here.

"WDYTYA" airs Fridays at 8pm EST on NBC. Check the Genealogy Insider blog for a brief recap of each episode.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Civil War
Saturday, 05 March 2011 11:15:03 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Friday, 04 March 2011
News Corral: March 4
Posted by jamie

Genealogy has gone prime time. NBC gave "Who Do You Think You Are?" the green light for a third season. "Faces of America" will return to PBS for another season. And on this week's "Top Chef All-Stars," contestants traced their family treed and competed at Ellis Island, cooking up dishes based on their family's heritage. Read more about the genealogy TV trend here.

GenealogyBank is offering a yearly subscription to its newspaper collection for 75 percent off. This offer is good through March 14, and you can learn more on

Family Tree Firsts blogger Nancy Shively discovered her great-grandfather suddenly came into money and lost it all, and she's determined to find out more. Read her full story on

The last living World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, died Sunday. Buckles drove an Army ambulance in France in 1918, after lying about his age to recruiters. He was 110 years old. Read his full story here.

The National Archives at Atlanta will present a Civil War Symposium, a day-long program commemorating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. The event features scholars and historians from leading archival and academic institutions, as well as an exhibit of 19th century African American newspapers. The symposium is slated for April 16 and costs $20 to attend. Visit NARA's website for more information.

Don't forget about our Ultimate Family History Starter Collection. This multimedia bundle brings you our most invaluable tips, tricks and how-tos to help you jump start your genealogy research. There are only 150 copies of this collection available through the end of March. There's more information in this Genealogy Insider blog post.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Family Tree Firsts | Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites | Newspapers
Friday, 04 March 2011 15:49:53 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
Baby's First Family History Center Visit
Posted by Grace

Diane's on maternity leave for a few more weeks, but that hasn't stopped her from continuing her genealogy research. She brought baby Leo with her on a recent trip to a Family History Center to request some microfilm. I am sure he was a very popular guy! Look at those hands -- he's just itching to get his mitts on some microfiche.

If you're planning on taking a trip to a Family History Center for the first time, you've got to read our article "Family History Central" (available to Plus members) from the January 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

FamilySearch | Genealogy for kids | Genealogy fun

Friday, 04 March 2011 11:05:28 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]