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# Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Celebrate National Photo Month With Us
Posted by Diane


As a publication that celebrates family photographs, we have a few goings-on for National Photo Month in May:
  • This month’s Ultimate Photo Preservation Collection sold out in record time, so we’re introducing another collection: the Digitize Your Family Photos Value Pack. Only during National Photo Month, you’ll save 69 percent on these tools to help you build a digital archive of your family's cherished memories:
  1. Organize Your Family Photos independent study course download
  2. The new Photo Rescue ebook
  3. Photo Sharing 101 on-demand webinar 

Learn more at ShopFamilyTree.com. (Bonus: Order anything at ShopFamilyTree.com now through Monday, May 9, and get the "Memories of Mom" digital download from the forthcoming book My Life & Times by Sunny Jane Morton.)

  • Finally, watch this blog for news of our Photo Mysteries contest, starting next Monday, to get a chance to win an Ultimate Digital Photo Collection.

Editor's Pick | Photos | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Wednesday, May 04, 2011 4:06:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
The Family History Book of My Dreams
Posted by Diane

... only it's not about my family. I came across a unique, fascinating family history display on one of FamilyTreeMagazine.com’s sister sites, a design publication called Imprint.com.

After the death of Gordon Felton, originally Gunter Fajgenbaum, his son, graphic designer Nicholas Felton, used the hundreds of artifacts his father left to create a visual synopsis of his life.

The 12-page book features infographics showing information about Gordon’s family, each decade of his life, the places he lived and traveled, his collections of music and postcards, and more.

Here are a few of the pages (click each page for a bigger view):

The first page (above) uses pie charts to show the number and types of items Gordon saved from each year of his life.

Page three summarizes his youth in England, with a photo and stats from his school reports (best and worst subject, most frequent adjectives teachers used to describe him, etc.).

The center pages show the places Gordon traveled, with at-a-glance information such as the highest altitude visited and number of locations in each hemisphere.

I admire the mad graphic design skills that went into this book. But beyond the gorgeous looks, I love how Nicholas studied his father’s ephemera and compiled facts (such as movies he saw and the type of music he listened to) that kind of summarize the family archive and give insight into what kind of person Gordon was.

You can read more about the book here.

Flip through all the pages life-size on Nicholas Felton’s website

Have you created a visual display of family history (whether in a book or another form)? Click Comments and tell us about it.


Family Heirlooms | saving and sharing family history
Wednesday, May 04, 2011 3:17:59 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Ancestry.com and Holocaust Museum to Create Free Index to Holocaust Records
Posted by Diane

Subscription website Ancestry.com and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are launching the World Memory Project to recruit volunteers to build an online resource for information on Holocaust victims.

Volunteers will build an index to the museum’s archives, which hold information on more than 17 million people targeted by the Nazis, including Jews, Poles, Roma, Ukrainians, political prisoners and others.

Ancestry.com will donate the indexing software and project management, and will host the completed indexes, which will be free to search. Holocaust survivors and their families can contact the museum to obtain copies of original documents at no cost.

Since launching the project in beta in February, Ancestry.com contributors have already indexed over 30,000 of the museum’s archival documents, which will soon be searchable free on Ancestry.com.

People from anywhere in the world can help index the remaining records by visiting www.WorldMemoryProject.org and registering to become a contributor.


Ancestry.com | Jewish roots | Museums
Tuesday, May 03, 2011 10:15:53 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Your Advice for the Busy Mom, Dad and Grandparent Genealogist
Posted by Diane

About a month ago, when I started back at Family Tree Magazine from maternity leave, I asked you all how you squeeze in genealogy with parenting (my cute little guy, Leo, is just over three months old now). I wanted to share the great advice I got—which also will be useful for researchers busy with grandparenting and life in general:
  • You have to do other things when he is sleeping or have him in one of those swings that you can put him in. They grow fast and you will miss a lot if you don't keep him with you as much as you can. —Irma
  • I fit research in in tiny little increments. My children are ages 3 and 5, and I'm home with them full-time. It's hard. If I get to the library, it's on a Saturday (after intense negotiations with my husband as to who will cover the kids when). My online research takes place before 6 a.m. (when the first one gets up) or during naptime.

Mostly, I try to remind myself that this is the period in life where you're supposed to focus on the family tree in your own house, not the one in your file cabinet. You will be amazed how quickly they grow up, and those dead people aren't going anywhere. They'll still be there in a few years when he just wants you to leave him alone so he can play video games. —Kerry Scott (who blogs at Clue Wagon

  • Genealogy is something we never stop doing even if it is only going over details in our head while rocking, feeding or holding a baby in the middle of the night. Find a good place to sit with Leo and in the same area put an art easel (use the cheap ones children use) and put items you need to contemplate, then get yourself a recorder. Record ideas or thoughts about genealogy or day-to-day items. Replay when you have time. Enjoy the time he is awake. My baby turns 45 this year and I still can remember those times. —Patricia Nemeth
  • My children grew up underneath the tables at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, back in the day (1985-1990). They made a little fort and basically hung out and behaved because they knew Chuck E. Cheese was the last stop before heading home. —Kay McCullough
  • Concentrate on the descendant right now—the ancestors will wait. Get a recorder to remember what Leo does and says as he grows. He'll appreciate knowing about that when he has descendants, as much as he'll appreciate knowing about his ancestors. And you'll have plenty of time between the ages of 50 and 90 to research genealogy—believe me, I know. —Gene Kuechmann
  • When my daughter was that young, I decided to focus more on making history and memories, instead of looking at records. Those will wait for me, although I did do some research from time to time when I got a moment. This is the time to take pictures—maybe a scrapbook or slideshow—to record your ongoing family history.
Oh, and while all those relatives are over to ogle the baby, don't forget to ask them about the family history. Somehow people are more inclined to talk when they know it is for someone who definitely doesn't know the story.

When we finished a cemetery trip or a library trip (yeah, I did make her sit through those—she helped by drawing pictures I would publish in the family book), there was always a trip to Taco Bell as a reward. —Shasta

  • It seems like just yesterday when I was trying to research and raise little ones. Naptime and late at night were the best times to do genealogy (and an occasional Saturday when Dad was home). But there were long stretches of time when I didn't do any, simply because we were too busy making our own family history. Or I was too tired! —Michelle Goodrum
  • I squeeze in small moments of searches whenever I can—while making dinner, etc. I stay super-organized so I know exactly where I left off. —Elyse Doerflinger (who blogs at Elyse’s Genealogy Blog

Research Tips
Tuesday, May 03, 2011 9:58:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, May 02, 2011
You Could Win a Year of Family Tree Magazine and a Geni Pro Account!
Posted by Diane

We’re getting together with world family tree site Geni to give you a chance to win a Geni Pro Account and Family Tree Magazine subscription!

Now through May 8, write a post on the Family Tree Magazine Facebook wall or Geni Facebook wall describing how you first got into genealogy.

One person who posts will be randomly chosen to win a one-year subscription to Family Tree Magazine and a two-year Geni Pro Account. 

Three runners up will win a copy of the Family Tree Magazine "Beginners Guide to Genealogy" digital download plus a three-month Geni Pro Account.

Good luck!

Here are the contest rules:

  1. No purchase necessary.
  2. Winners will be chosen randomly.
  3. Odds of winning are directly related to how many people enter the contest.
  4. One winner will be chosen to win the grand prize. Three will be chosen to win the secondary prize.
  5. The contest starts at 12AM ET May 1st, 2011, and it ends at 12AM ET May 8, 2011.
  6. You are responsible for anything in regards to the legality of entering a contest in the area in which you live.
  7. Rules can be updated at any time without notice.
  8. The winners will be notified via their provided contact information the week following the end of the contest.
  9. The winners have seven days to claim their prize.
  10. One entry per person.
  11. You must have a free Geni.com account.
  12. To be eligible to win, you must live in the United States.

Genealogy fun | Social Networking
Monday, May 02, 2011 1:03:17 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, April 29, 2011
This Week's Life in Civil War America Winner!
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to Malina Duff, the final winner of our Life in Civil War America book sweepstakes. Here’s her entry:


Thanks everyone for telling us about your Civil War ancestors as part of this giveaway—we've enjoyed reading your stories!

There’ll be many opportunities to learn more about your family's experiences as the Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration continues. We’re looking forward to sharing them with you.


Genealogy books | Military records
Friday, April 29, 2011 3:20:42 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy News Corral, April 25-29
Posted by Diane

The National Archives has posted the class handouts from its recent Genealogy Fair for you to download as PDFs. They’re from experts’ presentations on the 1940 census, Ancestry.com, Footnote, federal land records and more.

The Civil War Trust is coming out with another smartphone “Battle App,” this one helping tourists locate and learn about historic sites at the Fredericksburg battlefield. Download and learn more about this app and the Devil’s Den & Little Roundtop app at CivilWar.org.

Want to attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, Calif., June 10-12? You could win a registration from GeneaBloggers. Click here to learn more and enter


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Military records | NARA
Friday, April 29, 2011 2:47:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Boogeying Down to Charleston for NGS
Posted by Diane

We’re coming right up on the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Family History Conference, May 10-14 in Charleston, SC (inspiration for the popular 20s dance The Charleston). There, genealogists will attend more than 186 lecture sessions and browse an exhibit hall boasting 90 genealogy organizations

Family Tree Magazine will be in exhibit hall booth 131 with a selection of our CDs, books and South Carolina research kits.

Attendees can log into their NGS accounts and download the conference syllabus as a PDF

A free trolley will run from the seven convention hotels (Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Residence Inn, Hyatt Place, Crowne Plaza and Hampton Inn Airport) to the convention center.

Local research opportunities include the South Carolina Room at the Charleston County Library and the South Carolina Historical Society, both in Charleston’s historic downtown. See more Charleston and South Carolina research sites here

The conference isn’t downtown, but NGS is organizing group tours of Charleston for a fee

I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago, and IMHO it’s totally worth taking the time out (or adding to your trip) to see local sites such as Fort Sumter, Rainbow Row, The Battery, Waterfront Park and Magnolia Plantation. To get to Fort Sumter (this Civil War sesquicentennial year would be a great time to go), you can take a ferry from downtown Charleston

Planning to go to the conference? Here are some tips on how to get ready and what to bring.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives
Friday, April 29, 2011 9:07:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, April 28, 2011
Ideas for Mom on Mother's Day
Posted by Diane

I have Anna Marie Jarvis to thank for my upcoming breakfast in bed this Mother's Day (my first as a mom). She established the day in 1908 with backing from Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker. The state of West Virginia declared the holiday in 1910, and the rest of the states followed suit.

Mother’s Day is coming right up on May 8, so I’ve been dreaming up gift ideas a family history-minded mom might go for. Here are some I’ve come up with:

Framed photo: If you have one of those three- or four- (or more) generation photos of moms in your family, that would be perfect. Or a picture of you and your mom. Or maybe find pictures of you, your mom and her mom at about the same age, and frame them together.

Photo gifts: Use a digital photo and a website such as Shutterfly or Snapfish to create anything from coffee mugs to mousepads.

Family Tree: Create a decorative family tree with photos. You can use your genealogy software to do this, or download a decorative tree from a site such as FamilySearch, then print and fill it out. Several sites let you fill out a tree online and either print it for free or order a professionally printed version. Here’s our roundup of sites for generating or ordering a decorative family tree

Family history or memoir book: Try the fill-in book Family Tree Legacies  or Grandma’s Memories, which has prompts to help mom share her life stories. 

Mom advice: Books such as 150 Tips and Tricks for New Moms, All About Mom or A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers might have just the advice or inspiration a mom in your life needs.

Genealogy helps: You can find all kinds of items at ShopFamilyTree.com to help mom discover her roots. If you're not sure where to start, try a State Research Collection  for a state she’s searching in, or our Organize Your Genealogy Life! CD to help her keep her research shipshape. 

How are you honoring your mom this year?


Female ancestors | Genealogy fun
Thursday, April 28, 2011 4:37:48 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Find Your California Kin
Posted by Diane

Our ancestors poured into California from all walks of life: They were early Spanish missionaries, Gold Rush migrants, wagon train pioneers, railroad workers, immigrants through West Coast ports, Great Depression-era “Okies,” and fortune-seekers from any era.

California’s population grew explosively before record-keeping was well-established. So how do you pick out your ancestor from all those people? Get help tracing your Golden State roots in our next webinar:

California Genealogy Crash Course: Find Your Golden State Ancestors

You’ll learn about helpful records for California research, the best websites to search, and hints for dealing with common obstacles such as long waits for vital records and the San Francisco earthquake and fire. With your registration for the live session, you’ll get:

  • Participation in the live presentation and Q&A session
  • Access to the webinar recording to view again as many times as you like
  • PDF of the presentation slides for your future reference
  • PDF of our California State Research Guide

The $39.99 early bird price ends May 14. Learn more and register here.


Editor's Pick | Webinars
Thursday, April 28, 2011 9:38:41 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]