Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!



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 May>

More Links

# Thursday, 12 May 2011
NGS Attendees: Free Six-Month Membership
Posted by Diane

You’ll soon start seeing more records on subscription genealogy site At the National Genealogical Society (NGS) conference opening session yesterday, Archives product director Joe Godfrey announced the site will embark on an ambitious content acquisition and digitization plan, focusing in part on the digitization of material not yet online.

Anne Roach, who chaired FamilySearch’s 2011 RootsTech conference, will join Archives to lead the project.

"This will entail a long-term, multi-million dollar effort," product manager Julie Hill told me. "Users will begin to see these records coming online in the next couple of months."

If you're attending the NGS conference (going on now), you can sample the records already available on Archives by picking up a complimentary six-month membership card at the Archives booth (#229 and 231).

Archives also is making a special $1,000 grant award at the conference to an organization or individual working to preserve historical records and/or advance family history research. To apply, stop by the Archives booth for an application. Learn more on the NGS conference blog.

Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 12 May 2011 13:51:59 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Listen to Grandma's Music in the National Jukebox
Posted by Diane

Here’s another site that lets you walk in (well, dance in) your ancestors’ shoes—this one, by listening to the songs they loved.

The Library of Congress and Sony Music Entertainment created the National Jukebox website with 10,000-plus rare historic sound recordings produced in the United States from 1901 and 1925.

At the press conference unveiling the site, musician and actor Harry Connick Jr. performed “I’m Just Wild About Harry” (wish I could’ve been at that press conference!). You can listen to composer Eubie Blake’s version in the National Jukebox.

Search the recordings or browse by genre, artist, target audience (where you can click to the music of Germans, Swedes, Poles, Italians, Jews and other ethnic groups). Listen to recordings on a streaming-only basis. You also can access label images, record-catalog illustrations and artist bios, and create your own playlists.

"This collection includes popular music, dance music, opera, early jazz, famous speeches, poetry and humor. It is what our grandparents and great-grandparents listened to, danced to, sang along with," says Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

The site represents the largest collection of such historical recordings made publicly available online for study and appreciation. In its agreement with Sony, the Library of Congress gets usage rights to Sony Music’s entire pre-1925 catalog.

I enjoyed George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." What tunes are you listening to in the National Jukebox?

Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | Social History
Thursday, 12 May 2011 12:24:33 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Find Ancestors in State Census Records With Our July Issue
Posted by Diane

Consider yourself lucky if your ancestors are from Illinois, Iowa, Florida, New York, South Dakota, or one of the other states that took state censuses.

These relatively underused resources can help you find ancestors between federal censuses, when federal census records are missing, or when your folks are missing from federal censuses.

Wouldn’t you know the July 2011 Family Tree Magazine, now on newsstands and on, has a guide to finding state censuses—both online and off. It comes with a handy cut-and-save chart of colonial, territorial and state censuses for every US state.

(I know July seems months away! This issue also covers June.) Other articles in this issue include:

  • Our research trip survival kit, which you’ll definitely want to take a look at if you’re hitting the road for genealogy this summer
  • Presentism and eight other pitfalls to avoid when reading and writing family and local histories. (Presentism, I learned from this article, is drawing conclusions about events and people of the past based on today's norms.) 
  • Our pull-out city research guides for Charleston, SC, and Detroit
  • Our guide to discovering your Croatian roots

… and lots more. The July 2011 Family Tree Magazine is available in print  or as a digital download

Editor's Pick | Family Tree Magazine articles
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 16:53:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Footnote Posts First War of 1812 Pension Files in Free Database
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site has published its first War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Applications in a free database. is digitizing millions of War of 1812 records and making them available free as part of a project with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (which in is in the process of raising $3.7 million dollars for the project) and the National Archives.

The first 1,400 record images—less than 1 percent of the estimated 7.2 million documents—are now available, and Footnote will add new records as they’re digitized.

The War of 1812 Pension Application Files can tell you

  • The veteran’s name, age, rank, and service information and dates
  • His widow’s name and maiden name (if she applied for the pension)
  • Soldier’s marriage date
  • Widow’s death date
  • Acres of land granted as a reward for service and the year of the Bureau of Land Management act under which the land was granted, and the warrant number (these details can help you find a bounty land warrant)
  • Applicant’s place of residence
  • Additional names, including those of the soldier’s surviving dependents

You’ll find a guide to researching the War of 1812 and other “lesser-known” US conflicts in the December 2010 Family Tree Magazine.

(Family Tree Magazine Plus members can access the article here.) 

Footnote | Free Databases | Military records
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 11:30:52 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
FamilySearch Adds South Carolina Genealogy Resources
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has announced new South Carolina genealogy resources to mark the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference, going on now in Charleston, SC: 

Probate records can be helpful in researching African-American ancestors, because probate files of slave owners often contain inventories of their slaves.

The Civil War, which of course started 150 years ago at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, is the talk of this year’s NGS conference. Click here to see FamilySearch’s related announcement about its Civil War records

African-American roots | court records | FamilySearch | Free Databases
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 09:31:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
FamilySearch Creates Civil War Records Collection
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has gathered its Civil War-related records into a collection you can access free at Some records were already available on; others were just added to coincide with the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in Charleston, SC.

Among the Civil War databases are:

  • United States, Civil War Soldiers Index: These index cards contain 6.3 million names of Union and Confederate soldiers and African-American sailors, along with basic service information (this information also is on the National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System website).
  • Confederate pensions for those living Arkansas (1901-1929), Louisiana (1898-1950) and Missouri (1911-1938): Browse these databases by last name.
  • Civil War Pension Index Cards: These are index cards for pension applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861 and 1917.
  • 1890 Census of Union veterans and widows of the Civil War: Browse by state, county and town; enumerators creating these special schedules sometimes listed Confederate veterans, too.
  • United States, Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914: This database, still being filmed and added to the site, names Army “regulars” (those who enlisted during peacetime—so generally, not men who enlisted to serve in a war). Browse by name.
  • Arizona Service Records of Confederate Soldiers of the Civil War, 1861-1863: This index links to record images at subscription site (you’ll need a subscription to view the documents).

See the full list of Civil War databases here (click the More » link).

You can search the Civil War records from the FamilySearch/Civil War page (note the search won’t include the browse-only collections, which aren’t yet indexed), or click on a database title to search or browse just those records.

Civil War | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Military records
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 09:20:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 10 May 2011
New Genealogy Tech Products Roll Out at NGS Conference
Posted by Diane

Two new products being introduced at the National Genealogical Society's annual Family History conference, getting underway today in Charleston, SC, include:
  • GenDetective software, a release from RumbleSoft Inc., analyzes your genealogical data and makes research recommendations based on missing or incomplete data. You can generate reports based on a location, time period, family line or individual, and print or view them on an iPad, iPhone, PDA, Droid smart phone or tablet (Xoom), Kindle, eBook reader, net book (mini), or laptop.
A feature I think looks especially useful: If you’re visiting somewhere for business, vacation or genealogy, you can create a research itinerary for that locale.
  • Many genealogists have family information in their genealogy software and online, and don't want to update their trees in both places. If that's you, AncestorSync could be what you need.
This utility, from Orem, Utah-based Real-Time Collaboration, lets you synchronize your family tree, source documents, citations and notes across all your computers and your online tree (the developers have partnerships with online tree sites FamilySearch, Geni and ourFamilyology). You can download, upload, or synchronize your tree “without anyone or anything getting lost in the process,” according to the announcement.
AncestorSync supports program formats including Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree, Personal Ancestral File and RootsMagic, and will soon support The Master Genealogist and MacFamilyTree. It’ll be available in June for a $15 annual fee, and is PC- and Mac-compatible

Genealogy Events | Genealogy Software | Tech Advice
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 09:24:54 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, 09 May 2011
Enter Family Tree Magazine's Photo Mysteries Contest
Posted by Diane

In honor of National Photo Month, we’re giving away help from our Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor and a Digitize Your Family Photos Value Pack, which includes our Organize Your Photos digital download, Photo Sharing 101 on-demand webinar and Photo Rescue e-book.

To enter our Photo Mysteries Contest, just submit your photo and/or a question about identifying or preserving your family photographs in one of these ways:

Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor will select one entry to feature on the Photo Detective blog and receive the Digitize Your Family Photos Value Pack.

The questions we receive also may be featured in the free Photo Detective Live! webinar May 18, or in future Photo Detective blog posts.

Here are the official contest rules.

Monday, 09 May 2011 16:01:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 06 May 2011
Genealogy News Corral, May 2-6
Posted by Diane

  • As part of its annual conference next week in Charleston, SC, the National Genealogical Society will offer a one-day Genealogy 101 session on Saturday, May 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration costs $50. Online registration is closed, but you can register at the door. Space is limited, so get there early.
  • A new organization has formed with the goal to provide in-depth genealogical education in the Mid-Atlantic region and nationally. The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is planning a weeklong genealogy seminar for Monday, July 23 through Friday, July 27, 2012, in Pittsburgh. Learn more on GRIP’s website.
  • If you’ll be in the Washington, DC, are next week, you can learn how to research the National Archives’ records of Union and Confederate Army units and Navy ships at one of two free workshops: May 10, 11 a.m. at the Washington, DC, Research Center; or Thursday, May 12, 11 a.m. at the College Park, MD, research center. Learn more on the National Archives’ events page
  • FamilySearch has added more than 2 million digital images to its record collections come from Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Switzerland, U.S., and Wales. More than 1.7 million of those images were added to the Brazil Civil Registration collection, and 346,000 church records were added for Honduras. The record images aren’t yet indexed, so you’ll need to navigate to the collection of interest on FamilySearch and browse the images. You can see the list of updated collections and link to each one here

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Military records | NARA
Friday, 06 May 2011 15:26:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 05 May 2011
New Irish Genealogy Records Site Launches
Posted by Diane

British genealogy subscription site has launched an Irish records site,

The site has more than 4,000,000 records dating from 1400 through the 1920s, including:

  • Landed Estates Court Records (1850-1885), detailing more than 500,000 tenants living on estates all over Ireland
  • Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864), which lists approximately 80 percent of householders in Ireland and names more than 1,400,000 individuals
  • Directories Collection of national, provincial and local directories, which have information about towns and names of businesses, tradespeople and residents was developed in partnership with Eneclann, a Dublin-based company that offers Irish genealogy services, as well as digital publications and other services.

You can subscribe to for 6 months for 37.95 EUR (about $55) or 12 months for 59.95 EUR (about $88).

Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, 05 May 2011 13:26:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]