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<2011 May>

More Links

# Monday, 23 May 2011
June 9 Is Ask Archivists Day on Twitter
Posted by Diane

Got a burning question only an archivist could answer? Here’s a great opportunity to ask it: On Ask Archivists Day, a worldwide Twitter event taking place June 9, you can pose an archival question for archivists to address.

Start by following @AskArchivists on Twitter (you'll need a Twitter account, of course). Then on June 9, tweet your question and include the hashtag #AskArchivists. You can direct your question to any archivist who’s joining in, or to a specific participating archive—for example, including @USNatArchives in your tweet directs your question to the US National Archives.

Participating archives in the United States and Canada are listed here (the list is still growing). So far, they include the National Archives, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, North Carolina State Archives, Association des archivistes du Québec, Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, plus many college and university libraries.

Get more Ask Archivists Day details on the Ask Archivists blog, and of course, by following @AskArchivists on Twitter.

Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives | NARA | Research Tips | Social Networking
Monday, 23 May 2011 11:14:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
President "O'Bama" Visits Irish Ancestors' Hometown
Posted by Diane

You've probably heard about President Obama’s big visit this week to Ireland, which will include a stop in Moneygall, County Offaly, where his third-great-grandfather was born in 1830.

Fulmoth Kearney (“Falmoth Cainey” on his passenger list), age 19, arrived in New York March 20, 1850.

This Irish Times article explains how the connection was made to Obama’s Irish roots through professional researchers in the United States and local church officials in Ireland. 

There’s even a song about the president’s ancestry: “There’s No One As Irish As Barack O’Bama” by Ireland’s Corrigan Brothers. 

The song is the soundtrack for a documentary called Barack Obama's Irish Roots,  which just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. You can see a promo clip here

You can get Irish genealogy tips from the articles in Family Tree Magazine's Irish Research Toolkit or download our $4 Irish Genealogy Guide.

Celebrity Roots | UK and Irish roots | Videos
Monday, 23 May 2011 09:30:52 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 20 May 2011
Genealogy News Corral, May 16-20
Posted by Diane

  • A new website called Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names will launch in September. The site will contain free, searchable information about enslaved Virginians named in manuscripts at the Virginia Historical Society. Read more about the project here
  • has completed its two-year project to make the English and Welsh birth, marriage and death records on its site easier to use. This final installment of the project makes more than 85 million death records searchable at once, with as little as a surname. The site’s death records include England & Wales deaths, 1837-2006; British nationals who died overseas, 1818-2005; British nationals armed forces deaths, 1796-2005; and British nationals who died at sea, 1854-1890.

African-American roots | American Indian roots | Celebrity Roots | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 20 May 2011 16:05:58 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Google Stops Digitizing Old Newspapers
Posted by Diane

Got some Google news for you  today: First, Google has announced it’s stopping its quest to digitize old newspapers and post them online in the Google News Archive—to the disappointment of genealogists searching the archive for their ancestors’ names. Also, small newspapers lose the Google option for preserving old issues.

Google will continue to support the existing News Archive, so you can still search it. But it won’t add any search enhancements.

This article from the Boston Phoenix has more on what Google’s doing instead

See other sites where you can search online newspapers in this free article, and look for even more help using online newspaper databases in our November 2011 issue. (We’ve also got a Family Tree University course on newspaper research.) 

In other (happier) Google news, now you can get definitions for words in Google Books right then and there. Just select the word and a little pop-up menu gives you options to define it, translate it, or search for it in the book, Google or Wikipedia. You have to be in “Flowing Text” mode for this to work; click here for more details

Friday, 20 May 2011 15:47:00 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, 19 May 2011
And the Winners Are ...
Posted by Diane

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of our “How I got interested in genealogy” contest with world family tree site Geni

The winner of the grand prize—a two-year Geni Pro account and a year of Famliy Tree Magazine—is Sadie Morgan of Rossville, Ga.

The second-prize winners, who’ll receive the Family Tree Magazine "Beginners Guide to Genealogy" digital download and a three-month Geni Pro Account, are:

  • Kim Cotton
  • Lori Pilla
  • Laura Ramsay

We're contacting the winners to deliver your prizes. Congratulations to them, and thank you to everyone who entered. We enjoyed reading about how you got into genealogy! (You can see the entries on the Facebook pages for Family Tree Magazine and Geni.)

Genealogy fun | Social Networking
Thursday, 19 May 2011 11:00:34 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 18 May 2011
This Just In: Genealogy Brick Walls Quake in Fear As New Family Tree University Session Is Set to Begin
Posted by Diane

Editor's Pick

(What can I say, I guess I'm in a bit of a melodramatic mood this morning!) Next Monday, May 23, begins a new session of Family Tree University and a new opportunity to find out what you need to know in order to bust through that big bad brick wall.

Courses run for four weeks with one lesson per week. That's except for Lisa Louise Cooke’s Google Master Class, which combines three courses over eight weeks; and Discover Your Family Tree, a two-week course especially for beginners.

Click each link for more about the class, including a syllabus, student feedback, and even preview videos for some. You can save 20 percent on registration by using offer code FTU0511.

Editor's Pick | Family Tree University
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 08:58:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 16 May 2011
Take Two and Call Us in the Morning ...
Posted by Diane

Welcome back to all the genealogists experiencing conference hangover this Monday morning! (The National Genealogical Society annual conference wrapped up over the weekend in Charleston, SC.)

We can’t wait for our own Allison Stacy to stagger skip back into the office to share all the conference happenings!

In the mean time, here's a photo from our booth in the exhibit hall:

On the left is Jennifer Woods from the Climbing My Family Tree blog, then Allison, and that’s Cheryl Cayemberg from the Have You Seen My Roots? blog on the right, with Jennifer’s daughter Ellie.

Both bloggers were voted to the 2011 Family Tree 40 in the New Blogs category. Check out their reports from the conference and Jennifer's stunning photographs. (And check out Ellie's NGS video report here.) Thanks to Jennifer for sending this photo, as well.

Scroll down to see our posts with NGS conference news. Did you go? How was it? Have you recovered from the travel, walking, talking, sightseeing and most of all, brain overload?

Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun
Monday, 16 May 2011 10:12:16 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 13 May 2011
Genealogy News Corral: NGS Edition
Posted by Diane

Here’s a quick look at some of the news bits coming out of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2011 Family History Conference, which ends tomorrow in Charleston, SC. 
  • We’re hearing there's great attendance at this year’s conference, and that the first two days in the exhibit hall were crowded.
  • The 2012 NGS conference is May 9-12 in Cincinnati (also the hometown of Family Tree Magazine) and the 2013 conference will be in Las Vegas.
  • FamilySearch has set an annual goal to add 200 million record images to its free online records search. Its 2012 RootsTech conference will be Feb. 2-4 in Salt Lake City.
  • Archivist of the United States David Ferrerio, speaking at the NGS opening session, said that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is digitizing the 1940 census in-house and it’ll be available—but not yet indexed by name—on on NARA's website April 2, 2012. It won’t be on any commercial websites on that date.
  • will begin indexing the census records as soon as they’re available and will post the indexed records online later in the year, the company announced at a conference reception.
Dick Eastman has posted his copious notes from the reception. Some things that caught my eye: the new genealogy Web Search, US Navy Ship Muster Rolls 1939-1949 (coming on Memorial Day), more US birth and death records, a faster record image viewer, a new Android app, and the ability to download data from your Ancestry tree to version 2012 Family Tree Maker software. | census records | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | NARA
Friday, 13 May 2011 16:14:05 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0] Adds Web Search
Posted by Diane

Web Search, one of the concepts from’s Ancestry Labs site, is becoming part of the main search. (Here's our original post, from last fall, about Ancestry Labs and Web Search.) 

For Web Search, will index other genealogy web sites. When you do a search on, if there’s a relevant match in a record on a site that’s been indexed, that match will be included in your search results along with the historical records on Web Search will be a free service.

Here’s what a Web Search result looks like (image, arrows and callouts are's).

So you can tell which records in your search results are from and which are from another site, you’ll see an icon and the word “Web” in front of the name of the collection.

The Web Search results include the essential information from the other site (theoretically, enough to help you decide whether the record refers to your ancestor) and a link to visit the website.

“In the same way you should always check the image when you look at an index, make sure you go to the web site to see what other information is there,” advises in its announcement. “You will usually find additional information.”

You also can click to save the information to your tree.

You don’t have to subscribe or have a guest account with to use Web Search or get to the source website. But if you want to save the web record to your online tree, you’ll of course need at least a guest account. 

Webmasters who don’t want their genealogy websites indexed in Web Records will be able to contact and opt out.

See more details and a Q&A on’s Web Search info page

Many genealogists see Web Search as’s shot at a do-over of its Internet Biographical Collection, which was pulled down shortly after its introduction in August 2007 amid negative feedback over copyright and other concerns. More on that in this post | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 13 May 2011 12:37:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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]