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# Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Get Ready for Genealogy Research Trips With This Month's Ultimate Collection
Posted by Diane


Are you hitting the road (or air) this summer for family history—whether your destination is a library, FamilySearch Center, courthouse, cemetery or ancestral hometown?

You can get the most out of your trip—and save money while you’re at it—by using the advice in our Ultimate Research Trip Collection to prepare for your trip. Here’s what’s in it:

  • Genealogist's Research Trip Planner e-book download: This book (which was my pet project for a couple of weeks) has sections on planning research trips, what to pack and working out your budget; accomplishing your research objectives at the library, cemetery, FamilySearch Center or courthouse; and walking in your ancestors’ shoes via museums, re-enactments and historic trails. 
  • Family Tree Pocket Reference: This pocket-size book has handy reference material you can look up in a snap, including glossaries, acronyms, timelines, census facts and figures, common names, immigration statistics and much more. 
  • Cemetery Research 101: Family Tree University Independent Study Course download
  • Gravestones "Oldstone" Rubbing Kit for making rubbings of ancestral tombstones

100 copies of this collection will be available only during June, at a savings of more than 60 percent. When they're gone, they're gone! Learn more about the Ultimate Research Trip Collection at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Editor's Pick | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Wednesday, June 01, 2011 1:59:55 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Win Prizes in a Scavenger Hunt for Illinois Genealogy Resources
Posted by Diane

This sounds fun: The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is holding an online genealogy scavenger hunt along with FamilySearch, with a goal to build the Illinois section of the FamilySearch Research Wiki

Everyone’s invited to participate in the Great Illinois Genealogy Scavenger Hunt, going on now through June 30.

All you have to do is find information on Illinois genealogy resources—websites, databases, how-to articles, etc.—and say why a resource should be included in the Research Wiki.

First, visit the Illinois pages of the FamilySearch Research Wiki to see what content is already there (your submitted resources should be original). Then submit your resource using the entry form.

Prizes include a RootsTech 2012 conference registration and a one-year ISGS membership. In addition, a prize will be awarded each day between June 1 and June 30, 2011 to someone drawn at random. For complete details, consult the contest rules.

See a full description of The Great Illinois Genealogy Scavenger Hunt on the ISGS website.

Need ideas for Illinois genealogy resources? See our $3 Illinois State Research Guide digital download, the Illinois section of the Family Tree Sourcebook (which has research tips, resource listings and county-by-county records guides for every US state), and the other how-to products in the Illinois section at ShopFamilyTree.com.


FamilySearch | Genealogy fun | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, June 01, 2011 8:57:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Photo Mysteries Contest Winner
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to J. Hansen, winner of the Photo Mysteries Contest we’ve been holding in honor of National Photo Month. Here’s his mystery photo, discovered in a storage area of her dad’s family business (founded in 1886).

Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor will analyze the photo for clues and blog about them on the Photo Detective blog (she’s already getting started here).

The winner also will receive the Digitize Your Family Photos Value Pack  (today’s the last day it’s available in ShopFamilyTree.com—learn more here).

Thank you to everyone who sent in your photos! You’ll see many of them popping up on the Photo Detective blog in the coming months.


Photos
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2:06:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
New Site Lets You Find a Genealogy Speaker, Post Your Presenter Profile
Posted by Diane

If you are a genealogy speaker or you need a genealogy speaker, visit the new GeneaSpeak website

This free site from GeneaBloggers has profiles and presentations of genealogy speakers, a calendar of speaking engagements, calls for papers for upcoming genealogy conferences, and posts about building speaking skills.

E-mail GeneaBloggers if you’d like to post your genealogy speaker profile to the site.

If you’re looking for a speaker for a genealogy society meeting or other event, you can browse the profiles here or use the search box at the top left of the site to type in a genealogy topic or a speaker’s name.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:06:34 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 27, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, May 23-27
Posted by Diane

  • The new iPhone app BillionGraves.com (1BGraves) lets you contribute to the site’s gravestone image database while on the road. Even without the app, you can add transcriptions to the site's online database. On the site, you can search gravestone records by person or cemetery (it looks like few stones are recorded yet, but you can find cemeteries listed with maps showing their locations).
  • The entire 1930 Mexico Census is now complete on FamilySearch. This indexing project started in September2007 and encompassed 13 million records. 
  • Here’s an update on a smaller genealogy subscription site you may not be familiar with: Family Tree Connection, launched in 2003, is approaching 2 million records. The names were transcribed from more than 5,400 documents including Masonic lodge rosters, military rosters, insurance claims, tax lists, orphanage records, club and society member lists, prisoner logs and mug shots, school catalogs, yearbooks, railroad employee information, rural telephone directories, church member lists and more.
  • Ancestry.com has added new US WWII Navy Muster Rolls (1938-1949) and a US Navy Cruise Books Index (1918-2009) to its military records collection.

Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Software
Friday, May 27, 2011 9:30:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, May 26, 2011
150 Years Ago Today in the Civil War: Postal Service Suspended in the South
Posted by Diane

The Civil War started 150 years ago in April, but the sesquicentennial actually stretches over the next four years. So we’re starting a series of blog posts to highlight various events in the war. Today's installment:

On May 26, 1861, US Postmaster-General Blair issued an order suspending postal service in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas as of May 31.

Mail for the shuttered offices was to be forwarded to the dead letter office, except in Western Virginia, where mail was to be sent to Wheeling.

To cope with increased mail during the Civil War, says author Michael O. Varhola in Life in Civil War America, the US Postal Service began dividing mail into first-class, second-class and third-class.

Congress also authorized the use of postage stamps as change after the US stopped issuing coinage. Due to hoarding, coins nearly disappeared from circulation. When the gummed stamps proved hard to use and unpopular, Congress approved glueless stamps called “postal currency.”


The book Life in Civil War America is available in print, as a digital download and as individual chapter downloads. Browse these items and our other Civil War resources at ShopFamilyTree.com


Civil War
Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:39:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Find Your New Jersey Ancestors
Posted by Diane

If you have New Jersey ancestors, you may have noticed that none of the New Jersey population schedules survive for the 1790, 1800, 1810 and 1820 US federal censuses.

Finding substitute sources is one of the research strategies you’ll learn in our next webinar, New Jersey Genealogy Crash Course: Find Your Garden State Ancestors, Wednesday, June 22, at 7 pm Eastern (6 Central/ 5 Mountain/ 4 Pacific).

Presenter Thomas MacEntee, New Jersey genealogy expert and founder of GeneaBloggers, gave me a sampling of other New Jersey research challenges the seminar will help you with:

  • Before New Jersey was a state or even a British colony, it was part of the New Sweden and New Netherlands colonies. That can make locating records a challenge, so the webinar will address early records for each of these colonies and where to find them.
  • Did you know that many New Jersey couples traveled to other states to get married? You’ll learn which states and counties were most popular and how to search for those marriage records.

Thomas also will tell you how to access New Jersey vital records and other resources, share the best websites for researching ancestors from the state, and more.

Register for the New Jersey Genealogy Crash Course now to get our early bird price of 20 percent off.


Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1:00:22 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Recap of VH1's Genealogy Show "50 Cent: The Origin of Me"
Posted by Diane

Last night, rapper 50 Cent traveled to his family’s South Carolina hometown to trace his roots for the VH1 Rock Doc “50 Cent: The Origin of Me.”

You can watch the show on VH1’s website. If you watch, there are some bleeps in a rap at the beginning, but the rest of the show is clean. And good.

In the show, 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson), who grew up in New York City, travels to Edgefield, SC, where his mom’s family came from. At a reunion, the family talks about what the segregated town was like in the 1950s.

50 visits Edgefield’s genealogical society. The librarian (who had to have been briefed ahead of time, but did such a good job of being nonchalant that I wondered) pulls the WWI draft card of 50's grandfather Will Jenkins from a "Jenkins File" (the society keeps surname files on local families). She also helps 50 use the census on microfilm to find Will’s father Peter, and Peter’s mother Jane.

In the 1870 census, Jane was living with a local prominent citizen, probably her former slaveowner. 

50 also visited the Old Edgefield Pottery museum, with vessels created by “Dave the Slave,” who incorporated sayings and dates into his work. The proprietor refers to Dave as the first rapper.

The show didn’t shy from a bit of confrontation: At Oakley Park Museum,  50 and a woman identified in a caption as being from the Daughters of the Confederacy discuss the symbolism of the Confederate flag.

She also tells him about the Red Shirts, a precursor to the Klu Klux Klan, and advises him to study history to learn about “Mongolian slaves” in South Carolina. Interesting. There’s some uncomfortable giggling when 50 gently challenges her about these slaves and how slaves were treated.

Later, at the Edgefield County Archives, the archivist shows 50 the slave inventory for Jane’s owner, R.G.M. Dunovant, son-in-law of prominent citizen Whitfield Brooks. The archivist finds a reference to Jane, daughter of Adrene, in Whitfield’s will. If that’s 50’s Jane, Adrene is his fourth-great-grandmother. 

The archivist introduces 50 to a woman who’s researching what she calls the brutal side of slavery. In contrast to the woman he met earlier, she acknowledges the treatment of local slaves and gives an example from a coroner's report detailing the death of a slave.

50 next meets a Dunovant descendant, who asks 50 about his career, compliments his song “In Da Club” (the one that says “Go shorty/It’s your birthday”) and gives him a piece of Edgefield pottery. 50 says it’s a turnaround from the days his family talked about, when black people always used the back door at whites’ homes.

You don't have to be a fan of rap or a member of VH1's typical demographic to like this show. 50 Cent has a tough image as a rapper, but you don't see that here. To me, the show feels a little younger and a little less refined than 'Who Do You Think You Are?" which makes it very approachable. You learn about both one person's genealogy and how it ties into what was happening locally and across the country.

For some behind-the-scenes insight, here’s a Vanity Fair article by David Kamp, the writer who did the genealogy research

Did you watch “50 Cent: The Origin of Me”? Let me know what you thought.


African-American roots | Celebrity Roots
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 3:26:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Customer Appreciation Sale: 15 Percent Off + Free US Shipping
Posted by Diane

May 24 is Customer Appreciation Day at ShopFamilyTree.com. Today only, enter code THANKU at checkout to receive 15 percent off and free standard shipping within the United States. 

Now would be a great time to register for next month’s New Jersey Genealogy Crash Course webinar or pick up the Family Tree Magazine 2010 CD

Are you also into gardening, woodworking, quilting, collecting, painting, writing, driving old cars or any number of other hobbies?

You can get the same deal today in our publishing company’s other online bookstores—GardenersHub.com, NorthLightShop.com, (that’s our artists’ store)  ShopWoodworking.com, Collect.com (books about antiques, stamps, coins, etc.) and more. Click here to see F+W Media's shops for your favorite hobby


ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:12:59 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, May 23, 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, May 23, 2011 11:14:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]