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# Friday, June 03, 2011
150 Years Ago Today in the Civil War: Battle of Philippi
Posted by Diane

This June 3, 1861, battle, which resulted in a Union victory, was part of a campaign by Maj. Gen. George McClellan, then commander of the Department of Ohio, to protect mostly pro-Union western Virginia and secure railroad bridges.

What may be the first battlefield amputations were performed on the Confederate side. Horrible as it was, this common battlefield surgery, which generally took about 15 minutes, saved many lives, according to Michael O. Varhola in the book Life in Civil War America

One of the patients was 18-year-old James E. Hanger, who lost his leg. After returning home, he crafted an artificial leg from barrel staves with a hinge at the knee. He was commissioned to manufacture prosthetic limbs for other wounded soldiers and patented his device. He founded what is now the Hanger Orthopedic Group, still a leading manufacturer of artificial limbs.


Civil War | Genealogy books
Friday, June 03, 2011 9:52:20 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Genealogy News Corral, May 30-June 3
Posted by Diane

  • Family chart-printing service Generation Maps has changed its name to Family ChartMasters to better describe the company’s services. Visit the website at FamilyChartMasters.com
  • The AARP is holding a sweepstakes with genealogy prizes including a five-hour research consultation with professional genealogist Megan Smolenyak, signed copies of Smolenyak’s books, Family Tree DNA testing, an Ancestry.com subscription and a $1,000 gift card. You don’t have to be an AARP member to enter, but you do need to be age 45 or older. Click here to enter
  • Genealogy wiki WikiTree has announced that Tami Osmer Glatz (who’s written articles for Family Tree Magazine including the January 2011 guide to FamilySearch Centers) is the site’s new Cousin Connector. Her role is to suggest merges between trees and improving the quality of merged ancestor profiles.
  • Thousands of historical Massachusetts and New England maps from the Perkins Collection, the archive of a family-owned surveying business, is now part of Historic Map Works. Available as a home subscription and through many libraries, Historic Map Works links maps with geocode data so you can search them by modern address, keywords, town names, or year. You also can order prints from the site.
  • A new photo gift site called Snapily lets you create photo greetings with 3D effects (you move the card and decorative illustrations look 3D) and flip-animation (you tilt the card back and forth, and switch between two photos). Visit the website to see what each effect looks like. Prices for photo cards start at $2.99. 

Genealogy Web Sites | Land records | Photos
Friday, June 03, 2011 9:30:32 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 02, 2011
What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?
Posted by Diane

Did you know that in 1943, butter had its own food group? See (click the image for a bigger view):



(and that was before Paula Deen was even born).

From ever-evolving food groups to the War Food Administration during World War II, the government has influenced how and what we eat. The National Archives has a new exhibit detailing those efforts.

"What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government's Effect on the American Diet," open June 10 through Jan. 3, 2012 at the National Archives’ Washington, DC, headquarters, gathers folk songs, war posters, educational films, seed packets and more records dating from the Revolutionary War era through the late 1900s. The hundred-plus items are grouped into themes Farm, Factory, Kitchen and Table.

Here, curator Alice Kamps and Chief Culinary Advisor (how cool a job would that be?) José Andrés talk about their favorite aspects of the exhibition and a surprising discovery in late-1800s files from the Bureau of Chemistry:



Of course, our family heritage and traditions also influence what we eat. Family Tree Books is collecting short essays for a book about real family recipes and the memories that surround them.

If you have a sentimental spot for Aunt Barbara’s snickerdoodles, Nonna’s pasta e fagioli or Mom’s Sunday roasts, see the submission instructions here

Celebrating your heritage | Museums | NARA
Thursday, June 02, 2011 9:40:56 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# 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]