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# Monday, June 13, 2011
Father's Day Gifts for Family History-Minded Dads
Posted by Diane


Apparently, dads get the short end of the parental appreciation stick. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $106.49 on their dads this year. Mother’s Day spending averaged $140.73 (but this gap has narrowed in recent years).

So in the interest of fairness this Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, I browsed around for some ideas for a dad who likes family history. (I’m dying to include what my little Leo is giving his daddy, but I’m afraid of spoiling his surprise, so I’ll show and tell after Sunday.)

  • A framed picture of dad with his kids or grandkids, or dad as a youngster with his dad, is a classic. Or I’ve heard about moms taking pictures of the wee ones wearing dad’s or grandpa’s shoes, tie and hat, and adding a frame. 
  • If you’ve been doing genealogy research, put together some of the items you’ve found into an album (here are some ideas), or burn a CD.

Editor's Pick | Genealogy books | Genealogy fun
Monday, June 13, 2011 5:03:57 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Visit National Parks Free June 21
Posted by Diane

The US National Park Service will waive all entrance fees on Tuesday, June 21, the first day of summer. 

Among the beautiful and historic sites you could visit are Civil War-related places such as Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home, the Gettysburg battlefield and Appomattox Court House. 

You could convince Dad to take the day off work and celebrate a late, budget-friendly Father’s Day (Father's Day is next Sunday, June 19).

Use the Find a Park feature to find parks by name, location, activity or topic. If you scroll down and click a state on the US map, you'll open a page that shows you all the National Parks in that state.


Celebrating your heritage | Civil War | Museums | Social History
Monday, June 13, 2011 3:06:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 10, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, June 6-10
Posted by Diane

  • Manassas, Va., is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas (also called Bull Run) with an event July 21-24 featuring battle re-enactments, living history demonstrations and more, including an appearance by Patrick Gorman (Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood in the 2003 film Gods and Generals). Learn more and purchase tickets at ManassasCivilWar.org

Ancestry.com | Genealogy Events | Historic preservation | Libraries and Archives | Museums | NARA
Friday, June 10, 2011 10:02:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, June 09, 2011
150 Years Ago Today in the Civil War: US Sanitary Commission
Posted by Diane

June 9, 1861, the US War Department sanctioned a "Commission of Inquiry and Advice in Respect of the Sanitary Interests of the United States Forces." Abraham Lincoln signed the US Sanitary Commission into law a few days later.

The new agency coordinated the volunteer efforts of women who wanted to contribute to the Union’s war effort. Members worked as nurses, ran Army camp kitchens, operated soldiers' homes and lodges, made uniforms, organized fundraising “sanitary fairs” (including art exhibitions or teas) and more.

The group had more than 4,000 local branches, according to Life in Civil War America.

The Sanitary Commission was disbanded in May 1866, and is often considered the forerunner to the American Red Cross.

Looking for records? The Historical Society of Pennsylvania holds a collection of records from the Sanitary Commission Philadelphia Branch, a major hub of commission activity, mostly correspondence, receipts and financial papers.


Civil War
Thursday, June 09, 2011 4:19:41 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Break Through Stubborn Brick Walls
Posted by Diane


You can't find record of your immigrant ancestor's arrival. Great-grandpa has gone missing from the 1910 census—and his mother apparently had no maiden name. 

These are classic genealogy stumbling blocks—but you probably feel like you’ve run up against a brick wall anytime you’ve looked and looked and you just can’t find an ancestor.

Our newest CD, Research Remedies: Best Strategies to Beat Brick Walls and Track Elusive Ancestors, is just for you.

This CD has Family Tree Magazine’s best brick wall-busting help, including:

  • proven research techniques such as cluster genealogy and reverse genealogy

  • solutions to common problems such as elusive ancestors, burned courthouses, hard-to-use pre-1850 US censuses (which name only heads of households), early immigrants, and more

  • tips for finding and using often-overlooked and underused resources, such as coroners' reports, outbound passenger lists, nonpopulation censuses, marriage bonds and others, that may hold the answers you need

  • worksheets to help you organize your research strategy and track conflicting information

One of my favorite things about this CD is that you can watch the tips in action: It also contains our hour-long Brick Wall Strategies webinar.

Click here to learn more about the Research Remedies CD at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Editor's Pick | Research Tips
Thursday, June 09, 2011 9:11:34 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Enter to Win a Trip to Meet Long-Lost Family!
Posted by Diane

We’re getting together with family history site MyHeritage.com to host an online contest that’ll help you reconnect family ties lost through fate and time.

The contest is open to interested individuals who’ve discovered new living family connections or long-lost relatives through their family history research. 

The winner will get an expenses-paid reunion with a long-lost relative from anywhere in the world, plus a year-long VIP membership to Family Tree Magazine and a three-year Premium-Plus subscription with MyHeritage.com. How’s that for a great prize? 

Two runners-up will win, as well: A digital subscription to Family Tree Magazine and a three-year Premium-plus subscription on MyHeritage.com.

To enter, submit a few sentences describing your discovery and what it means to you by commenting on the MyHeritage.com Blog,  the MyHeritage.com Facebook page  or the Family Tree Magazine Facebook page. The entry deadline is June 15.

Click here for the full contest rules and guidelines.

I can’t wait to see how researching your genealogy has helped you connect with distant family. Good luck!


Family Reunions | Genealogy fun
Wednesday, June 08, 2011 9:40:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Anouncing our 101 Best Websites for Genealogy: Version 2011
Posted by Diane

We’re super-excited to announce the 101 Best Genealogy Web Sites for 2011—this year’s installment of our annual compilation of our favorite free sites for researching family history.


Many genealogy sites (and other sites that aren’t for doing genealogy per se, but are nonetheless handy for family history) have embraced Web 2.0; this year’s 101 Best Websites roundup tilts a bit in their direction. Unlike last year, when we singled out free websites, the 2011 list includes both free and subscription sites.

The 2011 list appears in the September 2011 Family Tree Magazine (which starts mailing to subscribers any day now, and will be available for purchase June 28), and we’ve also posted them free on FamilyTreeMagazine.com so you can click right through to these great tools for family tree research. 

The sites are divided into 11 categories (for “mega-mart” sites, USA-focused sites, tech tools, sites for researching immigrants, etc.). Just click a category name to see the sites in that category.

You’ll soon begin to see the selected sites wearing “101 Best Websites” badges. Congratulations to all of them, and a big thank-you for making it easier to discover our family histories.

For more help researching your family tree on the web, see the Online Genealogy store at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, June 07, 2011 4:41:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Mississippi Delta Flood Relief Day at ShopFamilyTree.com
Posted by Diane

Today, June 7, Family Tree Magazine’s parent company, F+W Media, will donate 50 percent of the day’s profits from sales in ShopFamilyTree.com (and our company’s other e-commerce stores) to the American Red Cross for flood relief in the Mississippi Delta.

Here’s just one news story about the impact of the flooding. Our best wishes to all those affected.



ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Tuesday, June 07, 2011 9:22:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, June 06, 2011
Getting Ready for the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree
Posted by Diane

It’s almost here! The 42nd Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, one of the most anticipated genealogy conferences of the year, takes place this Friday through Sunday, June 10-12, in Burbank, Calif.

Attendees can choose from 130 class sessions covering a range of ethnicities and geographies, technology tools and research at traditional repositories. The focus ranges far beyond Southern California, as most of today’s Southern Californians have roots someplace else.

Even if you’re not a paid attendee, you can attend a JamboFREE session on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. Several sessions also will be presented as free webinars for up to 1,000 registrants.

In the exhibit hall, which also is free to the public, you can browse 70 commercial vendors—look for the friendly face of Family Tree Magazine's own Allison Stacy. A Society Row in the convention center lobby lets you see what genealogical societies and heritage organizations have to offer.

Allison also will be a guest on Lisa Louise Cooke’s live Genealogy Gems Podcast, Sunday June 12 at noon. There’ll be giveaways, so plan to be in the audience in the “big tent” (seating is first come, first served, and you'll want to arrive early—the event filled to capacity at last year's Jamboree).

Jamboree preregistration is closed, but walk-in registration is available for all three days, or just for one day (there are separate rates for Southern California Genealogical Society members and nonmembers). You’ll find links to those rates here (look under Jamboree Registration)

Keep up with conference news on the Jamboree Blog and on Twitter (the conference hashtag is #scgs11).


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Monday, June 06, 2011 4:02:56 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]