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# Monday, August 29, 2011
City Directories: Watch and Learn
Posted by Diane


Even if you missed the Family Tree University Summer 2011 Virtual Conference, you still can learn our expert instructors’ secrets and strategies with on-demand video classes from the conference.

Videos are about 30 minutes long and compatible with Macs and PCs. This snippet from Maureen A. Taylor’s class City Directories: Key to Your Family’s Past shows a demo of the free city directories on the Internet Archive website.

Other classes cover

  • Irish research
  • German newspapers in the United States
  • using naturalization records
  • platting your ancestors’ property
  • pre-1850 censuses
  • digitizing your family’s documents
  • … and more

You can get the Virtual Conference videos individually or in tracks (Tech Track, Ethnic Track or Research Strategies Track), or get all 17 videos in one fell swoop.


Editor's Pick | Family Tree University | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Monday, August 29, 2011 11:43:49 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
Updated: Free Immigration Records on Ancestry.co.uk and Ancestry.com Through Sept. 5
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.co.uk, the British sister site of Ancestry.com, has made its immigration collection free today through Sept. 5 (you will need to register for a free account on the site).

Update: I just heard from Ancestry.com that its collection of U.S. and International Immigration and Naturalization records also will be free through Sept. 5. That includes arrivals at US and Canadian ports, naturalizations, passport applications, and more.

Click here to start searching the collection on Ancestry.com.

The Ancestry.co.uk collection includes many of the same records: arrivals at US Atlantic and other ports, records of early US immigrations, US naturalizations, the Irish Emigrants in North America collection, etc. To see the list, go here and scroll down to the Included Data Collections box.

Click here to start searching the Ancestry.co.uk immigration collection.


Ancestry.com | Free Databases | UK and Irish roots
Monday, August 29, 2011 8:41:17 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
Free Immigration Records on Ancestry.co.uk Through Sept. 5
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.co.uk, the British sister site of Ancestry.com, has made its immigration collection free today through Sept. 5 (you will need to register for a free account on the site).

The collection includes arrivals at US Atlantic and other ports, records of early US immigrations, US naturalizations, the Irish Emigrants in North America collection and more. To see the list, go here and scroll down to the Included Data Collections box.

Click here to start searching the Ancestryco.uk immigration collection.


Ancestry.com | Free Databases | UK and Irish roots
Monday, August 29, 2011 8:41:11 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [22]
# Friday, August 26, 2011
Get Google Tips in Free Webinar
Posted by Allison

I'll bet everyone reading this blog uses Google to help with their family history work in some fashion, from ancestor searches to emailing cousins. But are you taking advantage of all its genealogy tools? Do you have a search dilemma that's driving you crazy?

Lisa Louise Cooke will tackle those questions in a free 30-minute webinar called Ask the Google Guru. Tune in Thursday, Sept. 1. at 1 p.m. Eastern time to hear Lisa's tips. You can submit a question in advance on the registration page.

That day, we'll also be releasing the Ultimate Google for Genealogists Collection of training tools by Lisa:
Watch for details on ShopFamilyTree.com. And be sure to register for the webinar! If you can't make it Thursday, you'll be able to watch the recording online afterward.

Genealogy Web Sites | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Friday, August 26, 2011 5:05:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [10]
Genealogy News Corral, August 22-26
Posted by Diane

  • FamilySearch added to collections from seven countries, including 6 million record images from Mexico. Other additions include parish register records from Belgium and England, and church book records from Russia. New records were added from eight US states: Maryland, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. Click through to the new and updated collections from here.
  • UK family history site Genes Reunited has released a variety of military records from WW1 and the Second Anglo-Boer War. Collections include Royal Naval Officers' Medal Roll 1914-1920, New Zealand WWI Soldiers, Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919, and records with 258,800 names of men and women who fought during the Second Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902.
  • Subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com has expanded its US school yearbook collection, adding nearly 25,000 new yearbooks. It now totals more than 35,000 books with 155 million records from 1884 to 2009. The books come from high schools, junior highs, academies, colleges and universities. They're also are available on the Canadian-focused Ancestry.ca.
  • Jill Barone of St. Petersburg, Fla., won the Red Star Line Museum's "Do You Know This Girl?" social media contest. Barone wins a trip to Antwerp, Belgium, for the official pre-opening festivities of the Red Star Line Museum in May 2012, and a $1,000 shopping spree at Diane Von Furstenberg's Antwerp boutique. The museum will open in spring 2013.

Ancestry.com | Canadian roots | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | Museums | UK and Irish roots
Friday, August 26, 2011 1:14:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
Nature's Wrath
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Washington National Records Center in Suitland, MD, is closed today, Aug. 26, and Mon., August 29, due to building damage from Tuesday’s earthquake. According to a NARA blog, the earthquake didn’t damage records there.

The center holds records of Federal agencies located in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. It also has records of Federal Courts in Washington, DC.

Hurricane Irene makes it a double whammy for NARA’s Washington, DC, -area facilities, and archives along the East Coast are in the storm’s projected path. Keep tabs on closures at NARA facilities by checking its operating status page and Facebook pages. In the DC area, call 301-837-0700.

Here's NARA’s emergency preparedness page, which also includes information on dealing with water-logged photos and documents after a disaster. Our thought are with those who live in the area—be safe. 


NARA
Friday, August 26, 2011 1:06:48 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [8]
# Thursday, August 25, 2011
Last Chance for August Deals at ShopFamilyTree.com
Posted by Diane

August is coming to a close and so are the month’s specials on genealogy books, webinars and more in our online store. You've got a few more days to take advantage! Here are three of the items we’re discounting through August 31:
  • Brick Wall Busters Value Pack (101 Brick Wall Busters: Solutions to Overcome Your Genealogical Challenges, Brick Wall Busters: Solutions to Real-Life Stumpers on-demand webinar and Research Remedies CD) discounted 58 percent
 
 

View all of the month's specials, see the August Deals page at ShopFamilyTree.com.


ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, August 25, 2011 2:08:22 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Museums Offer Free Admission Sept. 24
Posted by Diane

Get ready for Museum Day Saturday, Sept. 24, when hundreds of museums across the country will offer free admission (good for up to two visitors per household).

Participating museums include such history-related sites as the 1810 Goundie House in Bethlehem, Pa.; Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Ill.; Brooklyn Historical Society in Brooklyn, NY; Museum of Women's History in Billings, Mont.; and the Historic New Orleans Collection in New Orleans.

You’ll need to fill out an online form and select the museum you want to visit from a dropdown menu, and you’ll get your admission ticket via email.

Print the ticket and take it with you when you visit. Each ticket is valid for two people to visit one venue, and there’s limit of one ticket per household.


Genealogy Events | Museums | Social History
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 1:38:28 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Brick Wall Tips From the Virtual Conference
Posted by Diane

It was a busy Family Tree University Virtual Conference weekend for us and for our Virtual Conference instructors, Supermoderators Thomas MacEntee and Nancy Hendrickson, and the conference attendees. Thanks to all participants for a great event!

If you missed it, you can order the Virtual Conference video classes for on-demand viewing at ShopFamilyTree.com

One of my favorite parts of the conference was the live chats, which buzzed with research tips, questions and inspiration. For example, Thomas’ Saturday evening chat, Pick Thomas’ Brain: Ideas on Creative Approaches to Genealogy, was chock full of advice.

I’ve pulled some comments from the chat to share here (I made some edits and added topic headings so the Q&A is easier to follow).

On brick walls:

  • Thomas: First, very often I think what we call a brick wall isn't really a brick wall . . .

  • Joan: What do you mean by a brick wall not being a brick wall?
  • Thomas: To me it is a matter of perhaps not having all the right tools at one's disposal. Or it could be a matter of going back and rechecking spelling, surname variations, etc.
  • Allison FTU: A true brick wall is when you have exhausted every possible avenue for research and there is no more information

In many cases, what we refer to as a brick wall is really just an exhaustion of ideas

  • Patricia: A Brick Wall to me is having a timeline just end with no leads. Just solved 2 of my brick walls by reviewing current finds in detail as if I was looking at the finds for the first time.

On ancestral adoptions:

  • Terri: My brick wall is my grandmother, born and adopted in 1900. I thought her SS application might help, but she apparently fibbed on the application! Gave her adopted info as official

  • Kerry: I've used church records to find babies who were baptized prior to their adoption. Not all were adopted at birth.

  • Allison FTU: If you know what area she was born in, you might try guardianship records.

  • Terri: Are guardianship records civil records, private institutions, what?

  • Allison FTU: Guardianships are typically court records. So you do need to know which county to look in.

On going beyond well-known resources:

  • Carol: I have a line that went to Nebraska. FamilySearch and Ancestry seem to have nothing and GenealogyBank only later years. Any links for Nebraska?
  • Thomas: What time period? Were they Homesteaders?
  • Carol P: Late 1800s to early 1900s

On ordering ancestors’ vital records:

  • Mary Ann: When I look for birth, marriage, and death certificates in the US, I am taken to sites where it is free for 7 days and then you pay. Is there a good site to find these certificates?
  • Thomas: I personally don't recommend those sites. In most cases, if you know how to order them directly from the state or county, it is better and cheaper. What do others think?
  • Mary Ann: Yet, the states’ [vital records office websites] are sending me to those sites.
  • Kerry: I totally agree; I'd much rather order directly from the source.
  • Terri: I have seen some states that use a private online payment service for their records, but there's generally an option to pay the vital records office directly.
  • Kerry: Some states (Minnesota, for instance) house records at the state historical society, and you can order (and in some cases, view) them online.
  • Thomas: Did you know that some societies have a vital records service where they will, for a much cheaper fee, pull the records? Illinois State Genealogical Society does this for Illinois Death Certificates.
  • Mary Kay: Or borrowing microfilm from your local FHC.

On hard-to-trace immigrants and F.A.N. clubs:

  • Christine: Ancestor arrived in 1750 from Rotterdam, based on PA baptism records which are German Lutheran—don't have a clue where to start across the pond. Strategy much appreciated....

how to get from point of departure (Rotterdam) in 1750 to where he might have lived...

  • Thomas: Have you tried the F.A.N. club approach? Friends, Associates, Neighbors?

Elizabeth Shown Mills uses that F.A.N. club term all the time.

Last night on my radio show, Gail Blankenau from Omaha who specializes in German Parish Records used the term "10 up and 10 down" meaning always go up 10 lines from what you've found and down 10 lines as well.

  • Allison-FTU: Christine, have you heard of something called manumission records?

In Germany during the time period, emigrants had to pay a tax to be released from serfdom. The resulting records are manumissions

There's an often-referenced index to German manumissions by Werner Hacker ... let me see if i can find a link

  • Christine: Would they have been microfilmed by the Family History Library?

On online research tools:


Family Tree University | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | immigration records | Research Tips | Social Networking | Vital Records
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 9:50:10 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Friday, August 19, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, August 15-19
Posted by Diane

The big news this week, of course, was Footnote’s new military focus and name change to Fold3, the free 1940 census images and index to hit Ancestry.com mid-April 2012, and the hullabaloo at Geni.com. Among this week’s other happenings:
FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Software
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:08:38 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [17]