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# Wednesday, September 07, 2011
FamilySearch Adds to Civil War Records
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch.org added millions of new records this week of both Confederate and Union soldiers who served in the American Civil War.

Those include veterans applications for military headstones, records of headstones for deceased Union veterans, Confederate POW records, registers of homes for disabled soldiers, service records and more.

Also newly added are notarial records from Canada, church records and civil registrations from Mexico, and a variety of records from England.

You’ll find a chart here listing the new collections and linking to the individual databases. Note that not all of the collections are searchable. Indexes haven’t been completed for some, such as U.S., Records of Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861–1865. In that case, you’ll need to browse collections by date or place.


Canadian roots | FamilySearch | Military records | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, September 07, 2011 10:04:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
Penny Tour of the Lincoln Home
Posted by Diane

I’m in the Land of Lincoln: The Federation of Genealogical Societies conference is getting underway here in Springfield, Ill. After quickly setting up our booth (#804, if you’re here—come say hi!) and visiting with some friendly genealogy faces in the exhibit hall, I ran over to the Abraham Lincoln Home National Historic Site to try to catch a tour before closing time.

We had a great tour guide, a National Park Service ranger who says his colleagues call him Ranger Santa in December (you'll see why a few pictures down).

Here’s the house Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln bought in 1844. They lived there until Lincoln was elected president, when they rented it out and moved to Washington, DC. Robert Lincoln, their only surviving son, kept the home as rental property and donated it to the state of Illinois in 1887.

Here’s the house as it looked in 1860, in a historic image on display at the visitors’ center.

This is the Lincoln’s doorbell.

The rear parlor is where a committee from the 1860 Republican convention formally notified Lincoln he’d been nominated as the party’s presidential candidate.

In the living room, Lincoln would sprawl out on the floor (most of the furniture was too small for him) with his kids and the family dog, Fido.

Upstairs in Lincoln’s bedroom, Santa Ranger pointed out how high the 6”4’ Lincoln’s shaving mirror was hung.

The stove in the kitchen at the back of the house is the one Mary Todd Lincoln used. Our guide pointed out some of the log cabins Lincoln lived in as a boy were no bigger than this kitchen.

The last Abraham Lincoln descendant, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, died in 1985. He was the grandchild of Robert Lincoln, the only son to survive into his 20s.Think you're related to the Lincolns?

Get a quick look the Lincoln family tree hereYou can see more detail on Abe Lincoln's ancestors here. Click the links for first generation (Abraham Lincoln), second generation (his parents, Thomas and Nancy Lincoln), etc.

These websites will help you research potential presidential roots.

Here’s a fun fact our guide shared: Abraham Lincoln didn’t have a middle name. Find other First Family facts here.


Celebrity Roots | Genealogy Events | Social History
Wednesday, September 07, 2011 9:28:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Friday, September 02, 2011
Google Advice Galore for Genealogists
Posted by Diane



You got a taste of how to use Google to ramp up your genealogy search in our free Ask the Google Guru webinar with Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems (if you missed the free webinar, or you want to see it again, you can access it here).

There’s a lot more advice where that came from in the limited-edition Ultimate Google for Genealogists Collection. These resources, all from Lisa, show you strategies for searching smarter and saving time by using Google tools.

Only 200 collections are available, and we think they could sell out by early next week. (Hence this special second-in-a-week Editor’s Pick.)

Here’s what’s in it:

  • The Genealogist's Google Toolbox book, signed by Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Google Earth for Genealogy DVD, volumes I and II
  • Google Tools for Genealogists Family Tree University Independent Study Course download
  • Search Engine Tips & Tricks: Google Techniques to Boost Your Research Webinar

The Ultimate Google for Genealogists Collection is specially priced at $79.99, a 56 percent discount. Get more details about each of these items here.


Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Friday, September 02, 2011 2:02:48 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [12]
Genealogy News Corral, August 29-September 2
Posted by Diane

  • The Family History Library (FHL) is starting to roll out online microfilm ordering in the United States and Canada, meaning you soon won’t have to visit a FamilySearch Center to order microfilmed records (you’ll still need to go in person to view them, of course). First, you’ll find the film you need in the FHL online catalog, then you'll order it here. California, the Pacific Northwest and other points West were first to get online ordering, with the rest of us still to be added in phases.
  • UK subscription genealogy site FindMyPast.co.uk is adding a million 20th-century merchant navy seamen records (Britain’s Merchant Navy Day, is Saturday, Sept. 3). The records name crew members of UK merchant ships from 1918 to 1941, offer physical descriptions and include photos.
  • As an update to our November 2011 online newspapers article, which highlighted the subscription website Paper of Record in addition to other online sources, Rick Crume gave me a heads up about some improvements to the site: First, highlighting of your search terms has been restored on the digitized newspaper pages in your search results. Second, you now have the option to search a broader date range than five years within a single title.

FamilySearch | Genetic Genealogy | Newspapers | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 02, 2011 10:34:42 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [11]
# Thursday, September 01, 2011
Archives.com to Add Entire US Census
Posted by Diane

Genealogy subscription site Archives.com will add indexes and images for the entire US federal census, probably the most-used US genealogical record, in what Archives.com CEO Matthew Monahan calls a “game-changer” for genealogists.

As part of the effort, Archives.com reached an agreement with FamilySearch—the source of the census records—to dedicate a minimum of $5 million to digitizing genealogy records that are not currently online.

The indexes for all censuses are available now, as are images for the 1850, 1870 and 1900 censuses, for a total of more than 500 million names and 3 million images. The rest of the images will be added over the next weeks and months, says spokesperson Julie Hill. Learn more about the site's census collection on its census resource page.

The census search screen looks like this:

You can see it's more streamlined with fewer options than Ancestry.com's census search. You'll also receive fewer results—a search of all census years for the last name Haddad (not exact) living anywhere in the United States, born in Ohio between 1907 and 1911, netted me 30 matches on Archives.com and 63 on Ancestry.com. This might be good or bad for your research—it can be overwhelming to search through a flood of matches, but you also might lose some searching flexibility.

Here's a page of Archives.com search results:

When you click on a match, you first see this page displaying all the indexed fields:

Archives also is introducing a new, Flash-based image viewer that lets users zoom in, adjust contrast, invert colors and more (a basic image viewer will be an option for computers without Flash):

We’re thinking this is what Archives.com product director Joe Godfrey was referring to in May, when he opened the National Genealogical Society conference by announcing the site would “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, joined Archives to lead the project.

The addition of the census will bring Archives.com, which launched in July 2009, into more-direct competition with industry leader Ancestry.com. Until Archives.com adds the rest of the census images, Ancestry.com is the only site providing access to all extant US census records and document images.

Archives.com will keep its subscription price at $39.95 "for the time being," says Hill. "That’s one-eighth the price of an Ancestry.com World membership. If you compare the subscriptions on a line-by-line basis, its remarkable how many high-value collections are available for one-eighth the price.”


Ancestry.com | census records | Archives.com
Thursday, September 01, 2011 1:26:33 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [12]
# Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Family Reunion!
Posted by Diane

I’m in Madison, Wis., for the reunion of Patricia Skubis and her fourth cousin, Birgit Mose. Birgit traveled here from Denmark after Pat entered our family reunion contest with MyHeritage.

She and her daughter Christine were waiting with a sign at the airport when Birgit stepped off the escalator. 

I’ll bring you more of their story in an upcoming Family Tree Magazine.


Family Reunions | Genealogy fun
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 11:27:31 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [7]
# 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]