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# Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Genealogy Number Crunching
Posted by Diane


Being an editor, I’m more about words than numbers. (I'll spare you stories of embarrassing math situations I've been involved in.) But hold onto your horses: Today I’m getting a little crazy and throwing out some numbers from our December issue—along with some genealogy resources in word form.


Subscribers will get the December 2011 Family Tree Magazine in their mailboxes over the next couple of weeks. Others can pre-order the digital issue from ShopFamilyTree.com, or look for the print edition Oct. 11 on ShopFamilyTree.com and on newsstands.
  • 2 million (and counting): The number of people profiles on WikiTree. Get a tutorial of the site in the December issue’s Toolkit. 
  • 1.7 million: The number of horses in the Confederate states around the start of the Civil War, compared to 3.4 million in the Northern states. But Southerners tended to have more experience on horseback, resulting in better cavalry units in the Confederacy, says Family Tree Magazine contributing editor David A. Fryxell. In this issue’s Now What? column, he answers a reader’s question about ancestors who went out West during the war to capture horses for Union troops. 
  • 700-728: If your ancestor’s Social Security Number starts with a number in this range, you know he was eligible to receive benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board. You can request post-1936 records for $27. You’ll find more resources for researching railroad workers, miners, autoworkers and other blue-collar ancestors in this issue.
  • 4: This is the number of fun facts about breakfast in the History Matters column. Did you know doughnuts were considered snacks, not breakfast, until they were served to soldiers in World War II? We'll explain how the morning meal our ancestors enjoyed came to be.
  • 2: The number of family trees everyone has—a genealogical tree and a genetic tree. They’re not necessarily the same: Starting at about your third-great-grandparents, not all of your ancestors are represented in your DNA, says Blaine Bettinger in the December issue. But autosomal DNA testing, among the latest developments in genetic genealogy, can unlock much more of your ancestral DNA than traditional Y-DNA and mtDNA tests can. 
  • 1: The December 2011 issue has one index (on the last page) which covers all Family Tree Magazine articles in 2011. Can’t remember which issue had the guide to Family History Centers? Look here to find out it was in the January 2011 issue, page 16.

(Seeking indexes from past years of Family Tree Magazines? Download them as pdfs from our website.)  

Want to upgrade from newsstand buyer to subscriber? Visit ShopFamilyTree.com to choose from several subscription options (Digital, or US, Canadian or international print).

Go here to become a VIP, which gets you a subscription and a Plus membership, a discount in the store and other perks. 


Editor's Pick | Family Tree Magazine articles | Research Tips
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:45:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, September 26, 2011
Family History Month Daily Deal & Giveaway!
Posted by Diane

Believe it or not, it’s almost October, and you know what that means . . . Family History Month!

In 2001, Congress first passed a resolution introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who wrote, "By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family."

Family history enthusiasts continue to celebrate Family History Month every October.

Here at Family Tree Magazine, we’ll celebrate with a Daily Deal & Giveaway: We'll offer you a great deal on a genealogy book, CD or other item every day during Family History Month—and a lucky someone will win the daily deal.

More information to come! Stay tuned to this blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the Family History Month Daily Deal and Giveaway!



Family History Month | Genealogy fun | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Monday, September 26, 2011 3:40:56 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 23, 2011
Genealogy News Corral: September 19-23
Posted by Diane

  • JSTOR, a service providing digitized academic journals through libraries, is making articles published prior to 1923 in the United States and 1870 elsewhere free to anyone. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, about 6 percent of JSTOR’s total content. This web page has more information. You can start searching here. To just see the free stuff, make sure the “Include only content I can access” box is checked.

My search on Civil War and Missouri, for example, resulted in matches including “Reminiscences of the Civil War” by Richard Taylor in the University of Iowa’s Jan./Feb. 1878 North American Review. (Thanks to Sharon DeBartolo Carmack for the heads-up about this service.)

  • New records on FamilySearch.org this week come from US states including California, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Oregon and Vermont, as well as Mexico, Canada, the Czech Republic and elsewhere. See the full list of additions and link to the collections here. Remember that not all of these collections are indexed, so you may need to browse. 
  • The New England Historic Genealogical Society is releasing the seventh and final volume of Robert Charles Anderson’s Great Migration Series: Immigrants to New England 1634—1635. (This latest volume includes all immigrants whose surnames start with T through Y.) It’s available now at GreatMigration.org. The Great Migration series includes a total of 10 volumes; three for the years 1620 to 1633, and seven volumes for 1634 to 1635. You also can subscribe to the GreatMigration.org website to get online or quarterly newsletters.

FamilySearch | Free Databases | immigration records | NARA
Friday, September 23, 2011 11:25:45 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 22, 2011
150 Years Ago Today in the Civil War: Lincoln and Fremont
Posted by Diane

It’s high time I did another installment in our series that looks back at what was happening Civil War-wise exactly 150 years ago.

Sept. 22, 1861, President Lincoln wrote a letter to Illinois Sen. Orville Hickman Browning defending his response to an order of John C. Fremont, commander of the Army's Department of the West.

Fremont had declared martial law on Aug. 30 and freed slaves in Missouri. Lincoln wanted him to rescind that order because it didn't comply with the Confiscation Act Congress passed on Aug. 6. The Confiscation Act allowed the federal government to confiscate property used to aid the Confederate cause, including slaves. The act didn’t go so far as to free slaves, though; rather, it merely removed their owners’ claim to them.

Sept. 11, Lincoln modified Fremont's order to conform to the Confiscation Act.

He wrote to Browning that "Fremont’s proclamation, as to confiscation of property, and the liberation of slaves, is purely political, and not within the range of military law, or necessity."  

Civil War resources from ShopFamilyTree.com:


Civil War | Social History
Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:52:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Genealogy Matters
Posted by Diane

Here's some reading material for your coffee break: A post today on the Scientific American blog called I’m a Johnson from Wisconsin, and It is Pretty Cool

Neuroscientist-turned-journalist and genealogy buff Madeleine Johnson wrote about how she used a circular family tree chart of her own creation as a starting point to her roots research, and is searching for the story of a great-grandmother who died in an institution.

“Genealogy, distant and recent, gives meaning to personal and shared historical experience,” she writes.

Also check out another post and article she mentions: Going Dutch: I’m one of the Van Dusens of New Amsterdam. So what? in which Matthew Van Dusen says his illustrious ancestry—described in a New York Times article about New Amsterdam’s early settlers—doesn’t increase his own personal importance.

I have to agree with him there, but I do think it's neat to be related to someone you might read about in a history book (I'm not, that I know of). Of course, it's also gratifying to discover and honor the stories of "ordinary" folks in your tree. What do you think?


saving and sharing family history | Social History
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 5:17:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Tuesday, September 20, 2011
MyHeritage Acquires BackUpMyTree.com
Posted by Diane

Family network website MyHeritage.com has acquired BackupMyTree, the free backup service for family tree data that launched a year ago.

BackUpMyTree automatically finds family tree files on your computer and creates a remote backup. It’s compatible with major genealogy applications such as Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, Personal Ancestral File and RootsMagic.

So far, BackUpMyTree is storing more than 9 terabytes of genealogists’ data. MyHeritage.com will continue to support the backup service and keep it free. This marks the growing site’s sixth acquisition to date.

BackUpMyTree creator Cliff Shaw (who also created the GenCircles website and the Family Tree Legacies program and records database, which MyHeritage purchased a few years back) will focus on another venture, genealogy search engine Mocavo.com


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 10:00:55 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 16, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, September 12-16
Posted by Diane

  • FamilySearch released more searchable records this week, including  more than 6 million Hungarian Catholic Church records, 4 million Mexican civil registrations, 1 million new Chinese genealogies (1500 to 1900), and Quebec notarial records (1800 to 1900). US additions come from California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Washington and the Virgin Islands, plus 1942 WWII draft registrations. See the full list and link to each database here.
  • Family tree site Geni introduced its $4.95-per-month Geni Plus service as a level between the free Basic and $12.95 Pro memberships. Genealogists’ frustrated feedback after changes to those memberships led to Geni Plus, intended for social genealogists who want to collaborate with other researchers. It's "designed to give these members more power to build their personal family trees while discovering some of the benefits of working with others on their family history," says CEO Noah Tutak. Features include unlimited relatives in your tree and GEDCOM exports for any profile you can view on Geni (up to 100,000 records). See Geni’s blog for more details
  • Subscription British records site Findmypast.co.uk added a million 20th century merchant navy seamen records—the first time they’re accessible online. They list crew members of UK merchant ships from 1918 to 1941 and include photos.
  • This from the New York History blog: If you’re planning to visit Ellis Island and see where many immigrants first entered America, you can download a $1.99 cell phone tour taking you through the immigrant experience. Read more here.

FamilySearch | Hispanic Roots | International Genealogy | Museums | Social Networking | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 16, 2011 4:49:42 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Search the 1930 Mexican Census Free Online
Posted by Diane

Subscription site Ancestry.com has added the 1930 Mexico National Census (El Quinto Censo General de Población y Vivienda 1930, México) and made the records free to search in celebration of Mexican Independence Day Sept. 16.

With nearly 13 million records, this census counted an estimated 90 percent of the population. Note that citizens from the Federal District, which includes Mexico City, aren’t named.

In its announcement, Ancestry.com calls this the most comprehensive historical Mexican census available online. (FamilySearch.org, the source of Ancestry.com’s index and images, also has the 1930 Mexico census records available in its free historical records search.)

Nearly 30 million Americans—about 10 percent of the US population—can trace their families to Mexico. Other Ancestry.com collections they can use to research their roots are border crossings from Mexico to the United States (1895-1957) and parish records. The records are gathered in a Mexico collection landing page. (The 1930 Mexican census is free to search, but not all the other records in the collection are free.)

If you’re researching ancestors in Mexico, check out these resources from Family Tree Magazine:


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Hispanic Roots
Friday, September 16, 2011 11:33:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Thursday, September 15, 2011
Blast From the Past
Posted by Diane

Wondering what hot topics your grandparents discussed with the neighbors, or what tunes your mom whistled as a teen? Want to flesh out your family's story with facts about everyday life? Enjoy reminiscing about days gone by?

Our book Remember That? A Year-by-Year Chronicle of Fun Facts, Headlines and Your Memories, by Allison Dolan and the editors of Family Tree Magazine, is an accounting of the whos, whats, whens and wheres of the 20th century:

  • In 1930, the average annual income was $1,612, milk cost 65 cents a gallon and a home cost $7,146.
  • In 1938, a devastating hurricane hit the Northeast coast.
  • Sales of women's trousers skyrocketed in 1942.
  • Perry Como crooned “Some Enchanted Evening” in 1949.
  • Special K cereal and Crest toothpaste hit shelves in 1955.
  • The FCC chairman called TV a “vast wasteland” in 1961. 

The facts keep coming for each year from 1930 all the way through 2010, categorized into top headlines, prices, government affairs, new products, pop culture phenomena, hit music, popular TV shows and more. It also has pages where you can record your own family milestones and favorites.

You also can download our free "My Life In ..." form from our website that lets you describe your own favorites—clothes, hair, music and more—from three big years in your life (you’ll need to enter your name and e-mail address to access the form). 

Click here to learn more about the book Remember That?.


Editor's Pick | Genealogy books | Social History
Thursday, September 15, 2011 9:38:07 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, September 13, 2011
What Makes Your Family Special? Tell Us & You Could Win a Family History Publishing Package!
Posted by Diane

Looking into lasting ways to share your family’s story? How about a book?

You could win a family history publishing package in a contest from Family Tree Magazine and custom publisher Abbott Press (our fellow member of the F+W Media family). 

To enter, just e-mail us your name, phone number, and 500 words or less about why your family history should be chosen as the contest winner.

Did your ancestors embody the American dream? Were they important in shaping historic events? Is your family tree full of colorful characters? You tell us what sets your family apart.

Use the e-mail subject line "Family Tree-Abbott Press Publishing Contest" and send your entry by Sept. 30, 2011.

We'll pick one winner from the first 200 submissions. The grand-prize winner will receive a complete Premium publishing package from Abbott Press.

The first runner-up will win the Family Tree University independent study course Writing Your Family Memoir (on CD). A second runner-up with get a copy of My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories by Sunny Jane Morton.

All entrants will receive a 25 percent discount off any Abbott Press publishing package.

Check out all the contest rules here


Genealogy fun | saving and sharing family history
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:30:53 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]