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# Monday, November 14, 2011
Researching American Indian Genealogy
Posted by Diane

Do you have American Indian ancestry? Many genealogists believe they do and want to find out for sure. Others know they do but don't know how to research those ancestors.

Now's a good time to look for resources: November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

In 1915, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapaho and president of the American Indian Association, declared the second Saturday of May as American Indian Day and appealed for recognition of American Indians as citizens (Indians were recognized as citizens in 1924).

Later that year, on Dec. 14, Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet tribe, arrived at the White House with 24 state government endorsements for a national day to honor American Indians. (Here's a photo from the Library of Congress.) He'd gathered them riding on horseback from state to state.

The first National American Indian Heritage Month was in 1990. (More on national observances here.)

Here are some free FamilyTreeMagazine.com articles to help you trace American Indian roots:

ShopFamilyTree.com resources include:

Some of our favorite websites for American Indian research are:

You'll also find indexes to the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, March 4, 1907 (known as the Dawes Roll) and Applications Submitted for the Eastern Cherokee Roll of 1909 (the Guion-Miller Roll).


American Indian roots | Celebrating your heritage
Monday, November 14, 2011 3:54:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, November 11, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, Nov. 7-11
Posted by Diane


Military records | NARA | Videos
Friday, November 11, 2011 2:40:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Remembering Grandpa's WWII Service
Posted by Diane

Grandpa doesn’t know it—he passed away in 2003—but his old Army photos have graced several Family Tree Magazine publications. That's his portrait in the September 2005 Family Tree Sourcebook and on our Military Research Guide CD.

He served in the Army 83rd Signal Co. in 1944 and 1945 in France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany, and received a Bronze Star medal for his service.

The citation above (which I included on a scrapbook page for Scrapbooking Your Family History by Maureen A. Taylor) says he

…showed outstanding leadership in maintaining wire communications between division and regimental headquarters. During the rapid advance of the division, difficult terrain was encountered and artillery fire. His devotion to duty and outstanding services merit the highest praise …

My grandma once told me that Grandpa limped after the war because he’d dropped a big coil of cable on his foot, and she asked him why he hadn’t gotten it checked out. He said he knew he might not be able to return to the same unit. Those were good men, he said, and he didn’t want to leave them. 

He’s among those in the WWII Army Enlistment records, available on the National Archives’ website and on subscription site Ancestry.com:

His burial information is also recorded in the Veterans Administration Nationwide Gravesite Locator:

You can memorialize your own military ancestors’ service with our military biography form, downloadable from this page

Go here to download our War Service Reference Guide, which has a timeline of US conflicts plus a birth date chart you can use to determine which major wars your ancestor likely served in.

Learning about your relatives' service to our country (and sharing their stories with your family) is one way to honor them today. Here are some of our favorite websites for doing military research.

Thanks, Grandpa.

Military records | saving and sharing family history
Friday, November 11, 2011 9:58:41 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Sale of the Century!
Posted by Diane

Today’s date—11/11/11—being a once-in-a-century event and all, it seems like a good opportunity for a once-in-a-century sale.

Today through 11/13/11, you'll find deep discounts on several of our genealogy how-to titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.

For example, you can stock up on Family Tree Magazine back issue CDs (the 2005, 2007 and 2008 CDs are just $4.99 each), or get guides to finding 15 important types of genealogy records in our Family Tree Essentials CD, also only $4.99. (Remember, VIP members get another 10 percent off.)

See the full sale listing at ShopFamilyTree.com/category/11-11-11-Sale-of-the-Century. We've got limited quantities, so shop now.

And if you (or someone you know) is into woodworking, gardening, sewing, antiquing or another hobby, you'll want to check out the discounts at our sister publications, too!


ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Friday, November 11, 2011 9:18:42 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Organize Your Family Archive
Posted by Diane

Remember back when Family Tree Magazine Publisher Allison Dolan (then Allison Stacy) inherited nearly two dozen boxes of family history "stuff" from her grandparents?

Scads of you wrote in with advice and stories about your similar situations in blog comments, emails and letters.

The Family Curator blogger Denise Levenick is going to make an example of Allison for your benefit. In our Organize Your Family Archive webinar, Denise will offer strategies and inspiration for

  • determining your goals for your family collection
  • inventorying your archive
  • deciding what to save, donate and throw away or recycle
  • organizing the materials in your archive
  • safely storing everything from letters to photos to musical instruments
The hour-long webinar is Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 Central, 6 Mountain, 5 Pacific). Your registration includes:
  • participation in the live presentation and Q&A session
  • access to the webinar recording to view again as many times as you like
  • a PDF of the presentation slides for future reference

For a limited time, you can save 20 percent on your Organize Your Family Archive webinar registration. This may be the incentive and guidance you need to start getting a handle on your family archive—and seeing what genealogy treasures it holds.


Editor's Pick | saving and sharing family history
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 2:37:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Sale of the Century
Posted by Diane

Just wanted to let you know to keep your eyes on ShopFamilyTree.com this Friday: 11/11/11 comes only once a century, so word around the office is that we're marking the occasion with a "sale of the century." More details to come ...


ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 8:47:12 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Creating a 1940 Census Index
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has created a page to recruit volunteers for transcribing the 1940 census, scheduled for release April 2, 2012. (We’re just 146 days from 1940 census nirvana!) 

Unlike previous censuses, images of 1940 census records will be available free on the National Archives and Records Administration website. You won’t be able to search for an ancestor’s name right away; instead, you’ll have to browse the record by enumeration district (more on that—and figuring out your ancestor’s enumeration district—here). 

FamilySearch is coordinating a volunteer effort to index those images as soon as they’re released, so you’ll be able to search by name and click to see the record where the name appears.

If you want to help create the free, searchable 1940 census index, go here and sign up on the right side of this page.

Starting in mid-April, subscription website Ancestry.com also will begin streaming 1940 census records onto its website, where records will be free to search at least through 2013

Read more about the 1940 census, including what questions your ancestors had to answer, in our free article

Our Census Secrets CD, available from ShopFamilyTree.com, will help you find ancestors in US censuses from 1790 through 1940.


Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch
Tuesday, November 08, 2011 9:14:05 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, November 07, 2011
Why We Don’t Do Office Tours
Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine (and our fellow F+W Media hobby publications) moved into new digs over the weekend. Here's my little home away from home:

Exciting, right?

Wait, there's more:

This is my US presidents poster and red heart button says “I Love Genealogy.”

Here's our library's future home:



And some of my neighbors:



We're all getting settled in, trying to find the best chairs before someone else claims them, and getting ready for meetings with our remote employees who are in town. Happy Monday!


Monday, November 07, 2011 3:36:03 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, November 04, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 31-Nov. 4
Posted by Diane

  • The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) has a new website that's easier to use and enriched with expanded content. Additions to the eLibrary (accessible to members) include more than 500 NYG&B member biographies from the early 20th century, book two of the 1855 New York state census for Manhattan's Ward 17, 32 digitized books and more. Information also accessible t nonmembers includes research guides, News You Can Use with new resources for New York research and a Genealogical Exchange query board.
  • Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., an important Union fort in the Civil War, has been designated a National Monument. It was nicknamed "Freedom's Fortress" for Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler’s 1861 declaration that escaped slaves who reached Union lines would be deemed contraband of war and not returned to their masters. More than 10,000 enslaved men and women made the journey there by war's end. Learn about Fort Monroe during the Civil War here.

Civil War | Genealogy societies | Historic preservation | NARA
Friday, November 04, 2011 2:59:10 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Interview a Friend or Relative on the National Day of Listening
Posted by Diane

African-American genealogy website LowCountry Africana is an official partner with StoryCorps in celebrating the National Day of Listening on Nov. 25.

This will be the fourth annual National Day of Listening. Americans are encouraged to observe it by spending an hour on the day after Thanksgiving interviewing a friend, loved one or community member about their lives.

Lowcountry Africana will participate by recording interviews with residents in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. These areas are home to many descendants of enslaved Africans of the Gullah-Geechee culture. The slaves' rice-growing skills were vital to the massive rice plantations of the Colonial and Antebellum Lowcountry.

Visit Lowcountry Africana's National Day of Listening web pages, with suggestions for how to participate and instructional videos.

StoryCorps, an organization that provides people of all backgrounds with opportunities to preserve thier life stories, has a free online Do-It-Yourself interview guide.

You'll also find guidance for participating in the National Day of Listening in these free FamilyTreeMagazine.com articles:

More resources from ShopFamilyTree.com:


African-American roots | Oral History | saving and sharing family history
Friday, November 04, 2011 9:26:22 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]