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<2011 November>

More Links

# Monday, 28 November 2011
Genealogy News Corral, Nov. 21-25
Posted by Diane

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here's a special Monday edition of our weekly news roundup:
  •, the Irish website that introduced earlier this year, has added a feature that lets you build your family tree on the site for free (you’ll need to register for a free account with the site). According to the announcement, it’s the first step in the site’s development of a fully integrated family tree program where you can store photos and historical information. | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genetic Genealogy | UK and Irish roots
Monday, 28 November 2011 12:15:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Advent Calender of Christmas Memories Captures Family Stories
Posted by Diane

Are you trying to save and share your family history by putting family stories down on paper?

Here's a great way to capture holiday-related memories: GeneaBloggers announces the return of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories blogging event Dec. 1-24. Each day will present a blogging prompt (such as Christmas cookies—yum!) for bloggers to respond to with memories and family history.

Even if you don't have a blog, you can use the prompts to inspire your writing.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories founder, GeneaBloggers' Thomas MacEntee, reports that some bloggers have compiled their posts into books to share with family.

Click here to learn how bloggers can participate in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. Also follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

Continue your family story writing with My Life & Times: A Guided Journal by Sunny Jane Morton or Morton's Creating a Family History Book course at Family Tree University (the next session starts Dec. 5).

saving and sharing family history
Monday, 28 November 2011 12:12:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
RootsMagic 5 Software Released Today
Posted by Diane

RootsMagic has released RootsMagic 5, the latest version of its genealogy software for Windows, along with an update to the free RootsMagic Essentials software.

RootsMagic 5 includes more than 80 new feature and enhancements to existing ones. New features include:

  • Timeline View: Show a person’s life in context with events from his or her own life and the lives of family members.

  • CountyCheck: Confirm the existence of a county, state, or country on any given date from a multinational database, and correct place-name errors in your family database.

  • Research Manager: Keep track of research goals, sources and results for a person, family or place in your tree. “On This Day” List: View family events along with famous births, deaths and historical events for any given day of the year.

  • Media Tagging: Tag your images and other media with people, families, sources or places. (For example, tag an image of a census record with the people, families and places named in the record, as well as the census source citation.)

Learn more about the updates in a free "What's New in RootsMagic 5?" webinar Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 5 p.m. Mountain Time (7 Eastern, 6 Central, 4 Pacific). If you’re interested, click here to sign up ASAP, as attendance is limited. (FYI, RootsMagic usually puts recordings of past webinars on its website for those who missed them.)

The free RootsMagic 5 Essentials contains many core features from the RootsMagic software, and the two products are fully compatible with one another.

RootsMagic 5 works on Windows 7, Vista, XP or 2000. It’s available online or by calling 1-800-766-8762.

New users can get the software for $29.95. Users of previous versions of RootsMagic and its predecessor, Family Origins, can upgrade to RootsMagic 5 for $19.95.

Genealogy Software
Monday, 28 November 2011 11:16:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Cyber Monday Deals at!
Posted by Diane

Your boss told me it’s fine for you to use your lunch hour (plus maybe a few extra minutes) to shop online in honor of Cyber Monday. Honest!* Just make sure you add to your must-visit list.

Today, Nov. 28, our Cyber Monday sale marks down some of our best-sellers by 40 percent! For example,

See all the Cyber Monday deals here.

And remember, if you’re a Family Tree VIP member, you’ll be able to take off another 10 percent.

*Just kidding. I didn't really talk to your boss, but I'm sure he or she won't mind.**

**OK, I don't really know your boss, so use your own judgment. Our Cyber Monday deals are good until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time—you can shop this evening, too. Sales
Monday, 28 November 2011 10:36:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 24 November 2011
Thanksgiving Day: FREE Shipping at
Posted by Diane

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

While you’re waiting to tuck into some sweet potato casserole today, take advantage of free shipping on all orders at! It’s a great opportunity to start your holiday shopping and pick up a genealogy how-to book or CD for yourself.

Then, enjoy some documents and photos from the National Archives related to the story of Thanksgiving in the United States, including George Washington's Oct. 3, 1789, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, and Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of Oct. 3, 1863. Sales
Thursday, 24 November 2011 07:20:23 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday Savings at
Posted by Diane

We’ve got a few deals up our sleeves for Thanksgiving Day and the upcoming Black Friday weekend:
  • Thanksgiving Day, 11/24: Free shipping on any order with promo code THANKS2011
  • Black Friday Weekend, 11/25-11/27: 20% off storewide (exclusions apply), plus a free digital download
  • Cyber Monday, 11/28: 40% off bestsellers

Start your holiday shopping (for loved ones or for yourself) with The Family Tree Sourcebook, The Family Tree Problem Solver, the beginner-friendly Family History Detective, or one of our Family Tree University Independent Study classes on CD

And for your reference, here are ordering deadlines for ensuring your shipments arrive in time for Christmas:

  • US Postal Service: Order by Wednesday, Dec. 7
  • FedEx Ground: Order by Tuesday, Dec. 13
  • FedEx 2nd Day: Order by Monday, Dec. 19
  • FedEx Overnite: Order by Tuesday, Dec. 20 Sales
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 09:34:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Listen Up! Free November Podcast Now Available
Posted by Diane

The free Family Tree Magazine podcast November edition is here! Host Lisa Louise Cooke and Family Tree Magazine experts share tips on how to get relatives to discuss family history, a discussion of the Historic American Cookbook Project, and news on the Genealogists for Families project at

Plus, learn more about creating a family history book from Family Tree University's Nancy Hendrickson.

You can listen via iTunes or on

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

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Podcasts | Research Tips | saving and sharing family history
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 09:04:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 21 November 2011 Buys FamilyLink
Posted by Diane

Israeli family tree network company MyHeritage has acquired FamilyLink, the developer of family history content sites and

The acquisition doesn't include FamilyLink's We're Related Facebook app, MyHeritage spokesperson Schelly Talalay Dardahsti tells me. FamilyLink CEO Paul Allen won't be joining the MyHeritage team.

MyHeritage will add its first U.S.-based office in Utah, the home of FamilyLink.

The acquisition adds something MyHeritage lacked: the historical records genealogists use. FamilyLink's records will complement the family trees on “We’ll be able to find your mother’s yearbook, your great-grandfather’s will and your ancestor’s immigration record. We’ll do that on a massive, global scale," says MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet.

This is MyHeritage’s seventh and largest acquisition since 2007. Read the full press release here.

FamilyLink | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Monday, 21 November 2011 16:56:57 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Thanksgiving Myth-Busting
Posted by Diane

The Thanksgiving Myth-busting patrol is here with the truth behind an annual seasonal event:

The presidential tradition of pardoning a turkey goes all the way back to …. 1989. Yes, George H.W. Bush was the first president to officially pardon his Thanksgiving turkey.

He sent Tom off to a Virginia petting zoo with the words “Let me assure this fine tom he will not end up on anyone’s dinner table. Not this guy. He’s been granted a presidential pardon as of right now, allowing him to live out his days on a farm not far from here.” (Thus ensuring that some other poor turkey ended up on the White House table.)

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have continued the pardons. Last year, the two turkeys Obama pardoned (one was an understudy for the official ceremony) went to live at Mount Vernon.

Some claim that Harry Truman pardoned the turkey given to him by the National Turkey Federation in 1947, but the Truman Library has found no evidence a pardon occurred.

In 1963, John F. Kennedy announced he wasn't going to eat the turkey he received, but he didn’t actually pardon it. Ronald Reagan spared a turkey, too, but merely joked about a pardon as he was questioned about the Iran-Contra affair.

On, we bust five more Thanksgiving myths, including the one about the buckled Pilgrim hat of children’s stories.

And go here to read about the real first Thanksgiving in the New World.

Genealogy fun | Social History
Monday, 21 November 2011 13:57:09 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 18 November 2011
Don't Waste Your Money: SSA Extends Age Restriction on SS-5s
Posted by Diane

I wanted to draw your attention to a post on Megan Smolenyak's Roots World blog about a disturbing change to the Social Security Administration's policy on fulfilling requests for relatives' for Social Security applications (called SS-5 forms):

The SSA will block out parents' names on the SS-5 you requested if the applicant was born less than 100 years ago and you don't provide proof the parents are deceased.

If you requested the SS-5 in order to learn those parents' names in the first place, of course, you can't prove they're deceased. And you're out the nonrefundable $27 fee you sent with your request.

I haven't heard a public announcement from the SSA about this policy. Smolenyak learned of the change after requesting an SS-5

This comes on the heels of the SSA's removal of "protected" death records from the Death Master File, the source of the Social Security Death Index.

Read Smolenyak's post here.

Public Records
Friday, 18 November 2011 12:24:30 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]