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<2012 January>

More Links

# Thursday, 19 January 2012
Get $10 Off Two Webinars in
Posted by Diane

Kentucky and Tennessee genealogy often goes hand-in-hand due to the states' similar history on the Old Frontier. Many settlers in both areas arrived via the Cumberland Gap in the late 1700s, so if you have ancestors in one state, you might have them in both, or your people may have spent time in both.

We want to make it easier for you to learn about genealogy research in both areas, so we're offering a $10-off-two webinar deal:

Register for any two of our next three upcoming webinars, and get $10 off your purchase. Choose from:

Enter coupon code WEBTRIO10 at checkout to get this deal. Sales | Webinars
Thursday, 19 January 2012 12:00:53 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
The Ultimate Get-Your-Genealogy-Organized Collection
Posted by Diane

It's getting toward the end of the month, so I'm issuing a reminder to get our Ultimate Get Organized Collection while it's still available. How-to-get-organized articles and classes are among our most popular, and this is the perfect opportunity to get a a package deal on a bunch of them:
  • My Family Tree Research Planner: This undated calendar, customizable for use in any year, has plenty of space to schedule library visits and genealogy society meetings, and track your research to-dos and goals. Click here for a video look inside (scroll down).

  • Organize Your Family Archive OnDemand Webinar: Got boxes of family papers, photos, knicknacks and who knows what else? Denise Levenick, aka the Family Curator, provides tips on how to decide what to save, easy ways to inventory and more.

  • Time Management for Genealogists download: Learn the skills to manage your limited genealogy research time your way in this Family Tree University Independent Study course download. Discover how to set achievable goals, use online project management tools and more.

  • Family Tree Magazine February 2012 digital issue: Get tips to make over your research methods and workspace for better efficiency.

  • Family Tree Magazine 2012 Genealogy Desk Calendar: This calendar has inspiring ancestor photos from our readers, plus coupons you can use all year in
Through Jan. 31 or while the limited supply lasts—whichever comes first—it's all $69.99, which amounts to a 61 percent discount. Click here to laern more about the Ultimate Get Organized Collection and get yours.
Editor's Pick | Sales
Thursday, 19 January 2012 10:26:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Four Genealogists to Compete for Top Honors at RootsTech
Posted by Diane

Taking a cue from TV, software company Legacy Family Tree is sponsoring the first Genealogy Idol competition during the RootsTech conference in early February.

The four "Idol" finalists are Elizabeth Clark of Falls Village, Conn.; Elyse Doerflinger of Lomita, Calif.; Michael Hait of Harrington, Del.; and Marian Pierre-Louis of Millis, Mass.

The contestants (the first two live at the conference, and the latter two online from home) will compete in three rounds, sharing their favorite genealogy and technology tips, stories of genealogical serendipity, and genealogy/technology website or blog.

In the tradition of "American Idol," the competition will be broadcast to a live webinar audience, whose votes will decide the winner. That person will receive a Flip-Pal mobile scanner and the title of RootsTech Genealogy Idol 2012. Click here to register to watch the free hourlong live webinar (limited to 1,000 attendees), taking place Thursday, Feb. 2 at 3:45 p.m. ET.

If you'll be at the RootsTech conference, happening Feb. 2-4 in Salt Lake City, you can watch the competition at 1:45 p.m. in classroom 255B.

Genealogy Events | RootsTech
Thursday, 19 January 2012 09:20:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Giant 50% Sale at!
Posted by Diane is offering our top genealogy how-to products at half-price today and tomorrow. That includes books, downloadable research guides and webinars such as

See the full list of Giant 50% Sale items on

Remember, purchases totaling over $25 of qualifying items get free shipping (downloads do count toward this total), and Family Tree VIPs get an additional 10 percent off.

Time is tight—after Thursday, these great deals will be gone. Sales
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 08:56:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Tuesday, 17 January 2012
I'm Going to the Courthouse!
Posted by Diane

I've been itching for a chance to do in-person research at the courthouse where my ancestors lived ever since an archivist researcher recommended research there.

My great-grandmother spent two years in the Cleveland State Hospital before her death in 1926, and I requested a search of hospital admission and discharge records at the Ohio state archives (the hospital registers are closed to the public, so I couldn't view them myself). The archivist sent copies of the records (all names obscured except my ancestor's) with a suggestion to check the Cuyahoga County probate court for a commitment hearing.

The probate court handles wills and estates, marriages, guardianships and adoptions. When I contacted the court, I was told the staff doesn't fulfill research requests, but I was welcome to go in person to look for the record.

So my chance is coming up with the Ohio Genealogical Society conference April 12-14 in Cleveland! I'm super-excited—it's been awhile since I've done hands-on research.  

I figure while I'm there, I also can look up some other records: a great-uncle's marriage that's just a hair too recent to be on Family History Library microfilm, as well as some relatives' probate files.

I looked up the courthouse website and called to verify research hours and find out about any special requirements.

I also searched for case file numbers in the probate court online Case Records Search System an index that provides information including names of parties, dates and case numbers. (Not all courts have this type of index, but a web search on the county and court should find one if it does exist.) That should make most of my searching relatively easy, knock on wood.

But the index doesn't go as far back as 1924, when the commitment hearing would've happened, so I'm crossing my fingers hard that a hearing took place. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

court records | Genealogy Events
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 16:48:58 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, 13 January 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Jan. 9-13
Posted by Diane

  • All 397 US national parks will offer free admission Jan. 14-16 to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. You can visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, or the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC—just a few of the many national parks that have ties to Dr. King or the Civil Rights movement. 
Use the directory at to find a park.
  • Library and Archives Canada has added digitized images of Upper Canada land petitions (357,831 new images in all) to its website. First search the index here (use the search link at the left; the one on the bottom didn't work for me) to find the microfilm number you need, then use the “microform digitization” research tool to you can browse the image page by page.
  • FamilySearch has added 119 million new, free records to the record search at (that includes about 64 million indexed names and 55 million browsable images). They come from more than 30 countries including Australia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and the United States. See the full list of new and updated databases here.

African-American roots | Canadian roots | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Museums | Social History
Friday, 13 January 2012 16:54:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]
# Thursday, 12 January 2012
Spring 2012 FTU Virtual Conference: Take Genealogy Classes and Network From Home
Posted by Diane

Registration for Family Tree University's Spring 2012 Virtual Conference is officially open!

Family Tree University Virtual Conference

This weekend workshop is full of video classes, live chats and virtual exhibits where you’ll learn strategies and resources to boost your research. Because it’s web-based, you can participate from anywhere, at any time during the weekend.

Get details on the conference program here.

The conference takes place 9 a.m. Friday, March 9, to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 11, 2012. You get a three-day, all-access pass to watch 15 prerecorded video classes and participate in live chats. 

Expert instructors include Lisa Louise Cooke, Thomas MacEntee, Diana Crisman Smith, Nancy Hendrickson, Lisa A. Alzo and others.

Register now for the Spring 2012 Virtual Conference and get the early bird rate of $149.99 for entire conference—use promo code FTUVCEARLY when checking out.

Want a taste of what you'll experience?

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events
Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:00:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Upcoming Webinars: Make $ with Your Genealogy Blog; Kentucky and Tennessee Crash Courses
Posted by Diane

We've got a few Family Tree University webinars lined up for you, so I'll start with the soonest first:
  • Make Money From Your Genealogy Blog is tomorrow (or maybe tonight, depending when you read this), Jan. 12, a 8 pm Eastern. Our online editor and Clue Wagon blogger Kerry Scott is presenting, and she has promised to spill all about what you can really expect when it comes to monetizing your blog.

  • Our Kentucky Genealogy Crash Course, taking place Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 8 pm Eastern, will be presented by local records expert J. Mark Lowe.

    Among other things, he'll help you sort out the state's confusing land records. Land grants in this state-land state originated with colonial and other state governments, and the process of acquiring land was inconsistent before statehood. You still have time to save 20 percent on your registration for this webinar!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 16:17:49 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Historical Mapping Site HistoryGeo Announces Grand Opening
Posted by Diane

HistoryGeo, the web-based historical mapping service from Arphax Publishing we blogged about a few months ago, is out of beta and holding its grand opening.

Improvements include:

  • All subscriptions now include access to all maps, nearly 42,000. No more having to add maps to your map collection and no more limitations on how many maps you can view.

  • All maps from from Arphax's Family Maps books and Texas Land Survey Maps books published so far are included, plus select historical maps and atlases

  • It's easier to annotate maps with Custom Markers, as well as move, edit, and delete your markers

  • Uploading images to associate with Custom Markers is simple in the Map Viewer

  • You can do a Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) search of US populated places and cemeteries, with links to Google Maps for items found

Subscriptions are based on quarterly, semiannual or annual renewal. Regular prices range from $49 to $129, but the site is offering reduced grand opening rates.

HistoryGeo works for PC and Mac users and web browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome. Learn more about the service with these how-to videos.

Look for more about HistoryGeo in an upcoming issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Genealogy Web Sites | Historical maps
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:32:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, 09 January 2012
What to Look for on in 2012
Posted by Diane

I wanted to draw your attention to's online article previewing the site's developments in 2012. The list of "12 things you can count on" is categorized into new record collections, new features and site enhancements, new ways to "discover even more," and new help from Ancestry hints and genealogy pros.

New content coming in 2012 includes:

New features to watch for on the site include:

  • new Ancestry hints for people in your Ancestry tree

  • a new image viewer (already being beta tested) that makes record images clearer, plus a new image viewing experience rolled out with popular census collections (this may incorporate some of the features of the sophisticated image viewer on Footnote/Fold3, which acquired last year)

  • new Android mobile apps (usable on the Kindle Fire, NOOK and other Android-powered tablets and phones) to join the iPhone and iPad apps

  • easier sharing of genealogical discoveries through social networking

  • advances in DNA testing (perhaps with autosomal tests)

  • help determining which record collections likely contain records about your ancestors

  • more opportunities to learn from staff genealogists
Get more details on each of these developments on
Monday, 09 January 2012 13:37:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]