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# Friday, February 03, 2012
Mocavo Rolls Out New Content, Features
Posted by Diane

Genealogy search engine Mocavo announced searchable content additions and new capabilities in conjunction with the RootsTech conference.

Content additions include:

  • Allen County Public Library’s Internet Archive records
  • Social Security Death Index
  • Geni.com's World Family Tree.

The new features are:

  • Historical Record Storage & Sharing Platform: You can self-publish high-resolution documents to Mocavo.com for free. They're automatically digitized using Optical Character Recognition, and if you choose, your documents will be searchable by all Mocavo users.

  • Mocavo is releasing iPhone and Android applications (not yet available, but promised within the next 30 days) that let let you upload photos of documents and family pictures to the aforementioned document sharing platform. You also can use the app to search with Mocavo's Search engine.

  • The Mocavo Discovery Stream will deliver a constant source of new user-generated content—whether people are uploading family trees and documents or finding matches using the search engine—similar to the Facebook newsfeed or Pinterest.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.



Genealogy Web Sites | RootsTech
Friday, February 03, 2012 3:19:06 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [8]
GeneTree Introduces New Test, Consultation Service
Posted by Diane

Genetic genealogy company GeneTree.com has introduced a new consultation service and test for getting in-depth genealogical information from your DNA.

The Family Consultation Service (starting at $49.99) is an in-depth examination of your genealogical data and DNA test results. It's designed for avid genealogists using DNA testing to identify ancestors in specific family lines.

Similarly, the Y-19 test ($94.99) is intended for those who've already done some DNA testing and know their haplogroups. "These 19 [markers] are very fast-mutating markers," says GeneTree CEO Scott Woodward.

That makes them useful for identifying more-specific family relationships, especially when several members of a family group have been tested.

The test is best used in association with a consultation, says Woodward. "Many genealogists don't know how to get the most out of the interpretation. For instance, there is a lot you can learn by one single little mutation that two people share. There are a lot of people who need someone to look at their genealogical DNA data and tell them what it means."

If you're at RootsTech, GeneTree.com is offering free 10-minute genetic genealogy consultations.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.



Genetic Genealogy | RootsTech
Friday, February 03, 2012 2:55:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [11]
"Who Do You Think You Are?" Premieres Tonight With Martin Sheen's Roots
Posted by Diane

Tonight's the night! Season 3 of the genealogy-reality series "Who Do You Think You Are?" debuts on NBC, with a look at actor Martin Sheen's Irish and Spanish roots.

Here's a quick preview of season 3 (I know that's not Martin Sheen below):

I was already excited about the season, but even more so after a media conference call with Sheen on Monday. He was brimming over with enthusiasm about the ancestors he discovered through the show. You'd think he met them in person.

I asked about the location where he felt most connected to his roots, and he spoke about the cathedral in Tui, Spain. (You can see it here.)

"That is a place that I have visited many times since 1969, when I made my first trip to Spain and to visit my father's community. And I only learned during this last trip with "Who Do You Think You Are?" that my great- great-great-great-grandfather is buried in that cathedral," Sheen said. "And I never knew that.

"In fact I used to walk over his burial spot in the cathedral. Everybody did. You are just walking along. And when I got to the show—I don't think it is included in the show—but they showed me where it was. I was not aware until we did the show of how intricately connected my heritage was with that town and specifically that cathedral."

The Martin Sheen episode starts tonight on NBC at 8 p.m. ET (check your listings for local times). If you miss it, you'll be able to catch it on Hulu and on the show's website (which is probably how I'll see it, unless a certain one-year-old observes his bedtime to the minute).

Of course we'll be blogging all about it. Keep up with this season and get our beginning genealogy guidance—for yourself or for friends who get inspired watching "Who Do You Think You Are?"—on our "Who Do You Think You Are?" landing page.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Friday, February 03, 2012 9:49:03 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, February 02, 2012
1940 Census Community Project Update
Posted by Diane

Here's an update on the 1940 Community Census Project, a partnership among FamilySearch, Archives.com and FindMyPast.com. It was the focus of a RootsTech bloggers dinner yesterday.

The 1940 census images will be hosted on Archives.gov, the National Archives website. Archives has been awarded the digitization contract for these images.

Indexing will begin as soon as the records are released online April 2. Each page will be indexed twice, with a third arbitrator to resolve difference in the two indexes.

FamilySearch is making upgrades and doing "test loading" to make sure its site can handle the extra traffic the indexing project will generate.

Chris Van Der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid (the British parent company of FindMyPast.com), described the 1940 project as "one of the most exciting crowdsourced projects on the internet." A video commercial to be released on YouTube will bill it as a "national service project" and genealogical societies will receive incentives for galvanizing members to index.

Part of the funding provided by brightsolid and Archives.com will be dedicated to producing other free digital collections. The idea is that money that might otherwise be used to build competing census collections will now go to creating access to material that's not already online. It's "putting money into the community that would otherwise be duplicated," says John Spottiswood of Archives.com.

To volunteer for 1940 census indexing, sign up on the 1940 Community Census Project website.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | RootsTech
Thursday, February 02, 2012 3:40:25 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Brightsolid to Launch 1st Pay-As-You-Go Census Records Site
Posted by Diane

Remember how British genealogy company brightsolid was poised to announce plans to launch a new product for the US market? Here it is:

Brightsolid just announced a new pay-as-you-go site for US census records, 1790 to 1930, plus 1940 when it's released later this year. It'll be called CensusRecords.com, and is already live as as an early beta version that invites user feedback.

This is the first site that will let you search for your ancestors in the cnesus, then purchase the record with their names—a model that'll potentially make census research more affordable and accessible to those who don't want to commit to a genealogy website subscription.

No doubt brightsolid hopes—I know I do, too—that the pay-as-you-go service will lure casual researchers to get more involved in family history research.

Censusrecords.com visitors will be able to search for free. To view documents and download them to their computer, they can subscribe or buy pay-as-you-go credits, which start at $7.95 for 1,000 credits (good for 60 days).

Pay-as-you-go costs could add up if you're not sure you've found your ancestor and have to check a bunch of records, but if you're sure you've found the right folks, this could be your most cost-effective approach.

With the confluence of several factors—a growing interest in family history, economic concerns, anticipation for the 1940 census, and "Who Do You Think You Are?" showing genealogy to the masses—Censusrecords.com is poised to be a big hit. What do you think? (Hit Comments below to share your thoughts.)


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.


census records | Genealogy Industry | RootsTech | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, February 02, 2012 11:33:32 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [8]
Search Thousands More Family Histories on FamilySearch.org
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has moved its online books collection from the Brigham Young Family History Archive site to a beta site at books.familysearch.org. (You also can go to FamilySearch.org and click the Books tab.)

Digital book operations manager Dennis Meldrum says approximately 17,700 books were moved, and a backlog of 13,300 books—which wouldn't fit onto the BYU site—were added.

That means you can now search upwards of 31,000 family history books at FamilySearch.org. Another 4,500 will be added this week, with 25,000 more to come during 2012.

You can keyword-search the entire text of the books and download an entire book (instead of one page at a time, as was the case on the BYU site). "We are working to improve the download experience over the coming weeks," Meldrum says.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.



FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy books | RootsTech
Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:07:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Ultimate German Research Collection
Posted by Diane


If you're like me and have German ancestors, you're part of the United States' largest heritage group: German ancestry is consistently the most-claimed ethnic background on US censuses.


This month's Ultimate Collection will help you research those folks! Our Ultimate German Research Collection has

  • Find Your German Roots: Family Tree University Independent Study Course download
  • German Newspapers in America (on-demand video class)
  • Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Germanic Ancestors digital book
  • Family Tree Passport to Europe CD
  • Tracing German Ancestry in Eastern Europe download

Plus, you get a 25 percent off coupon for the Family Tree University German Genealogy 201 online course (learn more about this course here).

This collection is a $184 value for $69.99, and it's available only while supplies last, and only in February. Get your Ultimate German Research Collection in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Editor's Pick | International Genealogy | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 2:30:23 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Black History Records Collection Free on Fold3 in February
Posted by Diane

Genealogy subscription site Fold3 (the former Footnote) is making its Black History Collection free during February in honor of Black History Month.

Among the records in this collection are:

  • Danish West Indies Slave Records
  • the 1860 US Census
  • US Colored Troops Compiled Service Records and pension files
  • Southern Claims Commission files (petitions by Southerners—including many African-Americans—who lost property to Union troops during the Civil War)
  • Military Intelligence Division—Negro Subversion (1914–1941)
  • Vietnam War Marine Corps Photos

You'll be prompted to register for a free Fold3 account when you click to view a record.


African-American roots | Fold3 | Military records
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 3:44:07 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
Enter to Win an iPad in RootsMagic Treasure Hunt
Posted by Diane

Genealogy software company RootsMagic is holding a treasure hunt contest in conjunction with FamilySearch's RootsTech conference Feb. 2-4 in Salt Lake City, but you can play from home, too—and maybe win an iPad.

The treasure hunt involves finding words hidden on the blogs of 15 genealogy bloggers who'll be reporting at the conference.

You'll find entry instructions on the RootsMagic website. Good luck!


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.



Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun | RootsTech
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 1:39:57 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
Ancestry.com to Live-Stream its RootsTech Presentations
Posted by Diane

We blogged last week that you can watch several RootsTech presentations live via the RootsTech home page.

Ancestry.com also will live-stream several presentations by its staff. See the list on Ancestry.com’s Facebook page.

My top picks:

  • The Inner-workings of the Ancestry.com Search Engine, Friday, Feb. 3, 3 pm MST

  • 5 New Things to Try at Ancestry.com, Friday, Feb. 3, 1:45 pm MST

  • Who Do You Think You Are? Live Q&A: How Do Our Experts Search?
    Saturday, Feb. 4, 2:30pm MST (This is the day after NBC's season 3 premiere of "Who Do You Think You Are?" so you may get some insider details on the Martin Sheen episode.)
You can watch the presentations on Ancestry.com's Facebook page or its Livestream channel.

The RootsTech conference, organized by FamilySearch, takes place this week, Feb. 2-4, in Salt Lake City.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | RootsTech
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 12:56:02 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]