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# Friday, February 10, 2012
CD & DVD Clearance at ShopFamilyTree.com!
Posted by Diane

We're having a CD and DVD Clearance Event today through Monday at ShopFamilyTree.com!

You'll save 50 to 75 percent on how-to genealogy products including
  • 10 Years of Family Tree Magazine 2000-2009 DVD
  • Trace Your Roots Online CD
  • Family Tree Passport to Europe CD
  • Research Remedies CD
  • ... and more!

Click here to see everything included in our CD and DVD Clearance Event!


ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Friday, February 10, 2012 4:01:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [6]
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 6-10
Posted by Diane

  • FamilySearch has added another 30 million new, free records to its historical records website—16 million indexed names and 14 million browsable images. Highlighting the additions are new databases from Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Micronesia, Slovenia and the United States. The new records also include millions of US births, marriages and deaths, and over 9 million church records from Sweden. See the list of new collections here.
FamilySearch also has launched a free mobile app for the iPad, iPhone and Droid that lets volunteers index digitized records. You can find it by searching for FamilySearch Indexing in the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace.
  • Library and Archives Canada is starting a monthly podcast series called Discover Library and Archives Canada (LAC): Your History, Your Documentary Heritage. Episodes will introduce you to LAC services and archivists. You can subscribe to episodes using RSS or iTunes, or tune in on the LAC website.
  • Genealogists have formed the Family History Information Standards Organisation (FHISO), to develop standards for the digital representation and sharing of family history informaiton. The goal is to make data exchanging work with different genealogy websites, software, applications and other services. FHISO will sponsor the Build a BetterGEDCOM Project, a grassroots effort started last year.

Ancestry.com | Canadian roots | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Historic preservation
Friday, February 10, 2012 3:00:43 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Tonight on "WDYTYA?": Marisa Tomei Explores Her Italian Roots
Posted by Grace

Tonight on NBC's “Who Do You Think You Are?” actress Marisa Tomei explores her roots in Italy and tries to unravel a murder mystery in her family.

Here’s a preview video of Tomei receiving a letter from her 83-year-old Italian first cousin twice removed.

Of course we'll blog about the episode right here.

Ready to research your own Italian roots? Consult our $4 downloadable Italian Genealogy Guide and the book Finding Italian Roots: The Complete Guide for Americans by John Philip Colletta.

And see our "Who Do You Think You Are?" page for beginning research resources including our free downloadable Getting Started Cheat Sheet, plus show news and tweets.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Friday, February 10, 2012 8:48:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, February 09, 2012
Finding African-American Ancestors in Newspapers FTU Course: Just $39.99
Posted by Diane


If you're researching African-American ancestors, we've got a great deal on our Family Tree University course Finding African-American Ancestors in Newspapers: Research Strategies for Success, with instructor Tim Pinnick.

Thanks to a sponsorship from GenealogyBank, registration in the four-week session starting Feb. 20 is just $39.99 (down from the regular $99.99). So if you've been thinking about taking this course, now's the time.

You can learn more about the class and see the syllabus here. Past students have been surprised at the number of newspapers that have been published in the United States covering African-American communities.

Also check out Tim's Newspapers forum at Afrigeneas, one of our favorite genealogy websites for those tracing African-American roots.


African-American roots | Family Tree University | Newspapers
Thursday, February 09, 2012 10:00:55 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
RootsTech News Wrap-up
Posted by Diane

The RootsTech conference was the talk of the genealogy world last week. For those of you catching up on conference news, here's a listing of our RootsTech posts: Keep an eye on RootsTech.org and Ancestry.com's YouTube channel for each organization's recorded presentations to become available.

Next year, RootsTech will be a little later in the year, March 21-23, in Salt Lake City.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Videos
Thursday, February 09, 2012 9:10:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Save $$ With Our Virtual Conference Early Bird Rate!
Posted by Diane

I wanted to give you a heads up that the $50 early bird registration savings for our Spring 2012 Virtual Conference is good through next Monday, Feb. 13.

The Virtual Conference, taking place March 9 – 11, is packed with video classes, live chats, message board discussions, a virtual exhibit hall and more.

See all the Virtual Conference details at FamilyTreeUniversity.com and use promo code FTUVCEARLY to get the early bird rate.


Family Tree University | Genealogy Events
Wednesday, February 08, 2012 9:00:19 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, February 07, 2012
RPAC Announces "Stop ID Theft NOW!" Campaign to Save SSDI
Posted by Diane

As part of its "Stop ID Theft Now!" campaign, today the genealogy Records Preservation and Access Committee (a joint task force of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society) plans to launch a petition drive to help preserve access to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).

Update: Click here to read and sign the petition. (Note: The page took awhile to load for me.)

Click here to read FAQs about the petition and how to electronically sign it. I recommend reading them, as I encountered some hiccups in the process of creating an account and clicking to sign.

Last week, we blogged about genealogists' exclusion from a hearing of the House Ways & Means Committee Subcommittee on Social Security. Read about SSDI threats including a bill that would eliminate it here.

The RPAC petition will urge measures that should immediately "curtail the filing of fraudulent tax refund claims based upon identity theft from deceased infants and adults."

The SSDI issue came to light after heartwrenching news reports of bereaved parents contending with identity theft when criminals filed tax returns with their deceased children's SSNs.

But eliminating SSDI access won't stop identity theft, say many genealogists. It won't prevent hackers from stealing personal data from government and corporate computer systems, nor will it force the IRS to adopt better practices for preventing and investigating identity theft-related tax fraud, and improving handling of fraud cases.

RPAC encourages family historians and genealogical societies to start by finding out who their representatives are. WhoIsMyRepresentative.com lets you enter your ZIP code to find out.


Genealogy Industry | Public Records
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:29:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
They’re Alive! Get Genealogy Answers by Finding Living Relatives
Posted by Diane


So I think I finally found out whatever happened to my great-grandmother's brother, who was my grandfather's baptismal sponsor. But I'm feeling tentative about the next steps: researching that family forward and then (gulp) contacting a descendant to try to find out if we really are cousins. 

So I'm looking forward to this week's Family Tree University webinar, "They’re Alive! Finding Living Relatives."

"Living people can be found using some unlikely online tools," says presenter Thomas MacEntee. "You’ll be surprised at how much information is made public about a person and how to find it. And it is all legal and access is often free." 

If that makes you feel just a little bit like a stalker, don't worry—Thomas also will talk about the best, non-stalkerish approach when contacting possible relatives. Phone call? Email? Letter? What should you say?

Here's the webinar info: 

  • Presenter: Thomas MacEntee, owner of Geneabloggers and High-Definition Genealogy
  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 9
  • Time: 8-9 p.m. Eastern/5-6 p.m. Pacific
  • Bonus: Register today and you'll also receive a free download of our guide Research Strategies: Find Living Relatives.

Go here to learn more and register for our They’re Alive! Finding Living Relatives webinar.


Editor's Pick | Webinars
Tuesday, February 07, 2012 9:16:22 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Monday, February 06, 2012
On a Genealogy Roll: My Research Finds
Posted by Diane

This is the year I was expecting to put genealogy aside while I run after a toddler and pry pieces of dog food out of his mouth. But I've been on a lucky streak, genealogically speaking. I made Some finds in January:
  • Then I tried out the Genealogy Today data service after I saw an announcement the Surname Search was updated. I try out resources on my family names, though I never expect much when I type in Haddad. But this time, the hit I got partially answered a longstanding question. The site has indexes from biennial reports of a Texas orphanage, which list my grandfather and his two siblings as "inmates." I knew my grandfather and his brother were there, but their sister's whereabouts at that time had been a mystery.
To top it all off, my husband asked for help with his family history, which is kind of like getting a present, so we did some genealogy together. Now I just hope I didn't jinx it, and this lucky streak continues.


Ancestry.com | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | Oral History | Research Tips | Social History
Monday, February 06, 2012 11:06:56 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [8]
# Friday, February 03, 2012
“WDYTYA?”: Martin Sheen
Posted by Diane

Spoiler alert! If you don’t want to know what happens in season 3, episode 1 of “Who Do You Think You Are?” stop reading right now.

I got Leo settled into bed just before 8, so I got myself settled on the sofa to watch the premiere episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” season 3, featuring Martin Sheen.

Sheen’s Irish-born mother died when he was 11. I was kind of hoping this show would start like others, with a trip home—Sheen grew up in Dayton, Ohio, northern neighbor to my Cincinnati hometown—but we moved right into the stories of Sheen’s two revolutionary uncles.

His mother’s brother was an activist during the Irish Civil War of 1922 to 1923, but, it turns out, not on the side Sheen thought: He was opposed to the Irish Free State and the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

Sheen’s father’s brother Matias stood up against Gen. Francisco Franco for the Spanish republic in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939.

Sheen visits prisons where each man was held. The show draws strong parallels with Sheen’s own social activism.

Next, Sheen delves farther back into his father’s family. He learns the names of his fourth-great-grandparents—and that his fourth-great-grandfather had several children with another woman (prompting a “Whoops!” from Sheen). The man also was a judge prosecuting a young woman in the community who’d had an affair, probably with a cleric.

And the better-than-fiction twist: This young woman’s descendant married the judge’s descendant –branches on the family tree from which Sheen sprang.

If you share Sheen’s Irish heritage, check out our Irish Heritage Research Guide digital download or the Irish Research 101 and 201 Family Tree University classes. 

Your ancestors hail from Spain, like Sheen’s paternal branch? Consult our Spanish and Portuguese Research Guide digital download.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Friday, February 03, 2012 10:01:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]