Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!



July, 2017 (4)
June, 2017 (4)
May, 2017 (4)
April, 2017 (5)
March, 2017 (7)
February, 2017 (6)
January, 2017 (6)
December, 2016 (7)
November, 2016 (9)
October, 2016 (3)
September, 2016 (5)
August, 2016 (3)
July, 2016 (7)
June, 2016 (4)
May, 2016 (8)
April, 2016 (3)
March, 2016 (9)
February, 2016 (9)
January, 2016 (11)
December, 2015 (7)
November, 2015 (12)
October, 2015 (9)
September, 2015 (13)
August, 2015 (15)
July, 2015 (15)
June, 2015 (14)
May, 2015 (13)
April, 2015 (18)
March, 2015 (17)
February, 2015 (15)
January, 2015 (12)
December, 2014 (12)
November, 2014 (16)
October, 2014 (20)
September, 2014 (17)
August, 2014 (18)
July, 2014 (16)
June, 2014 (18)
May, 2014 (17)
April, 2014 (17)
March, 2014 (17)
February, 2014 (16)
January, 2014 (16)
December, 2013 (11)
November, 2013 (15)
October, 2013 (19)
September, 2013 (20)
August, 2013 (23)
July, 2013 (24)
June, 2013 (14)
May, 2013 (25)
April, 2013 (20)
March, 2013 (24)
February, 2013 (25)
January, 2013 (20)
December, 2012 (19)
November, 2012 (25)
October, 2012 (22)
September, 2012 (24)
August, 2012 (24)
July, 2012 (21)
June, 2012 (22)
May, 2012 (28)
April, 2012 (44)
March, 2012 (36)
February, 2012 (36)
January, 2012 (27)
December, 2011 (22)
November, 2011 (29)
October, 2011 (52)
September, 2011 (26)
August, 2011 (26)
July, 2011 (17)
June, 2011 (31)
May, 2011 (32)
April, 2011 (31)
March, 2011 (31)
February, 2011 (28)
January, 2011 (27)
December, 2010 (34)
November, 2010 (26)
October, 2010 (27)
September, 2010 (27)
August, 2010 (31)
July, 2010 (23)
June, 2010 (30)
May, 2010 (23)
April, 2010 (30)
March, 2010 (30)
February, 2010 (30)
January, 2010 (23)
December, 2009 (19)
November, 2009 (27)
October, 2009 (30)
September, 2009 (25)
August, 2009 (26)
July, 2009 (33)
June, 2009 (32)
May, 2009 (30)
April, 2009 (39)
March, 2009 (35)
February, 2009 (21)
January, 2009 (29)
December, 2008 (15)
November, 2008 (15)
October, 2008 (25)
September, 2008 (30)
August, 2008 (26)
July, 2008 (26)
June, 2008 (22)
May, 2008 (27)
April, 2008 (20)
March, 2008 (20)
February, 2008 (19)
January, 2008 (22)
December, 2007 (21)
November, 2007 (26)
October, 2007 (20)
September, 2007 (17)
August, 2007 (23)
July, 2007 (17)
June, 2007 (13)
May, 2007 (7)



<2012 March>

More Links

# Thursday, 08 March 2012
Tips for Finding Female Ancestors
Posted by Diane

March is Women’s History Month, so let's seize the opportunity to talk about finding women ancestors. Learning their maiden names can be a big problem, especially when you're researching before the era of consistent vital records.

For me, birth and death records, when they're available, have been a source of maiden names. Carefully examining census records also has helped: In two cases, I've found a female ancestor's elderly mother or father living in the daughter's household.

Here's a roundup of free articles that focus on finding women ancestors:

You'll discover more research strategies and details of our female ancestors' lives with the tools in our Women's History Month Value Pack, specially priced at $29.99 (a 59 percent discount) in March.

Female ancestors | Research Tips | Sales
Thursday, 08 March 2012 10:06:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [23]
This Friday on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Jerome Bettis
Posted by Diane

Tomorrow night on "Who Do You Think You Are?" we'll see retired football player Jerome Bettis explore his roots.

I'll be watching as part of our Virtual Conference viewing party (even though Bettis played for the Cincinnati Bengals rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers).

In this video, Bettis visits the land where his enslaved third-great-grandfather lived and worked.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Family Tree University
Thursday, 08 March 2012 08:56:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 07 March 2012
A Peck and a Pottle: Re-creating Family Recipes
Posted by Diane

Have you ever tried to make a cake or a kugel just like Mom or Grandma used to make? (Or, even harder, just like your husband's mom or grandma used to make?)

A recent Wall Street Journal article profiles several cooks who managed to recreate family recipes by doing these things:
  • Developing a flavor profile describing how the dish tastes, what the consistency was, etc.

  • Running recipes by family members for their input.

  • Scouring old cookbooks for potential recipes.

  • Listing ingredients the original cook would have used by considering her tastes and financial means (some ingredients would've been too expensive for everyday use).

  • Finding out what ingredients were available in the time and place. Old cookbooks from local churches and women's clubs are great for this.

  • Using the same tools as the original cook, including rotary egg beaters instead of a fancy stand mixer and old loaf pans instead of today's nonstick ones.

If you're recreating family recipes, you'll also want to refer to our list of old measurements and their modern equivalents.

Our book From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preerve Favorite Recipes by Gena Philibert-Ortega, now available for pre-order in, has tons of advice on finding vintage cookbooks and recreating recipes.

From the Family Kitchen also covers the social history of food and contains a recipe journal so you can write down how to make Mom's delicious banana bread. 

Family Recipes | Genealogy books | Social History
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 16:07:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 06 March 2012
Our Spring 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference is THIS Weekend
Posted by Diane

Just a heads-up that this is the last week to register for our Spring 2012 Virtual Conference sponsored by Flip-Pal mobile scanner. The conference is this weekend, March 9-11 (which is also time change weekend, by the way).

Wondering what this Virtual Conference thing is? I'll tell you: It's an opportunity to improve your genealogy skills and network with other researchers while hanging out at home in your pajamas (or at the coffee shop, let's hope in your regular clothes).

You'll log in anytime during the weekend to watch video classes, participate in live chats, visit our virtual exhibit hall and pick up your swag bag.

We've got 15 video classes to choose from. Some of them are:

  • Using Steve Morse’s One-Step Site to Get Ready for the 1940 Census with Thomas MacEntee
  • Using Your iPad for Genealogy with Nancy Hendrickson

  • What’s in a Civil War Pension File? with Diana Crisman Smith

  • Using Guardianship Records in Genealogical Research with Marian Pierre-Louis

  • Reconstruction 101 for African-Americans with Tim Pinnick

  • Strategies for Finding English Ancestral Origins with J. H. “Jay” Fonkert

And chat topics include (but aren't limited to):

  • Tech Talk: Ask Your Technology-Related Questions with Thomas MacEntee

  • Using Military Records with Diana Crisman Smith

  • All About House Histories with Marian Pierre-Louis

  • “Who Do You Think You Are?” Virtual Viewing Party with Kerry Scott
You'll find the full program listing all the classes and chats at Hope to "see" you there!

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 08:46:15 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, 05 March 2012
"Who Do You Think You Are?": Reba McEntire
Posted by Diane

Friday’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” was pre-empted around here due to coverage of the severe weather Friday. Our immediate area was lucky to come through unscathed. Not so for many of our neighboring communities, and our hearts go out to those people.

I watched the show online, which is a bit of a problem for me because I want to sit there and do research, so then I had to watch it again. The ratings are already out and apparently this episode did the best of any so far. Who doesn't love Reba McEntire?

Here’s the full episode if you still need to watch it:

She started the show at her family ranch in Oklahoma and traveled to Aberdeen, Miss.; Raleigh, NC; Oxford, NC; Tappahannock, Va.; and England in pursuit of her mom’s family tree.

I was surprised to see Josh Taylor (formerly of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), now of walk into the library in Aberdeen. This scene was in the clip I posted Friday, but I had assumed they were at the NEHGS library in Boston.

One theme is McEntire’s discovery of her family’s slave-owning past. When she’s confronted with her fourth-great-grandfather’s life as a slave trader, I like what the archivist says, that slavery is part of all of our histories.

Later, she learns the same ancestor’s grandfather (McEntire’s sixth-great-grandfather) came to the country as a 9-year-old indentured servant. He was one of the fewer than half of all indentured servants who lived long enough to become free citizens—and became successful enough to purchase land.

When she learned the boy’s father put him on the ship, McEntire cautions herself against drawing early conclusions. Good for her: Before making judgments about an ancestor’s actions, it’s a good idea to learn the context of their lives.

I like the variety of records used in this episode (though we didn’t see where Josh found his information). Censuses, obituaries, land records, tax records, newspapers (she used GenealogyBank at the Granville County courthouse, but they didn’t show the name of the site), slave bills of sale, deeds, baptismal registers and more.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Monday, 05 March 2012 08:40:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]
# Friday, 02 March 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 27-March 3
Posted by Diane

  • British family history subscription and pay-per-view website has launched the first parish records from Wales, part of a new project with the Welsh County Archivists Group and the National Library of Wales. The addition encompasses 3,878,862 million baptisms, marriages, marriage banns and burials from parish registers in the counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Glamorganshire.
  • The Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County, Fla., has put free indexes to local cemetery records (plus historical information about each cemetery and a map) as well as 270,000 names from obituaries on its website. Just click the blue links on the left to access the indexes.

Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 02 March 2012 14:49:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Reba McEntire
Posted by Diane

Tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are?" country music superstar Reba McEntire learns how her family came to America.

You can read a litle about McEntire's ancestral journey in this Tulsa World article (McEntire grew up on a ranch in Chockie, Okla.).

Here's a preview of the show in which McEntire learns family information from D. Joshua Taylor, formerly of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and now chief genealogist at

Taylor explains a bit about why names appear spelled differently in historical records and hints at some "very interesting things" happening in one of the counties where an ancestor of McEntire's lived—I guess we'll have to watch the show to find out what those things are.

And here's McEntire in Chesire, England, searching for records on an ancestor who was baptized there in 1688—and seemingly sent away to the American colonies at just 9 years old.

Watch "Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC tonight at 8 /7 Central.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Friday, 02 March 2012 08:40:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Thursday, 01 March 2012
Virtual Conference Preview: Cool Tools for Your Newspaper Research
Posted by Diane

This video clip is a short peek at Lisa Louise Cooke's demo of one of the cool tools she'll show you in her Spring 2012 Virtual Conference class, Three Cool Tools to Help With Your Newspaper Research.

The Virtual Conference, sponsored by Flip-Pal mobile scanner, is next weekend, March 9-11.

You can log in anytime over the weekend to take classes, participate in live chats with genealogy experts, visit the exhibit hall and more. (And there's a swag bag—who doesn't love swag?)

Newspapers are invaluable for getting details about your ancestors' lives and for tracing brick-wall ancestors (case in point: last Friday's "Who Do you think You Are?" with Blair Underwood). But historical newspapers can be hard to find and use—so you'll want to hear about the tools Lisa uses.

Learn more about the Spring 2012 Virtual Conference at

Family Tree University | Newspapers | Videos
Thursday, 01 March 2012 14:20:26 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
New Henry Louis Gates Genealogy Show to Debut in March on PBS
Posted by Diane

The new PBS genealogy series "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr." debuts Sunday, March 25 at 8 p.m.

The 10-part series will explore the genealogy and genetics of famous Americans including Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey Jr., Branford Marsalis, John Legend, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren.

On the show's website, you can learn more about the research team (the New England Historic Genealogical Society staff did a lot of work for the series) and share your story.

Here's a short preview for the show.


Watch Preview on PBS. See more from Finding Your Roots.

Celebrity Roots
Thursday, 01 March 2012 10:44:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]
"Research Me! I'm Irish"
Posted by Diane

... might be what you hear your Irish ancestors saying in your dreams. This month's Ultimate Collection will show you how to do it.

Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection

Our Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection is packed with practical advice for otracing your Irish ancestors in America and in the old country. It includes: 

  • Irish Research 101 Family Tree University Independent Study course download: successfully use US records to determine who your Irish immigrant ancestors were and their place of origin in Ireland.

  • Irish Genealogy Online video class: Recommends the best websites for finding Irish ancestors and features a case study demonstrating how to trace an Irish famine emigrant on the web.

  • Quick Guide to Irish Genealogy Websites: Our at-a-glance chart shows you what resources you'll find and other stats on several popular Irish genealogy sites.

  • Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Irish Ancestors book download: Get help with genealogical records, maps, translations and more.

  • A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland book: This graphical representation of Griffith's Valuation has maps for every county showing civil parishes, baronies and dioceses, as well as poor law unions and parishes.

  • 101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History book: Dispel the myths and learn the true stories of the Irish.

All this is a $185 value priced at $69.99 (that's 62 percent off) this month only—and only 100 are available!

A bonus with this Ultimate Collection: You get a coupon for 5 percent off the Irish Research 201 Family Tree University course, with four lessons focusing on records of your Irish ancestors in Ireland.

Click here to learn more about the Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection at

Family Tree University | Sales | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, 01 March 2012 09:54:34 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]