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<2012 March>

More Links

# Thursday, 22 March 2012
Exclusive! MyHeritage to Offer 1940 Census Free
Posted by Diane

In an exclusive interview today (about 12 minutes ago, actually), MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet told me that genealogy site and family network will offer the 1940 US census for free after the National Archives releases the records April 2.

MyHeritage, a company based in Israel and with a US office in Provo, Utah, will provide the 1940 census free at, and

(MyHeritage acquired FamilyLink and its WorldVitalRecords site last November.)

As on other websites planning to offer the 1940 census, you'll be able to browse the record images by place as soon as they're added to the site.

A searchable index will be added throughout the year, as data from each state are transcribed. The MyHeritage 1940 census index will be created separately from both the FamilySearch/ 1940 Census Community Project and the index. A company that specializes in historical transcription will develop the index, which Japhet says will be highly accurate. 

Once MyHeritage has launched the index for a given state, you'll be able to search it by multiple criteria using the MyHeritage SuperSearch, a fast and sophisticated new search engine to be released in April. All searches will take less than half a second, Japhet told me.

The search engine will support 38 languages, the only 1940 census site to offer this feature. You'll also be able to search the records using the MyHeritage mobile app.

If you have a family tree on, the site will automatically match it to 1940 census data as indexes are added and notify you about relevant results. This reduces the need to constantly repeat your searches to see if the index for your ancestor's state has been added.

The 1940 census is the first of additional historical content to come on MyHeritage. "This is the first serious signal from MyHeritage that it is strongly entering the historical records market," Japhet says.

Japhet shared a lot of detail with me, so I'll write another post about MyHeritage's plans for introducing new, global content and a sophisticated way to search it.

For more 1940 census information, including a free video on using Stephen Morse's One-Step tool for determining your ancestor's 1940 enumeration district, see

census records | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Thursday, 22 March 2012 13:30:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
Getting Ready for the 1940 Census: Nine Absolute Must-Haves
Posted by Diane

Part two in our series on getting ready for the release of the 1940 census is a guest post from census preparedness expert Ida Searcher:

I was inspired to become a census preparedness expert 10 years ago, after seeing woefully underprepared genealogists try to use the 1930 census.

Why, so many of them were waiting in line at the library without basics like tents, Bunsen burners or crossword puzzles. And watching them scroll microfilm without Dramamine—well, it was downright painful.

You'll need different supplies for the 1940 census, as this release is entirely digital and you'll be examining the records on a computer.

Under no circumstances should you start your 1940 census research without these nine absolute must-haves:

1. An atomic clock to precisely signal the 9 a.m. ET release of the 1940 census records.

2. Extra batteries for your mouse. Be sure to practice changing them fast, the way they change the tires on race cars. You don't want to lose census time on silly things like dead batteries.

3. A Netflix account for the kids. You can get 99 episodes of Sponge Bob on Netflix. That's 99 half-hours of uninterrupted census work. You can always smarten them back up later with some books or something.

4. A cardboard cutout of yourself to keep your spouse company while you’re spending quality time with your computer. This is the kind thing to do.

5. A hands-free helmet hydration system. No need to pause in your scrolling to pick up a glass of water.

6. Peanut m&ms for sustenance (peanuts = protein).

7. An alarm clock to remind you to eat the m&ms.

8. No-Doze (it's not just for college students anymore). Stock up now before your local drugstore is overrun with census-checking grannies. You don't want to have to knock over those grannies.

9. Vitamin D pills. Let's face it: You're not going to be seeing the sun anytime soon. That's okay, though. Vampires are very "in" these days. You're like a census vampire.

Um, thank you, Ida. I'm sure readers are rushing to the store right now.

Next up, we offer phrases you'll want to memorize in case your boss catches you searching the 1940 census at work.

And visit for serious tips on finding your ancestors in the 1940 census—including a free video on using Steve Morse's One-Step 1940 ED tool.

census records | Genealogy fun
Thursday, 22 March 2012 08:53:03 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Wednesday, 21 March 2012
FREE Webinar: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner for Fabulous Family Photos
Posted by Diane

Free Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Webinar

We're hosting a free webinar next Tuesday about one of the most talked-about photo-preservation tools in genealogy: the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.

Presenters Thomas MacEntee and Diane Miller will show you:

  • tips for using Flip-Pal in your genealogy work
  • hints for archiving family photos with Flip-Pal
  • how Flip-Pal can help you share photos with your family
  • how to download the webinar presentation and slides for your future reference

Registered attendees will get access to the webinar to view again as many times as they like (we'll e-mail instructions after the webinar).

Plus, all registrants will receive a special product offer!

The free Flip-Pal webinar is Tuesday, March 27, at 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Central, noon Mountain, 11 a.m. Pacific).

The presentation is about 45 minutes, plus 10 minutes for Q&A.

Click here to register for our free webinar Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner for Fabulous Family Photos.

Photos | saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 08:33:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Henry Louis Gates Genealogy Show Premieres March 25
Posted by Diane

The new genealogy series Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr. premieres on PBS March 25.

Gates, a Harvard history professor who's hosted previous genealogy shows for PBS including African-American Lives and Faces of America, will explore the roots of 24 well-known Americans including Harry Connick Jr., Barbara Walters, Kevin Bacon, Condoleezza Rice, Sanjay Gupta and Martha Stewart.

Here's the twist that makes this show different: Each episode will feature a pair of celebrities "bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link." DNA testing takes over where paper trails leave off.

The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and Johni Cerny, co-author of The Source: Guidebook for American Genealogy, contributed research to the series.

You can watch several clips on the show's website, including this extended preview:

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

Celebrity Roots | Genetic Genealogy | Videos
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 07:51:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 19 March 2012
PSA: Don't Let Your 1940 Census Search Get Sidelined
Posted by Diane

The census is coming! The census is coming! To be exact, the 1940 census will be released in 14 days, at 9 a.m. April 2 at

We've gone over how to pinpoint your ancestors' 1940 census enumeration district(s) so you can zero in on their record.

Now, as a public service announcement to genealogists, we're carrying this important guest blog post from a noted expert in genealogical medicine regarding the 1940 census and avoiding research-related injury. Take it away, doctor:

Hello, I'm Dr. I.M. Enumerator, N.O.T.M.D. 

Significant clicking, scrolling and dragging will likely be required when you look for your ancestors in the 1940 census.

And unfortunately, too much mousing can lead to a painful condition called 1940 Census Clicker’s Wrist.

Because the 1940 records constitute the first digital census release, we doctors aren't sure what to expect. But those of us familiar with the condition's close relative, 1930 Census Scroller's Elbow, believe it could cause a sore wrist and forearm, stiff "trigger finger" and inability to uncurl the fingers from a computer mouse.

Uncontrolled, 1940 Census Clicker's Wrist could sideline your census search and require professional extraction of the mouse.

But there's no need to suffer. You can avoid the problem if you start this simple, three-step census training program now.**

1. Perform two sets of 10 reps each, twice a day, with one of these:

2. Follow with three minutes of stretching.


3. Become ambidextrous.  

For optimal census searching speed and performance, remember to taper your training program during the last few days before Census Release Day.

If 1940 Census Clicker’s Wrist should strike you, stop mousing immediately and apply ice.

 Don't let 1940 Census Clicker's Wrist stall your search for ancestors. Start your training program today! 

**Consult your physician before beginning any census training program.

Thank you to the doctor for this crucial information. Next, we'll talk about important supplies to stock up on so you'll be ready on Census Day.

census records | Genealogy fun
Monday, 19 March 2012 15:20:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Essential Census Tips and Facts at Your Fingertips
Posted by Diane

Just in time for the 1940 census hoopla to start, our new Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference puts resources, tips, lists and need-to-know facts for searching all US censuses right at your fingertips, in a handy book that's also very cute (it really does fit in your pocket).

Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference

The Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference includes
  • websites with census records and their coverage

  • questions from each US census, 1790 through 1940

  • maps of the territory covered in each federal census

  • a key to common abbreviations in census records

  • instructions given to enumerators for each census (which affects how they were to record your ancestors' information)

  • US population and immigration trends revealed in census records

  • explanations of special nonpopulation census schedules

  • resources for state and international censuses

The Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference is now available. Learn more about it in

census records | Genealogy books
Monday, 19 March 2012 10:13:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 16 March 2012
Save 50% or More on Genealogy Stuff at Now Through Sunday
Posted by Diane

Need a My Family Tree Research Planner?

50 percent off!

Our downloadable guide to tracing immigrant ancestors?

50 percent off!

A 2010 Family Tree Magazine back issues CD (after all, it's text-searchable and takes up a slim quarter-inch of bookshelf space)?

54 percent off!

You're probably getting the gist by now: For the Amazing Deals Sale at now through Sunday, lots and lots of genealogy how-to books, print back issues, CDs, article downloads and more are at least 50 percent off.

Click here to see everything included in the sale. Remember, in you get free shipping on orders over $25 (and digital downloads count toward the total). Sales
Friday, 16 March 2012 10:34:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy News Corral, March 12-16
Posted by Diane

  • Genealogy and family network website MyHeritage now has a feature that lets members easily create family calendars. You can choose from 15 designs and 28 languages, and create a calendar in one click. It's automatically decorated with your family photos and populated with birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other events from your family site. You can add or change events and photos, too, and purchase your calendar for as low as $19.95 plus shipping.
  • Family tree wiki site has started a Genealogist-to-Genealogist Sharing Network (aka G2G). It'll allow researchers (whether or not they're WikiTree members) to ask other genealogists for help on topics such as general genealogy, research brick walls, or how to use WikiTree.
  • FamilySearch added 20 million new, free records to this week for Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, and 13 US states. The release includes 9 million California death records and 5 million Nevada marriage records. See the list of updated databases and link to each one here.
  • Florida International University (FIU) has acquired Felix Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza's collection of thousands of books, handwritten and typed letters, photos and other primary documents relating to Cuba and Cuban genealogy. They include rare 17th- and 18th-century books, out-of-print publications, and thousands of unpublished genealogies and family manuscripts. FIU is now raising funds to create a Cuban center for genealogy centered around this collection. Read more about the Felix Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza collection here.

FamilySearch | Fold3 | Hispanic Roots | Military records | MyHeritage | Social Networking
Friday, 16 March 2012 09:54:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 15 March 2012
Tips on Exploring Your Irish Family Tree
Posted by Diane

I grew up thinking I’m an eighth Irish, through my great-grandmother Mary Norris. But my genealogy research has since revealed that I’m only 1/16th Irish—Mary’s father was from Ireland, but her mother was German.

And this little guy is 1/32nd Irish:

So this St. Patrick’s Day, Leo and I will have to make the most of our respective slivers of Irishness.

Whether you're a lot or a little Irish, you share heritage with the second-largest heritage group in the United States. Here are some more stats:

  • 50,000 to 100,000 Irish came to America in the 1600s, and 100,000 more in the 1700s. Eight signatures on the Declaration of Independence belonged to men of Irish descent.

  • In the American colonies, up to 90 percent of indentured servants were Irish. 

  • About 250,000 Scots-Irish settlers from Ulster province arrived in the United States during the Colonial era. They were descended from Scottish and English tenant farmers settled in Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster.

  • In the century after 1820, about 5 million Irish arrived on US shores. Irish made up almost half of all US immigrants in the 1840s and one-third in the 1850s, the decades of the Great Potato Famine.

  • Today, Massachusetts is the most Irish state, with about a quarter of the population claiming Irish roots. has some great advice for tracing your Irish roots:

For in-depth help researching your Irish ancestors, take a look at our Irish Ancestry Value Pack, with:

  • how-to guides
  • the Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Irish Ancestors book download
  • the Irish Research 101 Family Tree University Independent Study course

The Irish Ancestry Value Pack is just $49.99 this month.

Editor's Pick | International Genealogy | Sales | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, 15 March 2012 08:09:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Upcoming Genealogy Webinars: Census Secrets and Indiana Crash Course
Posted by Diane

Just a quick reminder that our Online Census Secrets webinar is this Thursday, March 15, at 8 p.m. ET.

Family Tree Magazine publisher Allison Dolan will share key facts about censuses, where to find free census records and what to expect when the 1940 census is released. She'll also show you how to use the major online collections to find your ancestors, using real examples from webinar viewers to demo census search strategies.

Click here to learn more about the Online Census Secrets webinar.

And our Indiana Crash Course webinar is right around the corner next Tuesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET. If you have Hoosier ancestors like I do, click here to find out more about this learning opportunity.

census records | Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 07:44:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]