Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories
October, 2014 (16)
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)

Search

Archives

<May 2012>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789

More Links








# Wednesday, May 02, 2012
This Friday on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Rashida Jones
Posted by Diane

This Friday on NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" actress Rashida Jones (you might recognize her from "Parks and Recreation") uncovers her maternal family history from Manhattan to Eastern Europe—and finds answers to her grandmother's missing years.

Here's a little preview:

Watch "Who Do You Think You Are?" Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 Central on NBC.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Wednesday, May 02, 2012 3:15:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Tips to Get Ready for a Genealogy Conference
Posted by Diane

Genealogy conference season has begun, and we're getting excited for next week's National Genealogical Society conference here in Cincinnati.

Headed to the conference? These tips will help you get ready. (And we're in exhibit hall booth #432—come say hi!)
  • Wear comfortable shoes—you’ll be walking to classes, walking to your hotel, walking through the exhibit hall, walking to lunch. I put cushioned insoles in my conference shoes.
  • Either the air conditioning is cranked up at these things, or you get stuck in a stuffy, crowded room. Dress in layers and bring a cardigan.
  • Stay hydrated. Bottled water can be pricey and drinking fountains can be hard to find. You can save by bringing an empty bottle to refill. I keep a snack on hand, too.
  • Bring business card with surnames and places you’re researching and your genealogy email address, in case you run into someone researching your lines.
  • Bring extra address labels so you can stick them on entry forms for drawings (including ours).

  • Leave space in your luggage (or bring an empty bag) for the handouts, freebies, books and other things you'll be taking home.
  • If you’re attending by yourself and everybody else seems to know somebody, remember genealogists are a friendly bunch. Just say hi and introduce yourself. If all else fails, ask the person next you whether his or her ancestors are from around here. You’ll have an instant conversation partner.

  • Look ahead of time for nearby breakfast, lunch and dinner spots so you're not trying to find a place to eat when you're starving. (Here are downtown Cincinnati dining options.)
  • Plan ahead for any local research you want to do, so you can make sure you have all the charts and records you need. Get addresses and hours of the facilities, and figure out directions and parking.
  • Take some time before classes to decide which ones you want to attend and learn where the classrooms are. That way, you won't miss the first 10 minutes because you couldn't find the room.
  • Take a reconnaissance walk through the exhibit hall and mark on your booth map all the vendors you want to return to. Check off each one as you visit, but be sure to leave time for browsing and asking questions.

  • If you have local ancestors but you live far away, ask the locals about their favorite resources. If you can, get a local genealogist's email address in case you need more advice when you're back home. (I'll post some of my favorite Cincinnati genealogy resources next week.)

  • Some exhibitors pack up early on Saturday to catch flights and whatnot, so don't leave important business for the very end.
Hope I’ll see you at the conference!



Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Wednesday, May 02, 2012 2:50:33 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
How to Savor Your Family's Food History and Save Favorite Recipes
Posted by Diane

I'm in love with our newest book, From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Family Recipes by Gena Philibert-Ortega.

Before you even open the book, it's pretty: Hardbound, with a lovely cover and a cute yellow ribbon bookmark.

From the Family Kitchen book

And then it's about food history and family recipes, a topic that fascinates me.

From the Family Kitchen book

Who better to describe the book than its author? Here's what Gena has to say about this labor of love:

Do you ever wish you knew more about your ancestors’ lives? When I think of my ancestors, I wonder how their lives were similar to mine. I also ponder what I can add to my genealogy research that will be meaningful to future generations. 

From the Family Kitchen will help you understand and appreciate your ancestors’ everyday lives by exploring the foods they ate. These details make your family history more vivid and more interesting to younger folks—not to mention very tasty. 

This isn’t just another guidebook. It’s a keepsake designed to help you gather and preserve your family’s food traditions, past and present. You can use From the Family Kitchen to:

1. Learn where to find recipes Great-grandma would've cooked. I’ll walk you through the history of American foodways, and introduce you to resources for researching the food traditions of specific eras and regions. The book even includes historical recipes, cooking instructions and entertaining advice to give you a flavor of your ancestors’ experiences. 

From the Family Kitchen book

2. Better understand the foods of immigrant ancestors. Your family’s food traditions today might still reflect your ancestors’ cultural heritage—but how have those dishes changed over generations and across countries? I’ll explain how to find out.

3. Interview your family about their food memories. Get tips for gathering recipes and recollections. The book includes dozens of suggested questions to ask. 

4. Record your family food traditions. Within the book are beautiful recipe journal pages for preserving the dishes you discover in your research, and especially today’s family favorites—creating a legacy for future generations. 

From the Family Kitchen book

This is Diane again. This hardcover book is a great addition to your genealogy or cooking bookshelf, and it makes a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. You can order From the Family Kitchen from ShopFamilyTree.com on sale for a short time, for $22.39. 

Bon appétit!


Genealogy books | saving and sharing family history | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Social History
Wednesday, May 02, 2012 1:31:57 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, May 01, 2012
1940 Census Records and Indexes Update
Posted by Diane

Here's the latest on genealogy websites where you can find the 1940 census and which states you can search by an ancestor's name:

Ancestry.com: Record images for all US states and territories are available free, as are searchable name indexes for Delaware, Nevada and Washington, DC. A chart on the 1940 census page lets you see indexing progress.

Archives.com: At this 1940 Census Community Project partner site, you can search name indexes to Colorado and Delaware. To access the unindexed portion of the census, this site sends you to the National Archives' 1940 census site (which Archives.com designed and hosts).

FamilySearch: Digitized records are available here for all US states and territories.

FamilySearch just announced that more than 85,000 1940 Census Community Project volunteers have already finished indexing 20 percent of the census, and thousands more volunteers sign up every week.

Not all the indexed records are available to search online yet. FamilySearch's indexing progress map colors searchable states orange; so far, you can search name indexes for the states of Delaware and Colorado. To search, click the state on the map. (I clicked on Kansas and tried a search because Community Project partner FindMyPast.com has a Kansas index, but the results were people in Colorado.) 

FindMyPast.com: On this 1940 Census Community Project partner site, digitize records are available for most states. Records for Texas, California, Utah, Tennessee, Minnesota, Wisconsin and several others are missing. You can search name indexes for Delaware, Colorado and Kansas—except for Kansas, they're the same states as for FamilySearch, because it's the same index.

MyHeritage: Records for all states and territories are available now for free. This site introduced the first searchable index, for the state of Rhode Island, but hasn't added any other states since. MyHeritage also has updated its mobile app so you can search 1940 census records from your iPhone, iPad or Android phone.

The 1940 census record images also are available on FamilyLink.com, which MyHeritage purchased last year. You'll need to register for a free account on the site (if you don't already have an account there) to view the records.

National Archives: Records for all states and territories are available here for free.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 4:18:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, April 30, 2012
"Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.": Using DNA to Research Ancestors in Slavery
Posted by Diane

Researching enslaved ancestors was the theme of last night's "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr."

All three of the show's guests—Ruth J. Simmons, president of Brown University; Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, and now on the faculty at Stanford University; and actor Samuel L. Jackson—grew up under segregation. Simmons' parents were sharecroppers; as a child she picked cotton alongside her brothers and couldn't attend school regularly until the family moved to Houston.

Condoleeza Rice was the only one of the three I knew much about, and I admire her for achieving such success despite living in a system designed to prevent her from believing that kind of achievement was possible.

All three also have family stories about white ancestors in their family tree, and identifying them was the focus of the episode.

The show showed some research in genealogical records, but concentrated on using genetic genealogy testing in confirming relationships. For each guest, a potential white cousin was tested.

In the case of Simmons, the test confirmed a relationship, and she and her brothers met the descendants of the man who owned the father of their great-grandmother Flossie.

Each guest—along with high school students participating in the Continuum Project—also took an admixture test, which evaluates percentages of African-American, European and Asian/American Indian heritage along either the Y-DNA line (for a man) or the mitochondrial DNA line (for a woman).

Some tests also can compare an African-American's DNA to that of members of African tribes that were the source of the slave trade, estimating what tribe the person's ancestors in that Y-DNA or mtDNA line came from.

You can watch the show online to see all the test results. Also check the Your Genetic Genealogist blog for a post with more details about the DNA testing in this episode.

My sense is that it's not so much which African tribe a person might be from, but just being able to say that they're from a particular tribe. I feel a certain pride and sense of belonging when I can tell people my ancestors came from Germany, Syria, England and Ireland, and that's missing for people descended from slaves.


African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Genetic Genealogy
Monday, April 30, 2012 11:02:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
"Who Do You Think You Are?": Rob Lowe and His Revolutionary War Ancestor
Posted by Diane

In Friday's "Who Do You Think You Are?" actor Rob Lowe learned about his Revolutionary War-era ancestor.

FindMyPast.com's Josh Taylor helped Lowe find him in the Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Research System, which lets you search online for a Revolutionary-era ancestor on which a DAR member's application is based, or for people named in the lineages in DAR applications.

(You can download our tutorial on searching the DAR database on sale for just $1.59 from ShopFamilyTree.com.)

But something was wrong: The application had been "closed" because it was discovered that Lowe's ancestor John Christopher East had been mixed up with a similarly named soldier.

Previews hinted at a twist in this episode. It came when a historian showed Lowe his ancestor on a list of prisoners who'd been part of Rohl's Regiment. A sparkle in the historian's eye hinted that he knew something, but only when he showed Lowe George Washington's personal papers did Lowe realize Rohl was a commander of German Hessian troops.

East (listed under his German name, Oeste Cristophe) was among the troops Gen. Washington defeated in the Battle of Trenton, when his soldiers crossed the Delaware River to surprise the Hessians at Christmas.

I remember learning in grade school about these 30,000 men the British hired to fight the Americans, and we kids thought that was pretty bad.

But Lowe's research revealed Cristophe as a sympathetic figure: Among the youngest of eight children, he wouldn't have inherited land or even had the means to marry in Germany. He took a risk in leaving for America at age 22—then staying (as about 15 percent of the Hessians did) after his release from prison.

This story has a happy ending. Taylor's researchers found Christophe on a list of Americans who paid a tax levied to raise money for the war. Lowe is descended from a Patriot after all and he was invited to apply for the Sons of the American Revolution lineage society.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Genealogy societies | German roots | Social History
Monday, April 30, 2012 9:03:33 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, April 27, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, April 23-27
Posted by Diane

  • Registration is open for the Illinois State Genealogy Society’s (ISGS) Fall Conference, Oct. 19 and 20 in Rockford, Ill. Nine genealogy experts will lead more than 15 workshops on topics such as “Breaking Through Brick Walls” and “Discovering the Real Story of Your Immigrant Ancestors.” Friday will also feature youth workshops. Visit the ISGS website for more details or to register.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Historic preservation | Photos | Social History
Friday, April 27, 2012 2:53:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, April 26, 2012
Access a Library of Genealogy Resources With Family Tree Magazine's New E-Books Site
Posted by Diane


If you love getting your genealogy how-to help and guidance digitally, we've come up with a convenient way for you to access Family Tree Magazine's library of genealogy resources.

It's our new Family Tree Magazine E-Books website. With one subscription, you'll get access to hundreds of genealogy books and magazine articles that can teach you how to research your family tree and get the most out of your genealogy hobby.

The e-books (see the available titles here) cover genealogy, history, heirloom identification, sharing and preserving your family history, and more. You'll also get dozens of information-packed issues of Family Tree Magazine.

Use the library anytime online on your computer. (E-book reader apps for Android and iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch support are coming soon!)

This demo video shows you how the site works and the e-reader's features (you even can bookmark places in the text and take notes, and save your bookmarks and notes).

For $79.99 per year, you'll have an entire online library of genealogy resources full of new tips and tricks for discovering your roots.


Editor's Pick | Genealogy books
Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:24:50 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
This Friday on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Rob Lowe
Posted by Diane

In the first new "Who Do You Think You Are?" in a few weeks, this Friday's episode has actor Rob Lowe exploring his roots. I've heard whisperings that this is a great episode with some surprising stories.

This promo video sure has a lot of superlatives:

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


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Thursday, April 26, 2012 11:58:13 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
Ancestry.com Acquires Archives.com: Addressing Genealogists' Concerns
Posted by Diane

It's been all over the genealogy news since yesterday that Ancestry.com plans to purchase Archives.com for $100 million.

About 40 employees of Archives.com will become part of Ancestry.com.

Until the acquisition goes through the regulatory approval process, the companies will continue to operate as separate entities. It's unclear how long the process could take.

In a conference call last night with the genealogy media, Archives.com CEO Joe Godfrey and Ancestry.com president Tim Sullivan addressed issues of concern to many family historians.

Here, I've summarized their comments as they relate to some of the questions I've been hearing from genealogists:

Is Ancestry.com just trying to eliminate a competitor?
Archives.com's parent company Inflection is focusing on public records and people-searching (it owns the people-searching website peoplesmart), diverging from Archives.com's historical records mission. Godfrey and Sullivan say this acquisition makes sense for all parties.

Current plans call for Archives.com to remain largely as is. "We see a different experience in Archives.com. It's priced and positioned differently [from Ancestry.com]. It's another important service that we can continue to invest in," Sullivan says. He vows to invest in Archives.com's content and technology.

The acquisition gives Ancestry.com the opportunity to offer a genealogy product at a lower price point (Archives.com subscribers pay $39.95 a year, to Ancestry.com's $155.40).

Nor is the acquisition a response to the entry into the US genealogy market of companies such as brightsolid (owner of findmypast.com) and MyHeritage, Sullivan says. He emphasized a positive view of the genealogy category's growth and the increase in competition, saying it's an indication of the health of the category.

Sullivan says Ancestry.com may work with Inflection in the future, describing the potential opportunity as "tremendous."

Will the sites be too similar?
Sullivan and Godfrey say there's some overlapping content on Archives.com and Ancestry.com, but that how the user experiences each site's content is different and will remain so. "One thing we won't do is make Archives.com like the Ancestry.com user experience," Sullivan says.

"Even though some content might overlap, the way it is presented will have different value propositions to different users," Godfrey adds.

What will happen with the 1940 Census Community Project?
The project, whose partners FamilySearch, Archives.com and FindMyPast.com are recruiting volunteers to index the 1940 census, won't be affected, say both men.

Godfrey encouraged volunteers to continue indexing. "Nothing will change as far as the partnership, and nothing will change as far as making the index available for free," he says.

Sullivan says that when FamilySearch was seeking partners in this volunteer indexing project, Ancestry.com leadership discussed it at length and ultimately decided that "it wasn't structured in a way that completely was in sync with what we wanted to do with 1940."

He added that Ancestry.com would support Archives.com's participation in the project.

Does this form a monopoly?
They couldn't elaborate on the regulatory approval process for the acquisition, but neither Sullivan nor Godfrey foresees problems. "We're doing this for the right reasons. There's no negative for consumers," Sullivan says.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | Genealogy Industry
Thursday, April 26, 2012 11:51:05 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]