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<2012 May>

More Links

# Tuesday, 08 May 2012 Adds WWII Cadet Nursing Corps Records
Posted by Diane has added more than 300,000 WWII Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files dating from 1942 to 1948.

The United States Public Health Service supervised the Cadet Nurse Corps Program to train nurses during the war. The records name more than 124,000 women between the ages of 17 and 35 who participated in the program. Eighty-five percent of all nursing students in the United States were a part of the Cadet Nursing Corps. (Read more about the Cadet Nurse Corps program here.)

The Corps was non-discriminatory; members included American Indians, African-Americans and even displaced Japanese Americans.

The records include corps membership cards. Different versions were in use over the time period, but usually include at least the name of the cadet, serial number, name of the nursing school or hospital, address of the school, and dates attended.

You can search this collection at

Looking for a WWI Red Cross Army Nurse? Get research tips on | Female ancestors | Military records
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 13:16:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 07 May 2012
Online Resources for Tracing Cincinnati-Area Ancestors
Posted by Diane

Do you have ancestors from the Greater Cincinnati area? So do some of us at Family Tree Magazine. Those who attend this week's National Genealogical Society Conference can visit our booth (#432) to swap ancestor resources, but if you can't get here, these are some of our favorite local genealogy resources you can access from home:
  • Northern Kentucky Genealogy Index
    This library just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati lets you search names in Northern Kentucky records including cemetery, church, city directory, court and more.
Subscription site has Ohio death records and Kentucky birth, marriage and death records; and the free has Ohio deaths, Kentucky probate records (unindexed) and Kentucky vital records indexes.

Check the May/June 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine for our Cincinnati City Guide, which has even more resources and tips for helping you find ancestors in the Queen City.

Research Tips
Monday, 07 May 2012 14:33:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 04 May 2012
Genealogy News Corral, April 30-May 4
Posted by Diane

  • Canadian historians and genealogists are concerned over the impact of budget cuts on federal libraries and archives. Library and Archives Canada will have to eliminate 20 percent of its workforce, and government libraries housing archival collections in the transport, immigration and public works department will be closed. Read more about the cuts on the CBC News website
  • The National Park Service (NPS) has launched a new Civil War website where you can explore the war and historic sites associated with it. On the home page, you can see a timeline, find NPS sites to visit and link to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. Click Stories for history about the war; click People for introductions to the era's central figures, and click Places to virtually visit the NPS' war-related sites.

Canadian roots | Civil War | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives
Friday, 04 May 2012 15:23:55 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 03 May 2012 Introduces New AncestryDNA Service
Posted by Diane announced the launch of AncestryDNA, a new DNA test the company bills as an affordable way to combine DNA science with's family history resources and a global database of DNA samples.

The analysis cross-references your DNA information with test results from people around the globe (drawn from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation's database) to help you learn more about your ethnic background and find distant cousins. When there's a genetic match in's DNA database, your tree will automatically be compared to that person's.

In this guest blog post, genetic genealogist Blaine Bettinger, who tried out the new autosomal DNA test, sheds more light on what's special about it.

The new service comes after a year of planning and beta testing, says president and CEO Tim Sullivan. “We think AncestryDNA has created a unique and engaging experience that will provide existing subscribers with an entirely new way to make amazing discoveries about their family history."

AncestryDNA is currently available by invitation only to subscribers for $99. The service should become available to the public later this year.

You can sign up to be notified once that happens at | Genetic Genealogy
Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:57:34 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
Minnesota Genealogy Crash Course!
Posted by Diane

When I blogged about the April 25 Minnesota Genealogy Crash Course webinar, (now available on demand in, I teased you by asking “What do genealogy, baseball, "Prairie Home Companion," the Minnesota State Fair, WCCO Radio, and the Lennon sisters all have in common?

Minnesota Genealogy Crash Course Webinsr

(Actually, webinar instructor and Minnesotan Paula Stuart-Warren did the teasing, but I helped.) 

We didn't want to leave you hanging, so here's the answer in Paula's own words:

It’s just another example of “genealogy is everywhere!”

More years ago than I care to remember, Tim Russell, a WCCO Radio personality in Minnesota, would talk about his relationship to the Lennon Sisters. Then he'd play the Lawrence Welk bubble music. My mom would call me and tell me to figure this out for Tim because she was getting tired of the bubble music.

One day I called the station and said that yes, if Tim and the Lennon sisters shared a common great great grandfather, they were third cousins. His producer asked me to share this on the air. Shy ol’ me gulped and forged ahead.

She also asked if I'd be on his radio show during the Minnesota State Fair. That produced a really big gulp, as the show was broadcast from a big glass booth for all fair-goers to see. We decided that I'd do some research on Russell's family and present it to him on air. 

Research at the Minnesota and Wisconsin state historical societies proved the third cousin connection between Tim and the Lennon Sisters. Their common ancestors Judge James Lennon and his wife Catherine Bellew were born in Ireland, but lived most of their lives in Appleton, Wis. I also turned up more on Russell's great-grandfather George Lennon’s involvement with the St. Paul Saints baseball team in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (Baseball teams have their own genealogies.)

Tim shared the research with the Lennons. I was privileged to be thanked on air in a call with Kathy Lennon, and I received some nice thank-you notes. I let them all know that my then-8th-grade son helped (he still does research today at 35 years old). 

So, now we have the genealogy, baseball, Lennon Sisters, Minnesota State Fair, and WCCO radio connection. How do we fit in the public radio show "Prairie Home Companion"? Tim is one of the show's actors, creating multiple sounds and voices.

Thank you to all those who joined in the Minnesota Genealogy Crash Course webinar and for asking such great questions. Kerry Scott from Family Tree University did a great job. If you didn’t get a chance to join us, the recorded Minnesota webinar is available through

Genealogy fun | Webinars
Thursday, 03 May 2012 09:25:17 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 02 May 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, 02 May 2012 15:15:20 (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, 02 May 2012 14:50:33 (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 on sale for a short time, for $22.39. 

Bon appétit!

Genealogy books | saving and sharing family history | Sales | Social History
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 13:31:57 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 01 May 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: 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. 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 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 has a Kansas index, but the results were people in Colorado.) 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, 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. | | census records | FamilySearch | Genealogy Web Sites
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 16:18:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, 30 April 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, 30 April 2012 11:02:22 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]