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<2012 May>

More Links

# Saturday, 12 May 2012
"Who Do You Think You Are?": Not All Family Legacies Are Happy
Posted by Diane

The young woman I bought coffee from this morning (before heading to our booth at the National Genealogical Society conference in Cincinnati) was talking about last night's "Who Do You Think You Are?" and how she wants to check out the exhibit hall today. Which is what we hope the show will do--be the spark that takes someone's interest in family history and turns it into action.

So, the show: Actor and comedian Jason Sudeikis researched his dad's paternal line, discovering a legacy of sons who grew up without their dads.

A death record told Sudeikis his dad's dad, Stanley, died young, at age 32, from a fall, and shared a residence in Chicago with an unknown woman who was the informant on the record. A coroner's investigation shed more light on the situation: The woman was a cousin who testified that Stanley abused alcohol and slept in the park.

Court records showed Sudeikis his grandmother had filed for a legal separation from her husband because he'd abandoned the family. He'd never met Sudeikis dad.

It turned out he was living what he knew. In census and marriage records, Sudeikis found that Stanley's father, Stanley Sr., had abandoned his first wife (Sudeikis' great-grandmother) and married another woman in Connecticut. There was no record of a divorce from the earlier marriage.

Stanley Sr.'s father died in Pennsylvania in a mining accident when his son was a boy.

Not all family legacies are positive, but I like how this episode shows family history can be rewarding even when you're learning some sad truths. At the end of the episode, Sudeikis honors his dad for breaking a cycle, and being a great father even though he didn't have a model to follow.

You can watch this show online at the "Who Do You Think You Are?" website.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots

Saturday, 12 May 2012 11:52:20 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 11 May 2012
Tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Jason Sudeikis
Posted by Diane

Actor and comedian Jason Sudeikis, known for his performances on "Saturday Night Live," is the guest on this week's "Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC. Episode promos promise "one shock after another" in Sudeikis' family tree.

Here's a video sneak peek at the show:

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos

Friday, 11 May 2012 14:58:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 10 May 2012 Adds 10 Billionth Record
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy website announced the addition of the site's 10 billionth record today.

The announcement pointed out that its collection, which has grown 150 percent in the last three years, "is larger than those of all other online family history sites combined." On average, the site has added 55 million records a month since the website went online 15 years ago.

The earliest digitized records are wills executed in London in 1507. The earliest record indexes date back to marriage licenses and probated wills in Dublin from 1270. The most popular collection remains the US census. | Genealogy Web Sites

Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:53:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
1000memories releases ShoeBox App for Android, ShoeBox 2.0 for iPhone
Posted by Diane

1000memories today launched its ShoeBox app for Android and a redesigned version of the app for iPhone. The app is designed to make your phone a sort of portable scanner: You "scan" a photo by snapping a picture of it, then upload the photo to your 1000memories site.

ShoeBox can auto-detect the edges of a photo and crop and straighten it. Users can add dates, names, locations and other information about the picture.

The newest version of the app for Android and iPhone lets users seamlessly organize scans into different collections and instantly share them with certain people using their mobile devices and the 1000memories site.

We blogged about the October 2011 debut of Shoebox for the iPhone here. Following that launch, ShoeBox became one of the top three free apps in the photography category and top two in the family history category.

ShoeBox is available in the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Thursday, 10 May 2012 09:39:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 08 May 2012
FamilySearch: 1940 Census Is Only One of This Year's Projects
Posted by Diane

At tonight's FamilySearch bloggers meeting at the National Genealogical Society Conference, FamilySearch both celebrated the progress of the 1940 Census Community Project and emphasized that it's just a part of what the organization hopes to accomplish his year. Here are some stats we were presented with:

  • Getting 400,000 historical record images online at is FamilySearch's goal for 2012, and the 1940 census is just one percent of that.

  • has collections for 60+ countries, with the United States leading the charge at 200 million images with more than 1 billion indexed.

  • More than 530 million digital images of historical records are on the site, with 1.7 billion indexed.

  • Comprehensive collections include Mexico civil and church records and civil registrations from the Netherlands.

  • FamilySearch has a contract with the Italian government to digitize civil registrations there dating through 1940.

  • Besides records, FamilySearch is also working on a program that has 10,000 volunteers answering genealogists' questions online via VOIP and chat technology.

  • Now for the 1940 census project, 101,000 volunteers have helped index or arbitrate census; 170,000 of them new this year. They were recreuited through genealogical societies (650 are participating), a blog ambassador program, targeted online advertising and other efforts.

  • 95 percent of all FamilySearch indexing activity is for the 1940 census, but as the project winds down, FamilySearch will try to transition those indexers to other indexing projects.

  • 30 percent of all the census records were indexed within 37 days. As of tomorrow, six states' indexes will be published: Delaware, Colorado, Kansas, Oregon, Virginia and New Hampshire.

  • California is more than 40 percent indexed.

  •,, the National Archives and ProQuest also receive copies of the volunteer-created index.

  • The 1940 census index could possibly be completed (though not necessarily published) by July.

    census records | FamilySearch | International Genealogy | Italian roots
    Tuesday, 08 May 2012 21:58:10 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
  • 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]