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# Thursday, June 07, 2012
FamilySearch Adds 4 States to 1940 Census Index
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch announces that you can now search the 1940 census index for 18 states free at FamilySearch.org and 1940 Census Community Project partners Archives.com, FindMyPast.com and 1940census.archives.gov (although I can't find a name search at 1940census.archives.gov, which is the National Archives' census website).

That brings the total of searchable states/districts across all 1940 census sites to 22 (see below for links to the other sites).

FamilySearch's 18 indexed states are:
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming
Ancestry.com has free searchable indexes for Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington, DC; and MyHeritage has Rhode Island and part of New York.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage
Thursday, June 07, 2012 12:33:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Ancestry.com Adds New York Censuses
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website Ancestry.com has released a name index to the 1940 US census for New York. With a population of 13.5 million in 1940, New York State was home more than 10 percent of the country’s residents.

You can search Ancestry.com's 1940 census index (besides New York, it also covers Washington DC, Delaware, Maine and Nevada) for free here.

Ancestry.com also has added the 1892, 1915 and 1925 New York state censuses to its subscription databases.

The 1892 census is important as a substitute for the lost 1890 US census, which was destroyed after a fire at the Census Bureau. Some New York counties are missing from the 1892 census.

If you're not an Ancestry.com subscriber, the 1892 census also is searchable free at FamilySearch.org.


Ancestry.com | census records | FamilySearch
Wednesday, June 06, 2012 9:08:19 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Genealogy Jamboree Sessions You Can Watch From Home
Posted by Diane

Jealous of those now trekking to Burbank, Calif., for the Southern California Genealogical Society's 2012 Genealogy Jamboree this weekend, June 9 and 10?

You can share in some of the fun by watching the 10 sessions that'll be streamed over the internet free during the two-day event. 

You'll find schedule of the 10 sessions on the Jamboree blog (remember, you need to translate the times from Pacific to whatever time zone you're in—this Pacific time zone converter can help you).

A couple I've got my eye on include Lisa Louise Cooke's class "Projects That Will Captivate the Non-Genealogists In Your Life" (Saturday at 10 a.m. PT) and Barry J. Ewell's "30 Second Genealogist: How to Find Genealogy Answers You Want Now" (Saturday at 5 p.m. PT).

To watch a session, go to this Jamboree blog post a little before the scheduled time (translated into your time zone), click the title of the session and then log in. Attendance is limited, so try to arrive early.

Speakers permitting, sessions will be available for free viewing after Jamboree is over.

For more details, see the Jamboree blog.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Research Tips
Tuesday, June 05, 2012 3:35:39 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 01, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, May 28-June 1
Posted by Diane


  • Think you have a relative who served in a household of Britain's Royal Family? (Perhaps as Chocolate Maker to the Queen or Strewer of Herbs?) In celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, British genealogy website findmypast.co.uk, in association with the Royal Archives, has added a collection of Royal Household Staff Lists. It covers royal residences across the United Kingdom such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and St. James’ Palace, and includes 50,000 staff records from the reign of King Charles II to King George V (1660 to 1924). Details you might learn include the person's occupation, age, length of service and salary.
  • The Civil War Trust is holding its annual photo contest. You can enter your Civil War battlefield photos in five categories for prizes including publication of your image, a trust membership, and registration to the trust's annual conference. Enter before Aug. 26 by uploading photos to the Trust's Flickr group—be sure to tag your image as directed in the contest rules. (Last year's winning photos are pretty impressive—view them here.)
  • UK cemetery site DeceasedOnline.com has added records for 120,000 mostly rural Scottish burials. The records comprise from 99 cemeteries and burial grounds, with the oldest dating back to 1526. That brings the total of Scottish cemeteries with records on the site to 250. Once you search for a record, you can use pay-per-view credits or subscribe to view the full information it contains.


Cemeteries | Civil War | UK and Irish roots
Friday, June 01, 2012 2:14:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
War of 1812 Genealogy Records Free on Fold3 in June
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy website Fold3 is opening up its War of 1812 records for free access during June.

This is prime time for researching ancestors who were soldiers in the War of 1812. The war started 200 years ago June 18 when the United States declared war on Great Britain.

Fold3's collection has more than 400,000 record images. That includes 233,000 images of War of 1812 pension files never before available online. Here's an overview of the free databases:
  • War of 1812 Pension Application Files: These pension and bounty land records are being digitized as a project with the Federation of Genealogical Societies. So far, only 3 percent of the records are digitized in Fold3's collection—but who knows, you may get lucky.
  • War of 1812 Service Records: These records consist of cards compiled from muster, pay, receipt and other rolls for soldiers and sailors who served in the war. For each person named, you'll usually learn his service dates, terms of service, monthly pay, where he served, and other notes.
  • War of 1812 Prize Cases, Southern District Court, NY: These records relate to British vessels seized by American privateers and US Navy vessels. "Prize courts" helped dispose of the ship and its cargo as war prizes, and the records document questions asked of sailors, witnesses and others.
  • Letters Received by the Adjutant General, 1805-1821: This correspondence came from Army officers and enlisted men, the Secretary of War, President and other officials, and it deals with Army personnel and administrative matters.  The records are part of NARA record group 94.
Start searching Fold3's War of 1812 collections here. You can search them all at once using the search box at the top of the page, or scroll down and click a collection title to search just those records.

For more help researching your War of 1812 ancestors, look for our how-to guide by David Allen Lambert in the July/August 2012 Family Tree Magazine (it starts mailing to subscribers in early June).

The War of 1812 is also covered in our guide to researching ancestors in 10 of America's "lesser-known" military conflicts.


Family Tree Magazine articles | Fold3 | Free Databases | Military records
Friday, June 01, 2012 1:09:53 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, May 31, 2012
Need an Easy, Memorable, Personalized Birthday or Anniversary Gift Idea?
Posted by Diane

Need a quick, fun way to say "Happy birthday!" or "Happy anniversary!" to a loved one? Here's a way to create a personalized, memorable greeting—and at just 99 cents, it's more economical than a store-bought card.

birth year memory page

Each of our Birth Year or Anniversary Memory Pages is a one-page PDF download full of fun trivia from the year of the birth or wedding, including.
  • top news and events
  • movies, songs, fads and celebrity births
  • average prices of common goods
  • notable inventions and advancements in technology and transportation

After you download the PDF, just open it in Adobe Reader (a free download if you don't already have it), type in the recipient's name and birth or wedding information, and save. Then you could:

  • print and frame the customized page to create a personal gift
  • print the page for an album of birthday memories
  • mail the printed page or attach it to a present, as you would a card
  • send it as an e-card via email
  • post a digital image of the page to Facebook

You also could print the page and then write in the recipient's name and other information.

Birth Year Memory Pages are available for each year from 1930 through 2010, and you can also get memory pages covering decades from the 1930s through 2000s.

Anniversary Memory Pages are available in five-year increments from 10th to 70th. This one's for a couple celebrating 25 years in 2012:

anniversary memory page

Take a look at our Birth Year and Anniversary Memory Pages now in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Editor's Pick | Genealogy fun | saving and sharing family history | Social History
Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:14:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, May 30, 2012
1940 Census Indexing Update: States You Can Search By Name
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and FamilySearch.org (plus its 1940 Census Community Project partner sites) all have free record images available for the 1940 census.

All three sites also are in the process of creating and publishing searchable name indexes to the records. As of this posting, a total of 16 states (update: 20 states on 6/1), part of another one, and the District of Columbia are searchable.

Here are the states you can search at each site:

  • Ancestry.com: You can search name indexes for Delaware, Maine, Nevada and Washington, DC. A chart on the 1940 census page lets you see indexing progress.
  • FamilySearch.org: FamilySearch's volunteer indexers so far appear to be outpacing the paid contractors Ancestry.com and MyHeritage are using. You can search 14 states/territories by your ancestor's name: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming.

FamilySearch.org's indexing progress map colors searchable states orange. To search, click the state on the map.

  • Archives.com: At this 1940 Census Community Project partner site, you can search name indexes to the same states available at FamilySearch. 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).
  • FindMyPast.com: As a 1940 Census Community Project partner, FindMyPast.com has the same states indexed as FamilySearch (though Alaska, a territory in 1940, is missing from the color-coded map on the home page). Update 6/1: FindMyPast also now shows Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana as searchable, though these states are not yet searchable on FamilySearch.org. Look for that to change soon.
  • MyHeritage: Here, you can search a name index for Rhode Island, and a partial name index for New York.

The 1940 census records 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.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 3:07:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Free, Searchable WWII Genealogy Collections
Posted by Diane

To mark Memorial Day, subscription genealogy website WorldVitalRecords (now owned by MyHeritage) is making two of its World War II collections free through May 31:
  • WWII Army Enlistment records contain enlistee names, enlistment dates and other data taken from punch cards (so there's no original record to view). If you miss the WorldVitalRecords free period, you also can search these records free on the National Archives website and in Fold3's Memorial Pages.  
For help researching your military genealogy in records of WWII and other US wars, check out our CD Military Research Guide: Researching Ancestors in America's Wars.


Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | MyHeritage
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:45:01 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, May 25, 2012
Crash Course in Wisconsin Genealogy
Posted by Diane

Do you have ancestors in Wisconsin? Then get ready to rev up your genealogy research with our Wisconsin Genealogy Crash Course webinar next Wednesday, May 30, at 8 p.m. ET (that's 7 CT, 6 MT, 5 PT).

In this webinar sneak peek, presenter Lori B. Bessler, reference librarian at the resource-rich Wisconsin Historical Society, gives you the lowdown on US and state census records for Wisconsin, as well as vital records availability.



You can register for the Wisconsin Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com. (Sign up today to save $10!)


Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Videos | Webinars
Friday, May 25, 2012 2:07:09 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy News Corral, May 21-25
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry.com updated its collection of U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls. This collection, which contains records from 1798 to 1958, now contains more than 39 million records. They include muster rolls (regular lists of those present in a given unit), unit diaries and personnel rosters.
  • The National Archives at San Francisco has officially opened to the public more than 40,000 Alien Files or A-Files on immigrants to the United States. The case files were originally created at immigration offices in San Francisco; Honolulu; Reno, Nevada; Agana, Guam; American Samoa and other US territories. The records were transferred to the National Archives from US Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2009. Millions more A-files will eventually be opened to the public—the files are closed for 100 years after the birth date of the person named in the records.
A-Files created at other immigration offices are kept at the National Archives facility in Kansas City, where 300,000 cases were opened to the public in 2010. 
  • A DNA study of Melungeons—a dark-skinned, mixed-heritage group historically residing in Appalachia—has found genetic evidence that these families descend from sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin. Researchers think the population mixing could have happened among black and white indentured servants in mid-1600s Virginia.
According to an Associated Press article, the finding has been controversial among Melungeons, some of whom believe they have Portuguese or American Indian ancestry. Read more about the findings (and how researchers thinks the claims of Portuguese heritage arose) in this news article.


Ancestry.com | Genetic Genealogy | immigration records | Military records | NARA
Friday, May 25, 2012 1:21:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]