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# Tuesday, June 12, 2012
War of 1812 Bicentennial: Genealogy Resources
Posted by Diane

Two hundred years ago June 18, President James Madison signed the United States' war declaration against Great Britain, starting the War of 1812.

Contributing to the declaration were British impediments to American trade with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into Britain's Royal Navy, and Britain's support of American Indian tribes against American expansion into the Old Northwest as a buffer for Canada. Some Americans including Thomas Jefferson even saw the war as an opportunity to acquire Canada.

The war lasted until 1815 and ended in what many historians consider a draw, with neither side gaining or losing significant territory.

Psychologically, though, Americans felt they'd won a second war of independence. Canada successfully repelled US invaders, giving the war a prominent spot in Canadian national consciousness. Great Lakes and Southeast American Indians lost their hold on their lands. Many left, made deals with the US government or were removed to Indian Territory. 

You can learn more about the war and watch PBS' documentary on the network's War of 1812 website.

Find bicentennial events, a timeline, and museum and historic site information at the Official War of 1812 Bicentennial website.

Also check state commemorative websites such as Ohio's War of 1812 and Maryland's StarSpangled200. The Battle of Baltimore, of course, inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the "Star Spangled Banner."

The Navy, which emerged as the key to US defenses, is posting information and commemorative events at OurFlagWasStillThere.org and the War of 1812 Bicentennial Network Facebook page.

If your ancestors fought in the War of 1812, here are some free FamilyTreeMagazine.com articles to start your research:
  • At Your Service: Compare your ancestor's birth date to this chart to see if he might have fought in the War of 1812 (or another war).
  • War of 1812 Records: Our AncestorNews columnist links to several of her favorite, free War of 1812 online databases. (Note that the Library of Virginia database linked on this page is down June 12 due to a power outage at the library.)

Here are some resources from ShopFamilyTree.com that you might find helpful.



Canadian roots | Family Tree Magazine articles | Military records
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 1:43:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 08, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, June 4-8
Posted by Diane

Read our article about the Ellis Island Hospital Complex on FamilyTreeMagazine.com.
  • Genetic genealogy company 23andMe, exhibiting at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree this weekend, announced it'll release four new genealogical features for beta testing in the coming weeks. Those are family tree building on the site; Ancestry Painting, which breaks down your ancestry based on approximately 20 world regions; the My Ancestry Page, a "dashboard" summary of your ancestry; and the Relative Finder Map View plotting where in the world your matches are.
Learn more about these upcoming features on 23andMe's Spittoon blog.


Cemeteries | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy | Historic preservation | Social History
Friday, June 08, 2012 1:55:58 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Take a Crash Course in Texas Genealogy!
Posted by Diane

I've had a little taste of Texas genealogy research. The Lone Star State is where my great-grandfather was jailed and later pardoned for violating local liquor laws, and where my grandfather spent time in an orphanage and went to college.

So I'm excited about learning how to dig deeper into my Texas family history in our next webinar!

Texas genealogist Randy Whited will show genealogists how to research their roots Texas-style in our Texas Genealogy Crash Course webinar. Here are the details:
You'll learn important state history, details on finding records such as vital and immigration records, the best websites and resources for Texas research—including the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, which was helpful in my search—and more.

Webinar attendees you'll participate in the live event and Q&A session, get access to the presentation slides and the recording to view again as often as you like, and you'll receive a free PDF of our Texas Research Guide book.

Sign up now to save $10 on your Texas Genealogy Crash Course registration in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Friday, June 08, 2012 11:15:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]