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<2012 June>

More Links

# Monday, 25 June 2012
MyHeritage Launches SuperSearch Genealogy Research Feature
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website MyHeritage officially launched its new SuperSearch feature (previously in beta) today. This brings it into more direct competition with genealogy sites offering historical records in addition to online family tree sharing.

SuperSearch, part of the site's subscription offerings, lets you search records and family trees on MyHeritage. You can run a basic search or used the advanced search to enter name, relatives' names, life events (such as birth, marriage or death), and keywords.

The search will translate names and search records in 38 languages.

Record Matching, another new feature still to come, will automatically search the records and trees for you.

In addition to MyHeritage family trees, types of records searched include vital records, census records and indexes, military records, immigration records, school yearbooks, newspapers and historical books, and more.

The records come from the World Vital Records website, which MyHeritage purchased last year, as well as MyHeritage's own additions. New records are being uploaded to the site.
Every day, large numbers of historical records and data are being added and we also plan to have our time-saving Record Matching technology up and running in a few weeks. Watch for more information - we'll let you know when Record Matching is live!
SuperSearch is an exciting new service that adds color to family history, improves by the day, and which positions MyHeritage as a top player in the historical content market.

You can run a search and use filters on the left side of the page to narrow the results to the types of records (census, immigration, etc) you want to see. Some collections, such as the 1940 census, are free to view. If you click on a result for a premium collection, you'll get a prompt to subscribe or upgrade your free MyHeritage account.  

You can read more about SuperSearch in my interview with MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet this past March.

Here's a video that shows you a little more about how SuperSearch works:

Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Monday, 25 June 2012 15:44:53 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 22 June 2012
Genealogy News Corral, June 18-22
Posted by Diane

  • FamilySearch has updated the historical records search at with more records for Austria, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain and the United States. You can check out the list of updated databases here.
  • The Indiana Historical Society's (IHS) Midwestern Roots conference takes place Friday and Saturday July 20 and 21 in Indianapolis. Attendees can choose from more than 30 sessions from presenters including genealogy blogger and tech guru Dick Eastman, GeneaBloggers founder Thomas MacEntee, Hey America, Your Roots Are Showing author Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak,'s Joshua Taylor and other well-known genealogy experts. There'll also be a book fair and marketplace.

    Full conference registration costs $150 for non-IHS members—but the early bird price ends next Wednesday, June 27. Click here to learn more and register.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 22 June 2012 12:32:47 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, 21 June 2012
FamilySearch Adds Four States to 1940 Census Index, Plus Other Genealogy Records
Posted by Diane

Across all the websites hosting 1940 census records, a total of 27 states now have free, searchable name indexes for this census.

FamilySearch has added four more searchable state indexes to its 1940 census indexed states we listed last week: Alabama, Indiana, Maine and North Dakota.

The indexes are searchable on and its volunteer 1940 Census Community Project partners and

On, Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington DC are searchable by name. has Rhode Island and part of New York indexed.

In addition to its 1940 census indexes, FamilySearch has added new digitized records or indexed names for the United States and Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, England, Georgia, Indonesia, Italy, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain and Sweden. You can see a list of updated databases and link to each one from the FamilySearch site. | | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy
Thursday, 21 June 2012 09:32:56 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Forces War Records Genealogy Website Hosts British Military Records
Posted by Diane

Did your British ancestor serve in the military? You might be interested in this genealogy website: A British company called Forces Reunited, founded in 2001 by a military veteran, has launched a military records subscription site called Forces War Records.

The site holds more than 4 million British military records from World Wars I and II, the Boer War (1899-1902), the Crimean War (1853-1856), African wars (1815-1853) and Napoleonic wars (1799-1815). Search results are cross-matched to information on more than 4,000 regiments, bases and ships of the British Armed Forces dating to before 1350.

You can set up a free account, but you'll need a subscription to see full details of records matching your search. Subscription prices range from 25.95 pounds (about $41) for three months to 85.95 pounds (about $135) for 12 months.

The site has a free search for Prisoners of War (1939-1945), an index giving you the name of the servicemember, camp,  regiment linked to information about the regiment) and branch of service, plus a link to search results in the site's other records for that name.

You also can search a free index to information from Medieval military records, with data from a free site called the Soldier in Later Medieval England.

Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 17:15:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Get Expert Advice for Researching German Genealogy
Posted by Diane

People claiming German ancestry still outnumber any other heritage group in the United States—which is why we're offering a new German Genealogy Value Pack that'll help you trace your German roots in the United States and in your ancestral homeland.
German genealogy value pack
This Value Pack is full of practical advice for overcoming the challenges of tracing your German ancestors.

Our German Genealogy Value Pack includes: 
  • Find Your German Roots Independent Study Course download, with four lessons to help you use genealogical records and more to determine who your German ancestors were and from where in Germany they came. 
  • A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Germanic Ancestors e-book download by Chris Anderson and Ernest Thode, with expert instruction on researching German ancestors.
  • Tracing German Ancestry in Eastern Europe download, with guidance on tracing the German ancestors from Slovakia, Romania, Russia and other places beyond Deutschland's borders.
  • Genealogy Cheat Sheet download, a quick reference designed to deliver the information you need to understand the records of your German ancestors
Plus, you'll get a coupon for 25 percent off coupon for our Family Tree University course German Genealogy 201: Strategies and Skillbuilding.

Best of all, this collection of German genealogy guidance is on sale for $49.99—64 percent off the price of buying each item individually.

Learn more about the German Genealogy Value Pack in

Editor's Pick | German roots | Sales
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 16:37:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 18 June 2012
ISGS Will Match Donations to War of 1812 Pension Digitization Projects
Posted by Diane

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) has pledged to match donations to the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Preserve the Pensions campaign up to $10,000.

Preserve the Pensions raises money to help digitize War of 1812 pension records, now on paper at the National Archives, and make them free to access online. The archives has more than 180,000 pension files totaling 7.2 million pages.

You can see War of 1812 pension records that have already been digitzed on genealogy website

ISGS will match any contribution made to the Preserve the Pensions project before Dec. 31, 2012, up to the first $10,000. For instance, if you donate $100, the ISGS will match it for a total of $200.

 In addition, will also match all ISGS contributions, which means any contribution you make will be quadrupled: Your $100 contribution would become a $400 contribution.

A $10 contribution to Preserve the Pensions allows about 80 pages of pension files to be digitized. A total of $3.7 million is needed to digitize the entire collection.

You can donate via Paypal or by check. See the ISGS website for details on making a contribution.

Fold3 | Free Databases | Genealogy societies | Military records
Monday, 18 June 2012 15:31:58 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
1940 Census: Big Deal or Not?
Posted by Diane

Genea-Musings blogger Randy Seaver has posted a response to a letter to the editor printed in the July/August Family Tree Magazine. The letter-writer thought that we at Family Tree Magazine, as well as other genealogy organizations, got overly giddy about the 1940 census. He thought that the time spent browsing for an ancestor's listing in the then-unindexed 1940 census yields little to no new genealogical information (now, though, 24 states are searchable by name).

Randy disagreed—you can see why in his post—and he wants to know what others think.

Personally, I've found the census useful. In some cases, I just confirmed what I knew; in others, I found evidence to support educated guesses. And as Randy points out, until you check a record, you don't know whether it'll hold a surprise. I was looking for someone else entirely when I found my grandfather staying at the YMCA in Cincinnati. When the Ohio name index comes out, you can bet I'll be searching for my grandma, who met my grandfather here soon after 1940.

A Family Tree Magazine Facebook fan says she's using the 1940 census to help in her search for living relatives. Another Facebook fan gets a kick out of finding his family members' names, whether he learns anything new or not. So do I! What about you?

census records | Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Industry
Monday, 18 June 2012 15:02:12 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 15 June 2012
Genealogy News Corral, June 11-15
Posted by Diane

  • MyHeritage announced that it has reached the milestone of one billion profiles. The billion profiles are in nearly 23 million family trees. has more than 63 million registered users who add about a million new profiles every day. About half of the billion profiles belong to living people.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Web Sites | Libraries and Archives | MyHeritage | Social Networking
Friday, 15 June 2012 10:08:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 14 June 2012
1940 Census Update: 24 States Are Now Searchable By Name
Posted by Diane

Across all the websites hosting 1940 census records, a total of 24 states now have free, searchable name indexes for this census.

FamilySearch has released two more searchable state indexes, Oklahoma and South Dakota. All the states searchable on FamilySearch and its volunteer 1940 Census Community Project partners and are:
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming
On, Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington DC are searchable by name. has Rhode Island and part of New York indexed. | | census records | MyHeritage
Thursday, 14 June 2012 08:51:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 12 June 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 and the War of 1812 Bicentennial Network Facebook page.

If your ancestors fought in the War of 1812, here are some free 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 that you might find helpful.

Canadian roots | Family Tree Magazine articles | Military records
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 13:43:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]