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<2012 July>

More Links

# Tuesday, 03 July 2012
Free Early American and Revolutionary War Genealogy Records on and Fold3
Posted by Diane

In honor of the Fourth of July, you're getting two free opportunities to search for early American and Revolutionary War ancestors on subscription genealogy websites (you'll need to set up a free account on each site to view records).

Now through July 8, has made 65 million records free,  including:
  • US Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books
  • Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900
  • Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage & Death Announcements, 1851-2003
Start searching the free Early American records here.

On, you have through July 15 to search through these and other Revolutionary War records for free:
  • Revolutionary War Pension Files
  • Revolutionary War Service Records
  • Bounty Land Warrants
  • Revolutionary War Muster Rolls
Start searching the free Revolutionary War Collection here.

Also don't miss our post with even more online Revolutionary-era history and genealogy resources—or our Ultimate USA Genealogy Collection, featuring expert genealogy advice and tools for researching family in US states, counties and cities. | Fold3 | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 11:30:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
How to Beat Brick Walls With "Cluster Genealogy"
Posted by Diane

Say you needed someone, such as a friend or coworker, and you couldn't find the person. What would you do? Probably start calling his or her family, friends, neighbors, anyone you could think of.

Now what if you can't find great-grandma or great-great-grandpa? Follow the same kind of approach: Check with your ancestor's FAN club—that is, the friends, associates and neighbors with whom he or she interacted.

This classic brick wall-busting strategy—also called "cluster" or "collateral" research—is easier said than done. How do you find out who your ancestor's FANs were, and how do you "talk" to them to find out what they can tell you about your family?

Our July 12 webinar, Using Cluster and Collateral Searches to Beat Brick Walls, will answer these questions for you, showing you:
  • how cluster genealogy can solve your research brick walls
  • how to identify the people in your ancestor’s network
  • how to research your ancestor's FANs, even if they're not related to you
  • how to piece together cluster and collateral evidence
  • the best websites and offline resources for doing cluster and collateral genealogy research
Here are the webinar details:
  • Thursday, July 12, 2012, 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Pacific)
  • presented by Thomas MacEntee
  • 60 minutes
  • Participants receive copies of the presentation slides, access to the recorded webinar to view again, and a bonus download of Family Tree Magazine's Cluster Genealogy Guide.

Sign up now to get our early bird registration special! Learn more in

Research Tips | Webinars
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 09:18:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Websites for Researching Revolutionary War Genealogy
Posted by Diane

Happy Fourth of July! I hope your holiday plans include watching a parade or (safely) enjoying fireworks—and, of course, researching your American Revolution-era ancestors.

The Continental Congress voted July 2, 1776—more than a year after the Revolutionary War broke out—to declare independence from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson was selected to compose a Declaration of Independence, which was ratified July 4 (that original manuscript has been lost). A copy was sent to the printing shop of John Dunlap, who produced 200 broadsides overnight.

Public readings took place across the Colonies starting July 8 in Philadelphia. Most signatories signed the Declaration of independence Aug. 2; this document is on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC

Whether your revolutionary relatives were Founding Fathers or members of the Continental army—or, as was usually the case for women, kept the home front warm—they helped forge a new nation. Most enlisted men were between ages 16 and 60, but younger and older men also served.

On the other hand, maybe your family didn't think a split with England was such a good idea and remained Loyalists, or even fought with British or Hessian troops. The British offered some African-American slaves—now called Black Loyalists—freedom in exchange for military service.

See these free articles for advice and resources to help you research your American Revolution genealogy.
Elsewhere on the web, check out these Revolutionary War genealogy and history websites:

Military records | Social History
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 08:44:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 29 June 2012
Genealogy News Corral, June 23-27
Posted by Diane

  • The city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Historical Society have teamed up to publish an online database of LA city officials back to 1850. Click Search Office Holder to search by name. To browse, click an election year on the left, then click the tabs for elected officials, committees and appointed officials, and expand the lists in each category. If you have an ancestor who served as a public official in LA, you might find it helpful to download the site's Introduction and User Guide via the links on the left side of the page.

Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Military records
Friday, 29 June 2012 10:44:37 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0] Adds Six States to Its 1940 Census Index (Including Ohio!)
Posted by Diane

No sooner had we sent out yesterday's Genealogy Insider newsletter with a 1940 census update, than announced the addition of six states to its free, searchable 1940 census index.

Those new states are:
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio (yahoo!)
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Colorado
  • Vermont
Added to the existing indexes for Delaware, Maine, New York, Nevada, Washington DC, this makes 10 searchable states plus DC for, and a total of 34 states plus DC across all 1940 census index websites (MyHeritage and FamilySearch with its 1940 Community Census Project partners). The 1940 census is free to search on all these sites.
I immediately searched the Ohio index for my grandmother, who I knew was living with her sister somewhere in Cincinnati in 1940. Right away I found her and a sister, living with the family of another sister in a suburb just north of downtown.

She was a bookkeeper at a foundry. Now I just need to figure out where she met my grandfather, an engineer staying at the YMCA downtown in 1940.

This screenshot shows's new image viewer (still in beta). A window at the bottom shows transcribed information, and one on the right shows source details (you can make both of these windows disappear by clicking the double arrows on the green tabs).

When you zoom in and can no longer see the name column, the indexed names pop out from the left side—with the person you searched on and his/her household highlighted—so you can keep track of the rows of names. For several columns, you can hover over a cell and the transcribed information will pop up.

I've experienced a few minor glitches when moving around the record image using the new viewer on a Mac.

Search's 1940 census here (the page's design makes it look like you're just searching New York, but you can type any of the indexed states into the Lived In field). | census records | Free Databases
Friday, 29 June 2012 09:08:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Thursday, 28 June 2012
1940 Census Now Searchable for California + 30 Other States
Posted by Diane

The western half of the country is almost entirely orange on FamilySearch's 1940 census index progress map, indicating states with free, searchable name indexes.

California—the fifth largest US state in 1940—is the latest addition. Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico and Washington also have been added, bringing FamilySearch's total of searchable states to 29.

The 29 states also are searchable on the websites of FamilySearch's 1940 Census Community Project partners and

In all, you can search the 1940 census for 31 states plus Washington, DC.

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

Remember, you can browse the records for all states and territories for free on,,, and the National Archives. | | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage | NARA
Thursday, 28 June 2012 10:10:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Online Workshop: How to Research Genealogy Records
Posted by Diane

You know the saying: A genealogy class a day keeps the brick walls away.

That's how I heard it, anyway.

FamilyTree University’s weeklong How to Research Genealogy Records summer workshop, July 9-15, will show you how to find and use essential genealogy records.

The virtual workshop gives you an all-access pass to eight pre-recorded video classes, plus message board discussions and daily chats.

You can watch a class a day, view them all in a marathon session (maybe with an iced coffee in hand), or download them to watch later, as many times as you want—whatever's convenient for you. Then immediately apply what you learn to your own genealogy research.

Classes cover topics including naturalizations, land records, city directories, guardianships, pre-1850 censuses and more. Click here to see the full program.

Benefits of the workshop:

  • Learn from experts how to research your ancestors in essential genealogy records.

  • Watch eight 30-minute video classes on how to research genealogy records for half the cost of buying each class individually.

  • View classes whenever you have time, even download them to watch later.

  • Ask questions and exchange ideas in exclusive daily chats and message board discussions.

  • Log in anytime that's convenient over the week, from wherever you can connect to the internet.

Click here to get more details on the How to Research Genealogy Records summer workshop.

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Research Tips
Thursday, 28 June 2012 09:31:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Search Canadian Genealogy Records Free Through July 2
Posted by Diane

In honor of Canada Day, which celebrates the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North American Act uniting three colonies into the country of Canada, is offering free access to 40 million historical records today through July 2.
The free records cover the years leading up to and following Confederation and come from some of the largest collections on, including:
  • Canadian passenger lists and ocean arrivals: These name the masses of people who arrived by ship at port cities across Canada
  • The 1871 Census of Canada: This was the first census Canada conducted as a nation. It reveals household members, ages, jobs, parents' birthplaces and more.
  • Birth, marriage and death records: These come from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
  • Military records: These come from the War of 1812 and World War I, as well as lists of officers from 1832 and 1863 to 1939.
Visit to search the free databases. You'll need to register for a free account to view your full search results.

Canadian roots | Free Databases
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:10:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# 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]