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# Thursday, July 05, 2012
Search 140 Years of Scottish Post Office Directories Free Online
Posted by Diane

Researching family in Scotland between 1771 and 1911? The National Library of Scotland has posted free online Scottish Post Office directories spanning those years—700 digitized directories in all. Here's an example of a page from an 1887 volume:



Similar to US city directories, these Scottish directories contain alphabetical lists of locations' inhabitants and information on their profession and address. By the mid-1800s, these directories covered all of Scotland, with most being printed annually. The earliest ones were issued by private publishers, but later, the Post Office took over publication of directories in larger towns and cities. According to the website,
Most of the directories up until the mid-19th century would only include the principal inhabitants of a location, leaving the poor in particular unmentioned. Women rarely featured in the lists, as usually only the head of a household would be recorded.

In addition, people usually had to pay a small fee to be recorded in the directories. While the gentry, clergy, major tradesman, manufacturers, shop owners and other professionals are likely listed, their employees or small traders and craftsmen are often omitted. Laborers and servants are hardly recorded at all.

There are exceptions, however—for example the extensive lists of farmers for Perthshire or female householders for Forfar.
Get more details on the collection's coverage and content here.

Search or browse by last name, place or year. For names, only the first three characters you enter will be used in your search (or first five for names starting with Mc and first six for names starting with Mac).

My search for mcint (the first five letters of McIntyre) yielded 3,008 results, including the page above from the 1887-1888 directory for Forfarshire, Angus County. Adding a place or year to my search would have narrowed these results.

You can download a page as a JPG (image) or XML (text) file, or download a whole book as a PDF. Click here to access the digitized Scottish Post Office directories.

Free Databases | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, July 05, 2012 10:44:33 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Free Early American and Revolutionary War Genealogy Records on Ancestry.com 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, Ancestry.com 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 Ancestry.com Early American records here.

On Fold3.com, 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 Fold3.com 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.


Ancestry.com | Fold3 | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 11:30:50 AM (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 ShopFamilyTree.com.


Research Tips | Webinars
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 9:18:50 AM (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 FamilyTreeMagazine.com 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, July 03, 2012 8:44:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 29, 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, June 29, 2012 10:44:37 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Ancestry.com 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 Ancestry.com 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 Ancestry.com indexes for Delaware, Maine, New York, Nevada, Washington DC, this makes 10 searchable states plus DC for Ancestry.com, 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 Ancestry.com'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 Ancestry.com'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).


Ancestry.com | census records | Free Databases
Friday, June 29, 2012 9:08:39 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Thursday, June 28, 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 findmypast.com and Archives.com.

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

On Ancestry.com, Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington DC are searchable by name for free.

MyHeritage.com 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 FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and the National Archives.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage | NARA
Thursday, June 28, 2012 10:10:51 AM (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, June 28, 2012 9:31:46 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, June 27, 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, Ancestry.ca 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 Ancestry.ca, 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 www.ancestry.ca to search the free databases. You'll need to register for a free Ancestry.ca account to view your full search results.


Canadian roots | Free Databases
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:10:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Monday, June 25, 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, June 25, 2012 3:44:53 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]