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Thursday, 05 July 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
Women rarely featured in the lists, as usually only the head of a
household would be recorded.
more details on the collection's coverage and content here.
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
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
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, 05 July 2012 10:44:33 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Tuesday, 03 July 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:
Start searching the
free Ancestry.com Early American records here.
US Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications,
Daughters of the American Revolution Lineage Books
Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files,
Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage & Death Announcements,
On Fold3.com, you have through July
15 to search through these and other
Revolutionary War records for free:
Start searching the
free Fold3.com Revolutionary War Collection here.
Revolutionary War Pension Files
Revolutionary War Service Records
Bounty Land Warrants
Revolutionary War Muster Rolls
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, 03 July 2012 11:30:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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
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:
Here are the webinar details:
how cluster genealogy can solve your research brick walls
- how to identify the people in your ancestor’s
- 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
Thursday, July 12, 2012, 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Central,
5 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Pacific)
- presented by Thomas
- 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.
up now to get our early bird registration special! Learn
more in ShopFamilyTree.com.
Research Tips | Webinars
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 09:18:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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
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
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
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, 03 July 2012 08:44:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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)
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
1940 census update, than Ancestry.com
announced the addition of six states to its free, searchable
1940 census index.
Those new states are:
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.
- Ohio (yahoo!)
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.
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, 29 June 2012 09:08:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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
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
Project partners findmypast.com
In all, you can search the 1940 census for 31 states plus Washington, DC.
Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New York and Washington
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 FamilySearch.org, findmypast.com, Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and the National Archives.
Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | MyHeritage | NARA
Thursday, 28 June 2012 10:10:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Online Workshop: How to Research Genealogy Records
Posted by Diane
You know the saying: A genealogy class a day keeps the brick walls
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
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
- Watch eight 30-minute video classes on how to research
genealogy records for half the cost of buying each class
- View classes whenever you have time, even download them to watch
- 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
here to get more details on the How to Research Genealogy Records
Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Research Tips
Thursday, 28 June 2012 09:31:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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, Ancestry.ca is offering free access to 40 million historical
records today through July 2.
records cover the years leading up to and following
Confederation and come from some of the largest collections on
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.
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
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.
Canadian roots | Free Databases
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:10:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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
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
Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Monday, 25 June 2012 15:44:53 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)