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Monday, 16 July 2012
Finding Female Ancestors, Cloud Back-ups and Going to the Library: Tips From Our Online Genealogy Records Workshop
Posted by Diane
Participants in last week's How to
Research in Genealogy Records online workshop shared tips and
asked questions in daily chats about everything from researching
in libraries to backing up genealogy data.
Just for you, I smuggled out a bunch of tips on finding women ancestors, backing up your data in the cloud and preparing for a library research trip:
Finding female ancestors
For a hard-to-find female ancestor, go sideways by researching her children, husband, siblings and
Family Tree Magazine editor Allison Dolan
DeBartolo Carmack's advice from way back in our April 2001 issue:
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese said that the 'history of women cannot be
written without attention to women's relations with men in
general and with 'their' men in particular, nor without
attention to the other women of their society.' ... Those who successfully find the maiden
names and parents' names of female ancestors aren't focusing
their research efforts on just the woman in question."
Allison also shared her favorite
websites about women's history and genealogy:
Backing up your computer "in the cloud"
Online community editor Tyler Moss and Sunday chatters exchanged
ideas for cloud back-ups. He uses Dropbox, which offers 2GB of
free storeage plus more if you can get others to join the service.
Subscriptions start at 100GB for $9.99 per
To use Carbonite,
you pay a subscription fee (starting at $59
per year per computer) to have your computer automatically sync
with your backup on the cloud.
is a backup service that lets you start with a free 5GB account.
Google has some
storage options starting with 5GB of free space.
Tyler also shared this
on cloud storage systems from tech site Gizmodo.
Preparing for library research
In the chat I facilitated on genealogy research at
libraries and archives, folks shared what they bring with them to the
change for copiers, $1s or $5s in case I need to buy copy cards, a flash drive
for saving digital images if the library is
so equipped, notepad, pen, a snack (to be consumed
where permitted), catalog printouts for materials I want and any necessary
family tree info.
Others recommend a personal scanner or phone with a camera, laptop, sweater and sticky notes. Tyler even comes
prepared for long research sessions with a chair cushion.
Some libraries don't permit scanners, cameras, sticky notes or other items, so check the website or call ahead.
We were all impressed with one chatter's description of her master
genealogy to-do list: She keeps a spreadsheet with columns for
... and more. She can easily sort the list by library
name and priority. I need to try this!
- title of the item needed
- holding library
- catalog number
- format (book, microfilm, etc.)
- priority level
(high, medium, low)
Fall 2012 Virtual Conference
You, too, can take online genealogy classes from experts and be part of exclusive chats and message board discussions with other researchers—it'll all be part of Family Tree University’s Fall 2012 Virtual Conference, Sept. 14-16.
Learn more about the Virtual Conference on FamilyTreeUniversity.com.
Female ancestors | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips | Tech Advice
Monday, 16 July 2012 15:34:38 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, 13 July 2012
Genealogy News Corral, July 9-13
Posted by Diane
- British subscription genealogy site findmypast.co.uk announced it
has added more than 2.2 million records in the past month, including
parish baptism, marriage and burial records collections dating back
to 1568 for Wales, East London, Sheffield/Yorkshire, Kent,
Lincolnshire, Plymouth and West Devon. Search the records at
The National Archives
Southeast regional facility in Atlanta is planning an exhibit
and workshop on Ellis Island immigration records. The Ellis Island:
The Lost Mural exhibit opens July 21 with a replica of a 1938 Works
Progress Administration mural from the Ellis Island immigrants'
dining hall, along with immigration documents and portraits of
famous immigrants including Alfred Hitchcock, Greta Garbo, Alexander
Graham Bell and others.
A related genealogy records workshop with
immigration records expert John Philip Colletta will be held Sat.,
Aug. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee is $20; call (770) 968-2555
if you're interested in attending.
Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 13 July 2012 14:23:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Ancestry.com Adds 15 More States to Free 1940 Census Index
Posted by Diane
Ancestry.com is opening the floodgates on its 1940 census indexing:
This morning, free, searchable 1940 census indexes for 15 more
states are available at Ancestry.com. "We ... are now very well ahead of
schedule from our initial completion predictions," says spokesperson
This makes 25 searchable states plus Washington DC on Ancestry.com.
The 15 new states are:
Already indexed at Ancestry.com were Colorado, Delaware,
York, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington DC.
- New Hampshire
has 31 searchable states in its free index (which also is searchable
via Archives.com and findmypast.com): Those include
all but three states west of the Mississippi River (indexes for Arkansas,
Missouri and Texas aren't yet completed). Eastern states with
indexes at FamilySearch include Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana,
Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and
Since MyHeritage released its
1940 census indexes for Rhode Island and part of New York, we
haven't heard about any new states.
The 1940 census is free to
search at all the sites hosting records.
Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch
Friday, 13 July 2012 11:56:12 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Ancestry.com Acquisition Means Changes at GeneTree and SMGF.org
Posted by Diane
GeneTree, the genetic genealogy and family tree building site
Ancestry.com acquired earlier this year, will close. Customers
received e-mail notification to download DNA results and pedigree
before Jan. 1, 2013.
An FAQ page on Ancestry.com contains
instructions for customers to download
information from GeneTree and, if they want, upload
it to Ancestry.com (you can opt for a free guest account
instead of a paid subscription).
If you've ordered a test from GeneTree or have questions about
transferring your information to Ancestry.com, see this FAQ page
As part of the deal, Ancestry.com also acquired the DNA assets of
the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy
Foundation, which has collected DNA results and associated
family tree data for 12 years. The Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA
results databases on the smgf.org website will no longer be
updated, but they'll continue to be available.
From the SMGF.org
SMGF has decided that AncestryDNA?
is better positioned to provide the benefit to the public that is
central to SMGF's mission. For this reason, SMGF's DNA-related
assets were acquired
by AncestryDNA in March 2012
. SMGF is very excited to join
AncestryDNA , and we are confident that the pioneering work begun
at SMGF will continue to grow and have an even greater impact on
the future scientific understanding and public outreach of genetic
Ancestry.com | Genealogy Industry | Genetic Genealogy
Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:56:41 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Search Iceland Censuses Back to 1703—Free!
Posted by Diane
Are you researching genealogy in Iceland?I saw on the National Genealogical Society's UpFront blog that the Iceland
National Archives has put an index to many censuses online (and
the site is available in English).
You currently can search censuses for 1703, 1835, 1840, 1845, 1850,
1855, 1860, 1870, 1890, 1901 and 1910.
Censuses for 1762, 1801, 1816 and 1880 will be added soon. And
according to the website,
images of selected censuses from the 18th and 19th centuries
will be added when they become available.
The basic search lets you search one or more censuses on the name,
household position, farm/house name, parish or county. The advanced
search lets you search on a combination of these, plus age and sex.
In your search results, click on a person's name
to see details such as sex, age, marital status, household position,
religion and place of birth. Click in the Farm/House column for that person to see a list
of everyone in the household.
The information from the census is in Icelandic, of course. I used
Google Translate to get a translation for household position terms.
That column seems to be roughly equivalent to US censuses' relationship to
the head of household (such as "wife," "child") or occupation (such
as "farmer," "maid").
The site also has population
statistics from Iceland's censuses and interesting historical information
about censuses there.
If you do happen to have ancestors from Iceland, you'll find more
resources for researching them on our International
Genealogy Passport CD, which compiles helpful genealogy
websites, publications and organizations from nearly every nation on
Free Databases | Genealogy societies | International Genealogy
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 15:36:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Monday, 09 July 2012
North Carolina Genealogy Crash Course!
Posted by Diane
you researching (or hoping to research) the genealogy of your Tar Heel
North Carolina is rich with vital records and other
resources to leaf out your family tree, but it also comes with some
genealogical challenges—early headright patents, the Granville District, a highly mobile
population, a shifting crazy quilt of counties and the fluid border
All this and more will become clear during our North Carolina Genealogy
Crash Course webinar, Monday, July 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6
Central, 5 Mountain, 4 Pacific).
Genealogy expert and Family Tree Magazine founding editor David A. Fryxell will present
Attendees receive special access to view the webinar again as often as
they like, plus a PDF of the presentation slides for future reference.
And as a bonus, webinar
registrants will also get our North Carolina Research
Essential North Carolina history
Details on where to find vital, land, immigration and other records for the state
What ethnicity-based records your North Carolina ancestor may have left
The best websites and offline resources for North Carolina research
Register now to save $10 with our early bird special! Learn more about the North Carolina Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com.
Research Tips | Webinars
Monday, 09 July 2012 21:37:54 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, 06 July 2012
The No. 1 Resource for Cluster & Collateral Genealogy
Posted by Diane
What is the number one resource for using "cluster genealogy" (that
is, investigating your ancestors' family, associates and neighbors)
to get information on your ancestors?
Find out in this quick video preview of our upcoming webinar Using
Cluster and Collateral Searches to Beat Brick Walls, with
genealogy expert Thomas MacEntee.
To learn more
strategies for doing cluster genealogy research, register
for the Cluster and Collateral Searches webinar.
It's scheduled for
next Thursday, July 12, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 Central, 5
Mountain, 4 Pacific). You still have time to save $10 with our
early bird price!
Research Tips | Videos | Webinars
Friday, 06 July 2012 13:56:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Genealogy News Corral, July 2-6
Posted by Diane
- The George W. Bush
Presidential Library and Museum has launched a new website
hosted by Southern Methodist University, where the library
will be located. The site features highlights
from the library's collections, as well as online exhibits about President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
You'll also get an early look at the still-under-construction
library and museum, scheduled to open in Spring 2013.
- Princeton University has posted online the Sid Lapidus
'59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution, more
than 150 digitized pamphlets, books and prints from the American
Revolution era. They include Thomas Paine’s pamphlets “The Age of
Reason” and “Common Sense,” and John Adams’ essay "A defence of the
constitutions of government of the United States of America." Use
arrows to turn each document's pages like a book.
You can find Princeton's other digitized materials (which include
historical postcards and photos of the university—interesting if an
ancestor went there) in its digital
Ancestry.com | Fold3 | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives | Social History
Friday, 06 July 2012 13:34:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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)