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<2012 August>

More Links

# Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Our Ancestors' Odd Jobs in Genealogy Records
Posted by Diane

Just in time for Labor Day (or Labour Day, depending which side of the border you live on),'s Canadian genealogy site,, offers this list of unusual occupations gleaned from its Canadian census collection (1851-1916):
  • Danise Barzano, living in Ottawa in 1901, gave her occupation as "baseball field" (“terrain de baseball”).
  • Saint John, New Brunswick, resident John Corbett offered his job title as “lunatic keeper” in the 1901 census.
  • Also in 1901, Torontonian Mary Brown was a “pig nurse.”
  • William H. Butler of Ottawa was a “bell hanger” in the 1881 census.
  • Also in 1881, John Dade was working as a “lamp lighter” in Toronto.
  • John Middleton, a 19-year-old resident of Algoma, Ontario, was listed as “criminal” in 1901.
  • The 1901 occupation for Georgia Wilcox, a 38-year-old BC resident, was “idiot”—a historic reference for a patient in an asylum.
You'll find even more odd and archaic job titles in these free articles:
Interested in learning more about your ancestor's work? Learn how using these resources: | Canadian roots | Family Tree Magazine articles | Research Tips | Social History
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 10:27:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 24 August 2012
Genealogy News Corral, August 20-24
Posted by Diane

  • Now that the 1940 Census Community Project is complete (just a few states remain to be processed) FamilySearch's next big volunteer indexing project is the US Immigration & Naturalization Community Project, which will make passenger lists, naturalization records, and other immigration-related records free to search on If you want to participate, visit to learn more about the project.
  • British genealogy subscription and pay-per-view website has relaunched itself in an upgraded beta website. The site's new "at-a-glance" design should help users easily find the site's record collections.

    And in September, it'll launch Family Tree Connect, social networking features such as photo-sharing, personal calendars, family tree building and cloud access.
  • has more than 850 million records from more a dozen-plus countries including Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, United States and the "Rest of the World" (ROW). Records include parish records; births, marriages and deaths; military records, trade directories and more. | FamilySearch | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 24 August 2012 14:14:19 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 23 August 2012
Who's Going to the FGS Genealogy Conference in Birmingham? We Are!
Posted by Diane

We at Family Tree Magazine HQ are getting ready to head to the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2012 annual conference next week in Birmingham, Ala.

The theme is Indians, Squatters, Soldiers and Settlers in the Old Southwest, and the classes reflect those topics and more.

We'll be camped out in the exhibit hall (which opens Thursday) in booth 420, where conferencegoers can stop by to say hi, pick up a magazine, enter our giveaway, ask about Family Tree University, and peruse our latest CDs and books—including How to Archive Family Keepsakes by Denise Levenick and From the Family Kitchen by Gena Philibert Ortega.

Check the FGS Conference Blog for updates on conference activities. You also can download the free FGS 2012 Conference App to help you find your way around, keep track of the conference schedule and more.

Looking for local and regional research opportunities? We hear that on Wednesday, Aug. 29, the Birmingham Public Library/Linn-Henley Research Library ( 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, 35203) will stay open late, until 8pm, for FGS 2012 attendees.

There you'll find the city archives, maps, photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and other historical materials related to Birmingham, Jefferson County and the surrounding area. If you plan to go, see the library's tips on planning a research visit.

(And if you can't get there, check out the Birmingham Public Library's digital collections, which include newspapers, maps, local history exhibits and more.)

The Alabama Genealogical Society, the local host for the conference, deposits its collections at the Samford University Library (800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, 35229). The special collections hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Other Birmingham, Ala.,-area genealogy websites:
Looking for in-depth Alabama genealogy advice? You'll find Family Tree Magazine's Alabama State Research Guide, county maps and other Alabama genealogy resources at

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives
Thursday, 23 August 2012 16:04:01 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 22 August 2012
How To Handle Sticky Genealogy Situations
Posted by Diane

Not sure how to approach a stranger you think may be related to you? Been trying to get copies of family photos from a relative who's hogging them all? Got a distant cousin who won't correct wrong ancestral information in his online family tree?

We'll help you handle these and other potentially frustrating genealogy etiquette issues in our upcoming webinar Solutions To Sticky Situations: A Guide To Genealogy Etiquette, Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. ET.

Presenter Thomas MacEntee, who works with hundreds of genealogists as the founder of GeneaBloggers, will talk about:
  • Tips for getting reluctant family members to cooperate
  • Best practices for working with librarians, court clerks and others important to your research
  • What to do when other researchers won’t correct wrong ancestral information
  • Resolving genealogy conflicts
  • The dos and don’ts of sharing and collaboration (including respecting copyright and the right way to get and give credit)
  • How to handle common pet peeves courteously but effectively

And you'll get the opportunity to submit your own genealogy etiquette dilemmas when you register and during the live webinar.

Aebinar registrants also receive access to view the recording again as often as they want, the 25-plus-page PDF of the presentation slides for future reference,  and 10 pages of additional downloadable handouts.

The hour-long webinar takes place Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. ET (that's 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. Mountain and 4 p.m. Pacific).

Sign up now to save $10! Click here for more details and to register for Solutions To Sticky Situations: A Guide To Genealogy Etiquette.

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 15:46:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Find Ancestors in Free Online Swedish Church Records Aug. 25 & 26
Posted by Diane

Heads up if you're researching ancestors in Sweden: Swedish genealogy records site ArkivDigital is offering free access to its database of more than 36 million images of Swedish church books and other records this weekend, August 25 and 26.

You'll need to register with the site and install the site's software—check out the free access instructions here (scroll down for a link to a beta version of the software that lets you use English).

I can't tell for sure from the site, but it looks like you browse the books rather than search by name—so you'll need to have a good idea of where and when your ancestor lived in Sweden. To find out whether the site has records for your ancestor's county and parish, click the county name on the right side of this page.

Church records | Free Databases | International Genealogy
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 15:13:03 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 20 August 2012
Genealogy on the Go and More in the Newest (Free) Family Tree Magazine Podcast
Posted by Diane

The newest episode of the free Family Tree Magazine Podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, is all about doing genealogy on the go. This month, we're talking about:
  • mobile genealogy apps and tools with yours truly
  • tips and tricks for family history travel from Family Curator blogger Denise Levenick
  • the best mobile genealogy websites from our list of 101 Best Genealogy websites with Family Tree Magazine contributing editor David A. Fryxell

You can listen to the Free FamilyTreeMagazine Podcast in iTunes or on

Click here to see the show notes.

Podcasts | Research Tips | Tech Advice | Genealogy Apps
Monday, 20 August 2012 16:37:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 16 August 2012
Get a Crash Course in Louisiana Genealogy Research
Posted by Diane

No other state has a character quite like the one Louisiana has inherited from its cultural mix of American Indians, Spanish, French, British, Africans, Germans, Anglo- Americans, Irish, Italians and others.

Were your ancestors residents of this unique state? Get guidance on researching them in our Louisiana Genealogy Crash Course live webinar with Charlotte Marie Bocage.

You'll learn about 
  • Louisiana's parishes
  • how to trace colonial kin
  • where to find important records such as vital, land, census and other records
  • tips for discovering African-American, Cajun (descendants of Acadians expelled from Canada) and Creole (New World descendants from colonial settlers) roots in Louisiana
  • important repositories and websites.
The hourlong webinar takes place Monday, Aug. 27 at 1pm EST (that's noon CST, 11am MST and 10am PST).

After the webinar, all registrants receive a PDF of the presentation slides and access to the live recording to view again as often as they want.

Register now and you'll receive the Family Tree Magazine Louisiana State Research Guide and our New Orleans City Guide—and you'll save $10 with our early bird pricing.

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Webinars
Thursday, 16 August 2012 11:00:34 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Fluffing Out My Family Tree With Social History
Posted by Diane

Compared to the sprawling family tree on my mom's side, my dad’s paternal side looks like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It goes back only to my great-grandparents, and has my grandfather and his siblings, and my dad and his sisters.
I haven’t found any siblings of my great-grandparents, and I’m not ready to tackle genealogy in the old country, Syria.
I’ve accepted that my paternal tree is going to stay short for the time being. So what I’m focused on now is fluffing out and decorating this Charlie Brown tree with social history details that tell me what my relatives’ lives were like.
Here’s one find: I learned from a city directory that in 1924, after he’d graduated from high school, my grandfather was a helper at the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas.


From Google searching, I learned that the bakery is still in business and pretty well-known.
I Googled the bakery name and history, and found a catalog entry from the Baylor University Institute for Oral History, describing a 1971 interview with owners of the bakery. A transcript was available. I found a Contact link and asked about the best way to get a copy on paper or digitally. Within two days, I had an email with a link to download a PDF.

Two of the men interviewed had started working at the bakery as young men, around the time my grandfather did, and they chatted with the interviewer about their work. Here’s a description of wrapping the bread:

The bakery also made fruitcake, which it's now famous for:

I'm not sure Grandpa was around for fruitcake season, since another 1924 city directory for Austin says he was a student at the University of Texas.

From this and other records, I know he attended the engineering school then and again in the 1930s. Searching online for the history of the school, I turned up a booklet titled:

A history of the department. It looks to be a draft, because it contains editors' notes. Besides information on the school, professors and student life, it gives the curriculum my grandfather likely followed:

Social history is everything that was going on around your ancestor. It could be an acute local event—the county fair, a new business opening up or a natural disaster—that directly affected family members. It could be a long-term occurrence, such as a population migration or war. Or it could be a contemporary issue they shook their heads over.

I'm starting close to home with my grandfather's school and work, but there's a lot to explore. These free articles will help in your social history search: Check out all's social history articles (both free and Plus) here.

A fun approach to discovering social history (and reminiscing with Mom and Dad) is our book Remember That? A Year-by-Year Chronicle of Fun Facts, Headlines, & Your Memories, which lists news and facts on politics, fads, sports, music, movies, inventions and more from 1930 to 2010.

You'll also find places to start in our downloadable Resource Roundup of social history websites. Also don't miss the History Matters column in every issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Do you have a favorite social history tip or resource? Click Comments below to share it.

Libraries and Archives | Oral History | Research Tips | Social History
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:51:56 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
FTU Virtual Genealogy Conference: Meet the Presenters on Facebook and Twitter
Posted by Diane

Family Tree University’s Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference, happening online Sept. 14-16, gives you an all-access pass to 15 family history video classes presented by the same experts you might pay an arm and a leg to see at a regular genealogy conference. You'll also get to share ideas and tips with other attendees in exclusive live chats and on our conference message board.

And it's all from the comfort of home (or wherever you have internet access).

In the coming weeks, you can meet six of our conference presenters, learn about their classes and ask them questions during our free upcoming “Meet The Presenters” social media series.

To participate, just hop onto Facebook or Twitter at the scheduled times below (remember to translate into your time zone) and like or follow Family Tree Magazine:

Virtual Conference classes



Thomas MacEntee
  • Power Up Your Web Searches
  • Tricks For Using
  • Research Logs For The Rest Of Us

Facebook Chat

Wed., Aug. 22

2 pm EDT/
1 pm CDT/
noon MDT/
11 am PDT

Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Best Websites for Finding Historical Maps

Facebook Chat

Mon., Aug. 27

4pm EDT/
3 pm CDT/
2 pm MDT/
1 pm PDT

Lisa A. Alzo
  • Secrets to Tracing Female Ancestors
  • Canadian Immigration Records

Facebook Chat

Tues., Sept. 4

3 pm EDT/
2 pm CDT/
1 pm MDT/
noon PDT

Gena Philibert-Ortega
  • Top 10 Tools For Social History
  • Cook Up Answers About Immigrant Ancestors

Tweet Up (#FTUVC)

Wed., Sept. 5

4:30 pm EDT/
3:30 pm CDT/
2:30 pm MDT/
1:30 pm PDT

Diana Crisman Smith
  • Smarter Online Census Searching
  • Finding Land Records Online

Facebook Chat

Tues., Sept. 11

3 pm EDT/
2 pm CDT/
1 pm MDT/
noon PDT

Rick Crume
  • Using UK Civil Registrations
  • Tracing Irish Ancestors In Griffith’s Values

Facebook Chat

Thurs., Sept. 13

1 pm EDT/
noon CDT/
11 am MDT/
10 am PD

Visit Family Tree Magazine on Facebook here.

And here we are on Twitter.

Pssst! Want to win a registration for the Virtual Genealogy Conference? Click here to enter our Virtual Conference Sweepstakes before Aug. 22 at 11:59 p.m.

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:38:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 14 August 2012
New on Genealogy Conferences and Events Calendar
Posted by Diane

Looking for a genealogy conference or workshop where you can take classes and meet other family historians? Want to get the word out about your genealogy society's conference or workshop?

We've started a Genealogy Conferences and Events Calendar on, where we'll list upcoming national, local, regional and online genealogy events. Stop by to look for workshops and conferences near you.

Send us an email about upcoming events you'd like to see listed. We'll need to know:
  • event name
  • date
  • city and state where it's taking place
  • theme (if there is one)
  • URL of a web page where people can learn more about the event

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 12:57:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]