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# Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Show and Tell! Birmingham Public Library's Genealogy Research Heaven
Posted by Diane

After setting up Family Tree Magazine’s booth for last week’s Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Birmingham, Ala., I headed down the street a few blocks to the Birmingham Public Library to check out the Linn-Henley Research Library. It's in a lovely 1927 building (renovated in 1984) and holds the library's collections on Southern and local history and genealogy, maps and the city archives.

Local records here include municipal and county records; church, civic organization and business records; personal papers of local business and community leaders; and more. You'll also find plenty of microfilm here, including censuses and military records.

I’ve blogged a bit about the library and its digital collections, but here are some visuals to whet your genealogy research appetite:

The main Linn-Henley library entrance.

The main reading room, decorated with murals by Ezra Winter. Someone commented on Family Tree Magazine's Facebook page that the room "smells just like a library should," and that's exactly right. I love the smell of old books!

The print city and suburban directories start in 1883 and go into the 1990s.

Here's a small part of the family histories collection.

Many libraries have surname files like this one, full of assorted records and papers organized by family name. (There was nothing for Haddad or my other surnames—I wasn't expecting anything but you can bet I checked.) That envelope peeking out at the top of the photo was attached to 1990s letters relatives sent each other about their family history.



Visit the Birmingham Public Library's genealogy resources web pages here.

Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 11:01:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, August 31, 2012
NGS To Provide Genealogy Education to Facebook Gamers
Posted by Diane

Online social game company Funium and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) will work together so players of Funium's Facebook game Family Village can explore their family trees using a number of NGS resources and research aids.

NGS created a landing page on its website especially for Family Village players. It'll feature a step-by-step genealogy guide with instructional videos, and grants players free access to materials typically reserved for NGS members.

Funium officially opened Family Village to all Facebook users Aug. 21. Players foster their own personalized virtual community by building businesses and houses, immigrating family members, and assigning jobs. Family Village encourages players to build a documented family tree and matches that data with real-world documents, such as including newspaper articles, census records the users’ relatives.

Visit the NGS Family Village page here. To play Family Village, click here.

Friday, August 31, 2012 12:45:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Prepare for German Place Names
Posted by Tyler

German heritage has been the #1 most claimed ancestry in the US, so we here at Family Tree University have done our best to accommodate our Deutsch friends. In this guest post, Presenter Jim Beidler breaks down his session on German place names at Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference:

Probably the No. 1 goal of most genealogists is tracking one or more immigrant ancestors all the way to an Old World hometown, and the many folks of German descent are no different. Unfortunately, problems of history, phonetics and duplicated names often get in the way of that quest.

“Mastering German Place Names” is designed to combat these problems. I am a seasoned researcher that has been sleuthing for the Heimats of his almost entirely German-speaking ancestry for more than a quarter century, and will present my top tips in this Virtual Conference course.

Learn more about the Fall Virtual Conference.


Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | German roots
Friday, August 31, 2012 11:31:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 30, 2012
Findmypast.com, FGS to Partner on Putting Local Genealogy Records Online
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website Findmypast.com is partnering with the Federation of Genealogical Societies to preserve, digitize and provide access to records from local FGS member genealogical societies across the United States. Participating societies will receive royalties for records viewed on findmypast.com.

The partnership is kicking off with projects to release records from these organizations over the rest of 2012:

  • New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
  • Illinois State Genealogical Society
  • Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society



Thursday, August 30, 2012 5:06:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Federation of Genealogical Societies Unveils Revamped Website
Posted by Diane

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has debuted a revamped website just in time for the FGS annual genealogy conference taking place through Sept. 1 here in Birmingham, Ala.

The new website will help FGS, a kind of umbrella organization for genealogical societies, to deliver timely and relevant information about genealogy industry trends and society management to FGS member society leaders.

Features of the new site include:

· Content organized based on the FGS tagline "Learn, Connect, Succeed."
· Members-only content including back issues of the FGS FORUM magazine and discussion boards for genealogy society leaders.
· Members-only review programs for society by-laws, websites and newsletters.
· Free downloads including the FGS Voice archives and Society Strategy Papers.

Visit the new FGS website here.


Thursday, August 30, 2012 9:57:21 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, August 29, 2012
1940 Census Now Fully Searchable at FamilySearch.org
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has announced that its 1940 census records for all US states and territories are now searchable by name and other details. You can search the records free at FamilySearch.org, as well as at the websites of FamilySearch's commercial partners in the 1940 Census Community Project, Archives.com and findmypast.com.

FamilySearch has also added records from countries including Chile, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal and Sweden. You can see the list of updated and new databases here.


Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 7:39:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
All US Census Records Free on Ancestry.com Through Sept. 3
Posted by Diane

You might want to carve out a little time for genealogy over your Labor Day weekend: Subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com is making its entire collection of US censuses free through Sept. 3. That collection includes:

· 1790-1940 US Census collections
· 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules
· 1890 Veterans schedules
· Non-Population Schedules 1850-1880 (such as mortality schedules and the 1880 schedule of "defective, dependent and delinquent" classes)
· IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918
· Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940

You'll need to register for a free account with the site in order to view the records. Click here to start searching.

Ancestry.com also is introducing a feature called the Ancestry.com Time Machine: Answer a few questions about your interests, and get back a video of what your experiences might be like in 1940.

Ancestry.com | census records

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 7:18:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
Finding Females and Cramming Canadian Genealogy
Posted by Tyler

In this guest post, Presenter Lisa A. Alzo breaks down her sessions on Canadian immigration records and tracking down evasive female ancestors at the Family Tree University’s Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference:

Secrets to Tracing Female Ancestors

When I started my genealogy research over 22 years ago, I began with a female ancestor: my maternal grandmother. This was before the Internet and without the luxury of FamilySearch, the Ellis Island Database or Ancestry.com. Nothing like starting out with a challenge! But I used the information available to me—family documents, interviews, church records, court documents and microfilm—as well as made trips to the library and visited the places she had lived. I was thus able to learn the details of her life, which I chronicled in my book Three Slovak Women. In my Virtual Conference session, “Secrets for Tracing Female Ancestors”, I will reveal my secrets for locating and using online and offline resources, and will share other tips and tricks you’ll need to find the elusive women in your family tree!

Canadian Immigration Records

As a child, my family would visit my father’s cousin in Ontario, Canada. At the time I fleetingly wondered why he lived so far away, but never questioned it until I became a genealogist and began tracking down clues about my Alzo ancestors. Curiosity led me to investigate sources in Canada, with some very interesting and surprising results! If you have ancestors who immigrated to Canada (or even think it’s a possibility), then join me for the session Canadian Immigration Records, where I’ll walk you through the basics of searching in the Great White North. You’ll learn about websites, databases and printed resources to help you locate passenger lists, border crossings and other immigration records, as well as search secrets to draw your ancestors out of hiding!

Learn more about the Fall Virtual Conference.

Canadian roots | Family Tree University | Female ancestors | French Canadian roots
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:45:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, August 28, 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), Ancestry.com's Canadian genealogy site, Ancestry.ca, 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 FamilyTreeMagazine.com articles:
Interested in learning more about your ancestor's work? Learn how using these resources:


Ancestry.com | Canadian roots | Family Tree Magazine articles | Research Tips | Social History
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 10:27:04 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, August 24, 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 FamilySearch.org. If you want to participate, visit familysearch.org/immigration to learn more about the project.
  • British genealogy subscription and pay-per-view website FamilyRelatives.com 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.
  • FamilyRelatives.com 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.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, August 24, 2012 2:14:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]