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# Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Finding Female Ancestors, Searching Online and More: Tips From Virtual Genealogy Conference Experts
Posted by Diane

We're holding live, free Facebook and Twitter chats with our Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference expert presenters to give you sneak peeks at the genealogy tips you'll get from this online family history conference.

We've got three chats to go:
  • Today, Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 4:30 p.m. ET, join our Tweet-up on Twitter with Gena Philibert-Ortega, who'll be talking about social history and tracing immigrants (we'll be using hashtag #FTUVC).
  • Stop by our Facebook page Thursday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. ET to get Rick Crume's advice on tracking down ancestors in UK civil registration records and Ireland's Griffith's Valuation.
Remember to translate the chat times into your time zone. You don't have to be a Facebook or Twitter member to see the chats, but you must be a member to post a question.

The chats we've already had are chock-full of research help! Here's where to find them:

The Family Tree University Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference, taking place online Sept. 14-16, gives you access to 15 video classes, live chats, our exclusive conference message board, and our virtual exhibit hall (where you can win prizes by being part of our exhibitor scavenger hunt).

To learn more, visit FamilyTreeUniversity.com. (Pssst!: You can save $50 on conference registration with coupon code FTUVCFACEBOOK.)


Family Tree University | Female ancestors | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | Research Tips | Social History | Social Networking
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:34:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
English, Irish, Welsh or Scot: In Genealogy Research, it Matters Not
Posted by Tyler

Genealogy guru Rick Crume is a long-time contributing writer for Family Tree Magazine. At next week’s Fall Virtual Conference, he breaks free from his written word wheel house and brings you two interactive video presentations: "Using UK Civil Registrations" and "Tracing Irish Ancestors in Griffith's Valuation." No matter where over the pond your family hails from, the resources exist to dig out their stories. In this guest post, Rick gives a brief synopsis of his search-stimulating sessions:

If you have ancestors who emigrated from the British Isles in the nineteenth century, free online indexes are the perfect way to start tracing them. English and Welsh governments began recording births, marriages and deaths in 1837, but until recently, researchers had to physically visit Great Britain or spend hours scrolling through microfilm to thoroughly search the indexes. Now they’re available for free on several websites. By finding your ancestor's name in an index before requesting a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate, you’ll get faster service, as well as ensure that the record you are requesting is for the right person.

Before beginning research on family history anywhere in Europe, it’s often important to first identify the specific place where your ancestors lived. While many Irish records have been lost over the years, a tax survey conducted across Ireland between 1848 and 1864 survives. This can now be used to help locate your ancestors’ exact parish of residence. Armed with that information, you can then pursue other Irish records for information on your family.

Join me next week for two courses: "Using UK Civil Registrations" and "Tracing Irish Ancestors in Griffith's Valuation." You'll learn where to find the best free online indexes to these resources, tips for searching them effectively and how to use them as springboards to assist with future record finding.


Time is running out! Register now for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $20 with coupon code FRIENDSOFRICK.

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Research Tips | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 10:07:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]