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# Thursday, October 04, 2012
Finding Family History Books About Your Ancestors
Posted by Tyler

Most genealogists rely primarily on records to root out their relatives. However, the Internet has opened the doorway to other digitized documents. In particular, I'm referring to an oft-underutilized family research resource: Published Genealogies.

The new First Steps course from Family Tree University, Finding Family History Books About Your Ancestors, will show you where to find these manuscripts and what they might contain.

Genealogy is not a new pastime. During the colonial period, genealogy was seen as an attempt by early settlers to secure a measure of social standing within the British Empire. The truth is, people have been conducting family research for centuries, and many of these individuals might have published family trees--a resource that you now have the opportunity to plunder. From articles in genealogical society journals to entire books outlining specific lineages to searchable online databases of user-contributed family trees, this new course shows you how and where to look for the work others have already done, allowing you to save time and add branches to your family tree.

You'll learn to search for manuscripts on databases such as:

# Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Ancestry.com Acquires 1000memories
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy website Ancestry.com just announced it has acquired San Francisco-based 1000memories.

1000memories, founded in 2010, has a website where people can store and share digitized photos. Shoebox, the site’s accompanying mobile app for iPhone and Android, lets you use a cell phone camera to “scan” and upload documents to the site.

The app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times since its launch.

Ancestry.com has already begun incorporating the app into its services. To mark this announcement, 1000memories has launched a new version of ShoeBox for iOS (iPhones), enabling Ancestry.com members to post photos directly to ancestors profiles in their Ancestry.com member trees.

“This is the first step in a broader plan that will see tighter integration of the two services in the coming months,” according to Ancestry.com’s official press release.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Photos
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 11:55:31 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Research Logs Tips from the Virtual Genealogy Conference
Posted by Tyler

Detailed logs are an important tool in organizing your genealogy research.

These Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference tips come from the video session "Research Logs for the Rest of Us," hosted by Thomas MacEntee.

  • It's important to understand the "why" of using a research log. If you're using a log only because you know other people who are doing so, then you're wasting your time. Understand the benefits of tracking your research journey.
  • Select a format that you will continue to use. For instance, it is a poor idea to start your research log in Excel if you don't like using spreadsheets. Use a format you are comfortable with. Otherwise you'll only frustrate yourself and abandon the log.
  • Spend time setting up headings or categories. When you use a spreadsheet or table, take time to consider which headings to use. Don't be afraid to add or remove headings over time. It's only through constant use of the research log that you'll figure out the best headings for your research.
  • Shoot for a "one pass" goal. When you find a record or piece of information, note all of the information as if you might never find it again. This means noting the date you found it, the type of record, and even whether you are transcribing or abstracting it. You're only kidding yourself if you say that you'll come back to it later.
  • Maintaining a research log is a discipline. A discipline created through handwork, dedication and repetition until it becomes habit. Realize that you will make mistakes the first few entries, then you'll become better at entering information accurately and quickly.
  • Source citations matter, but take a shortcut! Create a cheat sheet--a document or spreadsheet tab where you can keep the most commonly used source citation formats. Then you can copy and paste them over to your research log to fill in the blanks.

Ready to start your own research log? Click here to buy this video session and get started documenting your research today.

Video classes from our Virtual Genealogy Conferences are available in ShopFamilyTree.com. And mark your calendar now for our Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference, Feb. 22-24.


Research Tips | Tech Advice
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 10:27:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, October 01, 2012
This week: ShopFamilyTree.com Purchases Help Fight Breast Cancer!
Posted by Diane

Your ShopFamilyTree.com purchases will support a great cause this week!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and ShopFamilyTree.com wants to help. From today, Oct.1, through Friday, Oct. 5, we'll donate 30 percent of all ShopFamilyTree.com proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which provides free mammograms, education, support to those with breast cancer, and early detection services.

Your registration for the upcoming Online Military Records webinar, for example, or your purchase of our 2013 Best of the Photo Detective genealogy desk calendar or limited-edition Ultimate Family History Essentials Collection could go to help women in need of breast cancer prevention and treatment services.

Click here to check out the genealogy how-to books, CDs, video classes, Family Tree Magazine back issues and more in ShopFamilyTree.com!



Monday, October 01, 2012 9:12:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 28, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 24-28
Posted by Diane

  • Got family who landed in Australia? This weekend, Ancestry.com.au (Ancestry.com's Australia site) is giving free access to its Australian Birth, Marriage and Death and Cemetery indexes, containing more than 17 million records of those who were born, married or died in Australia from 1788 until the early 20th century. The free period runs through Monday, Oct. 1, 11:59 p.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time on Monday 1 October, 2012 (that's 9:59 a.m. Monday EST in the United States). You'll need to set up a free registration with the site to search the records.
  • Registration is open for FamilySearch's  2013 Rootstech genealogy conference, taking place March 21-23 in Salt Lake City. Organizers are planning for the 2013 conference to have a 40 percent larger exhibit hall and more classes, including a new track for those beginning their family history research. Registration fees range from $19 for a one-day pass to the Getting Started track ($39 for all three days) to a $149 early bird special (regularly $219) for a full three-day pass. Click here to register for the conference.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | International Genealogy | Vital Records
Friday, September 28, 2012 1:14:50 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Celebrating Family History Month 2012
Posted by Diane

Monday, Oct. 1, starts Family History Month!

In the past October has been officially proclaimed a month for celebrating family history; recently, it's become an unofficial celebration among genealogy researchers and organizations.

So let the celebration begin! Family Tree Magazine has ideas for you to mark Family History month on our Family History Month resources page (it includes our free Discover Your Roots webinar). 

It's a great time to find classes and presentations at genealogy libraries and societies near you—many free or for a small fee. Check the website of your local library or society or call to ask about special events. Be sure to register for the event if it's required.

Here's a sampling of Family History Month events across the country. Feel free to click Comments below and tell us about events you know of:
  • Cincinnati: The public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will hold a Day with the Experts on Saturday, Oct. 6, with genealogy tours, a Researching Your Civil War Online class, consultations with experts and a presentation on Cincinnati's legendary military officer Gen. William Haines Lytle. For more details, call (513) 369-6905 or email history@cincinnatilibrary.org.
  • Conroe, Texas: The Montgomery County Library will have a Genealogy Basics Boot Camp Oct. 10, a Get Your research into Shape session on Oct. 20, and more. Here's the library's October events calendar; hover over a listing to learn more about it.
  • Fort Myers, Fla.: The Fort Myers-Lee County Public Library is holding a Family History Month Series on Saturdays in October covering topics such as tracking your research, using courthouse records, finding censuses and substitutes and using immigration records. Click here to find out more.
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.: Of course the biggest public genealogy library in the country, the Allen County Library, is celebrating with classes on cemetery research, state and regional research, census research, photograph analysis, brick wall research and more. The library's Genealogy Center also will have extended research hours on Oct. 26. Learn more and download a class schedule here.
  • Oakland, Calif.: The African-American Genealogical Society of Northern California and the Oakland FamilySearch Center are holding a Black Family History Day Oct. 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the FamilySearch Center. Click here to learn more about the event (including how to register for a free family history consultation).
  • Santa Barbara, Calif.: The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society has classes all month long, including a Genealogy and DNA workshop (Oct. 5 at 10 a.m.) and Beginning Genealogy (Oct. 8 at 10 a.m.). Registration is required, with a fee for nonmembers. You also can go to free open houses on Sept. 30 and Oct. 13, 14, 20 and 27. To learn more, go to the society's website and click READ HERE to download a PDF listing the events.
  • Tucson, Ariz.: The Pima County Genealogy Society and the Pima County Public Library are teaming up to offer family tree workshops at the library throughout October. See the dates and times here.
  • Vermilion, Ohio: Ritter Public Library is holding genealogy classes on researching a house history (Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.), creating a computerized family photo project (Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.) and getting started (Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m.). Learn more on the library's blog.


Family History Month | Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun | Genealogy societies
Friday, September 28, 2012 12:02:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, September 27, 2012
Find Your Ancestors' Military Records Online
Posted by Diane


Just about everyone has an ancestor (or more) who served in the military, and the records of their service can be rich with genealogy answers: compiled military service records (aka CMSRs), pension applications, bounty land warrants, draft registrations, discharge papers, citations, regimental histories, burial records, veterans questionnaires—the list goes on.



Our upcoming webinar Online Military Records: Document Your Family's Service will help you use online resources to find your family's US military records. You'll learn:
  • what types of military records might exist for your ancestors and where to find them
  • how to track down draft registrations (even if your ancestor never served)
  • how to trace ancestors' service in the American Revolution, Civil War, World Wars and other US wars
  • the best websites for finding military records, including Fold3, the Daughters of the American Revolution genealogy database and more
Plus you'll be able to submit your own military research questions to presenter David A. Fryxell both when you register and during the live webinar.

The hourlong Online Military Records webinar is Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. ET (that's 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT and 4 p.m. PT).

Your registration includes access to the webinar recording to watch again as often as you want, a 25-page handout of the presentation slides, and a six-page handout of additional information on finding online military records.

Click here to lean more about our Online Military Records webinar (and save $10 on your registration with our early bird discount).

Fold3 | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Thursday, September 27, 2012 9:59:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Courthouse Research Tips from the Virtual Genealogy Conference
Posted by Diane

Courthouse records can be some of the most revealing sources about your ancestors.

These Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference tips come from our live chat on Researching Courthouse Records, hosted by the Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell.
  • Types of records you might find at a courthouse include civil and criminal court records, naturally, but also deeds and mortgages, tax lists,  county commissioner meeting minutes, vital records, business licenses, voter registrations, cattle brand registrations and more.
  • But depending on the place your family lived, older records may have been turned over to a local or state archives, historical society or library. Check in advance before you plan a courthouse trip.
  • "Keep in mind is that most of these facilities aren't really archives," Russell advised. "They're working offices trying to keep up with the day-to- day business of government. For the most part, they're not set up to do a lot of hand-holding." Find out as much as you can about the records you need—the date, a microfilm number or volume and page number, where they're located, etc.—before you go.

  • More things to know before you go: Check online for courthouse hours, holiday schedules and access information. The court may have limited hours when staff will pull files. Some won't allow personal scanners or cameras. Different types of records might be in different buildings or rooms. The local genealogy librarian and genealogical society are good sources to ask ahead of time about courthouse quirks.
  • See if the office holding the records you need has a busy season. Russell gave this example: "If the records you really want are the tax records, and the tax office's busy season is October, then going there in October just about guarantees that nobody is going to be available to help you—and they may not even allow record lookups at that time."
  • One chat participant advises you to dress nicely—"so you look like you might be a lawyer or paralegal." And if you have allergies to dust or mold, bring medication.
  • Look for an online or microfilmed index so you have all the volumes and page numbers you need in advance. Also see whether the Family History Library has microfilm of the records you need or even posted them online at FamilySearch.org.
  • "Even 'burned counties' have some records," Russell said. "And don't forget many people re-recorded deeds, etc., after a courthouse fire."

Ready to head to the courthouse now? Click here to find out about our downloadable guide to researching in courthouse records, available in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Video classes from our Virtual Genealogy Conferences are available in ShopFamilyTree.com. And mark your calendar now for our Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference, Feb. 22-24.


court records | Genealogy Events | Research Tips
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:21:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, September 24, 2012
Get Free Admission to 100s of Museums Across the Country on Sept. 29!
Posted by Diane

This Saturday, Sept. 29, is Museum Day—when hundreds of museums across the country open their doors and let you visit for free.

You do need to sign up for your free tickets on the Museum Day website (each ticket is good for admission for two people). Tickets will be emailed to you; print them and take with you to the place you visit on Museum Day.

Click here to find a participating museum near you.

A few I like for the history-minded:
  • Out West in Nevada, you can step into your Silver State ancestors' shoes at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, which features American Indian artifacts, fossils, a recreated ghost town and underground mine, and more.
  • At the Western Heritage Center in Billings, Mont., you can see special exhibits on Montana Women at Work and how the railroad shaped Billings. One of the museum's galleries replicates a 1930s dude ranch lodge.
Have fun!


Museums | Social History
Monday, September 24, 2012 2:02:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 21, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 17-21
Posted by Diane

  • This week MyHeritage.com announced the launch of its automatic Record Matching premium service. The service automatically searches the 4 billion records on MyHeritage.com websites (which now include World Vital Records and FamilyLink) for matches to people in your MyHeritage family tree. MyHeritage users will receive weekly email updates of new Record Matches and can visit MyHeritage.com to review, filter, sort, confirm and reject matches.
On his Genea-Musings blog, Randy Seaver has some detailed posts about using Record Matching to find information.
  • Genealogy search engine Mocavo has acquired ReadyMicro, a company that develops document digitization technology. On its blog, Mocavo says it's planning several exciting announcements in the coming weeks about offering searchable records and forming partnerships to digitize organizations' records "at a very low cost and even, in many cases, at no cost." Stay tuned ...

  • British burial records site DeceasedOnline has added records from London's Charlton Cemetery, opened in 1855. Records include scans of burial registers and some photographs. You can see a list of all the cemeteries included on the site here. You can search the site and get basic search results free; purchase credits to view additional details and records.
  • Don't forget to enter our giveaway for a year's subscription to our Family Tree eBooks website—it's a digital library of dozens of ebooks on genealogy, history, heirloom identification, sharing and preserving your family history, and more, plus many issues of Family Tree Magazine. Click here to enter by September 30!


Cemeteries | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 21, 2012 2:27:33 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]