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# Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Switching Things Around With Reverse Genealogy
Posted by Diane


I've just recently started the phase in my genealogy search where you contact distant cousins to exchange family information. It's a fun phase!, and not just because of the enlightening genealogy information and ancestral photos that turn up. It's neat to see how we're related and think about all the other folks out there who could by my cousins.

This is what reverse genealogy is all about: finding cousins, sharing family information and memories, and breaking down research brick walls. 

It's starting with your ancestors and working forward in time to find living relatives (the reverse of what genealogists typically do).

Our Reverse Genealogy Value Pack has all the tools you need to locate folks who may hold the keys to your tough family history problems:
  • Research Strategies: Reverse Genealogy article download by Lisa Louise Cooke: Get advice for making like Sherlock Holmes and finding cousins, including tips for figuring out where to look, as well as the best websites and directories to use.
  • Reverse Genealogy independent study course download: This course, also developed by Lisa Louise Cooke, has in-depth instructions on tracing your family lines forward to find living relatives.
  • They're Alive: Finding Living Relatives on-demand webinar by Thomas MacEntee: Learn about using people-finding websites, how to approach a possible cousin (without feeling like a stalker) and more.
  • Step by Step Guide: Safely Sharing Data Online article download by Rick Crume: You want to find relatives and you want them to find you, but how do keep from putting "too much" out there (and maybe letting the wrong people find you)? This advice will help you stay safe.
Right now the Reverse Genealogy Value Pack is just $49.99, a 66 percent savings. Get yours in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 2:32:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Arlington National Cemetery Launches Burial Database
Posted by Diane

Arlington National Cemetery has unveiled a public database of the 400,000 burials there.

Called ANC Explorer, the database is available online and as a Mobile app. You can search it to locate gravesites on a map; get details including birth, death and interment dates, and branch of service; generate front and back photos of a headstone or monument (where available); and get directions to those gravesites.



Building it led to the first review, analysis and coordination of almost 150 years of Arlington Cemetery records. The Army photographed 259,978 gravesites, niches and markers and instituted a rigorous process to review each headstone photo with cemetery records and other historical documents. The effort grew out of reports in 2010 of misidentified graves and poorly kept records at the cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery was established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, once the estate of the family of Martha Custis Lee, wife of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Veterans and family members from the Civil War and every subsequent US war are buried on its 624 acres.

The first soldier buried there is Pvt. William Henry Christman of Pennsylvania, on May 13, 1864.


Cemeteries | Military records
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 4:21:50 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, October 22, 2012
Cemetery Research Tips & More in the October 2012 Family Tree Magazine Podcast
Posted by Diane

The October 2012 Family Tree Magazine podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, celebrates Halloween with cemetery research tips, including:
  • Advice for cracking the "tombstone code"—the symbolism in carvings and inscriptions—from contributing editor Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

  • How to preserve the genealogy and history information cemeteries hold, and share those details with others, from Family Tree University instructor and Find A Grave volunteer Diana Crisman Smith

  • Tips for visiting a cemetery (what you can do from home, what to bring and what to look for once you're there) from Family Tree University Cemetery Research 101 course instructor Midge Frazel

  • Tombstone rubbing dos and don'ts with Family Tree Magazine publisher and editorial director Allison Dolan
And Lisa and I chat about some recent big acquisitions in the genealogy world.

You can listen to Family Tree Magazine's free genealogy podcast in iTunes or on FamilyTreeMagazine.com. Show notes are on FamilyTreeMagazine.com, too.

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

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Cemeteries | Genealogy Industry | Podcasts | Research Tips
Monday, October 22, 2012 1:10:54 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
European Private Equity Firm to Purchase Ancestry.com
Posted by Diane

Online genealogy company Ancestry.com, rumored for months to be seeking a buyer, has found one in European private equity firm Permira.

Ancestry.com announced that company owned by the Permira funds and co-investors has entered into a merger agreement to acquire Ancestry.com for $32 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at $1.6 billion. Ancestry.com president and CEO Tim Sullivan, as well as its CFO/COO Howard Hochhauser, will keep a majority of their equity stakes in the company. Spectrum Equity will also remain an investor.

The transaction, subject to stockholder approval and other closing conditions, is expected to close in January 2013.

According to the announcement of the agreement, Ancestry.com will keep its focus on content, technology and user experience. It'll continue a growth strategy led by content acquisition and technology investment, with the support of the Permira funds and the investor group. It'll also expand its product offerings in areas such as DNA, and build the Ancestry.com brand and the family history category on a global basis.

There are no anticipated changes in Ancestry.com’s operating structure. Ancestry.com will remain headquartered in Provo, Utah, with a continued large presence in San Francisco, Dublin, London and other international markets.


Got Iowa ancestors? Our Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar, happening Tuesday evening, Oct. 30, will help you find their vital records, US and state censuses, land records and more. Learn more about the Iowa Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Ancestry.com | Genealogy Industry
Monday, October 22, 2012 9:04:57 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 19, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 15-19
Posted by Diane

  • Look for a new blog soon from the Library of Congress: To complement its Civil War in America exhibition, the LOC will debut a new blog in November to chronicle more than 40 folks from the North and South whose lives were affected by the war.

    Posts will use first-person accounts such as diaries, letters and published memoirs. “Bloggers” will include people such as Robert E. Lee, Clara Barton, Stonewall Jackson, William Tecumseh Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant,  Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Keckley, Eugenia Phillips and John F. Chase. You can find the blog starting Nov. 12 at blogs.loc.gov.
  • Military records website Fold3 reached a milestone this week when when the site exceeded 100,000,000 images of historical records. Read more about this achievement on the Fold3 blog. The site, which launched in January 2007 as Footnote, has worked with partners including the National Archives, Allen County Public Library, FamilySearch and others to digitize records. Ancestry.com purchased the site in 2010 and last year rebranded it Fold3.com.


Got Iowa ancestors? Our Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar, happening Tuesday evening, Oct. 30, will help you find their vital records, US and state censuses, land records and more. Learn more about the Iowa Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Ancestry.com | Civil War | Fold3 | Free Databases | Libraries and Archives | Military records | Newspapers
Friday, October 19, 2012 3:08:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 18, 2012
See 1911 British Census Transcriptions Free Through Nov. 18
Posted by Diane

British genealogy websites genesreunited.co.uk and findmypast.co.uk are offering their members free access to all 1911 census transcriptions now through Nov. 18.

The 1911 census of England and Wales has details on places of birth, family members, occupations, how many children had been born to a marriage, how many were still alive at the time of the census, and how many had died.

You'll need to register for a free account at either site to view the full transcription of a census entry. To view the original census record, subscribe or purchase credits on the site.


census records | Free Databases | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, October 18, 2012 8:41:58 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Ancestry.com Death Records Challenges Offer Chances to Win
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com is issuing daily mystery genealogy challenges and that come with chances to win prizes. Use the site's death records collections to answer a challenge (or you could just wing it) and you'll be entered into a Nov. 2 grand prize drawing for a new iPad.

New challenges will be available Oct. 19, 22, 24, 26, 29, and 31.  If you answer the challenge correctly, you'll either be entered into a prize drawing for that challenge (Monday and Wednesday challenges) or receive a bonus entry for the grand prize drawing (Friday challenges).

Challenge prizes include gift certificates, Ancestry.com subscriptions and a DNA test (scroll down and click the terms and conditions link on this page to see the list of prizes).

Click here to see the current challenge.

In addition, several genealogy bloggers also are offering their own contests sponsored by Ancestry.com, with three-month Ancestry.com World Explorer subscriptions as prizes. They include:
  • Genea-Musings (ends Oct. 21); this blog will hold a second contest Oct. 23.
(If there's another blogger I missed, please click Comments below and let me know.)

Ancestry.com | Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites | Vital Records
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 4:37:38 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Four Tips for Researching Military Ancestors Online
Posted by Tyler

Last chance for Online Military Records!

Almost every genealogist has an ancestor who spent some part of his life in service to our country. Today these individuals are immortalized in collection upon collection of digitized military records.

Jump into the fray with an hour-long webinar from expert presenter David A. Fryxell, who will discuss such conflicts as the Colonial Wars, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War and many more.

Some sample tips from this workshop include:

  • Service records and rolls are available for browsing via Fold3 if you know your ancestor's unit.
  • Resources vary depending on the conflict. For instance, Revolutionary War records are available via the Daughters of the American Revolution online library, whereas state websites are often an excellent resource for the Civil War.
  • There were three different types of WWI draft cards. Along with basic info such as name, age, address, etc., the 12-question Draft Card included occupation and any claimed draft exemptions.
  • Records that are not online can still be ordered using the eVets system available from Archives.gov.

Want to learn more, see demos of the sites mentioned here, and have your questions answered by our presenter? There's still time to register for the live webinar—Online Military Records takes place Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 pm Eastern time (4 pm Pacific).

Can't make Thursday's presentation? No worries! Every registrant receives a copy of the recording to watch as many times as you wish, along with a PDF of the slides/handouts for reference.

See ShopFamilyTree.com for more details about this and other Family Tree University webinars.


Family Tree University | Military records
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 2:15:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, October 15, 2012
FamilySearch.org Adds Free Records for 20+ US States & 20 Other Countries Including Italy
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has added more than 70 million indexed genealogy records to the free FamilySearch.org over the past couple of weeks.

The indexed records come from the United States and 20 other countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.

Updated or new US records are from more than 20 states, plus New England passenger lists.

You can access FamilySearch.org's indexed records by using the search boxes on the FamilySearch.org home page (which will give you results from all the indexed records on FamilySearch.org) or by using my favorite method—searching that specific collection.

You can find the search page for a specific collection in one of two ways:
  • use the place filters on FamilySearch.org: Scroll down on the home page, choose a world region next to the map, then choose a country, date range or collection on the left to narrow the collection list to those covering your ancestor's lifetime. Then click on the title for the collection you want to search.
Got Italian ancestors? More than 8.3 million new browsable images of civil registrations and church records from Italy also were added. Because these aren't yet indexed, you'll need to find the page for the collection and then view records for the place in Italy your ancestor lived. Click here for FamilySearch.org's list of Italian record collections.


FamilySearch | Free Databases | Italian roots | UK and Irish roots
Monday, October 15, 2012 10:54:30 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 12, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 8-12
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry.com has released a new Ancestry Facebook app that helps you use Facebook to add to your Ancestry.com family tree. The app lets you use your Facebook credentials to log into Ancestry.com, get hints about Facebook members who may be family, add family members on Facebook to your Ancestry tree and send copies of your tree to those relatives (which they can use to start their own trees on Ancestry.com). Watch a video of how the app works and get the app on Ancestry.com.
Note that when you add information from Facebook to your Ancestry.com tree, you grant Ancestry.com permission to use the information according to its Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statement.
  • Our Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor's book The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation, will soon become a historical film! Visit LastMusterFilm.com to learn more about the project and how you can help the stories of the book's subjects come to life through a donation to the Center for Independent Documentary.
  • FamilySearch is holding a Genealogists Say "Thanks!" video contest. Submit a video sharing an ancestral find in FamilySearch indexes and thanking FamilySearch volunteer indexers for their work. Five winners will each receive  a $25 Visa gift card and have their videos published on teh FamilySearch indexing Facebook page. The submission deadline is November 5; see the FamilySearch blog for contest rules and other details.
  • British genealogy website Genes Reunited has added a Keepsafe feature where the site's members can store digital copies of their family records, photos and memories. Keepsafes can be public, private or shared with select others.  Also new are Relation Profiles, where members can view and edit details about people in their Genes Reunited family trees. Check out the recently revamped Genes Reunited here.


Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots | FamilySearch | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Web Sites | Photos | Social Networking | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 12, 2012 11:04:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]