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# Thursday, December 06, 2012
Special Sneak Peek: Using Criminal Court Records Webinar
Posted by Beth




Do you have a Jesse James in your family? What about a Wyatt Earp?

Sifting through criminal case files to find your ancestors in criminal court records is illuminating—whichever side of the law your ancestors are on.

The records created by the criminal justice system are "wonderful additions to any family history," says Using Criminal Court Records Webinar presenter Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, (For a video sneak peek of this Tuesday, Dec. 11 live webinar [7 p.m. ET], click here.)

Russell sums up those who are in the criminal justice system this way: "They came in all sizes, shapes, colors. They were men, women and even children. They acted out of greed or foolishness or just desperation—or were wrongly accused. And they became the criminals.

"They're among the most colorful characters in our family trees. They didn't toe the line, they went their own ways, and they did one thing that can't help but warm a genealogist's heart: They left records. Arrest records. Conviction records. Prison records."

"But they weren't all bad guys (or gals)," she adds. "Your ancestor might have played a different role: police officer, constable, judge, juror or witness."

Next week, "we'll take a look at a whole range of records created after a crime was committed, from police reports all the way to prison records," says Russell. "We'll look at cases prosecuted in local courts, state courts and federal courts. We'll look at some records from other countries. And we'll look at ways to find the records that relate to our ancestors in the many roles they played in the criminal justice system ... and what those records tell us about the times in which our ancestors lived."

Register now for this fascinating webinar!

 
court records | Research Tips | Webinars
Thursday, December 06, 2012 1:06:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Editors' Pick: December's Ultimate Collection: Genealogy Websites
Posted by Beth





At this busiest time of the year, we've made it our mission to help make your web research easier and more efficient. Ramp up your research skills and save time in the process with December's Ultimate Collection: Genealogy Websites. The Family Tree Magazine editorial team has hand-picked its favorite resources to help make you an online genealogy research pro.

Gift yourself the gift of time this holiday season—at a 66 percent discount—to take your research to the next level.
Editor's Pick | Research Tips | saving and sharing family history | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, December 06, 2012 9:23:34 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Win Your Wish List!
Posted by Beth



What genealogy goodies would you like to find under your tree this holiday season? Enter ShopFamilyTree.com's Win Your Wish List Sweepstakes for a chance to receive them!

To enter: Visit the Win Your Wish List sweepstakes page to find instructions on how to select the five books, CDs, videos or other products you'd most like to win—and how to enter. One winner will be selected at random from all the entries.

Hurry! The entry deadline is midnight ET Monday, Dec. 10!

Genealogy books | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 10:31:19 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Editors' Pick: New Google for Genealogy Course
Posted by Beth





Whether you're just beginning to tap into popular search engine Google or are an experienced user looking to leverage tools like Google Reader and the Google News Archive, we can help.

Google for Genealogy, Family Tree University's new 4-week class, from Monday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Jan. 13, will teach you how to effectively use Google to power to your genealogical research.


Here are four keys to success for Google searching:
  1. Keep it simple. Less is more when it comes to search. Start simple and then revise your search to follow the right path.
  2. Use your imagination. Think like someone who would post a web page with the kind of information you're looking for. Think like a genealogist for charts and reports; think like a railroad historian for background information on the railroad your grandfather worked for; and think like a librarian when searching for books.
  3. Use focused, descriptive words. Each word should pack a search punch!
  4. Try a variety of search options. Remember: “Search strategies” is a plural phrase and implies that a number of searches be conducted to get the best results.

Learn much more in Google for Genealogy, including:
  • Google search essentials
  • Advanced searching strategies
  • Navigating Gmail, Google+ and Google Reader
  • How and why to use Google Books and the Google News Archive
  • Translating websites, documents and plain text with Google Translate
  • Creating and managing Google Alerts
  • Sharing documents with Google Drive (formerly Google Docs)
  • Preview of Google Earth
Ready to amp up your search capabilities in 2013? Click here to register.

Family Tree University | Research Tips | Tech Advice
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 11:54:51 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, December 03, 2012
Special Sneak Peek: Kansas Genealogy Crash Course
Posted by Beth




Check out this special sneak peek of Thursday's Kansas Genealogy Crash Course: Find Your Sunflower State Ancestors. 

Don't miss your chance to register for this live webinar (7 pm EST)—and to get all the info you need to find your roots from Topeka to Witchita, Dodge City to Kansas City!


Family Tree University | Research Tips
Monday, December 03, 2012 1:45:04 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Hilarious Holiday Photos
Posted by Beth

What’s not to love about the holidays? Gaudy decorations, ridiculous costumes, unusual traditions, extended amounts of time spent with family—it’s a recipe for happy memories and hilarious photos.

Share your funny holiday photo (of two- or four-legged friends!) with us, and it could appear on our Facebook page and even in our upcoming book Hilarious Holiday Photos.

PLUS: Submit a photo before Jan. 3, 2013, for the chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! The photo that the author and editors find the funniest will receive the gift card.

So get out your camera this holiday season and capture those …
    •    Creepy mall Santas
    •    Santa-fearing, crying kids
    •    Bad Christmas sweaters (and sweatsuits)
    •    Pets in seasonal garb
    •    Hokey holiday decorations
    •    Terrible gifts
    •    Unfortunate New Year's outfits
    •    … whatever strikes your funny bone!

We also want to see funny photos from other holidays, including:
    •    Funny couples photos that capture the love of Valentine’s Day
    •    Photos that leave us green with St. Patrick’s Day pride
    •    Funny All-American photos 
    •    Halloween costumes that make us howl with laughter
    •    Thanksgiving celebrations
    •    … and more!


Photos | saving and sharing family history
Monday, December 03, 2012 9:26:45 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, November 30, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Nov. 26-30
Posted by Beth


  • Ancestry.com announces the launch of Newspapers.com, a new web site featuring more than 800 US newspapers dating from the late 1700s to the early 2000s. With more than 25 million pages, Newspapers.com offers historical and present-day newspapers ranging from The New York Times to small town and local newspapers.
The site's search capabilities are specifically designed for newspapers, enabling users to search by keywords, location, time period and newspaper name. A one-year subscription to Newspapers.com is $79.95 for subscribers and $39.95 for Ancestry.com or Fold3.com members.
There currently are no plans to remove any newspaper content from Ancestry.com. Most of the newspapers on the new site (more than 15 million of the 25 million pages) are not part of Ancestry.com records. Ancestry.com is actively producing millions of new pages per month from microfilm, and is working with newspaper publishers and microfilm owners to increase the number of newspaper titles in its production pipeline for Newspapers.com.


  • The Federation of Genealogical Societies received a $250,000 donation from FamilySearch for its War of 1812 "Preserve the Pensions" Digitization Fund, designed to digitally preserve and index the War of 1812 pension and bounty land records.


Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, November 30, 2012 9:30:42 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, November 29, 2012
10 Best Genealogy Gifts for the Holidays
Posted by Beth

Is hard-to-buy-for Aunt Helen the repository for recipes, photo albums and keepsakes? Does Grandpa Joe archive all of your family's facts and dates in his head—not to mention all those lesser-known scintillating tidbits? If you need holiday gift ideas for your genealogically inclined relatives, look no further!

Click here for Family Tree Magazine's 10 must-have items to help discover, preserve and celebrate your family's history, making you the family hero in the process. (And, you can always get a gift for yourself and just wrap it for the big day!)


Genealogy books | saving and sharing family history | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:13:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, November 28, 2012
MyHeritage Acquires Geni.com
Posted by Beth

MyHeritage, the popular online family history network, announced today that it has acquired Geni.com, a pioneer in collaborative family tree building with its focus on creating the World Family Tree.

The acquisition extends MyHeritage's network to 72 million registered users, 1.5 billion profiles and 27 million family trees internationally.

Geni.com will continue to operate as a separate brand based out of its California office, and the services of MyHeritage and Geni.com will initially run independently. MyHeritage plans to give respective users the option to collaborate on family history research by enabling two-way information flows between the sites.

Users of both sites will be able to discover relatives and new ancestral connections through MyHeritage's Smart Matching technology, which finds common matches between family trees. In addition, MyHeritage will apply its recently launched Record Matching technology—matching historical records such as birth, death, census and immigration records—to individuals in Geni.com family trees.

In addition to its acquisition, MyHeritage also announced its $25 million funding round to be used to boost growth of its historical content services and expand its commercial operations worldwide.

UPDATED: Geni CEO Noah Tutak announces immediate benefits to Geni.com users:
  • Free unlimited profile adding—All users can add as many profiles as they'd like to their tree without upgrading to a paid account. There are no limits to the size of a user's tree.
  • Free Merging—All users can now merge duplicate profiles in their tree (privacy and permission rules still apply).
  • Free relationship paths—Users can discover their relationship to historical figures and celebrities, and even distant relatives.
  • Free family tree chart downloads—All users can now download a high-quality chart of their family tree to their computer at no charge. 
  • No ads—Ads have been removed to provide users with a cleaner, less distracting interface.
  • More privacy—Living people who have not joined Geni will become private and will not be searchable on Google.

 


Genealogy Industry | International Genealogy
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:57:05 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Can't-Miss December Live Webinars
Posted by Beth


We know December can be a bit crazy, with all the shopping, caroling and decking the halls. Find a moment of calm among the clatter by blocking out time for one—or both—of Family Tree University's December live webinars ... and keep your genealogical research on track.

 


State Genealogy Series
Kansas Genealogy Crash Course: Find Your Sunflower State Ancestors
Searching for your Sunflower State ancestors? In the 19th century, this Midwest plot of prairie was home to Native Americans and European settlers alike. If your ancestors lived in the vicinity of Topeka, Wichita or Kansas City, let presenter Kathleen Reid Rippel lead you to your roots.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012
Time: 7pm EST/6pm CST/5pm MST/4pm PST
Duration: 1 hour
Price: $49.99 ($39.99 through tomorrow, Nov. 29)

What You'll Learn:
  • Fundamental Kansas history, from the Louisiana Purchase to the American Civil War
  • State-specific tips for tracing American Indian, English, Spanish and African-American and other ethnic ancestors
  • Key online sources for Kansas records
  • Tricks for finding your roots from Topeka to Wichita, Dodge City to Kansas City
  • PLUS: This webinar comes with two free downloads: a copy of our Kansas State Research Guide and our Kansas City Guide.
Register Here: Kansas Genealogy Crash Course: Find Your Sunflower State Ancestors

Four Fun Factoids from Presenter Kathleen Reid Rippel:
  • The Pikes Peak Gold Rush was actually in Kansas territory.
  • The Kansas State Historical Society was created by newspapers editors in 1875. It's no surprise, then, that Kansas is one of the best states for newspaper research.
  • Kansas is one of the few states that regularly took a state census. These are still available and provide some extra information. The 1885 and 1895 schedules are especially helpful since the 1890 Federal census is not available.
  • Even if your ancestors didn't settle in Kansas, many researchers discover that their family members stayed for awhile, then returned home or went further west. Others passed through on major trails, including the Oregon Trail and the Santa Fe Trail.




Discover and Preserve Your Family History Series
Using Criminal Court Records Webinar 
Sift through criminal case files to find your ancestors in criminal court records. Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, will present the essential strategies for locating your ancestors.

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012
Time: 7pm EST/6pm CST/5pm MST/4pm PST
Duration: 1 hour
Price: $49.99 ($39.99 until Dec. 4)

What You'll Learn:
  • Explanation of the complaint and indictment process as it affected your ancestors
  • The paper trail generated from arrests and gathering witnesses
  • How to find records of pretrial and trial proceedings and what they can tell you about your ancestors
  • How sentences—from the stocks to the penitentiary—were issued and documented
  • PLUS: This webinar comes with a free PDF download: a copy of Court Orders, our guide to courthouse records.
Register Here: Using Criminal Courts Webinar

Four Fun Factoids from Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist:
  • Americans love to trace their roots to the Mayflower. But the first convicted killer in America was John Billington, who arrived on (yep, you guess it) the Mayflower.
  • Throughout history, the criminal law has treated women differently from men: in some cases, more leniently, in others, more harshly. Only a woman, for example, could be convicted of being a common scold.
  • One of the biggest boosts to law enforcement was the development of photography. It made it more difficult for a bad guy to just change his name and move down the road. Many photographs exist from criminal cases starting in the late 1800s, and a fair number can be found online—and not just from the United States.
  • From 1919-1933, large numbers of criminal prosecutions were for alcohol-related offenses, thanks to Prohibition. But Prohibition gave birth to a new type of crime, Organized Crime (with capital letters)—and an explosion of records, particularly at the federal level.


AND, A REMINDER …
Don't miss out! Our one-week workshop, Using Free Genealogy Websites, begins Friday and runs through Friday, Dec. 7. In just one week, this Family Tree University workshop will teach you secrets for gleaning more ancestral information from free sites and databases; for searching the web more effectively; and for taking advantage of fantastic free tools you're not already using. Click here to register.

Public Records | Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:24:27 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]