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<2013 January>

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# Thursday, 17 January 2013
Climbing Back into the Genealogy Saddle
Posted by Diane

I’m back here at Family Tree Magazine after being on maternity leave long enough to forget my computer password and have no idea which issue I should start working on.

But I didn’t forget all about genealogy. Monday was our practice day at the sitter with Norah and her big brother, so I used my “me time” to go to the library.

Courtesy of the Kenton County (Kentucky) Public Library’s Northern Kentucky Newspaper Index and Northern Kentucky Genealogy Index (you can search both free online, then email yourself a list of results), I have a long list of newspaper and record look-ups about my maternal relatives. It's been on my to-do list for a shameful length of time.

Since I only had a couple of hours at the library, I prepped by organizing my lookups according to the newspaper and date (for articles) or the church and volume number (for church records). That way I’d be able to find all the articles on one roll of film, then move right on to the next. I also highlighted the most important items so I’d be sure to get to those if time ran short.

Even though I knew where the library is, I checked out the visitor info onlinee (good thing— the regular lot was closed due to construction). I couldn’t find the details about making copies, so I gathered up change and singles just in case. Turns out I should have brought a flash drive for the microfilm reader that makes digital copies. Live and learn. 

The librarian showed me the newspaper and church record microfilm, gave me a refresher on the microfilm readers and changed my dollars for dimes (required to make paper copies). I got all my priority articles and one church record in the two hours. I wrote the newspaper or record title, date, volume number, etc. on each printout.

As a woman on a mission, I only glanced at the rest of the local history collection. Oh, the time I could spend there if I had all day.

Now, I’m reading the newspaper articles and trying to sort out who’s who and how (or whether) they’re all related in this big family full of Josephs, Bernards and Marys. Every time I read in an obituary that the deceased was survived by “a wife and children” or see a married woman identified as “Mrs. Joseph so-and-so,” I want to pull my hair out. Names! I NEED NAMES!

So I’ve still got some work to do. In the mean time, I’m glad to be back with you!

Free Databases | Libraries and Archives | Newspapers | Research Tips
Thursday, 17 January 2013 11:44:09 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [6]
Don't Miss Family Tree University's Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference
Posted by Beth

Get an intensive dose of genealogy education at Family Tree University’s Winter 2013 Virtual Conference! At this February weekend workshop, you’ll learn strategies and resources to boost your research—and because it’s web-based, you can participate from anywhere at any time. Get all the benefits of a genealogy conference—education, camaraderie, expert advice—without all the hassle.

  • 9am EST Friday, Feb., 22 to 11:59pm EST Sunday, Feb. 24

  • Genealogy Technology 
  • Research Strategies
  • Ethnic Research
  • The opportunity to participate in LIVE chats with topic experts
  • PLUS: Your Virtual Conference registration gives you the ability to download a copy of all sessions and watch them whenever and wherever you want.
  • AND: Get a "swag bag" of freebies from

  • $199.99
  • EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION: Reserve your spot on or before Friday, Jan. 25 and lock in the early bird rate of $149.99—a savings of 25 percent! (Just use special offer code WINTERVCEARLY to save.) Click here to register.

Family Tree University | Research Tips | Webinars
Thursday, 17 January 2013 11:20:48 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Editors' Pick: Google for Genealogists Ultimate Collection
Posted by Beth

When it comes to free online genealogy tools, nothing rivals Google for power or potential. From Google+ to Google Reader to the Google News Archive, a little bit of expert training can help you turn this robust search engine into the ultimate genealogy assistant. Get wired with this month's Google for Genealogists Ultimate Collection if you want to:

  • be more successful in your Google searches you do for your genealogy research
  • go beyond subscription sites such as and discover sources of free genealogy data online
  • leverage Google’s full suite of tools that will be helpful in your family history research, such as Google Alerts, Google Translate, Google Drive—and even ones you may not know about

Get search secrets in one exclusive kit, including:
  • Advanced Google searching strategies
  • Details on how to go about digging into your roots online
  • How to use cool Google tools such as Gmail and Google Books
  • How to navigate the genealogy globe with Google Earth
  • Tips and tricks for finding and sharing genealogy on Google+
Get started now!

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Sales
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 09:17:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [13]
# Monday, 14 January 2013
Win a Family Tree Magazine VIP Program Subscription
Posted by Beth

Want to take your research to the next level this year? One lucky genealogist will get to enjoy a one-year Family Tree Magazine VIP Program Subscription for FREE! Enter for a chance to win a subscription that includes:  

  • A one-year subscription to Family Tree Magazine (1-year/7-issue US subscription): Get America's #1 genealogy magazine, packed with how-to tips and step-by-step guidance to discover, preserve and celebrate your family history. (If you're a current subscriber, your VIP membership will extend your existing subscription by 7 issues.)
  • A one-year subscription to Family Tree Plus: Get subscription-only access to 10 years of how-to articles from the experts at Family Tree Magazine through the online archives.
  • Exclusive tuition discounts on Family Tree University online courses: Get an additional 10 percent off sale prices and specials on our web-based classes for family history hobbyists. Choose from dozens of one- to eight-week courses led by expert instructors that will boost your research skills!
  • Family Tree Toolkit: This exclusive toolkit includes a PDF of 101 Websites, selected project forms and a printable family tree that is perfect for framing.
  • Member-only savings: Log in before you shop to save even more on every order from with your exclusive 10 percent automatic discount! Additional discounts for members will be provided throughout the year. Get free standard shipping on US orders from throughout the year.
Enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win by filling out this form by 11:59 p.m. ET Jan. 28, 2013. The winner will be chosen at random from all entries received and notified by email. 

Genealogy fun | Sales
Monday, 14 January 2013 09:44:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 11 January 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Jan. 7-11
Posted by Beth

  • has updated its 1850 US census collections (correcting some Indiana birth places that were keyed incorrectly) and its City Directories. In addition, Ancestry continues with its indexing of information for the 1940 US census to make it more complete.

  • Genealogy search engine service Mocavo and Family History Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) announced that Mocavo has finalized its plans to become a founding member of the organization. FHISO is a standards-developing organization bring the international family history and genealogical community in a self-governing forum to develop information standards to solve today's interoperability issues.
Mocavo will participate with other FHISO members from the global genealogical community in the development of standards for the digital representation and sharing of family history and genealogical information.

  • MyHeritage has released a new version of its free MyHeritage app (v2.0) that now lets users do their genealogy on the go—create and edit their family tree, add relatives and photos, and edit profiles, info and events. The app is available for iPad, iPhone, and Android smartphones and tablets, in 32 languages. If you have an older version of the app, the new app will upgrade seamlessly. Click here to download the app.

Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 11 January 2013 09:16:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 10 January 2013
Blog Book Tour: How to Archive Family Keepsakes
Posted by Beth

How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records (Family Tree Books, 2012) by Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, launches a blog book tour today that runs through Saturday, Jan. 26.

Visit 14 popular genealogy blogs and websites featuring Denise and her book for book excerpts, interviews, special guest posts, free downloads and giveaways. View the schedule at the Blog Book Tour Page.

With top reviews from leading genealogy bloggers and 5-star ratings on, this new resource by Denise will help you organize and preserve your family history heirlooms and research in 2013.

How to Archive Family Keepsakes offers practical guidance for family historians who are:
  • helping a parent or loved one downsize to a smaller home.
  • needing a simple, effective filing system for genealogy research.
  • interested in scanning and making digital copies of genealogy records.
  • looking for a way to preserve your family history and heirlooms for future generations.
The book is currently available at at a 28 percent discount. Proceeds from the sale of the book during the online book tour will help fund the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant founded in 2010 in honor of Denise’s mother, Suzanne Winsor Freeman.

Family Heirlooms | saving and sharing family history | Sales
Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:37:03 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 08 January 2013
Editors' Pick: Organize Your Way to Your Best Genealogy Year
Posted by Beth

Effective family history researchers know that organization is the key to productivity. Are you as organized as you'd like to be—or could be? If your new year's resolution is to cut through your genealogy clutter, check out this trio of PDF book downloads by Denise May Levenick, the Family Curator that provides practical step-by-step solutions for organizing physical and digital materials, once and for all.

How to Organize Inherited Items 
Are you the lucky recipient of Mom and Dad's "stuff"—a lifetime's worth of family photos, papers, and memorabilia packed into boxes? Learn how to organize inherited items in a way that honors them while bringing peace to the rest of the family. You'll learn how to:
    •    Effectively sort and purge boxes that you inherited
    •    Decide which family heirlooms to keep
    •    Donate items to museums, societies, and charities
    •    Protect and pass on keepsakes

People who inherit family archives often take on one of three roles: Curator, Creator or Caretaker (or perhaps a combination). Once you identify why you've inherited the family archive, it's easier for you to determine what to do with it.
Curator: understands the responsibilities involved in caring for a family archive, from organizing to preserving; knows enough to recognize significant objects and suggest and implement ways to care for, display and preserve them
Creator: finds ways to use a family archive materials—whether it be inspiration, raw materials or information sources—in his own creative projects, such as completing a family pedigree, writing a biography, assembling a scrapbook or compiling a family medical history
Caretaker: serves as the temporary family archive "holder" until the next person in line takes it over

How to Organize Family History Paperwork 
Family history research can quickly create mountains of paperwork. This download give you step-by-step instruction to effectively organize and digitize your genealogy research papers. You'll learn how to:
    •    create a personalized filing system to suit your genealogy research style and experience
    •    turn your computer into a filing clerk and research assistant by establishing a clear, consistent naming pattern for files and folders
    •    Scan old paper records and store them electronically to save space and make them easier to find
    •    make digital copies of original source documents
    •    organize your family history research for future generations

Think about your genealogy files as two different record types—original documents that you want to physically preserve and store, and working documents used every day that are more temporary in nature. A different digital routine is needed for each record type.

Use a consistent file-naming scheme for your digital documents. Some genealogists find that a combination of Surname, Date and File ID work well for digital files; others use a numerical reference number that corresponds to their paper files.

Organization Strategies for Genealogy Success
Effective family history researchers know that organization is the key to productivity. You'll learn how to:
    •    Organize your genealogy research methods
    •    Organize your family history source citations
    •    Select the best software for efficient and effective research
    •    Connect with fellow researchers online to help find answers to your genealogy brick walls

Research success begins even before the first internet query box is completed or the first reel of microfilm is loaded. You have a research goal—to find your ancestor. What you need is a research strategy—a written, step-by-step proposal to achieve your goal. An effective research strategy includes at least 4 major steps:

1. Set a goal.
a. Identify the problem or goal.
b. Break down the goal into smaller, focused mini-goals.

2. Decide what sources to search.
a. List record groups that may provide a solution.
b. List specific sources to search.
c. Locate repositories holding the sources you need.

3. Search the source.
a. Note the results of your search, positive or negative.
b. Copy the raw information.
c. Record the source citation data.

4. Analyze the information.
a. Evaluate the information.
b. Record your findings in your notes and database program.
c. Determine your next step.

5. Repeat from Step 1.


You can achieve your genealogy research goals this year with these and other new and recommended books, CDs, downloads, and all-inclusive research kits that will show you how to research your heritage, both online and off. PLUS: Get organized and save, too! Spend $30 on any of these recommended products in January and get the Organize Your Genealogy Life! CD for 50% off; just enter code ACHIEVE2013 at checkout to save on this essential CD.

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | saving and sharing family history | Sales | Tech Advice
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 12:54:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 07 January 2013
New Guides Added to "A Genealogist's Guide to Names" Series
Posted by Beth

Four additional PDF downloadable reference guides have been added to the newly released series, "A Genealogist's Guide to Names." Each guide features first names from a specific region or country; naming patterns and traditions; spellings; pronunciations; and meanings that can help your search for ancestors from a given locale.

A Genealogist's Guide to Gaelic Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Irish Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Native American Names
A Genealogist's Guide to Russian Names

American Indian roots | Sales | UK and Irish roots
Monday, 07 January 2013 09:12:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [10]
# Friday, 04 January 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Dec. 31-Jan.4
Posted by Beth

  • Entries are being accepted through March 22 for the 13th annual Listen to a Life Essay Contest run by the Legacy Project, a big-picture learning project for all ages, and the nonprofit Generations United.
The contest, open to young people ages 8 to 18, encourages connections across generations. To enter, a young person interviews a grandparent or grandfriend 50 years or older, gathering information about the older person's hopes and goals through their life; how he or she achieved goals and overcame obstacles; or key life experiences. The young person then writes and submit a 300-word essay based on the interview.
The winner will receive a Lenov ThinkCentre computer. Click here for more information, including rules and entry form.

Genealogy fun | saving and sharing family history
Friday, 04 January 2013 09:32:12 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 03 January 2013
75 Best State Websites Now Available Online
Posted by Beth

Tracking down state-level genealogy records—births, marriages, deaths and more—can be exhausting work, but each year it gets easier as more state historical societies and archives digitize collections and post them online. They're also offering more indexes, guides and other tools to help you get your hands on state repositories' offline records. We commend these ambitious organizations and individuals for providing these genealogical gifts that keep on giving throughout the year.

In selecting the 75 best state websites, which originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine, we looked especially for databases (at least one per state) where you can search for your ancestors' names. Some sites also have digital images of original records, and several of the sites regularly add new searchable documents.

Click here to view and access the list of top 75 state websites online.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Libraries and Archives | Public Records
Thursday, 03 January 2013 09:55:16 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]