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# Monday, January 28, 2013
I Found the Maiden Name—But What Is It??
Posted by Diane

So I finally got my hands on a copy of the divorce case for my my third-great-grandparents, Thomas and Mary Frost (more later about how I got it). As I hoped, it has her maiden name!

There's just one problem—I can't read it, exactly:



Alanis Morrisette would call this situation ironic.

I searched Ancestry.com for Mary Wol*am (the wildcard * can stand in for more than one letter). Some of the possibilities are Wollam, Wolam, Wolham, Woldham, Woltam and Wolfram.

I even found an 1850 census record for a Wollam family living in Ohio with a Mary of the right age, born about 1840. But this family has no Matilda, one of Mary's sisters, who gives her name but not her age in a deposition for the divorce case. The same family (I think) in later censuses doesn't have a Matilda, either, and is no longer in Ohio. (My third-great-grandparents married in Cincinnati in 1865.)

I can't find a family in the census that fits Wolham, my first thought when I read the name. And no luck yet in my search for a Wol-something-am (or a Frost) marriage record.

I've looked through the rest of the 103-page file for another maiden-name mention and can't find one, though the writing is really hard to make out in places. I need to spend some quality time with the document.

Are you searching for a female ancestor's maiden name? Check out our new Family Tree University course Finding Female Ancestors (I'm planning to!), which starts this week—it's open for registration through Friday. You'll get help developing a research strategy for female ancestors, teasing out maiden names and more.

Here's the link to learn more about the Finding Female Ancestors course.

court records | Female ancestors
Monday, January 28, 2013 12:30:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [21]
# Friday, January 25, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Jan. 21-25
Posted by Diane

  • Just a reminder: You have until Monday at 11:59 p.m. ET to register for our Family Tree Magazine VIP giveaway! Some lucky person will win a free one-year VIP subscription, which includes a subscription to the print magazine, a Family Tree Plus membership (giving you access to exclusive how-to articles on our website), tuition discounts at Family Tree University, 10 percent off every ShopFamilyTree.com order, and our Family Tree Toolkit. Register here for your chance to become a Family Tree VIP for free
  • The Minnesota Department of Human Services is gathering bids for a project to digitize 5 million pages of old adoption records dating as far back as the late 19th century. The records are now on about 2,000 rolls of microfilm and likely include thousands of adoptions (the exact number isn’t known because files vary in length). Adoption records in Minnesota become public after 100 years, according to TwinCities.com, and 2017 is the 100-year anniversary of the law mandating adoption recording. 
  • You might’ve heard about HBO's upcoming fictional genealogy series, "Family Tree." It stars Chris O’Dowd as a Brit who occupies himself by investigating his family history after he loses his job and his relationship. Thanks to contributing editor Rick Crume for sending me a link to an Entertainment Weekly article about the show. Do you plan to watch?


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun | Genealogy societies | Public Records | Vital Records
Friday, January 25, 2013 11:14:37 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Thursday, January 24, 2013
Last Chance: Save $50 on our Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference
Posted by Diane

Hi, all! Just wanted to let you know that our $50 off your Virtual Genealogy Conference registration promotion ends Friday night, Jan. 25! To take advantage, click here and enter the code WINTERVCEARLY at checkout. 

Family Tree University’s Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference takes place Feb. 22-24.You get an all-access weekend pass 15 half-hour video classes, live chats with genealogy experts, an attendees-only message board and more. It’s a great option for people who want to get better at doing genealogy without having to take time off work or pay the travel expenses.

Click here to see the Virtual Genealogy Conference video class topics and chat schedule

Click here to register for the Virtual Genealogy Conference

Remember, you have until tomorrow, Jan. 25, at 11:59 p.m. ET to save $50 with promo code WINTERVCEARLY.


Family Tree University | Genealogy Events
Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:11:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Search Irish Vital Records Free on Thursday Jan. 24
Posted by Diane

Researching ancestors in Ireland? Flex those typing muscles: Tomorrow, Jan. 24, Irish genealogy website findmypast.ie will let you access 21 million Irish vital records free in honor of its first Irish Family History Day.

This according to the Irish news websites IrishCentral and siliconrepublic

The vital records, new on the site, range from the 1800s to 1958. Read more about them here

Findmypast.ie is a website from brightsolid publishing, which also operates findmypast.com (US), findmypast.com.au (Australia and New Zealand) and findmypast.co.uk (England, Wales and Scotland), among other genealogy websites. When you visit from the United States, you may get a pop-up suggesting you use the American site, but you can just close it and carry on.

Also, if you're in the United States, be mindful of time zone differences when you plan your search session(s). Findmypast.ie is based in Dublin, which is five hours ahead of the US East Coast.

Update: Now that Irish Family History Day is upon us, I found more information about this offer. Visit findmypast.ie's Irish Family History Day page for a promo code that gets you 50 free credits to use the site's pay-as-you-go records. The code is valid through Jan. 31.


Free Databases | UK and Irish roots | Vital Records
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:04:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Editors' Pick: Expert Tricks for Beating Your Military Brick Walls Live Webinar
Posted by Beth




Ever wished you had a professional genealogist at your beck and call when trying to solve your military brick wall? Have you run into obstacles while tracing your military veteran ancestors and want tips for getting on track? Or do you just need some general strategies for battling brick walls? Find the solutions you're looking for in Expert Tricks for Beating Your Military Brick Walls Live Webinar.

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 20
Time: 7pm EST/6pm CST/5pm MST/4pm PST; 1-hour duration
Presenter: David Allen Lambert, chief researcher at the New England Historic Genealogical Society
Price: $49.99 ($39.99 early bird until Wednesday, Feb. 13)

About This Webinar:
  • Submit questions about any conflict—from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, from the Spanish-American War to World War I—to have them answered in the live presentation.
  • Learn top strategies for tracing elusive veteran ancestors whether your research stumper relates to military pensions or war widows.
  • Get key tips for busting through brick walls.
  • PLUS: Receive a free PDF, "Brick Wall Busters: Proving Military Service."

Register here: Expert Tricks for Beating Your Military Brick Walls Live Webinar 

Military records | Research Tips | Webinars
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:10:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, January 18, 2013
"I do solemnly swear …"
Posted by Beth

The Lincoln inaugural Bible—used by President Barack Obama when he took his first presidential oath of office in 2009—will be used again by the president, along with Martin Luther King Jr.’s Bible, at his second inaugural ceremony Jan. 21. The two Bibles will be stacked one on top of the other, as the president takes the oath of office.

The Lincoln Bible, bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed metal rim, will be on view from Wednesday, Jan. 23 through Monday, Feb. 18, in the exhibition “The Civil War in America” in the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

On March 4, 1861, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administered the oath of office to Abraham Lincoln using a 1,280-page Bible provided by William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court, because Lincoln’s family Bible was packed with other belongings that were still en route to Washington from Springfield, Ill.



Genealogy fun
Friday, January 18, 2013 2:36:01 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy News Corral, Jan. 14-18
Posted by Beth

  • Saving Memories Forever has launched its new free Android app designed to make interviewing and preserving stories through audio recordings even easier. The technology allows users to build story archives they can share and manage through the company's website.


  • FamilySearch has added 7 million new indexed records and images to its collection. Notable additions include the 1.7 million+ indexed records and images in the Slovakia Church and Synagogue Books collection from 1592-1910; 1 million+ records added to the United States Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, from 1820-1874; and the 1.3 million+ records from the United States General Index to Pension Files collection from 1861-1934.

  • The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the creation of a new society to promote the preservation of records in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): The Society of Preservation Patriots. This new group recognizes donors who have contributed $250 or more to the Stern-NARA Gift Fund or the current Preserve the Pensions initiative, a project to digitally capture the 7.2 million images from the 180,000 pensions of those who served in the War of 1812.
Donors will receive a society pin and be listed on the FGS website. For more information, see the Preserve the Pensions initiative or the Stern-NARA Gift Fund. 


Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, January 18, 2013 9:17:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, January 17, 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, January 17, 2013 11:44:09 AM (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.

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

WHAT    
  • 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 ShopFamilyTree.com

REGISTRATION
  • $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, January 17, 2013 11:20:48 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 15, 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 Ancestry.com 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 | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:17:27 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [13]