Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories
October, 2014 (13)
September, 2014 (17)
August, 2014 (18)
July, 2014 (16)
June, 2014 (18)
May, 2014 (17)
April, 2014 (17)
March, 2014 (17)
February, 2014 (16)
January, 2014 (16)
December, 2013 (11)
November, 2013 (15)
October, 2013 (19)
September, 2013 (20)
August, 2013 (23)
July, 2013 (24)
June, 2013 (14)
May, 2013 (25)
April, 2013 (20)
March, 2013 (24)
February, 2013 (25)
January, 2013 (20)
December, 2012 (19)
November, 2012 (25)
October, 2012 (22)
September, 2012 (24)
August, 2012 (24)
July, 2012 (21)
June, 2012 (22)
May, 2012 (28)
April, 2012 (44)
March, 2012 (36)
February, 2012 (36)
January, 2012 (27)
December, 2011 (22)
November, 2011 (29)
October, 2011 (52)
September, 2011 (26)
August, 2011 (26)
July, 2011 (17)
June, 2011 (31)
May, 2011 (32)
April, 2011 (31)
March, 2011 (31)
February, 2011 (28)
January, 2011 (27)
December, 2010 (34)
November, 2010 (26)
October, 2010 (27)
September, 2010 (27)
August, 2010 (31)
July, 2010 (23)
June, 2010 (30)
May, 2010 (23)
April, 2010 (30)
March, 2010 (30)
February, 2010 (30)
January, 2010 (23)
December, 2009 (19)
November, 2009 (27)
October, 2009 (30)
September, 2009 (25)
August, 2009 (26)
July, 2009 (33)
June, 2009 (32)
May, 2009 (30)
April, 2009 (39)
March, 2009 (35)
February, 2009 (21)
January, 2009 (29)
December, 2008 (15)
November, 2008 (15)
October, 2008 (25)
September, 2008 (30)
August, 2008 (26)
July, 2008 (26)
June, 2008 (22)
May, 2008 (27)
April, 2008 (20)
March, 2008 (20)
February, 2008 (19)
January, 2008 (22)
December, 2007 (21)
November, 2007 (26)
October, 2007 (20)
September, 2007 (17)
August, 2007 (23)
July, 2007 (17)
June, 2007 (13)
May, 2007 (7)

Search

Archives

<February 2013>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272812
3456789

More Links








# Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Ellis Island Immigration Museum Archive Relocated
Posted by Diane

The National Park Service has moved treasures from the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York Harbor to a federal storage center due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Oct. 29, the hurricane flooded Ellis Island and water filled the basement of the Immigration Museum, which houses the Great Hall where millions of immigrants started their lives in the United States.

Fortunately, the water didn't touch the museum's archive of records and immigrant artifacts, which were located elsewhere in the building. But it did knock out the island's electricity, wreaking havoc on the museum's carefully controlled climate and causing mold to grow on the artifacts and condensation to build up on walls.

You can learn more about the move and see photos and a video in this TribecaTribOnline article.

Both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (on nearby Liberty Island) remain closed. Park Service plans call for reopening, but a date is yet to be determined.  You can get updates on the Statue of Liberty Hurricane Sandy Recovery page.


Historic preservation | immigration records | Museums
Wednesday, February 06, 2013 11:06:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Tabloid Divorces Have Nothing on These Ancestors
Posted by Diane

Last week I promised to tell you how I got my third-great-grandparents’ divorce record. 

It went on my genealogy to-do list after a random search of historical newspaper website GenealogyBank resulted in newspaper notices when my third-great-grandmother filed for divorce in 1879 (below), and again when the divorce was granted two years later.


You know when you think something is going to be a big ordeal so you procrastinate, then when you finally get the ball rolling it turns out to be a piece of cake and you wish you did it ages ago?

I had checked FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com and USGenWeb to see if I could get digital or microfilmed copies. Nope. So I thought I’d have to figure out which of the two county courthouses to go to, find time to make the trip, get a babysitter, search out the records, and so on.

When I started planning a visit and called the courthouse (after first checking online for info on old records), the nice lady there said, “Oh, we don’t keep records that far back,” at which point I may have made strange choking sounds. Then she continued, “You’ll have to call the state archives in Frankfort.” 

I checked the Kentucky State Archives’ website and learned it does have divorce records from the time and place I needed, and you can print a request form to fill out and send with a $15 fee. Easy peasy.

A few days later, I had an email from a state archivist. The file was 103 pages(!) and I’d need to send an additional fee for copies of the whole thing.

When I called to pay over the phone, I asked the archivist what’s typically in a historical divorce file, just to make sure I wouldn’t be ordering a bunch of blank pages. She flipped through and said it looked pretty meaty, with lots of depositions. “We’ll get this copied today and sent out tomorrow,” she said.

After a few days impatient days, The Big Envelope was in my mailbox.  The first page had this on it:

I spread out the pages on the counter, squinting at the handwriting and trying to glean all the clues I could—such as my third-great-grandmother's maiden name—while protecting them from my 2-year-old's applesauce splatters.

"Meaty" is an accurate description. So far I've found all the makings of a tabloid-worthy divorce: accusations of cruelty and mental instability (along with a physician's testimony about my ancestor's "cycles"—I guess doctor-patient confidentiality was still in the future), custody fights, and insinuations of an improper relationship between my third-great-grandmother and a younger man.

I'm still going over the papers and I'll blog more later about genealogical clues I discover (that way I can call it work). 

Thinking about researching your ancestors' court records? Click here for FamilyTreeMagazine.com tips on finding the right courthouse.

Then check out our courthouse research guide digital download, available in ShopFamilyTree.com

Depending on the type of court records you're looking for, you'll also find in-depth help in our Using Guardianship Records in Genealogical Research video class with Marian Pierre-Louis and our Using Criminal Court Records on-demand webinar with Judy G. Russell.



court records | Female ancestors | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Tuesday, February 05, 2013 9:11:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, February 04, 2013
Simple Tips for Solid Genealogy Source Citations
Posted by Diane

This guest post on simplifying source citations is from Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Sunny Jane Morton, one of the expert instructors for our Virtual Genealogy Conference, happening Feb.  22-24:

I know great genealogists who never share their research because they’re scared of source citations. They dread going back through their files to identify exactly where they learned a birth date or the name of Granddad’s church. They worry they didn’t copy down every little piece of publication information, like a volume number or editor’s name. And formatting footnotes sounds exactly NOT like the way they want to celebrate finding their family.
 
My presentation “Simple Tips for Solid Source Citations” focuses on a process of managing sources all the way through the research process to prevent most of those fears. What I'll show you is a way of thinking that makes us better researchers: more aware of our sources from the get-go, more organized and more confident in our conclusions.
 
First, I’ll talk you through the process of evaluating sources the first time you use them. I’ll talk about what information to gather, both from the source and about the source.

One valuable tip I share is how to find full source information on websites like Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org and some less user-friendly data sites. You’ll see different ways of capturing source data, whether you’re a paper-based person or a paperless person (or a combination). I’ll show you how to store source data in a way that links it to the information you found in it, so you don’t scramble years later to put the two together.

Finally, I’ll talk about options when you’re ready to write—yes, we’ll talk a bit about footnotes and Why They Are Not So Scary.
 
By the end, you’ll know how to handle sources well and, better yet, you’ll want to! Don’t miss out on learning this core skill during the Virtual Genealogy Conference.

I love the idea of managing sources from the start—so you can evaluate how reliable the information is, easily create a source citation and keep that citation with the data you found. I'm looking forward to Sunny's video class!

The Virtual Genealogy Conference is sponsored by


Ancestry.com | Family Tree University | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Research Tips
Monday, February 04, 2013 9:19:33 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, February 01, 2013
Genealogy News Corral: Special Black History Month Edition
Posted by Diane

In honor of Black History Month this month, today brings you a special African-American history-themed news roundup:
  • An interactive online map—a companion to the PBS "American Experience" documentary The Abolitionistslets you explore the story of the abolitionist movement in America. Powered by History Pin, the Abolitionist Map of America has images, documents and videos from dozens of libraries, museums and other institutions.

    Cincinnati, located on the boundary of free and slave states, was a major Underground Railroad stop. Our Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Genealogy Local History Department selected images and recordings on subjects such as the site of local antislavery newspaper the Philanthropist, the focus of two anti-abolitionist riots in 1836; and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, where the Uncle Tom’s Cabin author lived with her family for various periods of time from 1833 to 1836. 
To find African-American genealogy events near you, check with your local genealogical or historical society, or public library.

Check out FamilyTreeMagazine.com articles on researching African-American roots here.


African-American roots | Ancestry.com | Fold3 | Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives
Friday, February 01, 2013 1:45:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogists Win With FamilySearch/OCLC Partnership
Posted by Diane

Two indispensable genealogy resources are joining forces, resulting in a win for genealogists wanting to access offline family history materials.

FamilySearch and OCLC (the Online Computer Library Center) have reached an agreement to list the holdings of the FamilySearch genealogy catalog in WorldCat, the OCLC's online search portal to catalogs from 74,000 repositories in more than 70 countries.

Under this partnership, OCLC will incorporate data from FamilySearch’s catalog into WorldCat, and FamilySearch will use OCLC cataloging services to continue to catalog its collections in WorldCat. FamilySearch will also incorporate WorldCat results into search results returned by FamilySearch genealogy services.

Once they're combined, instead of searching WorldCat for family and local histories and other sources, then searching FamilySearch for genealogy records, you'll be able to run a search at either site for results from both.

That'll also make it easier to see when a library near you holds copies of FamilySearch genealogy resources—including printed books, which FamilySearch doesn't circulate to its local FamilySearch Centers.

On WorldCat, you can set up a profile to create your own bibliographies, review materials, and more. WorldCat also has a Facebook app so you can search from within Facebook.

Get the most out of WorldCat by downloading our WorldCat search tutorial for genealogists from ShopFamilyTree.com for $1.99.

Once you find materials you want to borrow from the FamilySearch Family History Library, you'll need to plan a visit to a FamilySearch Center. Click here for our tips on doing genealogy research at FamilySearch Centers.

Read more about the FamilySearch/OCLC partnership in the organizations' press release.


FamilySearch | Libraries and Archives
Friday, February 01, 2013 9:44:20 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Beat Your Military Research Brick Walls
Posted by Diane

Your great-great-grandfather's military pension records could have the answers you want about his Civil War service and the widow he left behind ... if only you could find the records.

Or maybe your military genealogy brick wall is one of these:
  • the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center, which destroyed most records for Army personnel discharged from 1912 to 1960, and air force personnel discharged from 1947 to 1964
  • privacy restrictions for post-WWI soldiers
  • service in a lesser-known war, without widely available or publicized records
  • service during peacetime, rather than a specific war
  • several similarly named soldiers, any one of which could be your relative (at $80 a pop, you won't be ordering that pension unless you know it belongs to your guy)
  • a POW
  • a female ancestor in the Army Nurse Corps, Cadet Nurse Corps, Women Airforce Service Pilots or other unit
  • ... or you just don't know what records are available with regard to your ancestor's military service, or how to get them
Our next webinar, Expert Tricks for Beating Your Military Brick Walls, may be for you. David Allen Lambert, a military research expert and chief genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, will show you the best strategies for solving difficult military records research problems—and he'll tackle real-life brick walls of webinar participants.

You can either submit your military brick-wall questions when you register or during the live Q&A session. Here are the details:
  • Date: Wednesday, Feb. 20
  • Starting time: 7pm EST (that's 6pm CST, 5pm MST and 4pm PST)
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Registration: $49.99 (but save $10 if you register before Feb. 13)
  • Includes: participation in the live event, the ability to watch the webinar again as many times as you like, a PDF of the presentation slides and our "Brick Wall Busters: Proving Military Service" handout.
Click here to learn more about the Expert Tricks for Beating Your Military Brick Walls webinar!


Editor's Pick | Military records | Webinars
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 11:06:44 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Free Access to Fold3.com's Black Genealogy Records in February
Posted by Diane

Fold3 is providing free access to its Black History Collection of historical and genealogical records for the month of February—Black History Month in the United States. 

Those records document slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the World Wars and the Civil Rights Movement. Here's a sampling of the record sets in the collection
  • Court Slave Records for Washington, DC
  • South Carolina Estate Inventories and Bills of Sale, 1732–1872
  • US Colored Troops Civil War service records
  • Southern Claims Commission records
  • The Atlanta Constitution newspaper
  • WWII "Old Man's Draft" Registration Cards
Some of the record sets, such as the Southern Claims Commission records (Southerners' reimbursement claims for property Union troops seized during the Civil War) and WWII draft cards, also will cover non-African-Americans.

Visit the Fold3.com Black History Collection home page to see samples of the records and links leading to more information about each collection.

You'll need to set up a free registration to access the collections. On the Black History Collection home page, click on the link in the blue box to get started.

If you're tracing black ancestors, you'll find tips and advice in guides at ShopFamilyTree.com, including:
Click here to see all the African-American genealogy research helps at ShopFamilyTree.com.


African-American roots | Fold3 | Free Databases
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 1:20:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]