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Monday, February 11, 2013
African-American Genealogy Resources
Posted by Diane
Black History Month started in 1926 with "Negro History Week," set
during the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. February was first
celebrated as Black History Month at Kent State University in 1970;
the US government first recognized the celebration in 1976. The UK
observed Black History Month beginning in 1987 and Canada's House of
Commons followed suit in 1995.
This month shines a spotlight on those researching African-American
ancestors—and the challenges that slavery and segregation have
placed in their way. These are some of our favorite
FamilyTreeMagazine.com resources to help you face those challenges
and commemorate the lives of your ancestors:
Looking for more in-depth advice on how to research your
African-American ancestors? Try these:
African-American roots | Family Tree University
Monday, February 11, 2013 11:31:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
We're Giving Away a Copy of Family Photo Detective
Posted by Diane
Here's our Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor's new book about
researching your family photos (and those mystery photos that might
or might not be your family):
... and you could win a copy by entering
your name in our Family Photo Detective giveaway.
What's inside Family
Photo Detective? You'll learn how to:
Photo Detective giveaway ends Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET. And if
you refer a friend who enters (by sending the link in your entry
confirmation), you'll get two extra chances to win. Good luck!
- Determine whether you have a daguerreotypes, ambrotypes,
tintypes, cabinet card or other type of image
Use clothing, accessories and hairstyles to help date the image
- Research photographer imprints
Compare facial features in multiple photos to help identify
Interview family members for information
- Use photo props and background to add context
Genealogy books | Genealogy fun | Photos
Monday, February 11, 2013 10:53:51 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Friday, February 08, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 4-8
Posted by Diane
- PBS has gathered its African-American
history content into one place to help you celebrate Black
History Month. Watch programs including Freedom Riders and Finding
Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr., take a quiz about miletones
in African-American history, get ideas for celebrating the month
with kids and more.
Know a young genealogist who could use $500 toward genealogy
education, plus a free registration to attend the Southern
California Genealogical Society Jamboree? Applications are being
accepted for the 2013 Suzanne
Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant, created to
honor the mother of The Family Curator blogger Denise Levenick. It's
open to any genealogist who is between the ages of 18 and 25 and has
attended school in the last 12 months. The recipient must attend the
2013 Jamboree in Burbank, Calif., to receive the award. Application
deadline is March 18, 2013, at midnight PST. Learn more here.
Findmypast.com is giving its registered users the opportunity
to watch the BBC show Find My Past, which reveals how ordinary
individuals are related to people from significant historical
events. With a free findmypast.com registration, you can watch
episodes that first aired during the past 30 days. Thereafter,
episodes will be available to the sites subscribing members. Learn
more on findmypast.com.
Also new in findmypast.com's World subscription is a collection
of 200 British newspapers
from England, Scotland and Wales from 1700 to 1950.
African-American roots | Genealogy for kids | Genetic Genealogy | MyHeritage | Newspapers | UK and Irish roots
Friday, February 08, 2013 3:04:28 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Genealogy Cold Cases: A Step-by-Step Process
Posted by Diane
Want a closer look at the 15 video classes in our Winter
2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference, Feb. 22-24? In the next couple of weeks, several of our
expert instructors will stop by to share what you'll learn in their
Without further ado, here's Lisa Louise Cooke of the
Genealogy Gems Podcast, who's put together the class
Genealogical Cold Cases: A Step-by-Step Process:
When it comes to brick
walls, sometimes you need to think outside the genealogy box.
Cracking a cold case requires a proven process to guide you
through the challenging waters. And in looking for a solid
process that could drum up new leads, my thoughts continually
returned to criminal investigators. They face many of the same
challenges you do, even if your ancestor wasn't a "black sheep."
Genealogical Cold Cases: A Step-by-Step Process is a
presentation I've been wanting to do for a long time, and I
couldn't be more pleased to to present it at the Virtual
Genealogy Conference. I'll draw on some of
the best ideas from cold case investigators to create a process
that can guide you through the lengthy process of breaking
through genealogical brick walls.
In each step, I'll give you a cache of strategies you can put
into play right away. Each is designed to keep you organized and
focused while generating new leads.
So dig out that old cobwebbed case file you'd just about given
up on, and join me in the Genealogical Cold Cases: A
Step-by-Step Process class at the Winter
2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference.
Genealogy Conference is sponsored by
Family Tree University | Genealogy Events
Friday, February 08, 2013 11:35:12 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Thursday, February 07, 2013
The Virtual Genealogy Conference Sweeps Winner Is ...
Posted by Diane
I'm happy to announce the lucky winner of our Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference sweepstakes!
My fellow Ohioan Maureen Buckel from Hartville has won a registration to the conference, taking place Feb. 22-24.
She'll get access to 15 video classes organized into tracks for technology, research strategies and ethnic ancestors; exclusive live chats with our expert instructors; and a message board for conference participants to exchange questions, ideas and surnames.
Congratulations, Maureen! I look forward to "seeing" you at the conference.
Learn more about the Virtual Genealogy Conference, check out the program of classes and chats, and register here. Only two more weeks are left to sign up!
The Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference is sponsored by
Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Newspapers
Thursday, February 07, 2013 11:10:08 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Find Polish, Czech & Slovak, and Hungarian Ancestors With New Ultimate Genealogy Collections
Posted by Diane
Update: The Ultimate Polish Genealogy Collection is sold out, and we have just a few left of the Czech and Slovak and the Hungarian collections. Get yours while they're still available!
If you're researching ancestors from Eastern Europe, you've probably
encountered your share of name variants, translation troubles,
records access challenges and other obstacles.
We've got three new Ultimate Collections to help you overcome these
Each collection has a Family Tree Magazine expert guide, Family Tree
University in-depth independent study course, a 30-minute
demo-packed video class, our International Genealogy Passport CD, and a
language or records reference book.
Here's what you'll get:
Plus, receive a coupon for 25 percent off any future online
genealogy course at Family Tree University.
- expertise on how to research ancestors from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, or Hungary (depending which collection you opt for)
- strategies for discovering your ancestor's birthplace
- where to find records
for learning immigrants' original names
- the best websites and
offline resources to use
- language help
Only 50 of each Ultimate Collection are available, and to further
entice you, they're discounted by 63 percent or more.
Check out our new Polish,
and Slovak, and Hungarian
ultimate genealogy collections to start finding your Eastern
European ancestors today.
immigration records | International Genealogy | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, February 07, 2013 9:08:09 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
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
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.
can learn more about the move and see photos and a video in this
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)
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Tabloid Divorces Have Nothing on These Ancestors
Posted by Diane
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)
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,
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
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)
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:
To find African-American genealogy events near you, check with your local
genealogical or historical society, or public library.
- An interactive
online map—a companion
to the PBS "American Experience" documentary The
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
Cincinnati, located on the boundary of free
states, was a major Underground Railroad stop. Our Public
Library of Cincinnati
and Hamilton County Genealogy Local
images and recordings on
subjects such as the site of local antislavery newspaper the
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
periods of time from 1833 to 1836.
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)