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# Monday, March 18, 2013
Spring Clearance Sale at ShopFamilyTree.com
Posted by Diane

Who doesn't love a good clearance sale? I sure do. And a genealogy clearance sale is even better.

We just happen to be having one at ShopFamilyTree.com. Through tomorrow, March 19, you can get 30 to 50 percent off a ton of genealogy goodies, including our:
Time to go shopping! Click here to see everything in our ShopFamilyTree.com Spring Clearance Event.


ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Monday, March 18, 2013 3:08:25 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Family Tree eBooks Giveaway Winner!
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to Joyce Shepard of Bedford, Ind., who won our Family Tree eBooks subscription giveaway! She'll enjoy a year of access to our digital library of genealogy how-to books and Family Tree Magazine issues.

Looking for more opportunities to win? Check out our Irish Ancestry Photo Contest—share a picture of your Irish ancestors, and you could win a download of our video class Finding Ancestral Clues in Irish Census Records.

Click here to submit your photo—the deadline is March 26, 2013.


Genealogy books | UK and Irish roots
Monday, March 18, 2013 8:21:29 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 15, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, March 11-15
Posted by Diane

  • RootsTech, the FamilySearch genealogy conference taking place in Salt Lake City March 21-23, has announced its lineup of 13 sessions you can watch free online. They include the opening day keynote by FamilySearch CEO Dennis Brimhall and storyteller Sid Lieberman; Researching Ancestors Online with Laura Prescott; and From Paper Piles to Digital Files by Valerie Elkins.
Click here to see the list of sessions that will livestream and the times you can watch (note that you'll need to translate the times from Mountain Daylight Time to your own time zone).
  • The Irish Genealogical Research Society has launched a new website, IrishAncestors.ie,  that broadens access to resources from the group's library. The public area of the website offers resources including a fragment of the 1871 census for the parish of Drumcondra, County Meath, a database of Irish marriage records and more.
  • FamilySearch has added 1.7 million indexed records and record images to collections from Australia, Austria, China, Dominican Republic, England, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and the United States. US records come from Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina and Tennessee.
You see the list of updated collections here and click to search or browse them for free on FamilySearch.org.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 15, 2013 3:28:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Ancestry.com, Origins.net Offer Free (for a Limited Time) Genealogy Databases
Posted by Diane

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, two genealogy websites are offering free records for a limited time. Note that you'll need to set up a free account with each site in order to view your search results:
  • UK and Irish genealogy website Origins.net is offering access to its collection of Irish directories from March 16 until March 18 at midnight GMT (that's about 8 p.m. ET in the United States). Recently added is Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for 1845 to 1900. You could learn the person's exact occupation, as well as address and parish of residence. Note that the most "disadvantaged" classes—small tenant farmers, landless labourers and servants—are usually absent from these directories. Learn more about Origins.net's Irish Directories collection and start searching here.
  • Ancestry.com is opening up its US passenger lists and border-crossing records through March 17—search here whether your ancestors came from Ireland or elsewhere. The search here initially netted zero results for my name search on Edward Norris born in 1827, but after I clicked Edit Search to bring up the advanced search window, and then clicked Search again, it worked.


Ancestry.com | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 15, 2013 9:28:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Irish Ancestors Photo Contest
Posted by Diane

Do you have Irish roots? Show them off! Share a photo (or photos) of your Irish ancestors with us, and you could win a free download of our half-hour video class Finding Ancestral Clues in Irish Census Records. We'll also feature the winning photo here on the Genealogy Insider blog.


Library of Congress, LC-DIG-nclc-05036

Click here to submit your photo online. For publication purposes, please tell us who's in the photo, when it was taken and the occasion for the photo (if you know).

The submission deadline is March 26, 2013. Our staff will choose one favorite picture from all the photos we receive. The winner will be notified by email and announced on the Genealogy Insider blog no later than April 4.


Genealogy fun | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 15, 2013 7:54:56 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 14, 2013
Best Records for Female Ancestors
Posted by Diane

Are you searching for female ancestors? I hope so! This is my own great-grandmother with my grandma in the 1920s:



Although we're giving lots of attention to Irish roots this week, we haven't forgotten that March is also Women's History Month.

This rundown of the best genealogy records for finding the women in your family tree comes from this month's Ultimate Collection: Tracing Female Ancestors.
  • Cemetery records: Check the woman’s tombstone and note surrounding ones, which may belong to her family.
  • Church records: Witnesses on a woman’s or her children’s religious records may be her relatives.
  • Court records: Women typically didn’t leave wills (in many times and places, married women legally couldn't), though a widowed or unmarried woman may have. Your female ancestor or her relatives may be named in her father’s or husband’s will. Also check divorce records, which may have been filed even if a divorce wasn’t granted.
  • Home sources: Examine letters, needlework and quilts, recipe books, address books, baby books, wedding albums, Bibles and calenders for names of—and details about—female ancestors. 
  • Land records: Women rarely owned land but may be named in deeds. A married woman may have signed a release of dower when her husband sold land. Those selling land to a couple, especially for a small sum, may be the woman’s relatives. Also consider that the neighbors may be her family.
  • Marriage records: These might include a license, certificate, return, church register, banns, bond or newspaper announcement.
  • Military pensions: A woman could file for a military pension when her husband or unmarried son died of war-related injuries. Widows had to send marriage records to prove the marital relationship. 
  • Naturalizations: Until 1922, wives automatically became naturalized when their husbands did. Unmarried women rarely sought naturalization. Post-1922, look for separate records for married women.
  • Newspapers: Pay special attention to society columns, announcements of births, engagements or anniversaries, and obituaries.
  • Vital records: A woman’s death record may name her father (later records are more detailed). Birth records often give the mother’s maiden name.
The Ultimate Tracing Female Ancestors Collection gives you a 63 percent discount on our best tools for learning more about the women in your family tree. It includes:
  • Finding Female Ancestors Family Tree University Independent Study Course from Family Tree University
  • Secrets to Tracing Female Ancestors video class
  • Research Strategies: Female Ancestors 7-page digital download
  • Female Ancestors Cheat Sheet
  • The Hidden Half of Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy by Christina K. Schaefer (Genealogical Publishing Co.)
 Start searching for your grandmothers, great-great-grandmothers, aunts and other female relatives. Click here to learn more about this Ultimate Collection!



Thursday, March 14, 2013 6:10:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Win a Genealogy Library at Your Fingertips
Posted by Diane

Here's a chance to win a genealogy reference library at your fingertips: We're giving away a full year's subscription to our Family Tree eBooks site, which lets you access our digital collection of how-to books on genealogy, history, heirloom identification, sharing and preserving your family history, and more, plus dozens of information-packed issues of Family Tree Magazine. See the contents listing here.



This demo video shows you how easy it is to use the Family Tree eBooks site (there's even a mobile app).

To enter our Family Tree eBooks sweepstakes, fill out this form by 11:59 p.m. ET March 14, 2013. The winner will be chosen at random from all entries received and notified by email. Good luck!

Genealogy books | Genealogy fun
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 3:00:32 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Six Irish Genealogy Websites
Posted by Diane

Take it from someone who's 1/16th Irish: Americans are proud as can be of even the tiniest sliver of Irish heritage. Especially around St. Patrick's Day (which falls in the middle of Irish American Heritage Month).

A strong sense of community amid many hardships helped build that pride. During the 19th century, the heaviest era of Irish immigration to the United States due to the Great Famine (1845-1852), Irish arrivals faced prejudice, poverty, substandard housing and other problems. Some numbers for you:
  • Almost 3.5 million Irishmen entered the United States between 1820 and 1880. Most stayed in large East Coast cities, partly because they couldn't afford to continue west and partly because they could create close-knit communities with others from their place of origin.
  • In 1847, the first major year of famine emigration, 37,000 Irish Catholics arrived in Boston, according to the History Place, where they packed into slums. A sobering statistic from the site: "Sixty percent of Irish children born in Boston during this period didn't live to see their sixth birthday. Adult Irish lived on average just six years after stepping off the boat."
  • The same year, about 52,000 Irish arrived in New York City. About 650,000 Irish arrived there during the entire Famine period.
Are you ready to research your Irish ancestors? Start with US records and work your way back to the immigrant generation, looking for a place of birth in Ireland—you'll need this info to search in Irish records.

These are some of our favorite Irish research websites (several are free):
  • findmypast.ie: This new subscription site (with a pay-as-you-go option) has records of births, marriages and deaths (aka BMDs); courts and prisons; military; immigration; land and estates; as well as newspapers, directories and Griffith's Valuation.
  • Information Wanted: Also free is this database of "missing friends" from the Boston Pilot newspaper, which published notices from those looking for lost friends from Ireland. The column ran from 1831 to 1921; this site has 1831 to 1893 plus 1901 and 1913.
  • Irish Genealogy: This site from the Irish Minister of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is dedicated to Irish genealogy and genealogical tourism. You can search nearly 3 million pre-1900 church records free, and view the actual record if it's been digitized.
You can learn how to research your Irish genealogy online in our Best Irish Genealogy Websites webinar with Donna Moughty, taking place Thursday, March 28.

Then there's also the in-depth guidance in our Irish Genealogy Research 101 and 201 FamilyTreeUniversity courses.


Family Tree University | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots | Webinars
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 8:21:54 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 11, 2013
Sequestration Reduces Research Hours at NARA DC-Area Locations
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has announced that effective this Friday, March 15, sequestration will affect public hours at NARA locations in Washington, DC, and College Park, Md.

From March 15 through Labor Day, both facilities would normally extend research hours until 9 p.m. three days a week. But that won't be happening this year: To help meet across-the-board budget cuts, research hours will remain 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday all spring and summer.

Exhibit spaces at NARA in DC will be affected, too—they'll be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, instead of staying open until 7 p.m. three days per week.

Sequestration is a series of automatic cuts to federal government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. It's explained here.


Libraries and Archives | NARA
Monday, March 11, 2013 2:56:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 08, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, March 4-8
Posted by Diane

  • WikiTree, a free worldwide family tree website, has launched a new feature called Surname Following that lets you get updates when other WikiTree users post content related to names you're interested in. Log in to WikiTree and follow surnames to receive an email alert when related content is added to the WikiTree database or a related question, answer or comment is added to the WikiTree G2G (“Genealogist to Genealogist”) Q&A forum.
  • FamilySearch has added 10.5 million indexed records and images to its free historical records search over the last two weeks, including 8,613,673 document images added to the New York Probate Records collection (1629 to 1971). Other notable collection updates are Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965, and Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996, collection.
Collections for Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, and the US states of Minnesota and Ohio also have been updated. See more details and click through to the updated collections here.
  • If you're up against a brick wall with some part of your genealogy research and you'll be in the Washington DC area on Saturday, March 16, the National Archives is holding a “Help! I'm Stuck” Genealogy Clinic. You can visit the Research Center main desk that day to sign up for a free, 20 minute consultation with an archivist between noon and 4 p.m. For details on this and other programs at teh archives, see the Archives.gov calendar.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA
Friday, March 08, 2013 12:13:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]