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# Thursday, March 28, 2013
History at Your Fingertips
Posted by Diane

Did you know that your California Gold Rush ancestors from the East Coast traveled around six months and spent about $200 to make the trip?

That the city of Vicksburg, Miss., didn't celebrate Independence Day from 1863, when residents surrendered on July 4 after a 47-day Union siege, until 1945?

That during the Oklahoma Land Rush of April 22, 1889, two cities of 10,000 residents each (Oklahoma City and Guthrie) sprang up in less than a day?

The Genealogist's U.S. History Pocket Reference by Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Nancy Hendrickson delivers fascinating facts such as these, plus timelines, charts (one, for example, summarizes the dates, causes and outcomes of the major Indian wars), maps, important dates (including censuses), and lists of popular foods, books, music and trends. It encapsulates historical phenomena you might need a refresher on, such as the Triangle Trade and Bleeding Kansas. 

An awareness of the events your ancestors witnessed can unlock records in your family history research and provide context for the records you've already discovered.

This conveniently sized book is chronologically organized into historical eras for easy browsing of the time periods important to your genealogy research—and to your understanding of your ancestors' lives.

Learn more about The Genealogist's U.S. History Pocket Reference in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Genealogy books | Research Tips | Social History
Thursday, March 28, 2013 8:26:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Archives.com Launches Millions of Lutheran Church Records
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site Archives.com has released its collection of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) birth, marriage and death records, which genealogists have been anticipating since Archives.com announced the digitization project nearly a year ago.

The collections, appearing online for the first time, total nearly 4.6 million records from about 1,000 rolls of microfilm. The records date from the mid-1800s through 1940 and include births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, and burials.

You usually have to know which church your ancestors attended in order to request the record from the church or find it on microfilm. Because these ELCA records are indexed by name, though, you don't have to know the church before you start your search.

Details in the records vary by church, but they often include parents' names, dates and places of the event, and other biographical details. Many of the churches has concentrations of immigrants from Norway, Sweden or Germany as members—so the records could be the key you need to start researching ancestors in Europe.

You'll learn how to find additional records of Lutheran ancestors—including congregational histories, communion lists, synod publications and more—from our guide Religious Records: Researching Lutheran Ancestors, available in ShopFamilyTree.com. 


Archives.com | Church records
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:02:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, March 25, 2013
Genealogy Records for "Hearing" Your Revolutionary War Ancestors' Voices
Posted by Diane

Did your ancestors fight in or witness the Revolutionary War firsthand? Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Maureen A. Taylor shares the records she's found especially helpful in doing research for her forthcoming documentary "Revolutionary Voices: A Last Muster Film," a project with award-winning documentary producers Verissima Productions:
  • Diaries and letters: This is Eleazer Blake, an apprentice in a wheelwright shop in Rindge, NH, who kept a diary.


In his diary, he mentions the Battle of Lexington and Concord as well as details of his everyday life. These statements let you relive parts of his life. Though your Revolutionary War-era ancestor may not have been a diarist, the writings of his contemporaries will help you understand the tense times he lived in.
  • Pension applications: While some men exaggerated their wartime exploits in their Revolutionary War pension applications, other documents make for painful reading. James Allen Jr. of Maine applied for a pension several times, but lacked proof of his service. Allen’s brother submitted a deposition with a plea on his brother’s behalf: “I have no doubt my brother served in the Army of the Revolution as he has always stated to me, and I know that he has for the last 20 years or more been trying to obtain a pension.” (The November 2008 Family Tree Magazine has online resources for pension and other military records, as does our Family Tree University course US Military Records: Trace Your Ancestor's Service.)
  • Memoirs: Seneca chief Chainbreaker, also known as Gov. Blacksnake or Tash-won-ne-ah, dictated his life story to a neighbor, relating how he served for the British in the bloody Battle of Oriskany in New York. George Avery wrote in his memoir that being taken prisoner at Royalton, Vt., in 1780 was a turning point. “I felt the evil of my life and the Divine Justice of Providence.” Use WorldCat, which includes the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (1986 and later), to help you find published and unpublished memoirs in library collections.
Don't forget about women of the Revolutionary era: They left behind personal writings, pension documents and memoirs as well. The stories of their lives as daughters, wives and widows can also be found in materials left by their fathers, brothers and husbands. (Family Tree Magazine's Ultimate Tracing Female Ancestors Collection can help you learn more about the women in your family tree.)

You can hear more life stories about the Revolutionary War generation by following Maureen's Revolutionary Voices: A Last Muster Film project. Find out how you can help make the film happen here.


Female ancestors | Military records | Research Tips | Social History
Monday, March 25, 2013 8:23:48 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, March 22, 2013
Genealogy News Corral: RootsTech 2013 Edition
Posted by Diane

Because the genealogy world has turned its eyes to Salt Lake City and FamilySearch's RootsTech conference, this edition of the Genealogy News Corral focuses on news from the conference.
  • In his keynote talk this morning, Ancestry.com president Tim Sullivan made several announcements:
Over the next five years, Ancestry.com will commit at least $100 million to digitize and index new content.
 

Over the next three years, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch will collaborate to digitize and index 140 million+ pages of US probate records spanning 1800 to 1930. He called this the organizations' "most ambitious collaboration" yet, and added the caveat that permission to put records online must be negotiated with repositories holding these records.

Ancestry.com is about to release new version of its iPhone iPad app with enhanced social media sharing, the ability to compare trees and other features. A third of new Ancestry.com registrants are through the site's mobile apps (there's also one for Android), and half of users over last 2 months come to Ancestry.com through a mobile device.

The Ancestry DNA database contains 120,000 DNA samples and has delivered more than 2 million fourth cousin relationships. To increase the size of the database, the price of the test will be lowered to $99, whether or not you're a subscriber.

(Update: Sullivan didn't include this in his keynote, but Ancestry.com has announced that test-takers can now download their raw DNA data.)
  • In addition to a new logo unveiled to RootsTech official bloggers, FamilySearch will redesign its website with an emphasis on photos, as a way to engage more people. It'll also add a fan chart view to its online Family Tree program. Blogger Renee Zamora has lots of details on the information presented during the dinner.
  • According to the Ancestry Insider, who attended Wednesday's dinner for the bloggers, FamilySearch is experimenting with broadcasting sessions to 16 satellite locations in seven countries (with translation where necessary). If successful, next year the number will be expanded to 600 locations. That increases to potential reach of the conference to 120,000 people.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | RootsTech
Friday, March 22, 2013 1:43:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 21, 2013
FamilySearch News From RootsTech
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch's RootsTech conference is going on now through Saturday in Salt Lake City, and FamilySearch is taking the opportunity to make some announcements: 
  • More than 6,700 people were pre-registered for RootsTech, which is huge for a US genealogy conference. The number is helped by the conference's location in Salt Lake City, home to the Family History Library and to many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for whom researching genealogy is a religious calling.

  • About 2,000 teenagers signed up for a youth program on Saturday.
  • FamilySearch will soon be available in nine languages for access by more people around the world. This is consistent with the organization's increasing focus on historical records from places besides the United States.

More RootsTech news to come!


FamilySearch
Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:42:34 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Discover the Best Websites for Irish Genealogy Research
Posted by Diane

Having a hard time making progress with your Irish genealogy search? Maybe you're not looking in the right places. Our March 28 webinar, Best Irish Genealogy Websites, will help you find ancestors using websites that provide key resources for Irish research.

In this sneak peek video, Irish genealogy expert Donna Moughty talks about Irish civil registrations and the indexes on the free FamilySearch.org, as well as other sites.



The Best Irish Genealogy Websites webinar is Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m. ET (that's 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT and 4 p.m. PT). Attendees have the opportunity to ask Donna your Irish genealogy questions during the Q&A session. They'll also receive a copy of our Irish research guide, a PDF of the presentation slides, and a link to view the presentation again as many times as they want.

Register here for our Best Irish Genealogy Websites webinar.


Editor's Pick | UK and Irish roots | Webinars
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 3:59:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
What's New and Notable at RootsTech 2013
Posted by Diane

Genealogists are flocking to Salt Lake City this week for FamilySearch's third annual RootsTech conference, March 21-23. What's notable and new about the conference this year?

Glad you asked—there's even something for the folks stuck at home:
  • The RootsTech expo hall, which is free to the public, is 40 percent bigger this year. It includes opportunities to get research help in a FamilySearch mini-lab, have a photo or album digitized, get a large family tree printout, and receive a free copy of Family Tree Magazine (when you stop by our booth, tell Tyler, our online community editor, that I said hi).
  • RootsTech attendees can register for just the Getting Started track of classes for $19 for one day or $39 for three days.
  • A Developer Day on Friday will consolidate the presentations geared toward creators of genealogy technology tools.
  • We know of two scavenger hunts occurring in conjunction with the conference—RootsMagic's scavenger hunt includes an at-home component for those not at RootsTech, and the Heirloom Registry will hold a conference hall version of its online scavenger hunt from a few weeks ago.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:31:05 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]