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<2013 April>

More Links

# Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Tips for Playing the Genealogy Odds in Las Vegas
Posted by Diane

Do you plan to seek your genealogical fortune at next week's National Genealogical Society 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas?

The conference, May 8-11, offers opportunities to take classes; shop for genealogy books, software, subscriptionwebsites and more; collaborate with other researchers; and take local history tours.

Valley of Fire State Park

Nearly all of present-day Nevada was in Utah territory from after the Mexican-American War until 1861. The discovery of gold in California in 1848, and silver in Virginia City's Comstock Lode in 1859, sent miners rushing through the area, leading to the formation of Nevada Territory in 1861. Nevada became a state three years later.

As the Comstock Lode dwindled during the 1880s, Nevada entered a depression that lasted until new mineral deposits were found in 1900. The railroad and federally funded irrigation projects helped, too.

Nevada legalized gambling in 1931. The Las Vegas Sun has more local history here.

If you plan to play the genealogy odds during your trip to the NGS conference (or from home), improve your chances with these Las Vegas research tips.

Local repositories you can visit in person and/or online include: These tips and resources also will help you find Las Vegas and Nevada ancestors:
  • Statewide birth and death certificates begin in 1911, and marriages and divorces don't start until 1969. These, of course, document many couples from other states who wed in Vegas (and perhaps then changed their minds about too-hasty vows). Many counties have marriage and divorce records back as far as 1862; nearly all began birth and death registration in 1887.
  • Got miners in your family tree? The Nevada Historical Society in Reno has mining company records including payrolls, customer lists and an “accident file” of miners killed in work-related mishaps before 1900.

Research your genealogy across the USA with Family Tree Magazine's newly updated State Research Guides e-book.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Research Tips
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 13:59:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 26 April 2013
Genealogy News Corral, April 22-26
Posted by Diane

  • The Online Historical Directories website, which lists links to old city and other directories, has been updated with links for Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Check out the updates here.
  • Michael Savoca, a college junior from Toms River, NJ, has won a $500 grant for genealogy research and education from the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant program, as well as registration for the upcoming Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree. Michael has assisted with records for the Gente di Mare Italian website, been an active member of several online genealogy forums, and volunteered at his local FamilySearch Center. He also has researched his Croatian family history on site in the village of Zablaće.

    The grant, awarded annually since 2010 to a genealogist aged 18 to 25, is named for the mother of The Family Curator blogger Denise Levenick.

Genealogy books | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 26 April 2013 16:38:01 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Geni Adds Smart Matches and Record Matches from
Posted by Diane

Family tree site, acquired by MyHeritage last November, has now implemented's Smart Matching and Record Matching features.
  • Smart Matching automatically searches for matches to your tree in other trees on (note that trees don't yet get matches in trees).
  • Record Matching compares the profiles in your tree to the historical records at MyHeritage, and alerts you when a relevant document is found. It also automatically creates a citation when you confirm a record and add it to's World Family Tree.
You can see the Record Matches and Smart Matches in the profiles on your tree, as well as in your Merge Center, where you can review and confirm or reject them.

You must have a SuperSearch data subscription to access Smart Matches. You'll be able to see some Record Matches for free, but you'll need to have a SuperSearch subscription to see full information on records that are included in's premium record collections.

You'll find a detailed how-to for using Smart Matches and Record Matches on the blog.

Learn more about the different subscriptions here.

Here's's FAQ about its acquisition of Geni.

Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 10:58:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Online Genealogy Milestones for WikiTree, FamilySearch and Us!
Posted by Diane

Two—no, make that three—genealogy organizations have reached milestones this week:
  • WikiTree, a genealogy community with a goal to build a free worldwide family tree, now has 5 million ancestor profiles. The site's founders say its "slow-growth" approach—encouraging the careful addition of profiles over "bulk" uploads—makes this milestone an important one. 
You can hear from WikiTree founder Chris Whitten in the January 2013 Family Tree Magazine Podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke. 

Browse or search the profiles by surname here. If you want to build a tree there, start with the "How WikiTree Works" page.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Web Sites | Sales | Social Networking
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 12:49:33 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Awww, Shucks. We Like You, Too!
Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine has reached 10,000 likes on Facebook! We're thanking our Facebook fans by sharing a coupon code good for 15% off your next purchase, plus free shipping if used before May 1. Sales | Social Networking
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 12:45:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
New Value Packs: New England Genealogy and Census Research
Posted by Diane

If you have New England ancestors, or any US ancestors, at least one of these value packs from Family Tree Magazine will help you discover more about them.

They're both bargain-priced at, and even better, they both qualify for free shipping:
  • The New England Genealogy Value Pack gathers tools for researching your family tree in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. You'll get webinars, our newly updated State Research Guides, webinars and the Researching your Colonial New England Ancestors book.
Get all the details on the New England Genealogy Value Pack here.
  • Want search strategies for hard-to-find relatives in the census? Techniques to go beyond your basic names, ages and relationships, and mine census records for clues to your ancestors' everyday lives and which records you should look for next?
Our Census Research Value Pack has video classes and books to improve your census research skills. Get all the details on the Census Research Value Pack here.

census records | Sales
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 12:11:31 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 19 April 2013
Genealogy News Corral, April 15-19
Posted by Diane

Version 7 also lets you use the sites Record Matching service, which automatically searches MyHeritage collections and trees for your ancestors (you'll need a subscription to view some results). Other updates include a more graphical look and support for 40 languages, including Chinese and Korean. Read more details on the MyHeritage blog.
  • There's a new database of burials at Hart Island, the public burial ground ("potter's field") for New York City. The earliest recorded burial there dates to May 1881; however, the database covers burials since 1977.
  • A new PBS series called "Genealogy Roadshow" is looking for people with family history mysteries to be on the show. Check out the casting call here; the deadline is May 12.
  • Heredis is having a sale through April 28 on its family tree software for PC (37 percent off, at $24.99) and Mac (33 percent off, at $39.99). Find out more about the software at the Heredis website.

Cemeteries | Genealogy Software | Genetic Genealogy
Friday, 19 April 2013 14:41:25 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 18 April 2013
Two Genealogy Databases to Search While They're Free
Posted by Diane

You have a couple of days left to take advantage of these free database offers from sites where you'd normally need to subscribe or hope your library subscribes:
  • has made its marriage records collection free to search through April 21 at midnight ET. These records are great sources for female ancestors' maiden names and sometimes the couples' parents' names, in addition to the marriage date and place. You'll need to register for a free account, if you don't already have one, to view records.
  • ProQuest's Historic MapWorks Library Edition (link to it from this page) is free to at-home users through April 20 in honor of National Library Week. Here, you can browse by place or search for an address, keyword or GPS coordinates to find old landowner and other maps. (The landowner maps aren't indexed by name here, so you need to search for the place and then find the person's name on a map.) You can download maps and overlay the maps with Google maps to pinpoint the modern location.

    I searched for Colerain township in Ohio, in hopes of finding the location of my Depenbrock relatives' farm—and I found it. This is part of an 1884 township map; I've highlighted the farm.

The Depenbrock property borders on the land of my great-great-grandmother's brother's wife's family. | Free Databases | Land records | Research Tips
Thursday, 18 April 2013 11:33:53 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Tuesday, 16 April 2013
New Adds Photo Feature and More
Posted by Diane

The "Coming Soon" banner on the website since last month's RootsTech conference has been replaced by this:

FamilySearch just flipped the switch on several site enhancements and a polished new look. FamilySearch's announcement says the site enhancements will "allow visitors to collaboratively build their family tree online, preserve and share precious family photos and stories, and receive personal research assistance—all for free."

Besides the recently released FamilySearch Family Tree, new features include:
  • Photos and Stories: Upload photos of ancestors, share them through social media, tag them and add them to profiles in your tree.
  • Fan Chart: Turns your FamilySearch family tree into an interactive fan chart, or lets you add your tree to FamilySearch as you create the fan chart
  • Live Help: Call or chat with a FamilySearch volunteer online, or find a FamilySearch Center/Family History Center near you
I clicked on the photos area, and it looks like FamilySearch is using an invitation system to avoid overloading the site. I got a message that all of today's invites are taken, and to check back at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

What do you think of the new

Tuesday, 16 April 2013 13:36:13 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Introducing the 2013 Family Tree 40 Genealogy Blogs!
Posted by Diane

Seeking genealogy news, help understanding your family tree software, essential research advice, or simply the feeling that someone shares the family history journey you've embarked on?

All these and more are available from the bloggers on the 2013 list of the Family Tree 40 top genealogy blogs. Congratulations to these dedicated researchers and writers!

To quote Family Tree Magazine's contributing editor David A. Fryxell, who wrote about the Family Tree 40 in our May/June 2013 issue (on newsstands and at April 30), "Let’s tip our collective hats to those bloggers who stick with it and keep sharing their wit, wisdom and family history finds with us ... In making this year’s selections, we paid particular attention to that stick-to-itiveness standard." And "We love blogs packed with information, but we also adore those brimming with the blogger’s personality."

You can read about the Family Tree 40 and click through to each blog from They're arranged into these categories:
  • Good advice (genealogy tips and how-tos)
  • Tech support (reviews and instructions for genealogy technology)
  • Gravestone matters (tombstone photos, cemetery research tips)
  • Heritage help (researching ancestors of specific ethnicities and national backgrounds)
  • Shop talk (genealogy news and new products)
  • Story time (the bloggers' personal research and family history)
We also encourage genealogists to look beyond our list to find genealogy blogs that might help answer their research questions, illuminate an ancestral hometown, or bring entertainment to a ho-hum day. The combo of research needs and blog-reading preferences is different for every genealogist, and we all can be thankful that topics and writing styles in the genealogy blogging community are just as varied.

Here are a few ways to find genealogy blogs you'll love:
As the main blogger here at the Genealogy Insider blog, I know how hard it can be to find the inspiration—and the time—to put up a post every day or several times a week. I give personal props to the Family Tree 40 and all the genealogy bloggers out there. Thanks for the work you do!

Family Tree 40
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 12:58:13 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]