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<2013 May>

More Links

# Wednesday, 08 May 2013
Free, Online Northern Ireland Valuation Revision Books (1864-1933)
Posted by Diane

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has released a new genealogy resource for Northern Ireland.

PRONI, along with FamilySearch, has digitized the Valuation Revision Books, 1864-1933. These books contain a list of landholders and their property valuations in counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone.

The records are handy for filling in gaps between Griffiths Valuation (which ends in 1864) and the 1901 census (the earliest surviving Irish census).

Here's what the Valuation Revision Book pages look like:

You'll need to know where your ancestor lived in Northern Ireland to best use the collection.

Access the Valuation Revision Books on PRONI's website (click the Search Valuation revision Books button on the right). There, you can enter a placename (city, county, parish, or townland; or a street or ward name in Belfast and Londonderry) and digitally "flip" through books pertaining to that place. You also can browse by county and parish.

Note that 44 of the roughly 3,900 books are still be digitized.

Searching for Irish roots? Get in-depth guidance in Family Tree Magazine's Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection, available only in May. 

Free Databases | Land records | UK and Irish roots
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 14:01:58 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
National Photo Month Giveaway: Photo Preservation Kit!
Posted by Diane

Did you know that May is National Photography Month?

Of course, photography plays a huge role in family history research. Nothing connects you with an ancestor and inspires you to discover more about his or her life, than a photograph.

This one is one of my favorite family pictures. It shows my great-great-grandfather about 1910 in front of the cigar store he opened in Cincinnati. He's standing third from left. His son, my great-grandfather, is in the doorway on the left.

This National Photo Month, we want to help you celebrate and preserve your favorite family photos by giving away one of our new Photo Preservation Kits (now available in

The kit contains specially selected archival photo storage and preservation products from archival supplier Gaylord Bros., plus easy-to-follow instructions from Family Tree Magazine's Family Archivist, Sunny Jane Morton. 

You can enter our National Photo Month Sweepstakes here. And you'll get two extra chances to win for every friend who registers using your referral link (which you'll get after you submit your entry).

Our National Photo Month Sweepstakes entry deadline is May 20.

You'll also find these National Photo Month specials at

Genealogy fun | Photos | saving and sharing family history
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 11:22:35 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, 06 May 2013
Genealogy Karma: New, Free Volunteer Record Lookup Website
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website Mocavo is reviving the spirit of the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) volunteer record lookup website in its Genealogy Karma website.

RAOGK, started by Bridgett and Doc Schneider and one of Family Tree Magazine's 101 best free genealogy websites in 2010, went offline in 2011.

Genealogy Karma offers a similar, free option for getting records from a faraway repository or cemetery. You can post a lookup request and tag it with a keyword (such as "birth record" or "tombstone") so volunteers can find it. 

Researchers who register as volunteers with the site can answer your request, do the lookup and send you the results.

When submitting a lookup request, follow these tips for a faster response:
  • Be details. Use indexes to find the volume and page number of the record you need, and provide those details in your request. If you want a tombstone photo, call the cemetery or search online to find the cemetery location, plot and grave number. 
  • Double-check all the names, dates and other information in your request.
  • You also might offer to compensate the volunteer for expenses such as mileage and postage.
Of course, registering with Genealogy Karma as a volunteer is the ultimate way to say thank you for a request someone has answered.

Click here to learn more about how to use the Genealogy Karma site.

Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Monday, 06 May 2013 10:24:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 03 May 2013
Genealogy News Corral, April 29-May 3
Posted by Diane

  • In commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the Civil War Trust, History, and the Center for Civil War Photography are calling for submissions to the 2013 Civil War Photo Contest. Amateur photographers age 13 and older can enter in five categories by uploading photos to the Civil War Trust’s Flickr page and tagging them for the correct category. The deadline is August 16.

You’ll find the rules and entry instructions here.

  • If you’ll be across the country in Washington, DC, during May, look into attending one of the genealogy records workshops at the National Archives. Topics include Civil War court martial records (May 15), nonpopulation censuses (May 18), and a genealogy clinic (May 18). You’ll find details here (scroll down to May). | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | NARA
Friday, 03 May 2013 09:10:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 01 May 2013
MyHeritage Adds US Census Records for 1790 to 1930
Posted by Diane

Genealogy site MyHeritage announced that it has added the entire collection of US decennial censuses from 1790 to 1930—searchable indexes and record images.

MyHeritage has offered the 1940 US census since shortly after it was released to the public last year.

The census records are accessible with a annual data subscription (on spacial for $6.35 per month, billed annually) or with prepurchased credits (5,600 credits cost $39.95 and are good for 180 days). That's except for the 1940 census, which is free to search and view, along with select other collections.

If you have a tree on MyHeritage, the census records also will be included in Record Matching notifications. Also in's records collection are vital, military, immigration, newspaper and other records.

Census records are among the most popular resources for family historians, and often the starting point for new researchers. This addition brings MyHeritage into closer competition with as a commercial provider of records for genealogy research.

I'm still checking into where MyHeritage's 1790-to-1930 census records were imaged and indexed. (Update: That information isn't being released due to a confidentiality agreement, according to MyHeritage spokesperson Schelly Talalay Dardashti.) Its 1940 census was indexed separately from both the records on and those on FamilySearch/findmypast/, giving you another search option for hard-to-find family in 1940.

Another plus for using The website is available in 40 languages, making its records searchable by people all over the world who had family in the United States. 

census records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 13:57:29 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
New Webinar: How to Do Genealogy Using the New
Posted by Diane made news last month in genealogy circles when it relaunched a polished new website.

The new relocates some favorite features (to the consternation of several genealogy bloggers), updates its Family Tree online trees program, and emphasizes the new photo and story uploading features, as well as the attractive fan chart.

In our May 9 webinar, Making the Most of, you'll get a tour the new site and learn to make the best use of its ancestor-searching potential.

Our presenter, Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Rick Crume, will show you:
  • how to navigate the redesigned
  • the best search strategies for's free genealogy records databases
  • how to find and use the genealogy records databases that aren't covered by the global search
  • differences between the site's new Family Tree program and its user-submitted Genealogies
  • how to access FamilySearch records that aren't online
  • how to take advantage of's genealogy help features
  • ... and more
You can submit your questions about to Rick before the webinar, and there'll be a Q&A session at the end. 

Webinar participants will receive our how-to guide for ordering FamilySearch microfilm, a PDF handout of the presentation slides and access to view the webinar again as many times as they like.

The Making the Most of webinar is May 9 at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain and 4 p.m. Pacific). For a limited time, you can save $10 on your registration with our early bird special!

Click here to learn more and register for Making the Most of

FamilySearch | Free Databases | Webinars
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 10:53:56 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]