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<2013 May>

More Links

# Tuesday, 21 May 2013
"With Sacred Vigilance"
Posted by Diane

“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance ... Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
Those are the words of Gen. John Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), who declared that May 30 would be a day to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers with flowers.

May 30, 1868, about 5,000 attended a Decoration Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Members of the GAR and children from the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphan Home placed flowers on Union and Confederate graves. 

New York officially recognized Decoration Day in 1873, and all the Northern states had followed by 1890. Most of the South honored Confederate dead on a separate day until after World War I, when the day expanded to honor those who died in all American wars.

The term "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882 and became common after World War II. A law in 1968 made it the holiday's official name and moved it to the last Monday in May. Some groups advocate moving Memorial Day back to its traditional May 30 date to remind the country of the day's true meaning.

To that end, the National Moment of Remembrance Act, passed in December 2000, encourages Americans to observe a minute of silence and remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Cities across the country held local observances before the one at Arlington in 1868 (read about those on the Veterans Administration website), with the official Memorial Day birthplace award going to Waterloo, NY: In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson made the designation 100 years after the town's first Memorial Day on May 5, 1866.

I'll be back later this week with some tips for honoring your military ancestors by learning about their lives and service to their country.

Military records | Social History
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 16:45:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 17 May 2013
Genealogy News Corral, May 13-17
Posted by Diane

  • Next Tuesday, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership will hold a tree planting ceremony in Gettysburg, Pa., to kick off its Living Legacy program: a plan to plant or dedicate a tree for each of the 620,000 soldiers who died in the Civil War.

    Taking part will be 7th- and 8th-graders from Gettysburg and Hartford, Vt., who've been researching and writing about soldiers from their hometowns. Each group will plant a tree to honor one local soldier, and the soldiers' stories will be available to smartphone users through QR codes on the trees. You can watch a video about the project here.
  • has changed its search results page to highlight key features, load the page faster and require less "stuff" to be downloaded to your computer. The new design lets you filter categories with one click, gives you tabs (instead of a pulldown menu) to switch between the record view and category view of search results, and bolds database titles. See before and after screenshots on the blog. | Civil War | Genealogy societies
Friday, 17 May 2013 13:31:09 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1] Military Records: Free May 23-27
Posted by Diane

Genealogy records site will make its collection of US and International military records in honor of Memorial Day. The records will be available free of charge starting at midnight EDT on Thursday, May 23, until midnight EDT on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27.

Us military records include include World War I Draft Registration Cards, Korean War Records, Korean War Casualty Records, Korean War POWs, Vietnam War Records, Vietnam War Deaths and Casualties, World War II POWs, World War II Army Enlistment Records, and US Army Casualties, 1961-1981.

Click here for an overview of records available for the United States, Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

During the free period, anyone can access the records by registering for free at The records are normally part of the site's subscription and pay-per-view collection.

Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Friday, 17 May 2013 13:22:31 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Missouri Genealogy Research—Beyond the Basics
Posted by Diane

You've found basic data on your Missouri ancestors from sources such as birth and death records and censuses. Now you're ready to dig deeper into more-advanced, richer genealogy resources.

You'll learn how in our May 23 webinar Secrets to Beat Your Missouri Brick Walls.

Cheryl Lang, manager of the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Mo., will show you how to take your Missouri genealogy search to the next level with
  • Military records and rosters
  • Court and tax records
  • Manuscripts and state-specific collections
  • State archives resources
She'll also give you a quick refresher on Missouri vital records, and guidance for using cluster and collateral techniques to break through brick walls.

Got a Missouri genealogy question? You can submit it to Cheryl before the event or ask during the live Q&A session at the end of the presentation.

Webinar participants will get our newly revised Missouri State Research Guide and our St. Louis City Guide, a 25-page handout of Cheryl's presentation slides, and access to view the webinar again as many times as you want.

Click here for more details about the Secrets to Beat Your Missouri Brick Walls webinar and to register.

Research Tips | Sales | Webinars
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 16:26:49 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 13 May 2013
MyHeritage Introduces Record Detective
Posted by Diane

Last week MyHeritage added US censuses from 1790 to 1930, and before that was Record Matching to people in your or family tree.

Now comes another announcement from MyHeritage: Record Detective takes a record you've discovered on MyHeritage and gives you a summary of additional records about the same relative, and about other people related to that relative. You also can link to see these people in other family trees on MyHeritage.

For example, you find someone in the US census, and Record Detective will show you census entries for the person and other household members in earlier and later years, plus a passenger list showing when the head of the household immigrated.

This video demonstrates how it works:

The announcement on MyHeritage compares this to friend suggestions on Facebook. It reminds me of the "you also might like..." suggestions you get when shopping online.

"The Record Detective technology understands what record you're looking at, and brings you related records, and related people." Of course, you'll want to look at each Record Detective match and make sure it really is your ancestor.

You don't have to be a MyHeritage subscriber to get Record Detective matches, but to view many of the matching records, you'll need a subscription or pay-as-you-go credits.

Monday, 13 May 2013 16:14:08 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 10 May 2013
Genealogy News Corral, May 6-10
Posted by Diane

  • FamilySearch has added more than 9.4 million index records and images this week from the United States, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Italy, Peru, Sweden and Venezuela. They include data from BillionGraves (search results link you to to see an image of the tombstone), Michigan death certificates (1921-1952), New York, Southern District US District Court naturalizations (1824-1946), and more.
You can search or browse (in the case of unindexed record images) these records for free on Link through to each collection from here
  • Get a new take on your Irish Famine-era ancestors with's new online Famine Memorial. Launched to coincide with the National Famine Commemoration 2013 in Kilrush, County Clare, Ireland, the memorial gathers record collections—emigration, census, newspaper, criminal and land records, as well as directories—that highlight aspects of Irish life that were affected during the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852).

    You'll need to be a subscriber or use credits to view records, but the memorial also provides interesting background information about the famine that anyone can view.
  • Family Tree DNA announced it has lowered the price of its mid-level maternal line mtDNA test, called mtDNAPlus, to $49. This two-thirds price reduction was made possible by a new squencing technique. The company also has lowered the price of its 12-marker Y-DNA test to $49. Order either test here.

Celebrity Roots | FamilySearch | Genealogy Web Sites | Genetic Genealogy | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 10 May 2013 12:49:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
"Genealogy Roadshow" Coming to PBS This Fall
Posted by Diane

Another genealogy TV series is coming to PBS. And this one might satisfy those of you looking for prime time stories about the ancestors of ordinary Americans (as opposed to the public figures whose family trees have been fodder for "Who Do You Think You Are?" and "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.").

Genealogy Roadshow, premeiring nationally this fall, according to an announcement from PBS and Nashville Public Television, will " combine history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans."

"After participants are chosen, genealogy, history and DNA experts will use family heirlooms, letters, pictures, historical documents and other clues to hunt down more information. These experts will enlist the help of local historians to add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes a clue in solving the mystery."

The first season will feature participants from four cities: Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; San Francisco; and Detroit.

If you're in Nashville, you can go here to apply to have your genealogy featured on the show.

Genealogy Roadshow is being produced by Krasnow Productions, and is based on a same-name show in Ireland produced by Big Mountain Productions.

Friday, 10 May 2013 12:13:19 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, 09 May 2013
Follow the Genealogy Action at The NGS 2013 Conference
Posted by Diane

The National Genealogical Society's annual conference is going on now in Las Vegas. Want a taste of the family history action? Here's where to find one:
  • Genea Philibert-Ortega, who's presenting several sessions, is blogging about her presentations and opportunities for the folks at home on Gena's Genealogy.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:48:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
New Workshop Helps You Use Google Earth to Improve Your Genealogy Search
Posted by Diane

I don't need to write a lot about what you'll learn from our Map Your Family History with Google Earth One-Week Workshop, coming up May 17-24, thanks to this awesome video that Google Earth expert Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems put together:

The workshop offers video sessions and step-by-step written lessons from Lisa and other Family Tree University experts on locating ancestral towns, using maps in your research, and using the tools of Google Earth to explore and display your ancestors' places in a fascinating way.

And Lisa will be be on hand to answer participants' Google Earth questions in our exclusive workshop message board.

Find out more about the Map Your Family History With Google Earth One-Week Workshop on

Editor's Pick | Family Tree University | Land records | Research Tips
Thursday, 09 May 2013 09:29:12 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]