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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
US Colored Troops Service Records Free Through May 31
Posted by Diane
Today—the 150th anniversary of the creation of the US Colored Troops
(USCT)—the National Archives has announced the completion of the
USCT Service Records Digitization Project.
The USCT Service
Records collection is available free to everyone today through May
31 on Fold3, which was a partner in the project.
The USCT was established May 22, 1863 by War Department General
Order 143 to organize African-American soldiers to fight for the
Union Army. Its members fought in 39 major battles and 400 other
engagements. Sixteen received the Medal of Honor.
The collection holds nearly 4 million record images. The
service records can include muster rolls, enlistment papers,
correspondence, orders, prisoner-of-war memorandums and casualty
reports. Some files include deeds of manumission and bills of sale
for former slaves whose owners received compensation for freeing the
slaves to enlist.
Search or browse the
USCT records collection here.
African-American roots | Fold3 | Military records
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 4:29:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Access MyHeritage Military Records Free Through May 28
Posted by Diane
In honor of Memorial Day, MyHeritage is granting free access to military
records from its most popular collections through Tuesday, May
The US records include Revolutionary War pension indexes, an index to
the 1840 special census of Revolutionary War pensioners, Confederate
service and pension records, War of 1812 pension indexes and more
(some of the military records might not be included—for example, I
was prompted to subscribe when searching the Tennessee Pension
You'll also find some collections for
British and Australian records.
here to search the MyHeritage military records. Use the links
on the right (under In Military) to see what records are available.
can read more about this free military records offer on the
forget about findmypast.com's free military records offer, which
ends May 27.
Military records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:17:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
"Who Do You Think You Are?" Premieres July 23 on TLC
Posted by Diane
It's official: Ancestry.com has confirmed the rumors that "Who Do
You Think You Are?" is coming to TLC.
The show will premiere July 23. Eight episodes will feature
celebrities including actresses Christina Applegate and Zooey Deschanel, and supermodel Cindy Crawford.
Ancestry.com's announcement didn't name Singer Kelly Clarkson, but a
Clarkson sighting in Andersonville, Ga., sparked rumors she'll
As a sponsor, Ancestry.com provides family history research on the
featured celebrities. The US version of the celebrity-genealogy
show, produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky of Is or Isn't
Entertainment, aired for three seasons on NBC and was canceled after
the 2012 season.
"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 8:36:11 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Tuesday, May 21, 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
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
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
Military records | Social History
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 4:45:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 17, 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.
- Ancestry.com 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 Ancestry.com blog.
Ancestry.com | Civil War | Genealogy societies
Friday, May 17, 2013 1:31:09 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Findmypast.com Military Records: Free May 23-27
Posted by Diane
Genealogy records site Findmypast.com
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
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 findmypast.com. The records are normally part of the
site's subscription and pay-per-view collection.
Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Friday, May 17, 2013 1:22:31 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, May 15, 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
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.
- Military records and rosters
- Court and tax records
- Manuscripts and state-specific collections
- State archives resources
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.
here for more details about the Secrets to Beat Your Missouri
Brick Walls webinar and to register.
Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 4:26:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Monday, May 13, 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 MyHeritage.com or
Geni.com 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, May 13, 2013 4:14:08 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 10, 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 BillionGraves.com to see an image of the tombstone),
Michigan death certificates (1921-1952), New York, Southern
District US District Court naturalizations (1824-1946), and
You can search or browse (in the case of unindexed
record images) these records for free on FamilySearch.org. Link through to
each collection from here.
- Get a new take on your Irish Famine-era ancestors with findmypast.ie's new online
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
- 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, May 10, 2013 12:49:18 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
"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
from PBS and Nashville Public Television, will "
combine history and science to uncover fascinating stories of
"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
Friday, May 10, 2013 12:13:19 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)