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<2013 May>

More Links

# Thursday, 23 May 2013
Free Military Records on Through May 27
Posted by Diane is joining the genealogy websites offering free access to military records for Memorial Day. You can search and view 155 million draft, enlistment and service records free through May 27.

Those include WWI and WWII draft registration cards, new collections of US Alien draft registrations and New York military records, and more.

Start your search here.

Read our previous posts about free military records offers at MyHeritage, and Fold3. | Military records

Thursday, 23 May 2013 10:51:13 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
May Genealogy Value Packs Are Going ... Going ...
Posted by Diane

Before we call it a day on this month, I wanted to make sure you know about our May genealogy value collections. They're full of helpful how-to tools such as books, CDs, video classes and articles, and they're available at special prices only this month. Check them out today!
  • Jewish Genealogy Value Pack, with video classes on Jewish names and finding Eastern European origins, Jewish and Eastern European research guides, and the must-have Finding Our Fathers guidebook
  • Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection, with video classes on Irish censuses and genealogy websites, our guide to Griffith's Valuation, a genealogical atlas and our Family Tree University Independent Study course on researching in Irish records
  • Photo Detective Collection, with photo-research guides from Family Tree Magazine's Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor—including her new Family Photo Detective eBook and an autographed copy of Preserving Your Family Photographs

Jewish roots | Photos | Sales | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, 23 May 2013 10:42:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Military Genealogy Tips for Memorial Day: Finding Pension Records
Posted by Diane

Honor your military ancestors this Memorial Day by learning more about their lives and service. One way is through pension records, which can be rich with information about the person who served.

Various laws made those who served in the armed forces between 1775 and 1916, or their survivors, eligible for military pensions. You can search some indexes to pensions at sites such as, Fold3,, MyHeritage and findmypast.

One of the most helpful indexes is the General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, from National Archives microfilm T288 and searchable free online at

For earlier conflicts, try the Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926, from NARA microfilm T316.

The pension files themselves are on microfilm at the National Archives (with copies at the Family History Library), with some collections online. A few are:
The exception is pensions for Confederate soldiers in the Civil War: The former Confederate states awarded pensions to their armed forces, so look to those state archives for records. You can link to several states' Confederate pensions collections from here. and also have collections of some Confederate states' Civil War pensions.

A final tip: If you plan to leave flowers at an ancestor's gravesite this Memorial Day, consider also leaving a note for the next person, who may be a cousin.

Our Military Research Value Pack—now just $49.99—has a webinar, CD of how-to articles, and a class that provide you in-depth guidance for finding your ancestors' military records throughout US history.

Military records | Research Tips
Thursday, 23 May 2013 09:07:38 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 22 May 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, 22 May 2013 16:29:21 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
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 28.

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 Applications collection).

You'll also find some collections for British and Australian records.

Click here to search the MyHeritage military records. Use the links on the right (under In Military) to see what records are available.

You can read more about this free military records offer on the MyHeritage blog.

And don't forget about's free military records offer, which ends May 27.

Military records | MyHeritage
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 14:17:29 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
"Who Do You Think You Are?" Premieres July 23 on TLC
Posted by Diane

It's official: 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.'s announcement didn't name Singer Kelly Clarkson, but a Clarkson sighting in Andersonville, Ga., sparked rumors she'll also appear.

As a sponsor, 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?" | | Celebrity Roots
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:36:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [5]
# 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]