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# Friday, May 24, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, May 20-24
Posted by Diane

  • We're working on our Family Tree University Fall Virtual Conference, scheduled for Sept. 13-15, and we'd love to find out what genealogy topics you want to learn about. Please share your thoughts by taking our two-minute survey (to thank you, there's a conference registration coupon code at the end). 
  • FamilySearch has added records from Argentina, Austria, Italy, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain and the United States to teh free FamilySearch.org. That includes 1,152,830 index entries and record images of Illinois county marriages (1810-1934) and 244,523 images of municipal records from Spain's Province of Valencia (1611-1935). Link to search or browse all the new and updated collections here.


Family Tree University | FamilySearch | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 24, 2013 11:47:46 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, May 23, 2013
Free Military Records on Ancestry.com Through May 27
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com is joining the genealogy websites offering free access to military records for Memorial Day. You can search and view 155 million Ancestry.com 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, findmypast.com and Fold3.


Ancestry.com | Military records

Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:51:13 AM (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 | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:42:11 AM (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 Ancestry.com, Fold3, FamilySearch.org, 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 FamilySearch.org.

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. Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org 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, May 23, 2013 9:07:38 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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)  #  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 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)  #  Comments [1]
"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 also appear.

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)  #  Comments [5]
# 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 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, May 21, 2013 4:45:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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)  #  Comments [1]
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 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 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)  #  Comments [0]