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<2013 June>

More Links

# Wednesday, 05 June 2013
Six Tips for Mapping Your Family History
Posted by Diane

One of my research goals is to visualize my family history on a map showing all the places my ancestors lived and worked.

I found plenty of advice in last month's Family Tree University One-Week Workshop, Map Your Family History With Google Earth. Participants studied course materials and created a family history map project with guidance from Google Earth expert Lisa Louise Cooke.

Here are a few tips from Lisa for using Google Earth and finding old maps of places your family lived:
  • A great source of old maps to use with Google Earth is the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Sign up for a free account for access to the highest resolution downloadable maps (You can still download up to about medium resolution if you aren't signed in).

    Instead of using the "Search the Site" box, scroll down on the home page and use the Map Rank Search tool to search by year and location.
  • Lisa recommends using Google to find online plat maps (these show property boundaries and owners' names), which might be anywhere from large mapping web sites to a genealogist's own site. Try doing a Google Image search with keywords such as Indiana "Randolph County" "Plat map."
  • Another strategy to find plat maps is to run a Google Books search on a county, state and the term "plat map." If the book you want isn't fully digitized, copy the title and search for it at WorldCat to find libraries that have that book.
  • You can have Google email you when Google Maps or Google Earth map images are updated, or Street View becomes available, for the areas where your ancestors lived. Go to Follow Your World, log in with your Google account, and follow the prompts.
  • Google Earth doesn't auto save, so if it crashes on you, you'll lose your work. Every so often, go up to the menu and select File>Save My Places to save everything in My Places.
Enhance your family history search with the maps and how-to guide on Family Tree Magazine's new Genealogy Map Collection CD.

Check out Family Tree University's next One-Week Workshop, How to Research Genealogy Records, with video classes on essential family history records and guidance from expert researcher Lisa A. Alzo.

Historical maps | Research Tips
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 10:26:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 04 June 2013
June Ultimate Collection: Free Genealogy Websites
Posted by Diane

As I mentioned in my post last week about finding free genealogy data, you save where you can so you can spend where you need to.

A little bit of spending that'll pay off big time is our Best Free Genealogy Websites Ultimate Collection. (It's also on sale!)

The video classes, books and articles in this collection of genealogy tools will show you
  • What free genealogy sites you should be scouring for information on your ancestors.
  • How to use popular free sites such as, and Internet Archive.
  • Online search tricks to find data on smaller, less well-known free genealogy websites.
  • Using the free Evernote site to organize your research and become a more-efficient genealogist. (Personal note: I've started using Evernote for my genealogy to-do list, and it's keeping me from forgetting research tasks that occur to me while I'm doing something else. And I can check the list anytime on my smartphone.)
Researching your family history doesn't have to break the bank. The Best Free Genealogy Websites Ultimate Collection will pay off in genealogy research funds saved. It's available only in June—check it out now in

Editor's Pick | Free Databases | Sales
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 11:29:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
More on "Genealogy Roadshow" Series on PBS
Posted by Diane

Here's a bit more detail on the new "Genealogy Roadshow" series coming to PBS this fall:

Four episodes of "Genealogy Roadshow" will air starting Monday, Sept. 23. They'll be set in Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Detroit and San Francisco.

The show has professional genealogists research the pasts of everyday individuals, and present the results in front of a live audience.

The producers of the Irish show the series is based on call it "part detective story, part emotional journey" in this Variety article.

Read more about how 'Genealogy Roadshow" crossed the pond to the United States on the Variety website.

Tuesday, 04 June 2013 08:58:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 31 May 2013
Genealogy News Corral, May 27-31
Posted by Diane

  • To mark the anniversary of the WWII Battle of Midway, which took place June 4-7, 1942, the US Navy will host a Google+ Hangout with a panel of historians from the Naval History and Heritage Command, Pentagon operations leaders, and representatives from the USS Midway Museum.

    The hangout is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, June 3. You can watch and participate in the event on the Navy's Google+ page, or watch it afterward on YouTube.
  • The Southern California Genealogical Society will live-stream more than a dozen sessions of the 2013 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, taking place June 7-9. The "JamboSTREAM" webcast is free and sponsored by

    You must register to view a session. See the live-stream schedule on the Jamboree blog and click a class title to register. You'll get a login and password to use when you log in to watch the session. The times on the schedule are Pacific Coast Time; remember to translate them into your time zone so you don't miss the session.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Military records | Social History
Friday, 31 May 2013 13:55:52 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Secrets to Beat Your Ohio Genealogy Brick Walls!
Posted by Diane

Here's a webinar I'm really looking forward to: Secrets to Beat Your Ohio Brick Walls, with Family Tree University instructor Sunny Jane Morton, on Thursday, June 13, at 7 p.m. ET.

That's partly because most of my family is from Ohio (some lines have been here at least since the mid-1800s), and partly because I know what a good researcher and teacher Sunny is!

The webinar is designed for people like me: I've done some genealogy research on my Ohio ancestors, and now I'm ready to work in more-involved sources such as probate, deed and tax records. I'd love to get my hands on paperwork related to my great-great-grandfather's cigar business in Cincinnati.

Webinar participants will learn about Ohio military records and rosters, court and tax records, manuscripts, and state archives resources. You can submit Ohio genealogy questions to Sunny ahead of time or during the webinar. 

Registrants also will get some handouts: our newly revised Ohio State Research Guide, our Cincinnati Genealogy Guide, and the webinar slides. And they'll get access to view the webinar again as often as desired.

Here are the webinar basics:
  • Date: Thursday, June 13
  • Starting time: 7pm ET/6pm CT/5pm MT/4pm PT
  • Presenter: Sunny Jane Morton
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Price: $49.99 (Save $10 if you register before June 6!)

Click here to register for the Secrets to Beat Your Ohio Brick Walls webinar. See you there!

Editor's Pick | Webinars
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:24:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 28 May 2013
Tricks for Finding Free Genealogy Data
Posted by Diane

Don't get me wrong. Spending money on genealogy is a good thing. This is spoken by someone who works hard to create high-quality educational genealogy material for your consumption.

But I try to practice what my mom taught me about money: You save what you can when you can, then you use your budget on things that'll really pay off.

This post is about the "save when you can" part. If you can find some genealogy data you need for no cost, then you can dedicate your family history funds, for example, to ordering an original record, taking an in-depth online genealogy course or subscribing to a website.
  • Know that free sites often have sponsored links (they have to pay the bills somehow), which may not be obviously ads: You click on a database title or type your name into a search box, and you end up on a subscription site, which can be frustrating if that's not what you expected. Just hit the back button until you get back to the site you started on (or if the site opened in a new browser tab, go back to the tab you were on).
  • Look for free-for-a-limited-time databases around holidays. Recently, for example, four sites offered free online military records for Memorial Day. Find out about these offers by reading genealogy blogs (such as this one) and newsletters (such as the Genealogy Insider newsletter), sign up for genealogy websites' email programs, and befriend those sites on Facebook and Twitter.
Find out about 41 free resources for genealogy apps, forms, software and images in the May/June 2013 Family Tree Magazine.

Learn how to find and use free genealogy websites with the tools in our Best Free Genealogy Websites Ultimate Collection! | | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | Research Tips
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 14:53:06 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 24 May 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 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, 24 May 2013 11:47:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]