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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Observe Juneteenth by Remembering Slave Ancestors
Posted by Diane
Happy Juneteenth—the holiday that commemorates the announcement of
the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. On that
day, Union Gen. Gordon Granger stood on a balcony in Galveston and
Order No. 3, informing the people of Texas that slaves there
From the beginning, Texas freedmen marked Emancipation Day—now known
as Juneteenth—with festivals and remembrances of enslaved ancestors.
Observances declined during the early 20th century, but have seen a
resurgence since the Civil Rights movement. Juneteenth became an
official state holiday in Texas in 1980; 41 other states and
Washington DC have designated it a holiday or a day of observance.
Learning about African-American roots during slavery is difficult
but it isn't always impossible. These free online articles will get
Also check out these resources in ShopFamilyTree.com:
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:24:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Family Tree University Summer School Sale—Learn How to Tackle Your Genealogy Projects!
Posted by Diane
Want to put together a family history book this summer? Trace your
Civil War ancestor? Finally get organized and be on top of your
Enroll yourself in our specially
priced Family Tree University Summer School sessions, and do
all these things and more.
We're offering a discounted tuition of $59.99 on 11
summer school courses—five starting now, and six starting July
Starting June 17 (available for registration through this
Starting July 1:
- Cemetery Research 101: Dig Up Your Family History
- Digital Photography Essentials: Techniques to Capture and
Preserve Your Family History
- Time Management for Genealogists: Make Time for Your Tree,
Yourself and Your Sanity
- Exploring City Directories: How to Trace Your Family in
Yesterdays Yellow Pages
- US Military Records: Trace Your Ancestors' Service
Visit the Family
Tree University Summer School Sale page to learn more about
each course and register.
- Newspaper Research 101: Find Your Ancestors in American News
- Computer Boot Camp for Genealogists: Become a Power User in 4
- Creating a Family History Book: Start-to-Finish Guidance for
Assembling and Printing a Family Keepsake
- Reverse Genealogy: Working Forward to Break Down Brick Walls
- Civil War Research: Find Your Ancestors in the War Between the
- Google for Genealogy: Find Ancestors Online
Family Tree University
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 4:32:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, June 07, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, June 3-7
Posted by Diane
- The folks at Flip-Pal mobile scanner are presenting a free webinar,
Metdata and Digital Images, on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:30 Central Time
(that's 8:30 Eastern, 6:30 Mountain and 5:30 Pacific).
Presenter Thomas MacEntee will show you how to use a digital photo's
metadata (the information embedded in digital files) to add captions
and details such as who's in a photo and when it was taken. See
more details about the webinar and click to register here.
Friday through Sunday marks the Southern California Genealogical
Society Jamboree, one of the most-anticipated conferences of the
year. Remember to register for sessions you want to watch from home
via free JamboSTREAM webcast. See
the schedule on the Jamboree blog.
- Findmypast.com has added
2.5 million court records to its collection of Irish Petty Sessions
Court Registers (1828-1912), which has information on petty crimes
(such as public drunkeness and allowing livestock to wander) and
punishments of Ireland's residents. They're available with a World
Subscription or pay-per-view credits on findmypast.com international
Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Photos | UK and Irish roots | Webinars
Friday, June 07, 2013 11:47:16 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Founders Online Site Will Give Access to Historic American Documents
Posted by Diane
The National Archives is poised to launch the Founders Online
website with thousands of transcribed and annotated documents from
George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams,
Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton.
Eventually, 175,000 letters, diary entries, publications and other
documents will be on Founders Online. Their source is 242 printed
volumes that collect the papers of each man from the National
Archives, Library of Congress and other archives around the world.
The volumes also include editorial essays that introduce the
materials and add historical context.
The site will launch at www.founders.archives.gov
(there's a placeholder page there now) June 13 with a ceremony
at the National Archives building. Student winners of the National History Day contest
will be among the first to search the site's records.
This video gives you an overview of Founders Online and the
documents it provides access to:
Read more about how the papers were collected, transcribed and
this online article from the Winter 2010 issue of Prologue, the
National Archives' magazine.
Libraries and Archives | NARA | Social History
Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:04:18 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, June 05, 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).
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.
Enhance your family history search with the maps
and how-to guide on Family Tree Magazine's new Genealogy Map
- 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.
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, June 05, 2013 10:26:51 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Tuesday, June 04, 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!)
classes, books and articles in this collection of genealogy tools
will show you
Researching your family history doesn't have to break the bank. The
Free Genealogy Websites Ultimate Collection will pay off in
genealogy research funds saved. It's available only in June—check
it out now in ShopFamilyTree.com.
- What free genealogy sites you should be scouring for
information on your ancestors.
- How to use popular free sites such as FamilySearch.org, RootsWeb.com 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.)
Editor's Pick | Free Databases | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 11:29:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
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.
more about how 'Genealogy Roadshow" crossed the pond to the United
States on the Variety website.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 8:58:27 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 31, 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
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
This week, FamilySearch added more than 7.3 million images to the
record collections on the free FamilySearch.org. They come
from Austria, Brazil, China, Honduras, Luxembourg, Peru, Portugal,
Switzerland and the United States. New collections include US,
Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986; US, Hawaii, Honolulu
Passenger Lists, 1900-1953; and Honduras, Civil Registration,
1841-1968. See all the updated
collections and click through to search or browse them here.
- 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 Ancestry.com.
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, May 31, 2013 1:55:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, May 29, 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
here to register for the Secrets to Beat Your Ohio Brick Walls
webinar. See you there!
Editor's Pick | Webinars
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 2:24:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Tuesday, May 28, 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.
- Use free sites: FamilySearch,
of course, but also Find A
Transcribers Guild, USGenWeb,
Genealogy Trails, Civil
War Soldiers and Sailors database, Google Books, Internet Archive, family trees at MyHeritage and other pedigree
sites, state archives, libraries and others. Many others. Use Google searches
and portal sites such as Cyndi's
List to find these sites.
- 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).
Find out about 41 free resources for genealogy apps, forms, software and images in the May/June 2013 Family Tree Magazine.
- 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.
Learn how to find and use free genealogy websites with the tools in our Best Free Genealogy Websites Ultimate Collection!
Ancestry.com | Archives.com | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | Research Tips
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 2:53:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)