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<2013 June>

More Links

# Thursday, 27 June 2013
"Who Do You Think You Are?" 2013 Celebrity Lineup (Bazinga!)
Posted by Diane

TLC has announced the full lineup of starpower on the fourth season of "Who Do You Think You Are?," which premiers Tuesday, July 23. TLC picked up the series after NBC dropped it last year.

These are the season's celebrity guests. I added a bit of info on where you might recognize them from and on their ancestry:
  • Zooey Deschanel: You may know this actress (she's pictured in the screenshot above) and musician as the quirky title character of “New Girl” on Fox. Her surname comes from her French paternal grandfather; she also has Swiss, Dutch, English and Irish roots.

  • Chris O'Donnell: As his parents’ surnames—O'Donnell and Rohs von Brecht—would suggest, this “NCIS: Los Angeles” actor (he also was on the big screen as Robin to batmen Val Kilmer and George Clooney) has Irish and German ancestry.

  • Christina Applegate: This “Married … with Children,”  and “Samantha Who?” actress was born into the business: Her parents are record company executive Robert W. Applegate and singer and actress Nancy Lee Priddy

  • Jim Parsons: The episode featuring this "Big Bang Theory" star (trademark line: "Bazinga!") is the one I'm most anticipating. BBT is a favorite in our house, and I'd love to see what Parsons is like when he steps out of the role of Sheldon Cooper. The Houston native reportedly has English, Scottish, French and German heritage.

  • Cindy Crawford: German, English and French make up the bulk of this supermodel’s ancestry. She was “discovered” by a newspaper photographer as she detasseled corn in her DeKalb, Ill., hometown. Her appearance at the Connecticut State Library in May clued us in that she was filming for WDYTYA?

  • Trisha Yearwood: This country singer does it all: She's also an actress, cookbook author and host of her own cooking show on the Food Network. She was born in Monticello, Ga.
  • Chelsea Handler:A comedian, actress and talk show host from Livingston, NJ, Handler has a German Mormon mother and a Jewish father.
TLC's "Who Do YouThink You Are?" website is here.

Watch a short teaser for "Who Do You Think You Are?" season 4 here.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Thursday, 27 June 2013 10:21:55 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Editor's Pick: Learn Insider Secrets for Pennsylvania Genealogy
Posted by Diane

Maybe you've done some basic research on your Pennsylvania ancestors in censuses and vital records. But where should you and your genealogy research turn next?

Find out from our Secrets to Beat Your Pennsylvania Brick Walls webinar with veteran Pennsylvania genealogist Lisa A. Alzo. It's happening Thursday, July 9, at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Mountain, 4 p.m. Pacific).

Among other resources, she'll introduce you to the Pennsylvania Archives—and by that I mean both the Pennsylvania State Archives and the Pennsylvania Archives series. The latter is 138-volumes of published records including early government correspondence; tax lists; and church, land, and military records, and it's free on

Participants in the Secrets to Beat Your Pennsylvania Brick Walls webinar also receive:
  • a quick Pennsylvania vital records review
  • strategies for exploring military records for your Pennsylvania ancestors
  • tips for researching in court and tax records
  • information on other state-specific resources that can help you break through research brick walls
  • the opportunity to submit Pennsylvania genealogy questions before the event (via a form when you register for the webinar) and again during the webinar's live Q&A session
  • access to view the webinar recording again as often as desired
  • a PDF handout of the presentation slides
  • a PDF handout of our Pennsylvania Brick Walls e-book.
It pays to be an early bird! Sign up now for the Secrets to Beat Your Pennsylvania Brick Walls webinar to save $10 on your registration.

Editor's Pick | Webinars
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 10:54:56 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Battle of Gettysburg 150th Anniversary: Honor Civil War Ancestors With a Virtual Visit
Posted by Diane

With the beginning of July (can you believe that's already next week?) arrives the 150th anniversary of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg.

It lasted from July 1-3 and involved 160,000 soldiers on both sides, with casualty estimates (also for both sides) ranging from 46,000 to 51,000. Civilians hid in their homes as the fighting happened around them.

Although the Battle of Gettysburg is considered a turning point in the war—it put Gen. Robert E. Lee was on the defensive—the Civil War dragged on for nearly two more years.

The astounding numbers of dead at Gettysburg led to the establishment of the Soldiers National Cemetery there. At the cemetery's dedication on Nov. 19, 1863, President Lincoln eloquently spoke the 10 sentences we know as the Gettysburg Address.

If a visit to the Gettysburg battlefield (perhaps for the 150th anniversary commemoration) isn't on your agenda, you still can pay a virtual visit to honor the memories of your Civil War ancestors and see the world through their eyes. Here are some ways to do it:
  • Visit the Gettysburg Foundation website to view photos of the Gettysburg Battlefield and the Gettysburg Cyclorama—French artist Paul Philippoteaux's 360-degree, life-size "painting in the round" by that depicts Pickett's Charge.

  • See photos and soak up history (and plan a visit, if you're lucky enough) at the Gettysburg National Military Park website.
  • The Stone Sentinels website shows you photos of more than 1,200 Gettysburg Battlefield monuments to units, individuals and others; plus farms and other buildings. You can browse monuments to units by the state where the unit was raised, or take a tour using a monument map.

  • The Nationwide Gravesite Locator lets you search for burials of veterans and their family members at Gettysburg National Military Park (choose Gettysburg from the Cemetery dropdown menu and then enter at least a last name).
Did your Civil War ancestor fight in the Battle of Gettysburg? See the July/August 2013 Family Tree Magazine for our seven-step guide to researching Gettysburg ancestors.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Military records | Museums | Social History
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 13:09:50 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 21 June 2013
Genealogy News Corral, June 17-21
Posted by Diane

  • In related news, on Sunday, June 30, FamilySearch will shut off the ability for vendors (such as software companies) to "write" to trees on, which is actually the old version of FamilySearch Family Trees. That means that if you're using a third-party product that works with the system, you won't be able to use it to update your tree. Read more about this on Renee Zamora's blog.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Software | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 21 June 2013 12:35:21 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Free Irish Vital Records on June 27-30
Posted by Diane is offering free access to Irish vital records from June 27-30. You'll be able to search for free:
  • Ireland Births 1864-1958
  • Ireland Marriages 1845-1958
  • Ireland Deaths 1864-1958
It's part of the site's Ashes to Archives initiative, which marks the anniversary of the Four Courts Fire in Dublin. This June 30, 1922, fire during the Irish Civil War severely damaged the Public Records Office, resulting in a major loss of historical records. It's one of the most infamous events in Irish genealogy.'s helpful site tells you what records were lost and what survived (including sources available with a subscription or pay-per-view credits).

You'll need a free membership on the site to view the Irish vital records.

Got Irish ancestors? Take a look at these resources from

Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 21 June 2013 12:33:36 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [74]
# Wednesday, 19 June 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 read General Order No. 3, informing the people of Texas that slaves there were freed.

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 you started:

Also check out these resources in

African-American roots
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:24:37 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 18 June 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 genealogy research?

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 1:

Starting June 17 (available for registration through this Friday):
  • 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
Starting July 1:
  • Newspaper Research 101: Find Your Ancestors in American News Sources
  • Computer Boot Camp for Genealogists: Become a Power User in 4 Weeks
  • 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 States
  • Google for Genealogy: Find Ancestors Online
Visit the Family Tree University Summer School Sale page to learn more about each course and register.

Family Tree University
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 16:32:30 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 07 June 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.
  • 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 international sites.

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Photos | UK and Irish roots | Webinars
Friday, 07 June 2013 11:47:16 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 06 June 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 (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 annotated in this online article from the Winter 2010 issue of Prologue, the National Archives' magazine.

Libraries and Archives | NARA | Social History
Thursday, 06 June 2013 09:04:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# 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]