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Thursday, May 15, 2014
Websites and Organizations for Italian Genealogy Research
Posted by Diane
David Rumsey Map Collection
From 1880 to 1920, more than 4 million Italians immigrated to the
United States (often, traveling back and forth a few times first), where they tended to live alongside
other Italians in urban areas. Today more than 17 million Americans
can claim Italian ancestry.
Among exciting new resources for Italian genealogy are 137
collections of civil registration, church and other records at
the free FamilySearch.org. Most aren't indexed, so to
find an ancestor's records, you'd need to know the comune (the basic administrative division, similar to a municipality) and
frazione or contrada (similar to a neighborhood) where he or she lived. An ongoing Italian
Ancestors Project is organizing volunteers to index these
Tree University's new Italian Genealogy 101 four-week online
course, starting May 19, will help you use American records to
figure out where in Italy your ancestors came from, then delve into
Italian genealogical records.
Ancestry.com has an Italian sister site, Ancestry.it, but it also
of Italian records available with a subscription to the US
Ancestry.com site. Some of these will duplicate what's on
FamilySearch.org, after an international
records-sharing agreement last September.
Many other websites and organizations that aren't quite as
well-known also have resources for tracing Italian roots, including
Genealogy 101, you'll learn about all these and other
resources for researching your Italian ancestors, including how to
access and understand Italian records, and how to deal with common
brick walls in Italian family trees.
Genealogy 101 starts May 19 and runs through June 13. You'll
find a course outline and a link to register at
Ancestry.com | Family Tree University | FamilySearch | International Genealogy | Italian roots
Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:00:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Citing Genealogy Sources for Regular People
Posted by Diane
Source citation is something of a hot button in genealogy. It's easy
to become petrified you won't do it right, or to imagine that citing sources will take up all your precious research time.
That's why I love the idea of our Source
for Regular People webinar with Shannon
Combs-Bennett, coming up this Tuesday, May 20. It's perfect
for you if ...
You'll learn how information you collect about a source varies with
the type of source. For an 1870 census record found online, for
example, your citation will contain:
- you're new to citing genealogy sources
- you're not sure what information to put in a citation, or what
order it should go in
- you're having trouble finding appropriate citation templates
- you're not sure what to do with your source citations once
you've created them
Here are a few more tips from the webinar to remember when
collecting and organizing your source information:
- collection name
- county and state
- type of
schedule (such as population or mortality)
- town or city
- dwelling and family number
- name of the person or household
- whether you looked at an index or record images
- website name and
- date you accessed the site
- source of the websites
images (such as a National Archives microfilm number).
- Document the source of the source. If you use a record
from Ancestry.com that was digitized from FamilySearch’s
microfilm copy of the original, your source citation will
include each of these “steps” in the publication process. In
this case, the information about the record on Ancestry.com
would be followed by the word citing and then the
about the FamilySearch microfilm. There's a good post about this
- Note whether you’re using an index or an actual record.
Source citations for information from an online index generally
indicate this by including the word database. Citations
record images found in online collections generally include the
words digital image.
- Census citations vary by year. Because of the
differences in US censuses over time, the information in
census citations varies slightly by year. For pre-1850
population schedules, cite the page number and line number. For
1850 and later, cite the page number and family or dwelling
number. Also note the schedule you used (population,
- Keep citations with the source. Include source
citations in your online tree or genealogy software when you
attach the record, and wherever you add or update a fact or
from that record. Most programs have a source
management feature to help you create and use citations.
Add citations in the margins or to the back of paper copies.
Use a photo-editor or Acrobat to add citations to digital
copies. You also can keep a database of numbered citations, and
add the numbers to your family tree facts and copied records.
Everyone who registers for the Source
for Regular People webinar receives unlimited access
to view the webinar again whenever they want, as well as a PDF
handout of the presentation slides. Learn more about this webinar in
- Source family stories. In family history narratives,
add numbered footnotes at the bottom of the page or endnotes at
the end of the text. Place the corresponding numbers within the
text, where you mention information from each source. Word
processing software can automatically format footnotes or
endnotes and renumber the notes as you edit.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:50:25 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 09, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: May 5-9
Posted by Diane
This week's genealogy news roundup includes a few announcements from
the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond, Va.
For more detail on classes, the exhibit hall, and more, Randy Seaver
is keeping an NGS
2014 Conference Blog Compendium with links to posts and videos
of bloggers reporting on the conference.
- FamilySearch will hold an International Day of Spanish
Indexing Saturday, May 17, for indexing Spanish genealogy
records to be posted at the free FamilySearch.org website. Learn
more here and link to a Facebook page (in Spanish) about
this effort. Planning is underway for another indexing day, with a worldwide focus on
indexing records in your native language, on July
- FamilySearch also announced it has added more than 5.4 million
digitized images to its record collections over the past week.
That includes collections from
England, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Spain and
the United States. See
the list of updates and click through to search or browse each
FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Friday, May 09, 2014 1:53:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Free Mother's Day Weekend Access to Mocavo's Universal Genealogy Search
Posted by Diane
Genealogy website Mocavo is
offering free access to its universal search for Mother's Day
weekend. The site contains more than 340,000 databases of genealogy
Mocavo's records are always free when you search one database at a
time. This weekend, though, you can search across all Mocavo
databases at once and try out advanced search features—benefits
normally reserved for Mocavo Gold members.
Note that I could view records, but I wasn't able to download them without having a Gold membership.
You'll need to sign up for a free Basic membership to take advantage
of this offer.
Read more about this free
access on Mother's Day weekend on the Mocavo blog.
Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, May 09, 2014 1:50:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, May 08, 2014
We DO Want Mom's Advice—And Her Family History!
Posted by Diane
According to a new survey, nearly two-thirds of adults want to know
more about their family history.
The survey about moms, commissioned by A Place for Mom, asked
adults about topics they'd like to know more about. The top four
It makes me sad that more than a quarter of the adults surveyed said
they don't, or didn't, know their moms as well as they'd like.
- family history (64 percent of the folks surveyed said this)
- Mom's personal history, such as her childhood memories and how she
met Dad (59 percent)
- family medical history (45 percent)
- Mom's life advice (42 percent), a statistic I'll definitely
remember. I'd hate for my children to one day wish for
all the words of wisdom I withheld as unsolicited
know where these survey respondents can find a great
magazine to help them learn more about their family history
and their moms.
When you see your mom this Mother's Day, ask her about her family
history and her life. Here are
some good oral history interviewing questions to start with.
If your mom is no longer with you, write about these topics for your
own children, or for other young people in your family.
can read more about this survey here.
Happy Mother's Day!
Oral History | Research Tips
Thursday, May 08, 2014 1:17:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Six Classic Genealogy Brick Wall-Busting Tips
Posted by Diane
You probably have at least one unanswered genealogy question, an
ancestor who's really difficult to trace, or a family with gaps in
These classic brick wall-busting tips come from our upcoming Conquer
Your Research Challenges: Solutions and Advice to Overcome Your
Genealogy Problems one-week workshop:
- Go over what you've found. Reviewing and organizing
your records is a way to spot new clues. Also consider whether
one of your sources could contain wrong information, or even
whether you have a record for a same-named person who isn't
actually your relative.
- Write it up. Many genealogists abstract
information from their records and/or write up research reports
to help themselves process the information and draw
- Create a timeline. Using your records to create a
detailed timeline for the problem ancestor can help
you sort out a confusing jumble of events and zero in on gaps in
- Follow the people in your ancestor's life. The
records of your ancestor's siblings, other relatives, friends, neighbors and
coworkers might name your family.
Your Research Challenges one-week workshop includes eight 30-
to 60-minute video courses (which you can download to watch again
and again) to show you strategies for tackling brick wall problems.
You'll also get expert advice on your research problems via our
exclusive workshop message board, networking with other researchers,
and our 101 Brick Wall Busters ebook.
- Explore social history. Learning about the lives of
other people who were like your ancestor (maybe they immigrated from
the same place or lived in the same neighborhood)
can help you form theories about your ancestor's life. You'll
also learn how local events may have affected your ancestor.
It takes place online May 23-30. See
the video session lineup and register here.
Family Tree University | Research Tips
Thursday, May 08, 2014 9:41:17 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
New Genealogy Webinar: Making MyHeritage Work for You
Posted by Diane
Much earlier than the Elvis came along in Tupelo, Miss., in
1935, a baby girl named Elvis was born in 1817 in England.
With the recent announcement from MyHeritage that the website now
includes 5 billion historical records, folks there had fun searching
the site for famous names—including James Bond, Elizabeth
Taylor and others—in the site's birth, marriage, death, immigration,
military and other collections. Fun
facts they found are in an
infographic on the MyHeritage blog.
MyHeritage, which also owns the World Vital Records and Geni
websites, has quickly become a formidable family history resource.
So quickly that many genealogists aren't familiar with the research
potential in the site's record collections, Super Search search engine,
Record Matching tools, and family trees.
You can find out how to discover your ancestors with MyHeritage and
its sister sites in our Making
MyHeritage Work for You webinar with Gena
Philibert-Ortega. It's happening Thursday, May 22, at 7 p.m. ET (6
p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. PT). The webinar includes
Everyone who registers for the webinar will receive access to view
the webinar again whenever you want, plus your own copy of the
- a tour of the MyHeritage and World Vital Records historical
record collections, photographs and family trees
- how to use the Super Search and Record Detective features
- how to use the site's tools to connect with cousins
- how to create a family website, chart, timeline and calendar
- how to use Geni.com
more about the Making MyHeritage Work for You webinar here.
MyHeritage | Webinars
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 2:48:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 02, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: April 28-May 2
Posted by Diane
Ancestry.co.uk has added The Collection which details the
crimes of thousands of boys admitted to three institutions for
children in West Yorkshire, England. The records, which date between
1779 and 1914, also contain information on nearly 400,000 adult
offenders. You can find them in separate collections of reformatory
school records, prison
records and police
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is seeking genealogy
bloggers, societies, writers and editors to be ambassadors for its
2014 conference, happening Aug. 27-30 in San Antonio, Texas. You can
see the requirements and benefits, and register, on the FGS
Ancestry.com | Genealogy societies | Genetic Genealogy | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 02, 2014 10:30:21 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, May 01, 2014
What to Bring When You Hit the Road for Genealogy
Posted by Diane
This time of year marks the start of genealogy road trip trip
season, whether it's to a conference—the National Genealogical
Society annual conference is in Richmond, Va., May 7-10—or to
As you plan this year's genealogy travels, here are things I've
found useful to bring (or not bring) when attending conferences and
going to libraries over the years:
Extra layer. No telling whether a conference classroom or
library will be sweltering or over-air-conditioned, so bring a
- Early-bird mindset. If you want to sit somewhere in particular for a
class, arrive early to secure your spot. For some speakers, such as
Elizabeth Shown Mills
Jones, it's a good idea to arrive early if you want to sit at
- Extra bag. "I wish I had another bag" is a common comment by genealogists who pick up freebies and make purchases from
Family Tree Magazine at conferences. Carry an extra tote bag around with you for purchases,
handouts, syllabi, etc.
- Small comforts. Other things you might wish you had include hand
sanitizer, tissues, a bottle of water (concessions can be pricey),
address labels (for entering prizes at a conference), Dramamine (to
help with microfilm reader motion sickness), your headache remedy of choice,
gum (for a conference; it's usually a no-no in libraries), and more-comfortable shoes.
- Drink and a snack. I rarely want to stop my research to go get
lunch, and sometimes there's no place to get lunch even if I want a break. You can leave water and a granola bar in the car for consumption
outside, if there's no snack room.
- Only what's allowed. Visit a repository website ahead of time for
info on what you can bring inside, whether you can use a cell phone
or digital camera to photograph records, and how you'll make copies (such
as on a photocopier or scanner). Also double-check hours, any
special closures, and whether materials are pulled from storage at
- As little as possible. It doesn't always work, but I try to carry around
only the "stuff" I really need at the library, so I'll have less to keep an eye on and
can minimize fumbling around. Usually I have:
- my phone to access my tree, attached records and research log
(I download any important documents to my phone in case I can't
get a signal at my destination).
- a little purse with my phone, a flash drive for digital
copies, bills and change for copiers or copy cards
- a pen or pencil and a notebook with my prioritized list of materials I need to
find, with pertinent notes about the people I'm looking for
- depending where I'm going, maybe a tablet in a computer bag, but I do tend to be more of a paper-and-pen note taker
Knowledge from the locals. If you're going to a repository, cemetery
or conference that's new to you, ask local genealogists what you should know before you go.
You might get inside info on the best place to park and eat lunch, staying safe, or a librarian who's especially knowledgeable in your research area. If you don't know anyone to ask, a genealogy pal might be able to
put you in contact with a helpful person, or you could friend the local
genealogical society on Facebook.
- Back-up plans. Plan where you'll park, and where you'll park if you
can't find a spot there.
Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Thursday, May 01, 2014 9:51:13 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Ancestry.com Adds Millions of Quaker Genealogy Records
Posted by Diane
If you're researching ancestors who belonged to Religious Society of
Friends (Quakers), you'll want to know about a new collection on
Quaker Collection has birth, marriage, death, disownment and
memorial records from meeting minutes spanning more than 300 years.
The collection also includes the classic Encyclopedia of
American Quaker Genealogy by William Wade Hinshaw, college yearbooks and alumni directories, periodicals and
About 85,000 Quakers live in the United States today, according to
the Ancestry.com press release. In the 1700s, nearly half of all
residents in the Mid-Atlantic States were Quaker.
Well-known American Quakers include Pennsylvania founder William Penn, Revolutionary War Gen. Nathanael
Greene, frontiersman Daniel
Boone, abolitionist Levi Coffin, suffragist Susan B. Anthony and
social activist Jane Addams.
Tree Magazine's guide to researching Quaker ancestors,
part of our Religious Records series, explains the structure of
preparative meetings (similar to a congregation), now called a local
meeting; monthly meetings (similar to a parish), which served as
the major record-keeping unit; quarterly meetings; and yearly
Ancestry.com estimates the site now has more than 75 percent of
American Quaker records in existence, thanks to help from Earlham,
Havorford, Swarthmore and Guildford colleges, which were founded by
Quakers, and the British national archives.
Ancestry.com's Quaker Collection here.
Ancestry.com | Church records
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:56:28 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)