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# Friday, 29 August 2008
Family Tree Magazine Expert Talks Roots on the Today Show
Posted by Diane

The "Today" show hosts have been showing off their roots all week in a genealogy series. This morning, Family Tree Magazine contributing editor and resident Photo Detective  Maureen A. Taylor was in a spot with Al Roker, answering viewers’ research questions. 

See if you can spot the cover a familiar-looking genealogy magazine!

We've posted a video of Maureen's second segment with Meredith Vieira on the Photo Detective blog.

Research Tips | Videos
Friday, 29 August 2008 13:44:43 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Family Tree Maker 2009 Released
Posted by Diane

The Generations Network just announced the release of Family Tree Maker 2009. It’s largely version 2008 with all its patches plus improved functionality, but it does have some new features.

Those include charts and reports, such as hourglass, bowtie (shown below), 180-degree fan and others (in case you’re wondering, there’s no need to be signed up with Ancestry Publishing to generate these reports).

Automatic backups and more-powerful global data manipulation are other updates. See the full list of new features.

Several patches are planned for Family Tree Maker 2009 that'll add book-building, better integration with the subscription data service, an improved relationship calculator and more.

Senior product manager Michelle Pfister says planning these patches will let TGN stick to a regular schedule of new releases (which retail distributors require) while putting final touches on what's covered in the patches. It also lets Family Tree Maker fans look forward to more features throughout the year.

Are there Family Tree Maker fans left after the problems many users had with version 2008? Yes, say Pfister and the software's development manager Mark LeMonnier. More than 300 users beta tested version 2009—an increase over version 2008 testers—and you can expect better functionality as a result, says LeMonnier. “Performance and stability have been our main focus,” he adds.

The 2009 version will read Family Tree Maker files back to version 4 (which takes you to the mid-1990s). To learn more about it, see

If you purchased Family Tree Maker 2008, don’t buy version 2009—registered 2008 users are eligible to upgrade for free. If that’s you, during early to mid-September, you’ll receive an e-mail with instructions and a coupon code good for 2009 in the Ancestry store.

The offer will be available for a limited time, but Pfister says there'll be follow-up e-mails, so if you just ordered 2008, you still have time to register the software and be eligible for the free upgrade.

Get more information on the free upgrade offer on’s blog. (By the way, note Family Tree Magazine is not affiliated with Family Tree Maker software.)

Here are a couple more Family Tree Maker 2009 views:

The people and family view

A family tree report you can generate | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Software
Friday, 29 August 2008 09:57:53 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 28 August 2008
Introducing the New
Posted by Diane

We got ourselves a new Web site! The brand-spanking-new launched just a few minutes ago.

Our new setup looks nicer and it's more user-friendly. The improved navigation makes it easy to find the content you want: You can browse the article archives by topic, or search the entire site from any page.

Each article offers buttons to bookmark the page, share it via e-mail or social networking sites, and generate a printer-friendly version. You can even subscribe to your favorite topics via RSS.

Our new home page will highlight more of what’s inside the site, including blog feeds and links to the most recently posted articles.

Even with all those features, what we’re most excited about is the technology behind this new site—it'll be much easier for us to put more great articles online.

If you were comfortable with the quirks of our old site (not unlike a cozy old recliner with a footrest you have to prop up using a two-by-four), these tips might help you get to know (and love, we hope) the new one:
  • To stop the screens in the top middle of the home page from changing, click on any of the four tabs (Welcome, State Guides, Best Web Sites, Expert Advice) to land on that screen.
  • Click the Welcome tab for a link to an article with detailed information on the new site.
  • You can increase the text size through your Web browser. In Internet Explorer, go to Page menu>Text Size. In Firefox, look under the View menu.
  • You can browse our how-to articles by hovering over a category name in the orange navigation bar, then clicking on one of the blue topics that appear in the white space below it. Then, to see all the articles for that topic, click the “See all” link in the upper right.
  • If you click one of the category names in the orange navigation bar, you can click “Subscribe to this topic’s RSS feed” to get an e-mail whenever we add an article to that category.
  • To see the Ethnic Toolkits from our old site, click on Heritage in the orange bar, then select from the blue list of ethnic backgrounds. You also can subscribe to an RSS feed for each of these ethnicities.
  • Find the list of 2008 101 Best Web Sites under Research Toolkit.
We invite you to take a look around the new site (even we keep finding stuff we didn’t know we had online). Got feedback? You can add it here (click Comments blow), post in our Talk to Us Forum or e-mail us.

Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 28 August 2008 15:38:37 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Wednesday, 27 August 2008 Subscription Price Drops
Posted by Grace

German genealogy blog Abenteuer Ahnenforschung pointed out today that the price of's basic membership has been lowered to 9.95 euros a year—about $14.65. (For comparison's sake,'s US-only membership package costs $155.40 a year.)

If your family history research focuses on Germany—and you've got a good grasp on the language—this is a total steal. The records available to subscribers (as well as users with a World Deluxe Membership) include German city directories from 1797-1945 containing 32 million names, and soon 100 years of Deutsche Telekom phone books with an estimated 70 million names. Time to brush up on your Deutsch... | immigration records | International Genealogy
Wednesday, 27 August 2008 17:27:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
High-Tech Scanning Reveals More of Scrolls
Posted by Diane

Bring up online documents and genealogists usually think of death certificates and census schedules.

But in as little as two years, you’ll be able to examine the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls on the Web. And thanks to cutting-edge digitization technology involving infrared cameras and super-high resolution, you’ll see more text than previously was visible to the naked eye.

This initiative may pave the way for more-revealing scanning of all those genealogical documents. Read more in CNN’s article.

Historic preservation
Wednesday, 27 August 2008 15:01:48 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Olympian Phelps Joins Ellis Island Fundraising Campaign
Posted by Diane

Olympic swimming phenom Michael Phelps is the newest member of the We Are Ellis Island campaign, which is raising funds to restore the South Side of Ellis Island.

On the campaign Web site, you can watch a promotional video featuring Phelps (hard to recognize with facial scruff and a few inches of hair) and others.

Phelps’ ancestors immigrated through Ellis Island. A campaign spokesperson told me she doesn't yet have full details on their names and immigration dates, since Phelps signed on and shot the video just before leaving for Beijing.

Ellis Island's well-known immigration museum opened in 1990 on its North Side. The largely abandoned South Side was home to a state-of-the-art hospital where sick immigrants were treated—and sometimes ordered to return home.

Look for the November 2008 Family Tree Magazine article on Forgotten Ellis Island, a documentary and book about the hospital, and the patients and staff who spent part of their lives there.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Industry | Historic preservation
Tuesday, 26 August 2008 17:28:19 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Library Holds Treasure Hunt
Posted by Diane

Are you the owner of a local, national or even international treasure in printed form?

The genealogy department of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is holding a digitization contest to find “unique or rare books, documents, or photos in private hands so that they can be digitized to share with the world via the Library's Web site.”

To enter, you just fill out a form—no need to drop your heirloom in the mail. See the details and submit entries on the library Web site.

Historic preservation | Libraries and Archives
Tuesday, 26 August 2008 14:27:08 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 25 August 2008
"Today" Traces Hosts' Roots
Posted by Diane

If you want your genealogy researched for free but your past is too checkered to run for political office, there’s always the “Today” show host chair.

The show is again airing a series on tracing its hosts’ roots. Today we saw snippets of Meredith Vieira’s family history in Portugal’s Azores islands. On a genealogist's dream journey, Vieira visited the islands and found ancestors’ birth records, discovered family homes, met cousins and joined in the Festa do Espirito Santo (Festival of the Holy Spirit). You may get jealous, but watch the video all the same—it was inspiring.

At the end of the segment, Vieira thanks several people, including our own contributing editor Maureen A. Taylor, who did genealogical research for the "Today" producers.

Readers who share Vieira’s Portuguese ancestry—or have roots in neighboring Spain—can get research help in the June 2004 Family Tree Magazine (available from our Back Issue store).

Also see the Portuguese Genealogy Home Page and LusaWeb.

International Genealogy | Videos
Monday, 25 August 2008 11:17:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 21 August 2008, JewishGen Team Up
Posted by Diane

The subscription genealogy site and the Jewish roots site JewishGen have formed an alliance that’ll make JewishGen historical record databases available free on

Those databases include names of Holocaust victims, yizkor (memorial) books about Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust, the Given Names Database, and a ShtetlSeeker (helps you locate towns in Eastern and Central Europe).

You can search each database now on JewishGen, but by the end of this year, you'll be able to go to and search all the databases at once with a more-sophisticated search engine.

The JewishGen Web site also will be hosted in’s data center. | Jewish roots
Thursday, 21 August 2008 09:05:41 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Jewish Roots in The Caribbean
Posted by Diane

In a neat article on CNN this morning, reporter Steve Kastenbaum writes about exploring his Jewish roots on a trip to the Caribbean.

His grandfather moved there from Germany during the 1920s; his relatives were among the more than 15,000 Jews living in Cuba during the 1940s and 1950s.

Kastenbaum—and you—can use these sites to learn more about tracing Jewish roots in the Caribbean:

International Genealogy | Jewish roots
Thursday, 21 August 2008 08:53:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Family Tree Maker 2009 Coming Soon; '08 Users Can Upgrade Free
Posted by Diane

An spokesperson confirmed blog reports (found here and here) of the impending release of Family Tree Maker 2009 and free upgrades for registered users of version 2008.

Public relations manager Anastasia Tyler says the 2009 version of the widely used genealogy program is scheduled for release Sept. 3, which coincides with the upcoming Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference., where you can pre-order the software in packages priced from $29.99 to $99.99, has given the release date as Aug. 26, as have other bloggers.

Tyler also said registered 2008 users will have the opportunity to receive free upgrades—so make sure you’ve registered your software.

She didn’t elaborate on new or updated features, but Dick Eastman posted a description he found online (I couldn’t find that page on—if you can, help a girl out and post a comment with a link).

Update: A reader located the info on version 2009—thanks, Linda! | Genealogy Software
Wednesday, 20 August 2008 11:33:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [16]
This Week's Genealogy News Roundup
Posted by Diane

Here's a smattering of genealogy biz news from this week:

Footnote raises prices: Citing its greatly increased offerings, Web site improvements and the challenging economy, historical records site Footnote has announced it’s raising subscription prices to $11.95 for one month and $69.96 for a year (up from $7.95 and $59.95, respectively). The changes don’t take effect until Sept. 1, so if you’ve been meaning to join, now’s the time. World Archive Project hits milestone:’s volunteer indexing initiative, the World Archives Project (now in beta) has 650 active keyers who’ve already indexed more than 100,000 records—17,500 of those by one lightning-fast typist. The Wisconsin mortality records project is on track for completion in September.

World Archives’ project Indexers will receive free access to the indexes they’re creating; record images will be part of’s subscription databases. See our blog post for more on the project.

FamilySearch Indexing keeps chugging along: FamilySearch added 2 million-plus new images or indexed records this week to its free pilot Record Search databases.

Among them are Ohio WWII draft registration card images, marriage indexes for 14 more West Virginia Counties, and an index to the Coahulia, Mexico, 1930 census.

FindMyPast adds 3.2 million parish marriages: The UK family history database FindMyPast has enhanced its Parish Records Collection with 3.2 million marriage records dating back to 1538. Burial records already are in the collection; baptism records are still to come.

The parish records are available with an Explorer subscription, which costs 54.95 pounds ($109) for 6 months or 89.95 pounds ($178) for a year. Learn more about this collection in this Genealogy Insider post.

Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, 20 August 2008 09:19:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Prairie Home Companion Star Talks Family History on 50th Genealogy Gems Podcast
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to Genealogy Gems podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke (also host of our own monthly Family Tree Magazine podcast) on her 50th episode!

She celebrates by interviewing Tim Russell, voice actor on Garrisson Keillor’s radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” and Al, The Stage Manager in the eponymous movie. Turns out Russell's also an avid family historian.

In the same episode, Cooke chats with fellow pocasters The Genealogy Guys, DearMYRTLE, and Mike O'Laughlin.

Tune in to the 50th Genealogy Gems Podcast free at Genealogy Gems.

Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, 20 August 2008 08:38:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 19 August 2008
New European Genetic Map Resembles Modern Borders
Posted by Diane

Our contributing editor Rick Crume sent me a note about this cool genetic map of Europe, created by the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. Overlapping color-coded outlines show the genetic relationships of 23 populations.

The New York Times also covered the map.

According to geneticists who developed the map, it shows populations in Europe are similar, but not too close to tell them apart genetically. The Times reports that one of those scientists says it “should be possible” to create a test that can tell you which European country you’re probably from.

That’d be great. Right now, DNA tests can give you a haplogroup or a general population (for example, East Asian or Indo-European), but they can’t specifically tell you which countries your DNA represents.

The outlines on Europe’s genetic map resemble those on its geographic map. The most genetic difference occurs between northern and southern populations, probably reflecting ancient migrations that populated Europe from the south.

The map also shows where two “genetic barriers” arose: One separated the Finns from the rest of Europe due to the small early Finnish population; the other separated those in Italy, perhaps because the Alps kept people from moving back and forth.

The map came from genetics testing that analyzed 500,000 sites on the human genomes of nearly 2,500 Europeans.

Genetic Genealogy
Tuesday, 19 August 2008 08:03:09 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 15 August 2008
101 Best Web Sites: and SharedTree
Posted by Diane

This week's 101 best genealogy Web site highlights:
  • SharedTree is a free place to build and share your tree online. Pluses include not having to download anything, GDCOM compatibility, unlimited file size and real-time collaboration with other researchers.
  • is one of the go-to places for searching cemetery records—in this case, 3.9 million transcriptions from 8,375 cemeteries in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand and other countries.

Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 15 August 2008 14:12:21 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Thursday, 14 August 2008
Free Database of the Week: Early Indiana Marriages
Posted by Diane

This week’s free database is the Indiana State Library’s compilation of Indiana marriages through 1850.

The late Dorothy Riker, an editor of The Hoosier Genealogist, started the project years ago. Volunteers have expanded the index to include marriage information through 1850 from courthouses in all counties that kept records, plus marriages mentioned in Quaker monthly meeting notes and St. Francis Xavier Church (in Vicennes) records. That adds up to around 330,000 marriages recorded in the database.

You can search on the bride or groom. Results link to the person’s full name, name of his or her spouse, the date of the marriage and the county where it took place.

Then you can look for the original record on Family History Library microfilm, or request it from the county court clerk (for contact information, go to the state courts Web site and use the Information by County dropdown menu on the left).

Free Databases | Public Records
Thursday, 14 August 2008 16:36:33 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, 13 August 2008
NARA to Release Records on WWII Intelligence Officers
Posted by Diane

On Aug. 14, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will open more than 35,000 personnel files of men and women who served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the country’s intelligence agency during World War II.

The files, located at NARA’s College Park. Md., facility, cover civilian and military OSS personnel who died while in service or were transferred, discharged or reassigned prior to 1947.

Records document applications, training and work assignments, pay, leave and travel, evaluations, basic medical information, awards and decorations, and discharges. Some files have special citations for combat actions or major intelligence missions.

The files are arranged by name, so you can use NARA’s Archival Research Catalog to search for people with OSS files. It’s a little tricky—here’s how I did it:
1. In the Archival Research Catalog, make sure the Archival Description tab is selected (it should be the default).
2. Type 1593270 (the OSS ARC identifier) into the search field and click Search.
3.  Click the link for the single result.
4. Scroll down and click the Search Within This Series icon to search for a name (the search may take awhile). Or, to browse names, click the link “15,169 file units described in ARC.”
You don’t get much identifying information, just the person’s name and serial number, which you can use it to order copies from NARA.

Fun fact: Julia Child (then Julia McWilliams) served in the OSS, where she helped develop repellant so sharks wouldn’t foil US efforts to blow up German U-boats. She also met her her future husband, Paul Child, another OSS member.

See NARA’s Web site for more background information on OSS records.

Libraries and Archives | Military records
Wednesday, 13 August 2008 10:33:58 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 11 August 2008
Researching African-American Historical Newspapers
Posted by Diane

Tune in to the most recent Genealogy Guys podcast to hear about a new resource for African-American researchers, Finding and Using African American Newspapers by Tim Pinnick (Gregath Publishing).

Genealogists often shy away from searching through old newspapers because it requires digging up the names of sometimes-obscure titles, and often traveling to the library and enduring lots of microfilm-scrolling. And most of us seem to assume our ancestors weren’t newsworthy, anyway.

In an excerpt on his Web site, Pinnick ticks off the benefits of historical newspapers for African-American researchers in particular: articles that associate an ancestor with a slaveholding family, birth and death dates before vital records were kept, freed slaves’ notices seeking information about loved ones, society pages with family members’ comings and goings.

A few additional resources for African-American newspapers (feel free to click comment and add others you know of):
  • Freedom’s Journal, published in New York City, is digitized at the Wisconsin Historical Society Web site.

African-American roots | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, 11 August 2008 17:22:56 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 08 August 2008
101 Sites: FamilySearch Labs and Florida Memory
Posted by Diane

Here are this week's 101 Best Web Sites highlights. See the rest of the list at
  • FamilySearch Labs is where you can access cool new tools that one day will be part of the main FamilySearch site. That includes the Web-based tool volunteers all over the world use to index digitized records, a family tree application (currently being rolled out to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ locations) and the Record Search Pilot. Webmasters recently added a global map that lets you search records from particular areas of the world.

Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, 08 August 2008 14:54:00 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Chinese Genealogy Resources and’s
Posted by Diane

We’ve heard some questions about’s recently launched Chinese site,, and help for researchers who want to use it but don’t know Chinese.

“There isn’t an English version of the Chinese site, just as there isn’t an English version of our Italian, French, German or Swedish sites,” says Simon Zivian, spokesperson for the’s international business. “These international sites have been launched in local markets for those markets.”

In addition, the jiapu (family histories) on the site are in Chinese.

You can get a rough translation using Google’s Web page translator, but you’d need to search using Chinese characters, and you’d need translation help with the digitized records.

For translation help, I’d suggest contacting a university Asian Studies department or a local Chinese organization to ask for recommendations. Here are a few other Chinese genealogy resources:
  • China Gateway
    Links to repositories in North America, China and elsewhere that have Chinese collections
I did a search for professional genealogists specializing in Chinese research and came up empty. Hit Comment and add a post if you know of one.

Asian roots | Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy
Friday, 08 August 2008 14:25:59 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Thursday, 07 August 2008
Free Database of the Week: Virginia WWI Veterans Surveys
Posted by Diane

In 1919, as part of an effort to preserve the stories of Virginians in the Great War, a governor-appointed Historical Commission sent questionnaires to the state's returning WWI soldiers and nurses.  

A full narrative of the completed questionnaires was never published, and the records ended up with the Library of Virginia.

Now they’re in a database of more than 14,900 records, one for each respondent, linked to digitized images of each questionnaire page plus any accompanying photographs or other material.

The completed questionnaires hold a wealth of data, including names, dates, places, educational and religious background, and military service details. Soldiers also answered questions about their wartime experiences and how war affected their personal values. See the library Web site for more on this collection.

You can search on a keyword (such as a name or hometown) or phrase, or enter a word to browse alphabetically adjacent records.

Search results come in table form; click the number on the far left to bring up the catalog entry. Next, click the URL next to the document icon, then click the link to a page of the questionnaire.

Free Databases | Libraries and Archives | Military records
Thursday, 07 August 2008 16:40:18 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 06 August 2008 Launches Chinese Site
Posted by Diane

First, The Generations Network (owner of just launched a Chinese family history Web site at

The site, written in Chinese, provides access to jiapu (family histories) online. They're available through a partnership with the Shanghai Library, which holds the largest collection of Chinese family history records in the world. So far, 1,450 jiapu covering 270 surnames are online; eventually, will contain 22,700 jiapu.

As of now, the family histories are accessible at no cost. | Asian roots | International Genealogy
Wednesday, 06 August 2008 17:07:26 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, 05 August 2008
Show Your Stuff in the Genealogy Blogger Olympics
Posted by Diane

Challenge yourself to go for the gold in your family tree research by participating in the Summer 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games.

The Games, sponsored by bloggers at AnceStories and elsewhere, are open to members of the Facebook Genea-Blogger Group (which you can sign up for after becoming a member of Facebook).

No shotput-hurling or pole-vaulting here. The five events in the Genea-Blogger Games include citing sources, backing up data, organizing your research, writing about your family history and performing acts of genealogical kindness.

You’ll keep track of your own points and record your progress on your blog. Win enough points, and you’ll receive a medal to display there.

Competitors must register by 3 pm PDT Aug. 7, and the Games are on Aug. 9-23. See the AnceStories blog for registration instructions, detailed descriptions of each event and scorekeeping guidelines.

Now’s the time for all that genealogy training to pay off—let the games begin!

Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun
Tuesday, 05 August 2008 14:20:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Genealogical Society Fundraising Idea
Posted by Diane

Several members of the Forum have mentioned fundraising as a challenge for genealogical societies.

If you register with the shopping site GoodShop, your society can earn money when people select it from a list of charities and schools, then shop on participating Web sites (including eBay, PetSmart, Target, J. Crew and more). The retailer then donates a designated portion of the purchase (averaging about 3 percent) to your group.

How do you add your society to the potential beneficiaries? If the group is a registered nonprofit, you can submit it for participation. The approval process takes a couple of days.

GoodShop has a search engine called GoodSearch that works similarly: A Web surfer selects a charity and then does a search (powered by Yahoo!), and the charity gets a small donation from advertisers on GoodSearch.

I counted at least 15 genealogical societies already on the GoodShop/GoodSearch list. See if your society is one of them here.

Genealogy societies
Tuesday, 05 August 2008 13:16:27 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, 04 August 2008
Let the Games Begin!
Posted by Grace

Attention around the world is already turning to Beijing, where the 2008 Summer Olympics begins this Friday. To get you in the sporting mood, we've collected some great resources on Olympics history.

The New York Times has a great audio slideshow about legendary Olympians. The interviewees include John Carlos (the runner who raised a gloved fist during the awards ceremony in 1968), Nadia Comaneci and Mark Spitz. has an in-depth history of the games, and Kodak shows great Olympics moments in pictures.

The New York Times' Olympics blog also has a roundup of past official songs of the games complete with YouTube videos. Some are very memorable (like Gloria Estefan's "Reach")—others I'd much rather forget I ever heard.

More current Olympics information:

Genealogy fun | Oral History | Social History | Videos
Monday, 04 August 2008 13:48:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, 01 August 2008
Google Creates Wikipedia Rival
Posted by Grace

Wikipedia—the crowdsourced encyclopedia—has a lot of strengths. Calling on the knowledge of all its users, Wikipedia is able to revise and rewrite articles to update them instantly. Because there's no space limit, even Alabama's Boll Weevil Monument, government cheese and Hoovervilles have their own entries.

But it also has one big weakness: Because anybody can edit or write practically anything, it's difficult to have absolute confidence that all its contents are accurate.

Knol, a new project from Google, aims to collect information on every topic under the sun—from experts, not anonymous editors. Google refrains from editing knols (units of knowledge), but other users can submit comments and reviews. Think of it as a more moderated version of Wikipedia's Wild West.

The site debuted (as Wired reported) with articles mainly on medical conditions. I'm curious to see how long it takes Knol to amass an amount of articles to compete with Wikipedia. Knol's articles on genealogy currently are pretty limited. Any volunteers?

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Friday, 01 August 2008 14:22:02 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]