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More Links

# Monday, 30 November 2009
UK Site Adds Registers of Doctors, Midwives, Dentists
Posted by Diane

Got a doctor or midwife among your British relatives? UK-based genealogy database site added a million records of doctors, dentists and midwives who practiced from 1853 to 1943.

The records come from several sources, including the London List Medical Directory, Nisbet’s Medical Directory and the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians. After 1858, the UK’s General Council of Medical Education and Registration began keeping medical registers.

You can see a list of databases in the medical registers collection at (you’ll need to scroll down on the page).

Search and view the registers with a subscription (about $50 a year); the records aren't available on a pay-per-view basis.

Related resources from Family Tree Magazine:

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots
Monday, 30 November 2009 10:01:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Cyber Monday Genealogy Deals
Posted by Diane

For your genealogy shopping enjoyment, we wanted to share Cyber Monday deals we’ve heard about. These expire Monday, Nov. 30, at midnight, so get a move on. Click comments to add deals you've heard about.
Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention our own Black Friday/Cyber Monday specials. We're offering free shipping on any order size, plus we've marked down many products at Use code FAMILYFS09 to get the free shipping.

Family Tree Magazine subscriptions are deeply discounted there, too, at 42 percent off newsstand price. For an even better discount, check out our VIP program: $49.99 for a year of the print magazine, a one-year membership to Family Tree Magazine Plus online articles, and an exclusive Family Tree Toolkit. All in all, a $61 savings. Details at

Genealogy Industry
Monday, 30 November 2009 08:53:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Editor’s Pick: 2009 Annual CD
Posted by Diane

Our CD with PDF versions of all seven 2009 Family Tree Magazine issues is hot off the presses (so hot, actually, that it’s not yet in stock, but it’s available now for pre-order).

Though I love my paper copies of Family Tree Magazine, you can’t beat the ability to keyword-search all 532 pages of how-to genealogy guidance on our 2009 CD. It’s super-fast to find all references to, say, the Civil War—no need to flip back and forth between pages. And of course, it saves space and you can tuck it into your laptop case for taking to the library. 

But I think the best thing about our annual CDs is the end of typing in URLs. You can just click to visit the recommended websites.

I’ll stroll down memory lane (since we’re already working on our May 2010 issue) and list my favorite articles from each 2009 issue:
  • Power Hour: this January 2009 guide breaks down 14 genealogy tasks so you can accomplish them on your lunch hour

  • Cheap Thrills: a special section in the March 2009 issue with money-saving research strategies

  • Hair Apparent: I love the photos and information in this May 2009 article on hairstyles through history, and how they can help you date photos

  • Special Help: our July 2009 guide to finding and using federal non-population censuses

  • National Archives Web Guide: NARA’s website is one of my favorite sources for learning about US records

  • Under Surveillance: this November 2009 article helps you avoid red tape when requesting US government records—I followed the instructions to obtain my ancestor’s alien registration record

  • Guide to Genetic Genealogy: genetic genealogy articles in the December issue debunk DNA myths, highlight online DNA databases and help you discover family health history
Heritage guides in 2009 cover Danish, Mexican, German, Canadian, Jewish, American Indian and African-American ancestors.

The CD works on both PC and Macintosh systems with the free Adobe Reader (version 6.0 or higher). Learn more and pre-order at

Editor's Pick
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 08:12:59 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 23 November 2009
Easy Ways to Talk Family History Over Turkey
Posted by Diane

Combine nostalgia, holiday traditions, grandma’s pumpkin pie and immediate access to a bunch of relatives, and what do you get?

An atmosphere ripe for talking about family history.

Thanksgiving is a good time to tell and listen to stories, get IDs for mystery faces in photos, and share your genealogy discoveries. It doesn’t have to be weird or forced—don't announce “Time to talk about genealogy!” just as everyone’s settling in to watch football.

Here are a few easy, unobtrusive ways to start family history discussions.
  • Identify the "connector" at the gathering—the relative who knows everyone and starts conversations. Get this person curious about your research by sharing a genealogy discovery or a photo related to his or her ancestor. 
  • Show off a photo of an ancestor who looks remarkably like a relative who'll be there.
  • Over dinner, ask about family recipes, for example, “Where did Grandma learn to make pie like this?”
  • Bring up a Thanksgiving from your childhood: “Remember the time Aunt June used salt instead of sugar in the sweet potatoes?”
  • Mention changes to an old family home you drove past recently—maybe it’s on the market, or someone built an addition.
  • You probably have at least one relative who’s interested in your research. Arrange to show that person some genealogy records at the Thanksgiving gathering, and you may arouse others' curiosity (but be prepared for people to ask for copies).
  • If your child or grandchild is working on a family history project for school or scouts, let him bring his blank ancestor chart and ask relatives for help filling it in.
More resources from Family Tree Magazine:

Celebrating your heritage | Oral History | Research Tips
Monday, 23 November 2009 08:58:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, 20 November 2009
Genealogy News Corral: November 16-20
Posted by Diane

  • In preparation for the Civil War sesquicentennial from 2011 to 2015, the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) and Cleveland State University's Center for Public History and Digital Humanities launched a website about Ohio’s role in the Civil War. You can submit content for several areas of the site. See the OHS newsletter for more information.

  • FamilySearch updated several collections on its free Record Search Pilot site: the 1920 US census index (Texas, Ohio and Iowa were added), Massachusetts marriages, Spanish civil registers, Brazil Catholic church records, and Mexico Catholic baptisms. To see details of each collection, click the appropriate region on the site’s map, click the collection title, then click About This Collection.

  • Pedigree database site OneGreatFamily created a page to help you discover Mayflower ancestors. You’ll find a list of passengers and information about their journey, and if you have a tree on the site (requires a subscription or a free trial), you can see if your branches match up with a Mayflower tree. Follow the directions on OneGreatFamily's Mayflower page to get started.

  • If you’re going to the National Genealogical Society (NGS) annual conference in Salt Lake City April 28 to May 1, NGS has arranged air travel discounts of 2 to 7 percent with Delta/KLM/NWA, and car rental discounts of 8 percent with Thrifty. See the NGS website for how to take advantage of these deals.

FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Friday, 20 November 2009 13:41:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 19 November 2009
Footnote Releases American Indian Collection
Posted by Diane

Historical records subscription site Footnote released a new records collection focusing on American Indians. It includes:
  • Ratified Indian Treaties dating back to 1722

  • Indian Census Rolls featuring information including age, place of residence and degree of Indian blood

  • The Guion Miller Roll, an important source for Cherokee ancestors

  • Dawes Packets, containing original applications for tribal enrollments, as well as other documents relating to the Five Civilized Tribes

As with Footnote’s other records, members can search, annotate and add comments to records. Visitors also can view pages for other American Indian tribes, which feature a timeline and map, photo gallery, stories and members’ comments.

The records are available with a $79.95 annual subscription to Footnote (a free seven-day trial is available). Access the collection here.

Related resources on

American Indian roots | Footnote | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 19 November 2009 20:01:50 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Free MyHeritage CD With January 2010 Issue
Posted by Diane

If you’ve already gotten your January 2010 Family Tree Magazine, you’ll notice it’s wrapped with a little present: a CD containing free FamilyTreeBuilder software from MyHeritage, a genealogy and family networking website.

The CD works on Windows 98 or newer. Pop in the CD and the download should begin automatically. If it doesn’t, use the finder to navigate to your CD drive and click on the icon. Need technical help or have questions about the software? See the MyHeritage Help Center or Family Tree Builder pages.

The CD comes with both subscriber issues (now being delivered) and newsstand issues (available Dec. 1 at bookstores and on

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:00:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Search DAR Genealogy Indexes Free Online
Posted by Diane

The Daughters of the American Revolution, a 119-year-old lineage society for women descended from patriots of the American Revolution, has added its Genealogical Research System to its public website.

The system, which is free to search, includes several genealogical databases:
  • The Genealogical Records Committee National Index (also called the GRC Index) was already on the site, but if you’ve used it before, it has a different interface as part of the Research System. It indexes 20,000 volumes of transcribed gravestones, family Bibles and other records (and not just from the Revolution era) DAR members have collected.
  • The Ancestor Database of ancestral data from applications of DAR members (who must prove their descent from a Patriot).
  • A Member search, which lets you enter a deceased DAR member's number for limited information on her ancestors.
  • The Descendants index, still under construction, lets you search for names in generations between the DAR member and the Revolutionary War ancestor. It includes much 18th and 19th-century information.
Read more about what’s in each database here.

Start searching here (click Enter Site).

Each database has a separate search. Try alternate spellings, as the search doesn’t automatically find them. It does find partial names, though: If you search on Mary Smith, for example, you’d also get entries for Maryann Smith and Mary Smithson.

Depending on the database you search, you may be able to click to the resource’s listing in the DAR’s online library catalog, or to see basic information (name, birth and death dates, parents’ and children’s names) about an ancestor named in a DAR application.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of some DAR materials; search its online catalog to see if it has the title you need. Then you can rent it by visiting a branch Family History Center near you.

The DAR takes requests for photocopies by fax or postal mail (not e-mail); see the Search Services page for more information.

Free Databases | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 19 November 2009 08:47:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Editors Pick: Family Tree Legacies
Posted by Diane

Family Tree Magazine editor Allison Stacy and I talked about everything we’d want in one of those “record your family history” books, and Family Tree Legacies: Preserving Memories Throughout Time is the result. We’re a little biased, but we love how well-organized, versatile and pretty it is (and we think it would make a good Christmas or wedding gift).

This book is a three-ring binder with blank fill-in pages for all kinds of information, and a CD in the back that has printable versions of all the fill-in pages.

Lovely tabbed separators divide the book into themed sections, each focusing on a different type of family history information.

Sections let you record details about your immediate family, extended family, memories and traditions, photographs, family heirlooms, relatives who served in the military, newspaper articles featuring family members, places that are prominent in your family history, family recipes and important dates.

Each section begins with tips and tricks (the one below gets you started finding newspaper articles about your family members) . . .

. . . and then has specially designed pages to record information. The pages below are in the Family Heirlooms section.

There’s also an introduction with 10 steps to discovering your family history and a reference guide with helpful references, websites and books. We also love the fold-out family tree chart (below).

You can use the stickers to mark historical family events in the calendar section, maps in the Places section and more.

We’re hoping Family Tree Legacies will become a keepsake you can pass on to future generations. 

Celebrating your heritage | Family Heirlooms | Genealogy books
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 17:09:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
Download Free RootsMagic Essentials Software
Posted by Diane

RootsMagic, maker of RootsMagic desktop genealogy software for Windows, has released a free version called RootsMagic Essentials. The program contains many core features found in its namesake.

It’s designed for people who want to start using genealogy software, but aren’t yet ready to purchase a full-fledged program. RootsMagic Essentials offers the ability to
  • add an unlimited number of people and events to your tree
  • add pictures and media management
  • write source citations using the SourceWizard
  • create dozens of reports and charts
  • share data with other people and software programs.
It can directly import data from Personal Ancestral File, Family Tree Maker (through version 2006), Family Origins and Legacy Family Tree. It reads and writes data using the GEDCOM format.

The full version of RootsMagic 4, which includes additional faeatures, is available for $29.95. See the website for more details.

Speaking of the web, RootsMagic unveiled a sleek new site today. The navigation tabs with drop-down menus neatly organize the site’s content so it’s easy to find.

You can download trial versions of other RootsMagic programs, too, including Personal Historian, FamilyAtlas and Family Reunion Organizer.

Genealogy Software
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 13:30:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 17 November 2009
So a Genealogist Walks Into a Bar . . .
Posted by Diane

Just when I needed a laugh this morning, reader Crystal Pickett emailed links to a few of her favorite funny genealogy sites. Yes, there is such a thing as genealogy humor. For example:

Cyndi’s List: Humor (from Crystal)

My Elusive Ancestors (from Crystal)

Strange but true epitaphs (On an auctioneer's tombstone: "Going! Going!! Gone!!!")

Genealogy Humor (turns out you can be your own grandpa)

Census Whacking (blogger Randy Seaver's links to funny names in census records)

Heir Jordan, Extreme Genealogy (video on Roots Television)

The Genealogue

To thank Crystal, here are the lines she’s searching: Shaw/Burtley from Mer Rouge, La.; and Crutch/Crutcher and Wilburn from Vaughn Miss. and Pickens, Miss. 

Click comments if a name rings a bell, or to add a link to your favorite funny genealogy site.

Genealogy fun
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 16:57:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 16 November 2009
How to Win Your Wish List!
Posted by Diane

It’s fun playing Santa this time of year, so we’re offering a chance to win your favorite how-to genealogy books, CDs, digital downloads and more.

Just fill out your wish list by Wed., Dec. 2, and you’ll be entered to win everything on your list up to $150. (You’re still entered if you already had a wish list.) No purchase necessary to create a wish list or to win.

Four lucky winners will be announced on on December 3. You’ll find wish list instructions and giveaway details on

Genealogy fun
Monday, 16 November 2009 15:13:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 13 November 2009
Genealogy News Corral: November 9-13
Posted by Diane

Subscriptions to these publications are included with an NEHGS membership, which starts at $75 per year.
  • Subscription site WorldVitalRecords has added newspaper content from Alaska, California, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Texas, Wisconsin, Mexico and the UK. Click here to see the titles and other details. The papers are accessible with a World Vital Records subscription ($39.96 per year).
  • David Ferriero was sworn in this week as the 10th Archivist of the United States. The new director of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was formerly the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries, and he’s served in leadership positions at other academic libraries. You can read more about Ferriero on NARA's website.

Free Databases | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives | Newspapers
Friday, 13 November 2009 14:04:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 12 November 2009
Foonote Extends Free Holocaust Records Access
Posted by Diane

Due to its overwhelming popularity, Footnote’s Holocaust Collection—which was to remain free for the month of October—will now be free to access for the rest of the year.

On January 1, 2010, these records will become part of the $79.95-per-year paid subscription to Footnote. (You’ll still be able to get them free, though, if you visit a National Archives and Records Administration facility and use an on-site computer.)

You can access Footnote's Holocaust Collection here.

More Resources Jewish genealogy articles

Family Tree Magazine Jewish Genealogy Guide in

Footnote | Free Databases | Jewish roots
Thursday, 12 November 2009 14:18:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
And Our January 2010 Cover Model is …
Posted by Diane

Way back in September, when we put out a call for readers’ ancestral family photos, one of which we’d feature on the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine, we didn’t know we’d get so many terrific candidates. It was difficult to choose just one, but we persevered.

Gracing our January 2010 cover—and helping us unveil the new look of Family Tree Magazine—is [cue drum roll] Marjorie May Newell, grandmother of submitter Sandra Simon-Rosa of Belgrade, Mont.

Sandra says Marjorie was a fashionista with a great sense of humor.

Subscribers are starting to receive the January issue now; it’ll be available on newsstands and at starting Dec. 1.

See the rest of the photos in our slideshow and on Flickr.

You’ll see the images inside issues throughout the year, and in the 2010 Family Tree Magazine Desk Calendar, available soon (we’ll let you know) from Thanks to Sandra and all who sent photos for sharing their family memories with us.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun | Photos
Thursday, 12 November 2009 10:04:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Ancestral Cover Photos Slideshow
Posted by Diane

The redesigned January 2010 Family Tree Magazine—our 10th anniversary issue—is going to subscribers this week!

This is the issue featuring a reader’s family photo on the cover. We’ll announce the winner and show you the cover tomorrow, but first we wanted to share this slideshow of the 300-plus lovely, amusing and touching photos you sent.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Click here to see the ancestral cover photo submissions on Flickr.

Family Tree Magazine articles | Photos | Videos
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 15:54:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Online Military Research Guide Free Through Nov. 15
Posted by Diane

Many of you are honoring the veterans in your family by researching their service with’s free-through-Friday military records access and in other resources.

To give you a hand, our online military research overview—regularly part of the Family Tree Magazine Plus membership—is free through Sunday night, Nov. 15.  It tells you about available records and where to find them for major conflicts back to the Revolutionary War.

Access our military research guide here. Want more military research resources? Here are some recommendations.

Free articles:
Family Tree Magazine Plus articles (you must be a Plus member to access these):

Family Tree Magazine articles | Military records | Research Tips
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 10:22:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Search Military Records Free Through Nov. 13
Posted by Diane

For the rest of this week, you can search subscription site’s military records collection for free in honor of Veterans Day.

That includes the latest addition, more than 600 Navy cruise books from 1950-1988, giving names and photographs of roughly 450,000 servicemen deployed at sea, as well as details about the voyage.

I recommend searching the WWI draft cards, too. Nearly every male resident (citizens and aliens) born between 1873 and 1900 had to register.

Start searching on’s military records landing page. When you click to view record details, you'll be prompted to sign up for a free registration if you're not already logged in to the site. | Military records
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 07:54:50 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Cincinnati Library Digitizes Sanborn Maps
Posted by Diane

Our friends at our local Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County let it slip today that they’re digitizing their local Sanborn maps and putting them online. They’ve already got two volumes scanned.

Wondering what Sanborn maps are? The Sanborn company published them regularly from 1867 to 1970 to evaluate fire insurance liability in urban areas. Between publications, the company would issue updated maps on single sheets to be glued into a volume of maps.

The maps are detailed street plans at a scale of 50 feet to one inch on large sheets of paper—one sheet shows about four to six city blocks. You can see building outlines, locations of windows and doors, building use (including the names of most public buildings), property boundaries, house and block number, street names, street and sidewalk widths, fire walls, composition of building materials and more.

You can learn a lot about your ancestor’s house and neighborhood, or research the history of your own old house.

Each map volume has a title page showing the publication year and an index of the streets and addresses covered in that volume. You just look up the address or building name to find the sheet number for the large-scale map it appears on. There’s also an index map of the entire mapped area, with the sheet numbers for each large-scale map in that volume. If you don't know the address, you can use this index map to guess the sheet number you need.

Sanborn maps cover most urban areas. Many public and university libraries have Sanborn maps in print or on microfilm for the local area. The Library of Congress has a huge collection. At some libraries, you can access ProQuest’s database of digitized maps (check your library’s Web site or ask at the reference desk).

Back to the Cincinnati library’s collection: Each index page and map sheet is an individual PDF document. First, check the index page to find the map number you want. I was looking for my great-grandfather’s store, H.A. Seeger Cigar Manufacturer, which operated for decades at the corner of 12th and Pendleton in downtown Cincinnati.

I clicked on volume 2, published in 1904, and checked the index:

Then I downloaded sheet 148. H.A. Seeger's Cigars is circled in yellow:

Dwellings are labeled D and stores are labeled S. My relatives probably attended the Roman Catholic church across the street and bought bread from the bakery seven doors down.

More resources: Walking with Your Ancestors: A Genealogist's Guide to Using Maps and Geography by Melinda Kashuba

Free Databases | Land records | Libraries and Archives | Research Tips
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 17:29:40 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, 09 November 2009
Brick Wall Strategies Webinar Update
Posted by Diane

Every genealogist has a brick wall ancestor, it seems--so just about everyone can use the advice in our next webinar, titled (predictably) Brick Wall Strategies.

I'll be hosting the hourlong session Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. Eastern, and as I began preparing for the webinar, I thought: This would be a perfect time to call in a professional who helps family historians surmount their research obstacles every day.

So I'm delighted to announce that David Allen Lambert, online genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, will be joining me for as the co-host of the webinar. David will offer advice on participants' specific brick wall problems, and be on hand to answer questions during a live Q&A period.

Other good news: We're extending the early bird rate of $39.99 until Thursday (Nov. 12) at midnight. Register now to receive this $10 discount.

Can't make it on Nov. 18? Take advantage of the discount to get access to the webinar recording (which you can view as many times as you'd like), as well as the bonus materials provided only to participants in the live webinar--including a PDF of the presentation slides and our Genealogy Guidebook of 100+ brick wall busting ideas.

When you sign up, you'll have the opportunity to submit your brick wall problem for a chance to receive personalized advice from David.

More resources:

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Webinars
Monday, 09 November 2009 17:54:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 06 November 2009
Genealogy News Corral: November 2-6
Posted by Diane

Here's what's in this week's roundup:
  • Databases recently updated or added in FamilySearch’s free Record Search pilot include the Indiana marriage index, Netherlands parish registers (images only so far), 1920 US Census index, Brazil Catholic church records (images only so far), and Italy municipal records (images only so far).
To see details of each addition, click the relevant region on the Record Search Pilot map. Then click the title of the collection in the alphabetical list. (Look for more FamilySearch search tips in the January 2010 Family Tree Magazine, on newsstands Dec. 15.)
  • Dick Eastman started a free site called GenQueries for posting your surname research queries (for example, “Seeking information about Eugene and Lilly WOODFORD family, lived in Marion Co., Indiana, in 1900”). You also can advertise genealogy services or societies, and search others’ ads. Read about GenQueries on Dick’s blog.
  • Genealogy and family networking site MyHeritage launched a Family Statistics feature for the family tree sites on MyHeritage. The feature generates statistics, such oldest living relative or most common birth month in the family, based on data in the tree. Family Statistics works for sites on the free basic plan as well as the paid plans.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy
Friday, 06 November 2009 12:24:18 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 05 November 2009
Editors Pick: Wish Lists in
Posted by Diane

Got your eye on a few how-to genealogy books, CDs, digital downloads or other helps in

Now you can keep track of those wanted items—and, if you choose, communicate your hankering to those whose gift lists you’re on—by creating a wish list.

Here’s how:
1. Go to Click My Wish List in the top right corner of any page.
2. If you’ve ordered something before, you might already have an account, and you can log in here. If you don’t have an account, click the “Not Registered? Click Here” link to create a user name and password (you don’t have to buy anything to register).
3. Once you’re logged in, click the Wish List link to go right to your list.
4. Set up a list by entering a description (such as “Diane’s Christmas list”), an expiration date, and deciding whether to keep it hidden. If you check the “private” box, you won’t be able to e-mail the list to others, but you can view and make purchases from it. Click submit.
5. Whenever you’re browsing around in the store and see an item you’d like, click the Add to Wish List button. You’ll be taken to the entry in your list.
Once you’ve added items to your list, click Wish List to see the "E-mail Wish List to Friends" link. (If you made your list private, you won’t see this link. Just uncheck the Private box to see the link.) Now you can type a message and enter up 20 e-mail addresses of people who’ll receive your list.

They’ll get an e-mail that starts with “[Your name] has opened a wish list at and wanted to let you know. You can view the list by clicking on the link below.”

Then they’ll see your message and a link to your list on

Editor's Pick | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, 05 November 2009 09:39:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Now's the Time to Start on Family History Gifts
Posted by Diane

We don’t mean to rush you into the winter holidays—it was just Halloween—but if you’re thinking of giving family history-related gifts this year, now’s the time to start.

Many such gifts require prep work: For example, you’ll need to gather, scan, digitally touch up and label photos for a photo CD; start laying out an online photo book or calendar; or collect and transcribe family stories. Maybe you want to check another record or two before finalizing a compiled family history.

And by starting early, you can watch for coupon codes and sales; and make sure anything you order online will get to you in time.

As our early gift to you, here’s our December 2006 article with 13 family history gift ideas you can make. The projects range from very quick and easy to moderately quick and easy. The article has supply lists and step-by-step instructions for seven of the projects.

A few more sources of family tree gift ideas:
  • I’m kinda partial to this one: Family Tree Legacies, a book Family Tree Magazine editor Allison Stacy and I put together for recording all kinds of family history information—not just names and dates, but also family stories, news articles, house history, military service details, where people lived and more.

Celebrating your heritage | Family Heirlooms | Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun
Thursday, 05 November 2009 09:07:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
FamilyRelatives Adds A Million British Military Records
Posted by Diane

British subscription and pay-per-view site FamilyRelatives is adding a million new military records spanning from 1808 to World War 1.

They include:
  • The Peninsular Medal Roll (1808-1814), naming some who fought in the Peninsular Wars against Napoleon from 1808 to 1813.
  • De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour (1914-1918), a two-volume set with biographies of 25,000 men. The site currently has 12,500 of the biographies—those of men who lost their lives in the Great War.
  • Harts Army Lists for several years. The lists were published regularly between 1839 and 1915, and give details of war service.
See the full list of new military records on (scroll down on the linked page). An annual FamilyRelatives subscription costs 30 pounds (about $50). Click here to see pay-per-view options.

Military records | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, 05 November 2009 08:36:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 04 November 2009
Massachusetts State Library in Danger?
Posted by Diane

First it was the Library of Michigan. Now the State Library of Massachusetts is reporting on its blog that the Massachusetts governor’s office announced during an Oct. 29 press conference that the governor is considering closing the State Library of Massachusetts to cut expenses.

A press release about the state's budget gap, which the governor issued the same day, doesn’t specifically mention the library, but it says state agencies have been asked to prepare for additional cuts.

The state library's blog post links to a petition you can sign, and to contact information for the governor’s office.

The Massachusetts Library Association was already planning a rally at the Massachusetts State House today to support libraries, whose funding has declined over the years even as use goes up.

Libraries and Archives
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 13:47:37 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Tuesday, 03 November 2009
Tell Us Your New Year's Traditions (You Could Win a CD)
Posted by Diane

We’re still taking entries for our November 2009 All in the Family challenge, but only for another week. If we publish your entry in Family Tree Magazine, you’ll win our Organize Your Genealogy Life! CD.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Think of your family’s weird, wacky or wonderful New Year’s traditions. Did you irritate the neighbors by banging pots and pans at midnight? Play board games and watch the ball drop on Times Square? Consume cabbage, donuts or black-eyed peas for luck?

2. Next, describe that tradition in 200 words or less.

3. Send us your description either by posting it to our Talk to Us Forum (you must register with the Forum to post) or by sending us an e-mail.

Please include your name and your city and state with your entry, like so: Diane Haddad, Cincinnati, Ohio. If we pick your entry, that’ll make it easier for us to credit you in the magazine.

And in that case, we’ll contact you by e-mail to ask for your mailing address so we can send the CD (so keep an eye on your in box).

You have until Nov. 10 to enter. Let’s hear those New Year traditions!

Celebrating your heritage | Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 15:29:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 02 November 2009
It Works! Writing a Family History Narrative
Posted by Diane

I’ve heard the tip that writing your genealogy research into a narrative forces you to organize your information and for theories about what your ancestors did. I’ve even suggested this tip to people—but I never took my own advice.

Until recently, that is, when relatives started asking for copies of records, and I started feeling guilty that I haven’t already shared them.

But I don’t want to just hand over a stack of papers (or more likely, a CD with a bunch of PDFs) and leave people to interpret them on their own. I wanted to tell the family’s story and provide a framework for the records I've found.

And even though I've looked at these records a million times, in creating my narrative I've spotted some holes and tweaked my timeline. A few examples:
  • I realized (duh!) that I had the 1930 census schedule for my great-grandfather and three of his children, but one wasn’t listed with the family. I found him lodging in a nearby town.
  • I realized my great-grandfather didn’t check in at the state prison until after his sons were placed in an orphanage. That's the reverse of what was on my mental timeline.
  • It occurred to me that I should see if the Lions Club that sponsored part of my grandfather’s college education has minutes from the meeting he attended to thank the group.
I didn’t think I’d accomplished much in my research. But now that I’ve laid it all out, I realize how far I’ve come—and I’m inspired to rev up my efforts.

My narrative isn't anything fancy. I just reviewed my records and notes chronologically, and explained what each document is, what it says about our relatives, and any theories and questions it inspires. I’ll update it as I learn more.

A timeline or a research journal also can help you analyze your work. Try these resources:

Research Tips
Monday, 02 November 2009 16:26:56 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]