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# Friday, March 30, 2012
"Who Do you Think You Are?": Rita Wilson
Posted by Diane

It was a teary episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” with Rita Wilson tonight, as she visited Greece and Bulgaria in search of information about her father Allan’s mysterious past.

This is a more-recent search than in most episodes, which made it closer to home for the celebrity.

Wilson’s father, who passed away a few years ago, was born in 1920 in Oraion, Xanthi, Greece.

There was a lot to be sad about in this episode. Bulgaria occupied Xanthi dring World War II. Required to serve in the military, Allan was imprisoned for a petty crime.

After he was paroled and settled in Bulgaria, he married and had a son, Emil—news to Wilson. His wife died when the baby was three days old, and Emil died at four months.

After attempting to leave the country, Allan was detained by the occupying Communists and sent to a labor camp. This information was in a file in the “Secret Files Commission.” A guard’s report detailed his escape.

When Wilson traveled to Greece to meet her father’s brother for the first time, he gives her a letter Allen wrote from America. He was making good money, going to school and having fun. It was the perfect hopeful ending for a tearful show.

If you missed it, you'll be able to watch it on NBC's website.

Got Greek roots? Here's our free online Greek Genealogy Toolkit. You'll find more Greek research advice in the May/June 2012 Family Tree Magazine, which starts mailing to subscribers in April.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Friday, March 30, 2012 9:06:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
1940 Census: So Many Records, So Few Eyes
Posted by Diane

This man is:

A) Taking his 1940 census searching WAY too far.

B) Brilliant.

Want to speed up your census search (without buying more computers)? Get tips and watch our free video on finding family in the 1940 census.

Also check out our upcoming Family Tree University course Finding Ancestors in the US Census: Online and Offline Strategies. This genealogy course is $39.99 for the April 30 session only—a $60 savings off the regular price!


census records | Genealogy fun
Friday, March 30, 2012 2:00:52 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
Genealogy News Corral, March 26-30
Posted by Diane

  • More than a million Westminster Parish baptism, marriage and burial records dating back to 1538 now available on subscription and pay-as-you-go site findmypast.co.uk. The records come from 50-plus Westminster churches. More Westminster records will go live over the coming months, along with cemetery registers, wills, rate books, settlement examinations, workhouse admission and discharge books, bastardy, orphan and apprentice records, charity documents, and militia and watch records.
  • The 2012 Houston, Texas, Family History Expo takes place Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7. The keynote speaker is Family Tree Magazine's own podcast host Lisa Louise Cooke, and instructors include frequent contributor Lisa A. Alzo. You can register online or at the door, for the whole conference or just one day, or even a single class. Learn more on the Family History Expos website.

Archives.com | census records | Fold3 | Footnote | Genealogy Events | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 30, 2012 11:49:57 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
This Sunday on "Finding Your Roots:" Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada
Posted by Diane

Remember to watch "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr." this Sunday evening at 8 p.m. ET on PBS. It'll feature the family histories of tv journalist Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Bonus: You'll also see  New England Historic Genealogical Society senior researcher Rhonda McClure in action solving Canada's ancestral mysteries.

Here's a preview video in which Canada visits the farm where his enslaved ancestor Thomas lived.

Watch Both Sides of Slavery on PBS. See more from


African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Genealogy societies | Videos
Friday, March 30, 2012 11:32:25 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 29, 2012
This Friday on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Rita Wilson
Posted by Diane

This Friday on "Who Do You Think You Are?", Rita Wilson explores her roots in Greece and Bulgaria.

In this preview video, shot in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (also part of the historical region of Thrace, which I learned about while editing the May/June Family Tree Magazine article on Greek genealogy), Wilson uncovers a secret about her father's past:

 

Here, she meets her uncle for the first time. Word of advice: Grab a tissue.


Incidentally, Bulgaria can be a difficult place to research genealogy, as we pointed out in the September 2007 Family Tree Magazine. If your ancestors hail from there, this show may hold some valuable tips.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots | Videos
Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:03:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 28, 2012
1940 Census Classes and Events
Posted by Diane

The National Archives is webcasting its 1940 census opening ceremonies next Monday, April 2 at 8:30 a.m. As the big day gets closer, the link to view the ceremony will be posted at 1940census.archives.gov.

If you’re on Twitter, go to the early bird tweet-up beforehand, where you can meet the ceremony speakers and chat with a genealogy expert. RSVP to 1940census@archives.gov.

The archives also is hosting and participating in 1940 census workshops across the country. View the Washington DC events schedule here, and events around the country here and here.

Libraries and genealogical societies all over the United States are holding their own workshops to help you find ancestors in the 1940 census. Here's a sampling—check library and society websites for classes near you:

  • California: Live it up in Oakland at a 1940 Census Party, organized by the African-American Genealogical Society of Northern California, the California Genealogical Society and Library, and the Oakland Family History Center. The event is April 9, 2012, from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Oakland Family History Center. Learn more an d register here.

The Allen County, Ind., public library is holding Introduction to the 1940 Census workshops April 2 at 2:30 p.m. and April 7 at 10 a.m. Get more details on the library's events calendar.

Attend Searching for your ancestors in the 1940 Federal Census April Thursday, April 12, at 3:15 at the New York Public Library in New York City.
  • Tennessee: On April 14, the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville will host a seminar on the 1940 census April 14 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. It's free, but reservations are required due to limited seating availability. Click here for contact information.
Looking for an online learning opportunity? Try these from Family Tree Magazine:

census records | Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives | NARA | Videos
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:23:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Finding Your Ancestors' Probate Records
Posted by Diane


If you have dead ancestors, you should learn about probate records, it's been said. Probate files can be rich sources of genealogical information, and even poor folks might've left them.

So I hear, anyway. I haven't actually used probate records. Like many genealogists, I'm not quite sure how to approach them. And I need to get my act together fast, because I'm headed to the Cuyahoga County Probate Court this month

Good thing our Using Probate Records live webinar, presented by professional researcher Marian Pierre-Louis, is Thursday, April 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

Using Probate Records webinar

Marian will show you: 

  • What probate records are
  • How to find probate records
  • Different types of probate records
  • What you'll find in a typical probate record
  • How to make it easier to access probate records
  • Why probate records are critical to your genealogical success

Here's the basic info on the Using Probate Records webinar:

  • Date: Thursday, April 5, 2012
  • Starting time: 8 p.m. Eastern (7 Central/ 6 Mountain/ 5 Pacific)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Price: $49.99 ($39.99 special if you register before April 2)
As usual, registered attendees will be able to download the presentation and slides to view again whenever they want. Click here to register for the Using Probate Records webinar in ShopFamilyTree.com.
 
court records | Editor's Pick | Webinars
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 12:09:38 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 26, 2012
Eight Excuses to Tell Your Spouse, Kids, Coworkers and Friends So You Can Search the 1940 Census in Peace
Posted by Diane

Start memorizing these excuses now! You'll need them to roll right off your tongue next week when you're forgetting about dinner, ignoring the house and putting off work in order to search the 1940 census:

Your spouse:

  • "I'm just trying to deal with some schedule problems. Sorry it's taking so long."

  • “Can it wait? I’m busy doing taxes.”

Your kids:

  • “I was on the internet ordering you presents just for being so good. Now go do your homework before I change my mind.”

Your coworkers:

  • “___ , hold my calls. I’m going to be tied up with the Washington account all day.”

Your boss:

  • "I was just pulling together those names—er, I mean numbers—you requested." (Important: Have a spreadsheet open you can click to if your boss pops up over your shoulder.)

Your friends:

  • “Can’t make it to choir practice/book club/happy hour on Monday—I’ve got a nasty case of enumeritis.”

  • “I can’t talk right now. I'm spending time with relatives.”

  • “Tonight’s not good. I have a date with Steve Morse.”

Want to speed up your census search? Get tips and watch our free video on finding family in the 1940 census at FamilyTreeMagazine.com.

Check out our upcoming Family Tree University course Finding Ancestors in the US Census: Online and Offline Strategies. This genealogy course is just $39.99 for the April 30 session only—a $60 savings off the regular price!


census records | Genealogy fun
Monday, March 26, 2012 3:40:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates: Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis
Posted by Diane

I guess you can feel good about plopping down on the couch for another hour of TV-watching if it’s for work. And if it’s history-related.

Last night’s "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.," traced several ancestors of Harry Connick, Jr., and Branford Marsalis. (Watch it here if you missed it or look for a rebroadcast this week on PBS.)

The show spent quite a bit of time on the two men's childhoods and friendship in New Orleans. I was especially excited to see them at the Musician’s Village, a Habitat for Humanity community the two sponsor and where I got to help build houses several years ago. The show also has Connick and Marsalis playing at Preservation Hall, which I visited on the same trip.

Back to the genealogy: Gates presented Harry and Branford each with a “Book of Life,” basically, a scrapbook of the records the show’s researchers found.

Researchers discovered that Marsalis’ surname came from a white Dutch slave owner in Mississippi. A son of that man's slave married Marsalis’ great-great-grandmother Lizzie—but her son Simion, Marsalis great-grandfather, was three years old when that marriage took place. Simion’s father was likely Lizzie's previous husband, a man named Isaac Black.

I was glad we saw an archivist looking... and looking ... and looking for records of one of Marsalis' ancestors at the New Orleans Public Library and in cemeteries before he finally found something. That's reality.

Connick was relieved to learn his Irish ancestor, a famine immigrant named James Connick, didn’t own slaves—but was disappointed that he fought for the Confederacy for three years.

Gates explains that it wasn't necessarily because James supported slavery. His work would've dried up during the war, and there may have been no other way to make a living. The researchers found a military pension record for James, though it doesn't seem to indicate what kind of injury he might've suffered.

Connick's fifth-great-grandfather, David McCullough from Pennsylvania, was an infamous privateer on the ship Rattlesnake. He captured ships in the West Indies and would send the bounties back to the United States. The British crown had a 5,000-guinea reward on McCullough's head.

To demonstrate how varied our heritage is, Gates had black friends from his local barbershop guess their percentages of African, White and Indian heritage, then had them take DNA tests (the show didn’t explain margins of error). Most weren't too far on their white and black percentages, but had overestimated their American Indian blood. 

Immediately after the Harry Connick Jr./Branford Marsalis episode was another featuring Newark, NJ, mayor Cory Booker and US Rep. John Lewis. I had to get to bed at that point. You can watch this one online, too.

"Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr." is airing Sunday nights at 8 ET on PBS.


African-American roots | Celebrity Roots
Monday, March 26, 2012 11:18:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
"Who Do You Think You Are?": Helen Hunt
Posted by Diane

In Friday’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” Helen Hunt explored her father’s side of the family tree. I caught parts of it between severe weather updates, and finally yesterday I was able to see the whole thing on Hulu (shortly before watching "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.").

Hunt's family tree seemed full of distinguished ancestors. She starts with her great-grandmother Florence Rothenburg—a name later changed to Roberts, which a historian explains would’ve made life easier for the Jewish-American family—in New York City in 1900.

After her husband died, Florence took her four small children to Pasadena, Calif., a move that seemed strange for a newly widowed woman. But it turned out that California was home for Florence.

Florence’s father was one of the Scholle brothers, clothiers who started out in New York. Florence’s father (Hunt's great-great-grandfather) William Scholle opened a branch in San Francisco to serve the Gold Rush pioneers.

He built the business to the point he was listed in a newspaper article about local millionaires. In 1890, he was an investor, along with Isaias Hellman, Levi Strauss and others, in the Nevada Bank (it merged with Wells Fargo in 1905).

That was Hunt’s dad’s mother’s family. Next, in Portland, Maine, she learns about the paternal side. Her great-great-grandmother was Augusta Hunt, a local leader in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

Hunt was almost reluctant to learn more—her impression of the WCTU was that of a group of teetotalers who wanted to restrict everyone else’s freedoms. But a historian explained the extent of alcohol abuse at the time and the suffering it caused, particularly for women and children.

As part of the WCTU, Augusta supported a variety of causes, including female suffrage—and she lived long enough to see the 19th amendment passed. An obituary stated she was the first woman in Portland to cast her vote.

I noticed Hunt's voice-overs in this episode would say “I’m meeting so-and-so, whom I’ve asked to research my ancestor so-and-so.” Past episodes have been presented more as a collaboration between the celebrity and researcher (whether or not that was actually the case), with the celebrity doing more active searching. I wonder if this is a new approach?

I appreciated all the history in this episode and the lesson to learn historical context before making assumptions about your ancestors. Ironically, early on we learned that Hunt’s grandmother—Augusta’s daughter-in-law—was killed by a drunk driver when Hunt’s dad was 5 years old.

The scene in which Hunt goes home to share everything she learned with her dad didn’t make the final episode. For those who love this part of the show, here’s the deleted scene:

If you have New York City ancestors, check out our New York City Research Guide, a digital download in ShopFamilyTree.com.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Monday, March 26, 2012 9:52:20 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, March 23, 2012
1940 Census, Simplified: What You Really Need to Know, in 7 Key Points
Posted by Diane

You've been hearing about the 1940 census from several organizations that'll be hosting the records, and all that information coming at you from various sources might seem confusing.

To help you digest all those details, I'm summarizing and simplifying them here into what you really need to know about where the 1940 census records and indexes will be. Here it is:

1. On April 2 at 9 a.m., the only place you'll be able to find online 1940 census records for the entire country is 1940census.archives.gov. This website was made possible through the National Archives' contract with genealogy company Archives.com.

2. Shortly after the initial release, other websites will begin adding the records as fast as they can. Those include:

3. For the first week to several weeks after April 2, the only way to find your ancestor's 1940 census record will be to browse by enumeration district.

You can find out what an enumeration district is and how to pinpoint the right one by watching our free video on FamilyTreeMagazine.com.

4. Three separate projects to index these census records by name will begin ASAP after the records are released:

The 1940 Census Community Project is recruiting volunteers to do the indexing; Ancestry.com and MyHeritage are using paid contractors to do their indexing work.

5. Each site will add its index one state at a time, as states are completed. No site has specified the order in which states will be indexed, so at this time there's no telling when a particular site will add your ancestor's state. It could be weeks or months before a given site posts the index you need (so you'll want to check all the above sites periodically).

6. Ancestry.com is completing its index in two phases: a basic name index to be released first on a state-by-state basis, then a more-detailed index with additional information to follow. This means you may have access to a searchable basic name index for your ancestral state earlier on Ancestry.com than on another site.

7. Watch out for sites that try to charge for access to 1940 census records. There is no need to pay for 1940 census records. They'll be available online, free, at the sites mentioned in No. 2.


Get help finding your ancestors in the US census with these resources from Family Tree Magazine:


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | MyHeritage
Friday, March 23, 2012 3:07:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Genealogy News Corral, March 19-23
Posted by Diane

  • Looks like I'll be parked in front of the TV for a fair portion of the weekend. Tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are?" watch actress Helen Hunt explore her roots. Here's a video preview:

  • Archives.com has hired genealogist Megan Smolenyak as its Family History Advisor. She'll start immediately, talking about the 1940 census. Smolenyak was formerly chief genealogist at Archives.com competitor Ancestry.com.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Ancestry.com | Archives.com | Celebrity Roots | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events
Friday, March 23, 2012 9:09:23 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Coming to MyHeritage: More Historical Records, Sophisticated Searching
Posted by Diane

Hosting the 1940 US census is the start of big changes at genealogy site and family network MyHeritage. Those changes will include more records and more-sophisticated searching.

In an interview yesterday, MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet called the 1940 census announcement “the first serious signal from MyHeritage that it is strongly entering the historical records market."

"MyHeritage has always been about family trees and photos.”

For at least a year, plans have been underway to change that.

MyHeritage.com has invested half a million dollars into new hardware and a data center to build its new SuperSearch system, which will be released with the site’s 1940 census collection in April. It also will be available on FamilyLink and WorldVitalRecords.com, which MyHeritage acquired in November 2011.

The company also made a personnel acquisition I’m not free to go into detail about, but you’ll hear more soon.

MyHeritage has used SmartMatching, which Japhet says is a good way to search trees for matches, but less effective when it comes to searching on a last name "in any direction the user wants to go."

The new search system will do a better job of matching trees to records by employing data in approximately 1 billion profiles in MyHeritage.com family trees from around the world.

The SuperSearch will first compare your tree to other trees, find matches and “imply” information from those trees—but not add it to your tree, Japhet emphasized. But the search will include that implied information to find historical records that match your ancestors.

For example, if your ancestor’s profile lacks a death date, SuperSearch could find the same ancestor in someone else’s tree—using other details such as children’s names to make the match—and use the death date from the other person’s tree to locate the ancestor’s will in MyHeritage collections.

“This has a low false positive rate. It’s a match Ancestry never could have done. Their technology doesn't use the knowledge of all its trees,” Japhet said. He described the Ancestry.com “shaky leaf” technology as “a bit naïve” because it requires more similar information, such as name spellings or birth and death dates—information the tree owner might not know—to find matches.

“Whenever new data are added, we compare them to all the MyHeritage trees, so you can sit back and do nothing,” Japhet says. “If you have a person’s family tree, you can do a lot of research on behalf of the person.”

Due to the resource investment, using the new SuperSearch engine will require a subscription, says Japhet. But current MyHeritage Premium and PremiumPlus subscribers, who’ve purchased subscriptions to build enhanced trees on the site, won’t need to purchase an additional subscription to use the search engine for finding trees, photos and free collections (including the 1940 census and the SSDI). Pay-as-you credits also will be available for those who want to view only a few records or just dip a toe into genealogy research.

The 1940 census index also will be free to search via SuperSearch.

Trees will remain an important part of MyHeritage.

“We think family trees are the most important thing. They’re the core of family history. We would love for users to grow their trees on MyHeritage, so we have invested many resources in building tools and services that work with the trees.” Those include the MyHeritage mobile app, printable family trees, family calendars and more.

“Other sites focus on research,” Japhet says, but added that users might give it up when it becomes too time-consuming. “Users discontinue [a subscription] when they can’t use it,” he says, “but they’ll maintain a tree for life.”

Trees also have been helpful in making MyHeritage a site that supports multiple languages—38, to be exact. Because trees can be bilingual, developers have been able to build a store of information about name equivalents in a range of languages.

“You can type in a Russian name and get an English match,” Japhet says. “Or you could type in Alex and the site ‘knows’ Sascha is the translated Russian nickname, and it pulls up a newspaper article in Russian,” he says.

The site translates between alphabets, too, such as the Latin alphabet English uses and the Cyrillic alphabet Russian uses.

To encourage the site’s internationalism, MyHeritage focuses on hiring bilingual individuals. They maintain blogs and provide customer service in several languages.

The 1940 census is just the beginning of new content for MyHeritage. Japhet didn’t name any specific collections coming to the site, but he emphasized the global nature of records to be added and said the site would employ crowdsourcing to acquire content. Those who assist with crowdsourcing efforts will gain SuperSearch privileges.



Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Friday, March 23, 2012 7:54:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 22, 2012
Exclusive! MyHeritage to Offer 1940 Census Free
Posted by Diane

In an exclusive interview today (about 12 minutes ago, actually), MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet told me that genealogy site and family network MyHeritage.com will offer the 1940 US census for free after the National Archives releases the records April 2.

MyHeritage, a company based in Israel and with a US office in Provo, Utah, will provide the 1940 census free at myheritage.com/1940census, www.worldvitalrecords.com/1940census and www.familylink.com/1940census.

(MyHeritage acquired FamilyLink and its WorldVitalRecords site last November.)

As on other websites planning to offer the 1940 census, you'll be able to browse the record images by place as soon as they're added to the site.

A searchable index will be added throughout the year, as data from each state are transcribed. The MyHeritage 1940 census index will be created separately from both the FamilySearch/Archives.com/brightsolid 1940 Census Community Project and the Ancestry.com index. A company that specializes in historical transcription will develop the index, which Japhet says will be highly accurate. 

Once MyHeritage has launched the index for a given state, you'll be able to search it by multiple criteria using the MyHeritage SuperSearch, a fast and sophisticated new search engine to be released in April. All searches will take less than half a second, Japhet told me.

The search engine will support 38 languages, the only 1940 census site to offer this feature. You'll also be able to search the records using the MyHeritage mobile app.

If you have a family tree on MyHeritage.com, the site will automatically match it to 1940 census data as indexes are added and notify you about relevant results. This reduces the need to constantly repeat your searches to see if the index for your ancestor's state has been added.

The 1940 census is the first of additional historical content to come on MyHeritage. "This is the first serious signal from MyHeritage that it is strongly entering the historical records market," Japhet says.

Japhet shared a lot of detail with me, so I'll write another post about MyHeritage's plans for introducing new, global content and a sophisticated way to search it.

For more 1940 census information, including a free video on using Stephen Morse's One-Step tool for determining your ancestor's 1940 enumeration district, see FamilyTreeMagazine.com/info/1940census.


census records | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage
Thursday, March 22, 2012 1:30:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
Getting Ready for the 1940 Census: Nine Absolute Must-Haves
Posted by Diane

Part two in our series on getting ready for the release of the 1940 census is a guest post from census preparedness expert Ida Searcher:

I was inspired to become a census preparedness expert 10 years ago, after seeing woefully underprepared genealogists try to use the 1930 census.

Why, so many of them were waiting in line at the library without basics like tents, Bunsen burners or crossword puzzles. And watching them scroll microfilm without Dramamine—well, it was downright painful.

 
You'll need different supplies for the 1940 census, as this release is entirely digital and you'll be examining the records on a computer.

Under no circumstances should you start your 1940 census research without these nine absolute must-haves:

1. An atomic clock to precisely signal the 9 a.m. ET release of the 1940 census records.



2. Extra batteries for your mouse. Be sure to practice changing them fast, the way they change the tires on race cars. You don't want to lose census time on silly things like dead batteries.

3. A Netflix account for the kids. You can get 99 episodes of Sponge Bob on Netflix. That's 99 half-hours of uninterrupted census work. You can always smarten them back up later with some books or something.

4. A cardboard cutout of yourself to keep your spouse company while you’re spending quality time with your computer. This is the kind thing to do.

5. A hands-free helmet hydration system. No need to pause in your scrolling to pick up a glass of water.

6. Peanut m&ms for sustenance (peanuts = protein).

7. An alarm clock to remind you to eat the m&ms.

8. No-Doze (it's not just for college students anymore). Stock up now before your local drugstore is overrun with census-checking grannies. You don't want to have to knock over those grannies.

9. Vitamin D pills. Let's face it: You're not going to be seeing the sun anytime soon. That's okay, though. Vampires are very "in" these days. You're like a census vampire.

Um, thank you, Ida. I'm sure readers are rushing to the store right now.

Next up, we offer phrases you'll want to memorize in case your boss catches you searching the 1940 census at work.

And visit FamilyTreeMagazine.com for serious tips on finding your ancestors in the 1940 census—including a free video on using Steve Morse's One-Step 1940 ED tool.


census records | Genealogy fun
Thursday, March 22, 2012 8:53:03 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Wednesday, March 21, 2012
FREE Webinar: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner for Fabulous Family Photos
Posted by Diane

Free Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Webinar

We're hosting a free webinar next Tuesday about one of the most talked-about photo-preservation tools in genealogy: the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.

Presenters Thomas MacEntee and Diane Miller will show you:

  • tips for using Flip-Pal in your genealogy work
  • hints for archiving family photos with Flip-Pal
  • how Flip-Pal can help you share photos with your family
  • how to download the webinar presentation and slides for your future reference

Registered attendees will get access to the webinar to view again as many times as they like (we'll e-mail instructions after the webinar).

Plus, all registrants will receive a special product offer!

The free Flip-Pal webinar is Tuesday, March 27, at 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Central, noon Mountain, 11 a.m. Pacific).

The presentation is about 45 minutes, plus 10 minutes for Q&A.

Click here to register for our free webinar Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner for Fabulous Family Photos.


Photos | saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:33:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Henry Louis Gates Genealogy Show Premieres March 25
Posted by Diane

The new genealogy series Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr. premieres on PBS March 25.

Gates, a Harvard history professor who's hosted previous genealogy shows for PBS including African-American Lives and Faces of America, will explore the roots of 24 well-known Americans including Harry Connick Jr., Barbara Walters, Kevin Bacon, Condoleezza Rice, Sanjay Gupta and Martha Stewart.

Here's the twist that makes this show different: Each episode will feature a pair of celebrities "bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link." DNA testing takes over where paper trails leave off.

The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and Johni Cerny, co-author of The Source: Guidebook for American Genealogy, contributed research to the series.

You can watch several clips on the show's website, including this extended preview:

Watch Extended Preview on PBS. See more from Finding Your Roots.


Celebrity Roots | Genetic Genealogy | Videos
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 7:51:12 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 19, 2012
PSA: Don't Let Your 1940 Census Search Get Sidelined
Posted by Diane

The census is coming! The census is coming! To be exact, the 1940 census will be released in 14 days, at 9 a.m. April 2 at 1940census.archives.gov.

We've gone over how to pinpoint your ancestors' 1940 census enumeration district(s) so you can zero in on their record.

Now, as a public service announcement to genealogists, we're carrying this important guest blog post from a noted expert in genealogical medicine regarding the 1940 census and avoiding research-related injury. Take it away, doctor:

Hello, I'm Dr. I.M. Enumerator, N.O.T.M.D. 

Significant clicking, scrolling and dragging will likely be required when you look for your ancestors in the 1940 census.

And unfortunately, too much mousing can lead to a painful condition called 1940 Census Clicker’s Wrist.


Because the 1940 records constitute the first digital census release, we doctors aren't sure what to expect. But those of us familiar with the condition's close relative, 1930 Census Scroller's Elbow, believe it could cause a sore wrist and forearm, stiff "trigger finger" and inability to uncurl the fingers from a computer mouse.

Uncontrolled, 1940 Census Clicker's Wrist could sideline your census search and require professional extraction of the mouse.

But there's no need to suffer. You can avoid the problem if you start this simple, three-step census training program now.**

1. Perform two sets of 10 reps each, twice a day, with one of these:
 

2. Follow with three minutes of stretching.

 

3. Become ambidextrous.  

For optimal census searching speed and performance, remember to taper your training program during the last few days before Census Release Day.

If 1940 Census Clicker’s Wrist should strike you, stop mousing immediately and apply ice.

 Don't let 1940 Census Clicker's Wrist stall your search for ancestors. Start your training program today! 

**Consult your physician before beginning any census training program.

Thank you to the doctor for this crucial information. Next, we'll talk about important supplies to stock up on so you'll be ready on Census Day.



census records | Genealogy fun
Monday, March 19, 2012 3:20:16 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Essential Census Tips and Facts at Your Fingertips
Posted by Diane

Just in time for the 1940 census hoopla to start, our new Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference puts resources, tips, lists and need-to-know facts for searching all US censuses right at your fingertips, in a handy book that's also very cute (it really does fit in your pocket).

Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference

The Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference includes
  • websites with census records and their coverage

  • questions from each US census, 1790 through 1940

  • maps of the territory covered in each federal census

  • a key to common abbreviations in census records

  • instructions given to enumerators for each census (which affects how they were to record your ancestors' information)

  • US population and immigration trends revealed in census records

  • explanations of special nonpopulation census schedules

  • resources for state and international censuses

The Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference is now available. Learn more about it in ShopFamilyTree.com.


census records | Genealogy books
Monday, March 19, 2012 10:13:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 16, 2012
Save 50% or More on Genealogy Stuff at ShopFamilyTree.com Now Through Sunday
Posted by Diane

Need a My Family Tree Research Planner?

50 percent off!

Our downloadable guide to tracing immigrant ancestors?

50 percent off!

A 2010 Family Tree Magazine back issues CD (after all, it's text-searchable and takes up a slim quarter-inch of bookshelf space)?

54 percent off!

You're probably getting the gist by now: For the Amazing Deals Sale at ShopFamilyTree.com now through Sunday, lots and lots of genealogy how-to books, print back issues, CDs, article downloads and more are at least 50 percent off.

Click here to see everything included in the sale. Remember, in ShopFamilyTree.com you get free shipping on orders over $25 (and digital downloads count toward the total).


ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Friday, March 16, 2012 10:34:01 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Genealogy News Corral, March 12-16
Posted by Diane

  • Genealogy and family network website MyHeritage now has a feature that lets members easily create family calendars. You can choose from 15 designs and 28 languages, and create a calendar in one click. It's automatically decorated with your family photos and populated with birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other events from your MyHeritage.com family site. You can add or change events and photos, too, and purchase your calendar for as low as $19.95 plus shipping.
  • Family tree wiki site WikiTree.com has started a Genealogist-to-Genealogist Sharing Network (aka G2G). It'll allow researchers (whether or not they're WikiTree members) to ask other genealogists for help on topics such as general genealogy, research brick walls, or how to use WikiTree.
  • FamilySearch added 20 million new, free records to FamilySearch.org this week for Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, and 13 US states. The release includes 9 million California death records and 5 million Nevada marriage records. See the list of updated databases and link to each one here.
  • Florida International University (FIU) has acquired Felix Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza's collection of thousands of books, handwritten and typed letters, photos and other primary documents relating to Cuba and Cuban genealogy. They include rare 17th- and 18th-century books, out-of-print publications, and thousands of unpublished genealogies and family manuscripts. FIU is now raising funds to create a Cuban center for genealogy centered around this collection. Read more about the Felix Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza collection here.

FamilySearch | Fold3 | Hispanic Roots | Military records | MyHeritage | Social Networking
Friday, March 16, 2012 9:54:45 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 15, 2012
Tips on Exploring Your Irish Family Tree
Posted by Diane

I grew up thinking I’m an eighth Irish, through my great-grandmother Mary Norris. But my genealogy research has since revealed that I’m only 1/16th Irish—Mary’s father was from Ireland, but her mother was German.

And this little guy is 1/32nd Irish:

So this St. Patrick’s Day, Leo and I will have to make the most of our respective slivers of Irishness.

Whether you're a lot or a little Irish, you share heritage with the second-largest heritage group in the United States. Here are some more stats:

  • 50,000 to 100,000 Irish came to America in the 1600s, and 100,000 more in the 1700s. Eight signatures on the Declaration of Independence belonged to men of Irish descent.

  • In the American colonies, up to 90 percent of indentured servants were Irish. 

  • About 250,000 Scots-Irish settlers from Ulster province arrived in the United States during the Colonial era. They were descended from Scottish and English tenant farmers settled in Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster.

  • In the century after 1820, about 5 million Irish arrived on US shores. Irish made up almost half of all US immigrants in the 1840s and one-third in the 1850s, the decades of the Great Potato Famine.

  • Today, Massachusetts is the most Irish state, with about a quarter of the population claiming Irish roots.

FamilyTreeMagazine.com has some great advice for tracing your Irish roots:

For in-depth help researching your Irish ancestors, take a look at our Irish Ancestry Value Pack, with:

  • how-to guides
  • the Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Irish Ancestors book download
  • the Irish Research 101 Family Tree University Independent Study course

The Irish Ancestry Value Pack is just $49.99 this month.


Editor's Pick | International Genealogy | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, March 15, 2012 8:09:01 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Upcoming Genealogy Webinars: Census Secrets and Indiana Crash Course
Posted by Diane

Just a quick reminder that our Online Census Secrets webinar is this Thursday, March 15, at 8 p.m. ET.

Family Tree Magazine publisher Allison Dolan will share key facts about censuses, where to find free census records and what to expect when the 1940 census is released. She'll also show you how to use the major online collections to find your ancestors, using real examples from webinar viewers to demo census search strategies.

Click here to learn more about the Online Census Secrets webinar.

And our Indiana Crash Course webinar is right around the corner next Tuesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET. If you have Hoosier ancestors like I do, click here to find out more about this learning opportunity.


census records | Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:44:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 13, 2012
House History Research Tips From the Virtual Conference
Posted by Diane

One of last weekend's Family Tree University Virtual Conference live chats I was really interested in was Marian Pierre-Louis' house histories chat. Researching my great-great-grandfather's cigar store and home in Cincinnati is on my genealogy to-do list.

In addition to hearing fascinating tales of participants' old family homes with kitchens constructed from peach crates, cheese packaging used for insulation and old newpapers as wallpaper, I got tips for researching the cigar store and other ancestral homes, such as my great-grandparents':

And I smuggled some tips from the chat to share with you all! (The conference participants can download chat transcripts to keep.) Here they are:

  • If the house is relatively new, Marian suggests starting with deed research. "I've researched every house I've lived in, even one built in 1985," she typed.
  • Start with the book and page number of the property deed in county or town records. Many areas have property assessor records online, where you can search by address. Then you'll trace the deeds to find out names of the previous owners.
  • City directories are a great tool for house history research, especially for multifamily dwellings or those with with renters.
  • You can get a historical contractor to walk through your house and 'read' it. "That is your best shot for knowing when the various parts were built," Marian suggests.
  • One participant asked whether it's possible to research a house that's been torn down. "Absolutely," Marian replied. "The deeds and tax records never disappear (well unless there's a fire in the courthouse or something)."

If you missed the Virtual Conference, the 15 video classes (see a few of them listed here) will be available soon at ShopFamilyTree.com.

And if you're particularly interested in house histories, we also have a digital download guide to researching houses in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Family Tree University | Photos | Research Tips | Social History
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:53:59 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Saturday, March 10, 2012
"Who Do you Think You Are?": Jerome Bettis
Posted by Diane

It was fun watching “Who Do You Think You Are?” in the company of other genealogists during our Family Tree University Virtual Conference live chat. (The conference is taking place this weekend.) 

In this episode, former Pittsburgh Steelers player Jerome Bettis visits Kentucky to learn about his mom’s roots. He didn’t trace as many generations as in some other episodes, but I liked the attention spent on each person.

Bettis, an African-American, turned to newspapers for details not documented in official records. He found references to court cases for his great-grandfather being struck by his boss, and in a separate incident, his great-great-grandfather being hit by a train.

The deck was stacked against each man in his case, but Bettis discovered in court records that his great-great-grandfather Abe Bogard won his complaint against the Illinois Central Railroad. Bettis actually got to talk to someone who remembered hearing about the case from men employed by the railroad at the time.

One of my favorite aspects of this episode was the way a Western Kentucky University history professor showed Bettis how to trace his family into slavery. Presuming that the name Bogard was taken from a former owner, Bettis found a white Bogard family in the area and checked will records and slave dower lists (reports of slaves women had inherited).

They found a Jerry and Eliza, with a son Abe. I can’t imagine the feeling that would hit you when you see a record showing that your family members were owned by other people, and monetary values placed on their heads.

The owner, Joseph Bogard, willed Bettis’ ancestors to his wife. After she died, Abe and his parents were sold off to separate owners. The good news is that the 1870 census, the first US census to name former slaves, showed the family was reunited.

Here’s a Western Kentucky University article about the professor’s work with Bettis

Here’s a FamilyTreeMagazine.com article about making the jump from freed slaves in the 1870 census to enslaved ancestors in the 1850 and 1860 slave schedules

Update: For those of you wondering why Burnett Bogard, Jerome's great-grandfather, abandoned his family, part of the answer is in this deleted scene about a rift in the family's church:




"Who Do You Think You Are?" | African-American roots | Celebrity Roots
Saturday, March 10, 2012 10:17:27 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, March 09, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, March 5-9
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry.com, along with United Vacations and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, is holding a sweepstakes to coincide with the DVD release of the movie The Descendants. (I have to admit I'm not much of a moviegoer, so I don't know whether The Descendants has anything to do with genealogy, but I do know George Clooney is in it.)

    Prizes include a "glamping" (glamorous camping) trip to Hawaii, a year-long Ancestry.com membership and The Descendants on Blu-ray. Click here to enter.
  • FamilySearch.org added 31 million new, free records this past week for Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Italy, Micronesia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia and the United States. Those with California roots, in particular, will appreciate the more than 24 million Golden State birth records dating from 1905 to 1995. See the full list of updated records and link to each collection here.

Ancestry.com | Archives.com | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 09, 2012 10:04:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, March 08, 2012
Tips for Finding Female Ancestors
Posted by Diane

March is Women’s History Month, so let's seize the opportunity to talk about finding women ancestors. Learning their maiden names can be a big problem, especially when you're researching before the era of consistent vital records.

For me, birth and death records, when they're available, have been a source of maiden names. Carefully examining census records also has helped: In two cases, I've found a female ancestor's elderly mother or father living in the daughter's household.

Here's a roundup of free FamilyTreeMagazine.com articles that focus on finding women ancestors:

You'll discover more research strategies and details of our female ancestors' lives with the tools in our Women's History Month Value Pack, specially priced at $29.99 (a 59 percent discount) in March.


Female ancestors | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, March 08, 2012 10:06:06 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [23]
This Friday on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Jerome Bettis
Posted by Diane

Tomorrow night on "Who Do You Think You Are?" we'll see retired football player Jerome Bettis explore his roots.

I'll be watching as part of our Virtual Conference viewing party (even though Bettis played for the Cincinnati Bengals rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers).

In this video, Bettis visits the land where his enslaved third-great-grandfather lived and worked.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Family Tree University
Thursday, March 08, 2012 8:56:21 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 07, 2012
A Peck and a Pottle: Re-creating Family Recipes
Posted by Diane

Have you ever tried to make a cake or a kugel just like Mom or Grandma used to make? (Or, even harder, just like your husband's mom or grandma used to make?)

A recent Wall Street Journal article profiles several cooks who managed to recreate family recipes by doing these things:
  • Developing a flavor profile describing how the dish tastes, what the consistency was, etc.

  • Running recipes by family members for their input.

  • Scouring old cookbooks for potential recipes.

  • Listing ingredients the original cook would have used by considering her tastes and financial means (some ingredients would've been too expensive for everyday use).

  • Finding out what ingredients were available in the time and place. Old cookbooks from local churches and women's clubs are great for this.

  • Using the same tools as the original cook, including rotary egg beaters instead of a fancy stand mixer and old loaf pans instead of today's nonstick ones.

If you're recreating family recipes, you'll also want to refer to our list of old measurements and their modern equivalents.

Our book From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preerve Favorite Recipes by Gena Philibert-Ortega, now available for pre-order in ShopFamilyTree.com, has tons of advice on finding vintage cookbooks and recreating recipes.

From the Family Kitchen also covers the social history of food and contains a recipe journal so you can write down how to make Mom's delicious banana bread. 


Family Recipes | Genealogy books | Social History
Wednesday, March 07, 2012 4:07:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Our Spring 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference is THIS Weekend
Posted by Diane

Just a heads-up that this is the last week to register for our Spring 2012 Virtual Conference sponsored by Flip-Pal mobile scanner. The conference is this weekend, March 9-11 (which is also time change weekend, by the way).

Wondering what this Virtual Conference thing is? I'll tell you: It's an opportunity to improve your genealogy skills and network with other researchers while hanging out at home in your pajamas (or at the coffee shop, let's hope in your regular clothes).

You'll log in anytime during the weekend to watch video classes, participate in live chats, visit our virtual exhibit hall and pick up your swag bag.

We've got 15 video classes to choose from. Some of them are:

  • Using Steve Morse’s One-Step Site to Get Ready for the 1940 Census with Thomas MacEntee
  • Using Your iPad for Genealogy with Nancy Hendrickson

  • What’s in a Civil War Pension File? with Diana Crisman Smith

  • Using Guardianship Records in Genealogical Research with Marian Pierre-Louis

  • Reconstruction 101 for African-Americans with Tim Pinnick

  • Strategies for Finding English Ancestral Origins with J. H. “Jay” Fonkert

And chat topics include (but aren't limited to):

  • Tech Talk: Ask Your Technology-Related Questions with Thomas MacEntee

  • Using Military Records with Diana Crisman Smith

  • All About House Histories with Marian Pierre-Louis

  • “Who Do You Think You Are?” Virtual Viewing Party with Kerry Scott
You'll find the full program listing all the classes and chats at FamilyTreeUniversity.com. Hope to "see" you there!


Family Tree University | Genealogy Events
Tuesday, March 06, 2012 8:46:15 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, March 05, 2012
"Who Do You Think You Are?": Reba McEntire
Posted by Diane

Friday’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” was pre-empted around here due to coverage of the severe weather Friday. Our immediate area was lucky to come through unscathed. Not so for many of our neighboring communities, and our hearts go out to those people.

I watched the show online, which is a bit of a problem for me because I want to sit there and do research, so then I had to watch it again. The ratings are already out and apparently this episode did the best of any so far. Who doesn't love Reba McEntire?

Here’s the full episode if you still need to watch it:

She started the show at her family ranch in Oklahoma and traveled to Aberdeen, Miss.; Raleigh, NC; Oxford, NC; Tappahannock, Va.; and England in pursuit of her mom’s family tree.

I was surprised to see Josh Taylor (formerly of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), now of FindMyPast.com) walk into the library in Aberdeen. This scene was in the clip I posted Friday, but I had assumed they were at the NEHGS library in Boston.

One theme is McEntire’s discovery of her family’s slave-owning past. When she’s confronted with her fourth-great-grandfather’s life as a slave trader, I like what the archivist says, that slavery is part of all of our histories.

Later, she learns the same ancestor’s grandfather (McEntire’s sixth-great-grandfather) came to the country as a 9-year-old indentured servant. He was one of the fewer than half of all indentured servants who lived long enough to become free citizens—and became successful enough to purchase land.

When she learned the boy’s father put him on the ship, McEntire cautions herself against drawing early conclusions. Good for her: Before making judgments about an ancestor’s actions, it’s a good idea to learn the context of their lives.

I like the variety of records used in this episode (though we didn’t see where Josh found his information). Censuses, obituaries, land records, tax records, newspapers (she used GenealogyBank at the Granville County courthouse, but they didn’t show the name of the site), slave bills of sale, deeds, baptismal registers and more.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Monday, March 05, 2012 8:40:29 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]
# Friday, March 02, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 27-March 3
Posted by Diane

  • British family history subscription and pay-per-view website findmypast.co.uk has launched the first parish records from Wales, part of a new project with the Welsh County Archivists Group and the National Library of Wales. The addition encompasses 3,878,862 million baptisms, marriages, marriage banns and burials from parish registers in the counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Glamorganshire.
  • The Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County, Fla., has put free indexes to local cemetery records (plus historical information about each cemetery and a map) as well as 270,000 names from obituaries on its website. Just click the blue links on the left to access the indexes.

Free Databases | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 02, 2012 2:49:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are?": Reba McEntire
Posted by Diane

Tonight on "Who Do You Think You Are?" country music superstar Reba McEntire learns how her family came to America.

You can read a litle about McEntire's ancestral journey in this Tulsa World article (McEntire grew up on a ranch in Chockie, Okla.).

Here's a preview of the show in which McEntire learns family information from D. Joshua Taylor, formerly of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and now chief genealogist at FindMyPast.com.

Taylor explains a bit about why names appear spelled differently in historical records and hints at some "very interesting things" happening in one of the counties where an ancestor of McEntire's lived—I guess we'll have to watch the show to find out what those things are.

And here's McEntire in Chesire, England, searching for records on an ancestor who was baptized there in 1688—and seemingly sent away to the American colonies at just 9 years old.

Watch "Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC tonight at 8 /7 Central.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Celebrity Roots
Friday, March 02, 2012 8:40:37 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Thursday, March 01, 2012
Virtual Conference Preview: Cool Tools for Your Newspaper Research
Posted by Diane

This video clip is a short peek at Lisa Louise Cooke's demo of one of the cool tools she'll show you in her Spring 2012 Virtual Conference class, Three Cool Tools to Help With Your Newspaper Research.

The Virtual Conference, sponsored by Flip-Pal mobile scanner, is next weekend, March 9-11.

You can log in anytime over the weekend to take classes, participate in live chats with genealogy experts, visit the exhibit hall and more. (And there's a swag bag—who doesn't love swag?)

Newspapers are invaluable for getting details about your ancestors' lives and for tracing brick-wall ancestors (case in point: last Friday's "Who Do you think You Are?" with Blair Underwood). But historical newspapers can be hard to find and use—so you'll want to hear about the tools Lisa uses.

Learn more about the Spring 2012 Virtual Conference at FamilyTreeUniversity.com.


Family Tree University | Newspapers | Videos
Thursday, March 01, 2012 2:20:26 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
New Henry Louis Gates Genealogy Show to Debut in March on PBS
Posted by Diane

The new PBS genealogy series "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr." debuts Sunday, March 25 at 8 p.m.

The 10-part series will explore the genealogy and genetics of famous Americans including Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey Jr., Branford Marsalis, John Legend, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren.

On the show's website, you can learn more about the research team (the New England Historic Genealogical Society staff did a lot of work for the series) and share your story.

Here's a short preview for the show.

 

Watch Preview on PBS. See more from Finding Your Roots.


Celebrity Roots
Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:44:12 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [7]
"Research Me! I'm Irish"
Posted by Diane

... might be what you hear your Irish ancestors saying in your dreams. This month's Ultimate Collection will show you how to do it.

Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection

Our Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection is packed with practical advice for otracing your Irish ancestors in America and in the old country. It includes: 

  • Irish Research 101 Family Tree University Independent Study course download: successfully use US records to determine who your Irish immigrant ancestors were and their place of origin in Ireland.

  • Irish Genealogy Online video class: Recommends the best websites for finding Irish ancestors and features a case study demonstrating how to trace an Irish famine emigrant on the web.

  • Quick Guide to Irish Genealogy Websites: Our at-a-glance chart shows you what resources you'll find and other stats on several popular Irish genealogy sites.

  • Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Irish Ancestors book download: Get help with genealogical records, maps, translations and more.

  • A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland book: This graphical representation of Griffith's Valuation has maps for every county showing civil parishes, baronies and dioceses, as well as poor law unions and parishes.

  • 101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History book: Dispel the myths and learn the true stories of the Irish.

All this is a $185 value priced at $69.99 (that's 62 percent off) this month only—and only 100 are available!

A bonus with this Ultimate Collection: You get a coupon for 5 percent off the Irish Research 201 Family Tree University course, with four lessons focusing on records of your Irish ancestors in Ireland.

Click here to learn more about the Ultimate Irish Genealogy Collection at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Family Tree University | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, March 01, 2012 9:54:34 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]