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More Links

# Friday, 31 August 2012
NGS To Provide Genealogy Education to Facebook Gamers
Posted by Diane

Online social game company Funium and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) will work together so players of Funium's Facebook game Family Village can explore their family trees using a number of NGS resources and research aids.

NGS created a landing page on its website especially for Family Village players. It'll feature a step-by-step genealogy guide with instructional videos, and grants players free access to materials typically reserved for NGS members.

Funium officially opened Family Village to all Facebook users Aug. 21. Players foster their own personalized virtual community by building businesses and houses, immigrating family members, and assigning jobs. Family Village encourages players to build a documented family tree and matches that data with real-world documents, such as including newspaper articles, census records the users’ relatives.

Visit the NGS Family Village page here. To play Family Village, click here.

Friday, 31 August 2012 12:45:30 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Prepare for German Place Names
Posted by Tyler

German heritage has been the #1 most claimed ancestry in the US, so we here at Family Tree University have done our best to accommodate our Deutsch friends. In this guest post, Presenter Jim Beidler breaks down his session on German place names at Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference:

Probably the No. 1 goal of most genealogists is tracking one or more immigrant ancestors all the way to an Old World hometown, and the many folks of German descent are no different. Unfortunately, problems of history, phonetics and duplicated names often get in the way of that quest.

“Mastering German Place Names” is designed to combat these problems. I am a seasoned researcher that has been sleuthing for the Heimats of his almost entirely German-speaking ancestry for more than a quarter century, and will present my top tips in this Virtual Conference course.

Learn more about the Fall Virtual Conference.

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | German roots
Friday, 31 August 2012 11:31:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 30 August 2012, FGS to Partner on Putting Local Genealogy Records Online
Posted by Diane

Genealogy website is partnering with the Federation of Genealogical Societies to preserve, digitize and provide access to records from local FGS member genealogical societies across the United States. Participating societies will receive royalties for records viewed on

The partnership is kicking off with projects to release records from these organizations over the rest of 2012:

  • New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
  • Illinois State Genealogical Society
  • Williamson County (Texas) Genealogical Society

Thursday, 30 August 2012 17:06:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Federation of Genealogical Societies Unveils Revamped Website
Posted by Diane

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has debuted a revamped website just in time for the FGS annual genealogy conference taking place through Sept. 1 here in Birmingham, Ala.

The new website will help FGS, a kind of umbrella organization for genealogical societies, to deliver timely and relevant information about genealogy industry trends and society management to FGS member society leaders.

Features of the new site include:

· Content organized based on the FGS tagline "Learn, Connect, Succeed."
· Members-only content including back issues of the FGS FORUM magazine and discussion boards for genealogy society leaders.
· Members-only review programs for society by-laws, websites and newsletters.
· Free downloads including the FGS Voice archives and Society Strategy Papers.

Visit the new FGS website here.

Thursday, 30 August 2012 09:57:21 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 29 August 2012
1940 Census Now Fully Searchable at
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has announced that its 1940 census records for all US states and territories are now searchable by name and other details. You can search the records free at, as well as at the websites of FamilySearch's commercial partners in the 1940 Census Community Project, and

FamilySearch has also added records from countries including Chile, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal and Sweden. You can see the list of updated and new databases here. | census records | FamilySearch
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 19:39:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
All US Census Records Free on Through Sept. 3
Posted by Diane

You might want to carve out a little time for genealogy over your Labor Day weekend: Subscription genealogy site is making its entire collection of US censuses free through Sept. 3. That collection includes:

· 1790-1940 US Census collections
· 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules
· 1890 Veterans schedules
· Non-Population Schedules 1850-1880 (such as mortality schedules and the 1880 schedule of "defective, dependent and delinquent" classes)
· IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918
· Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940

You'll need to register for a free account with the site in order to view the records. Click here to start searching. also is introducing a feature called the Time Machine: Answer a few questions about your interests, and get back a video of what your experiences might be like in 1940. | census records

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 19:18:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
Finding Females and Cramming Canadian Genealogy
Posted by Tyler

In this guest post, Presenter Lisa A. Alzo breaks down her sessions on Canadian immigration records and tracking down evasive female ancestors at the Family Tree University’s Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference:

Secrets to Tracing Female Ancestors

When I started my genealogy research over 22 years ago, I began with a female ancestor: my maternal grandmother. This was before the Internet and without the luxury of FamilySearch, the Ellis Island Database or Nothing like starting out with a challenge! But I used the information available to me—family documents, interviews, church records, court documents and microfilm—as well as made trips to the library and visited the places she had lived. I was thus able to learn the details of her life, which I chronicled in my book Three Slovak Women. In my Virtual Conference session, “Secrets for Tracing Female Ancestors”, I will reveal my secrets for locating and using online and offline resources, and will share other tips and tricks you’ll need to find the elusive women in your family tree!

Canadian Immigration Records

As a child, my family would visit my father’s cousin in Ontario, Canada. At the time I fleetingly wondered why he lived so far away, but never questioned it until I became a genealogist and began tracking down clues about my Alzo ancestors. Curiosity led me to investigate sources in Canada, with some very interesting and surprising results! If you have ancestors who immigrated to Canada (or even think it’s a possibility), then join me for the session Canadian Immigration Records, where I’ll walk you through the basics of searching in the Great White North. You’ll learn about websites, databases and printed resources to help you locate passenger lists, border crossings and other immigration records, as well as search secrets to draw your ancestors out of hiding!

Learn more about the Fall Virtual Conference.

Canadian roots | Family Tree University | Female ancestors | French Canadian roots
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 15:45:13 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Our Ancestors' Odd Jobs in Genealogy Records
Posted by Diane

Just in time for Labor Day (or Labour Day, depending which side of the border you live on),'s Canadian genealogy site,, offers this list of unusual occupations gleaned from its Canadian census collection (1851-1916):
  • Danise Barzano, living in Ottawa in 1901, gave her occupation as "baseball field" (“terrain de baseball”).
  • Saint John, New Brunswick, resident John Corbett offered his job title as “lunatic keeper” in the 1901 census.
  • Also in 1901, Torontonian Mary Brown was a “pig nurse.”
  • William H. Butler of Ottawa was a “bell hanger” in the 1881 census.
  • Also in 1881, John Dade was working as a “lamp lighter” in Toronto.
  • John Middleton, a 19-year-old resident of Algoma, Ontario, was listed as “criminal” in 1901.
  • The 1901 occupation for Georgia Wilcox, a 38-year-old BC resident, was “idiot”—a historic reference for a patient in an asylum.
You'll find even more odd and archaic job titles in these free articles:
Interested in learning more about your ancestor's work? Learn how using these resources: | Canadian roots | Family Tree Magazine articles | Research Tips | Social History
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 10:27:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, 24 August 2012
Genealogy News Corral, August 20-24
Posted by Diane

  • Now that the 1940 Census Community Project is complete (just a few states remain to be processed) FamilySearch's next big volunteer indexing project is the US Immigration & Naturalization Community Project, which will make passenger lists, naturalization records, and other immigration-related records free to search on If you want to participate, visit to learn more about the project.
  • British genealogy subscription and pay-per-view website has relaunched itself in an upgraded beta website. The site's new "at-a-glance" design should help users easily find the site's record collections.

    And in September, it'll launch Family Tree Connect, social networking features such as photo-sharing, personal calendars, family tree building and cloud access.
  • has more than 850 million records from more a dozen-plus countries including Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, United States and the "Rest of the World" (ROW). Records include parish records; births, marriages and deaths; military records, trade directories and more. | FamilySearch | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, 24 August 2012 14:14:19 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 23 August 2012
Who's Going to the FGS Genealogy Conference in Birmingham? We Are!
Posted by Diane

We at Family Tree Magazine HQ are getting ready to head to the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2012 annual conference next week in Birmingham, Ala.

The theme is Indians, Squatters, Soldiers and Settlers in the Old Southwest, and the classes reflect those topics and more.

We'll be camped out in the exhibit hall (which opens Thursday) in booth 420, where conferencegoers can stop by to say hi, pick up a magazine, enter our giveaway, ask about Family Tree University, and peruse our latest CDs and books—including How to Archive Family Keepsakes by Denise Levenick and From the Family Kitchen by Gena Philibert Ortega.

Check the FGS Conference Blog for updates on conference activities. You also can download the free FGS 2012 Conference App to help you find your way around, keep track of the conference schedule and more.

Looking for local and regional research opportunities? We hear that on Wednesday, Aug. 29, the Birmingham Public Library/Linn-Henley Research Library ( 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, 35203) will stay open late, until 8pm, for FGS 2012 attendees.

There you'll find the city archives, maps, photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and other historical materials related to Birmingham, Jefferson County and the surrounding area. If you plan to go, see the library's tips on planning a research visit.

(And if you can't get there, check out the Birmingham Public Library's digital collections, which include newspapers, maps, local history exhibits and more.)

The Alabama Genealogical Society, the local host for the conference, deposits its collections at the Samford University Library (800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, 35229). The special collections hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Other Birmingham, Ala.,-area genealogy websites:
Looking for in-depth Alabama genealogy advice? You'll find Family Tree Magazine's Alabama State Research Guide, county maps and other Alabama genealogy resources at

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Libraries and Archives
Thursday, 23 August 2012 16:04:01 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 22 August 2012
How To Handle Sticky Genealogy Situations
Posted by Diane

Not sure how to approach a stranger you think may be related to you? Been trying to get copies of family photos from a relative who's hogging them all? Got a distant cousin who won't correct wrong ancestral information in his online family tree?

We'll help you handle these and other potentially frustrating genealogy etiquette issues in our upcoming webinar Solutions To Sticky Situations: A Guide To Genealogy Etiquette, Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. ET.

Presenter Thomas MacEntee, who works with hundreds of genealogists as the founder of GeneaBloggers, will talk about:
  • Tips for getting reluctant family members to cooperate
  • Best practices for working with librarians, court clerks and others important to your research
  • What to do when other researchers won’t correct wrong ancestral information
  • Resolving genealogy conflicts
  • The dos and don’ts of sharing and collaboration (including respecting copyright and the right way to get and give credit)
  • How to handle common pet peeves courteously but effectively

And you'll get the opportunity to submit your own genealogy etiquette dilemmas when you register and during the live webinar.

Aebinar registrants also receive access to view the recording again as often as they want, the 25-plus-page PDF of the presentation slides for future reference,  and 10 pages of additional downloadable handouts.

The hour-long webinar takes place Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. ET (that's 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. Mountain and 4 p.m. Pacific).

Sign up now to save $10! Click here for more details and to register for Solutions To Sticky Situations: A Guide To Genealogy Etiquette.

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 15:46:14 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
Find Ancestors in Free Online Swedish Church Records Aug. 25 & 26
Posted by Diane

Heads up if you're researching ancestors in Sweden: Swedish genealogy records site ArkivDigital is offering free access to its database of more than 36 million images of Swedish church books and other records this weekend, August 25 and 26.

You'll need to register with the site and install the site's software—check out the free access instructions here (scroll down for a link to a beta version of the software that lets you use English).

I can't tell for sure from the site, but it looks like you browse the books rather than search by name—so you'll need to have a good idea of where and when your ancestor lived in Sweden. To find out whether the site has records for your ancestor's county and parish, click the county name on the right side of this page.

Church records | Free Databases | International Genealogy
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 15:13:03 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 20 August 2012
Genealogy on the Go and More in the Newest (Free) Family Tree Magazine Podcast
Posted by Diane

The newest episode of the free Family Tree Magazine Podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, is all about doing genealogy on the go. This month, we're talking about:
  • mobile genealogy apps and tools with yours truly
  • tips and tricks for family history travel from Family Curator blogger Denise Levenick
  • the best mobile genealogy websites from our list of 101 Best Genealogy websites with Family Tree Magazine contributing editor David A. Fryxell

You can listen to the Free FamilyTreeMagazine Podcast in iTunes or on

Click here to see the show notes.

Podcasts | Research Tips | Tech Advice | Genealogy Apps
Monday, 20 August 2012 16:37:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 16 August 2012
Get a Crash Course in Louisiana Genealogy Research
Posted by Diane

No other state has a character quite like the one Louisiana has inherited from its cultural mix of American Indians, Spanish, French, British, Africans, Germans, Anglo- Americans, Irish, Italians and others.

Were your ancestors residents of this unique state? Get guidance on researching them in our Louisiana Genealogy Crash Course live webinar with Charlotte Marie Bocage.

You'll learn about 
  • Louisiana's parishes
  • how to trace colonial kin
  • where to find important records such as vital, land, census and other records
  • tips for discovering African-American, Cajun (descendants of Acadians expelled from Canada) and Creole (New World descendants from colonial settlers) roots in Louisiana
  • important repositories and websites.
The hourlong webinar takes place Monday, Aug. 27 at 1pm EST (that's noon CST, 11am MST and 10am PST).

After the webinar, all registrants receive a PDF of the presentation slides and access to the live recording to view again as often as they want.

Register now and you'll receive the Family Tree Magazine Louisiana State Research Guide and our New Orleans City Guide—and you'll save $10 with our early bird pricing.

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Webinars
Thursday, 16 August 2012 11:00:34 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Fluffing Out My Family Tree With Social History
Posted by Diane

Compared to the sprawling family tree on my mom's side, my dad’s paternal side looks like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It goes back only to my great-grandparents, and has my grandfather and his siblings, and my dad and his sisters.
I haven’t found any siblings of my great-grandparents, and I’m not ready to tackle genealogy in the old country, Syria.
I’ve accepted that my paternal tree is going to stay short for the time being. So what I’m focused on now is fluffing out and decorating this Charlie Brown tree with social history details that tell me what my relatives’ lives were like.
Here’s one find: I learned from a city directory that in 1924, after he’d graduated from high school, my grandfather was a helper at the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas.


From Google searching, I learned that the bakery is still in business and pretty well-known.
I Googled the bakery name and history, and found a catalog entry from the Baylor University Institute for Oral History, describing a 1971 interview with owners of the bakery. A transcript was available. I found a Contact link and asked about the best way to get a copy on paper or digitally. Within two days, I had an email with a link to download a PDF.

Two of the men interviewed had started working at the bakery as young men, around the time my grandfather did, and they chatted with the interviewer about their work. Here’s a description of wrapping the bread:

The bakery also made fruitcake, which it's now famous for:

I'm not sure Grandpa was around for fruitcake season, since another 1924 city directory for Austin says he was a student at the University of Texas.

From this and other records, I know he attended the engineering school then and again in the 1930s. Searching online for the history of the school, I turned up a booklet titled:

A history of the department. It looks to be a draft, because it contains editors' notes. Besides information on the school, professors and student life, it gives the curriculum my grandfather likely followed:

Social history is everything that was going on around your ancestor. It could be an acute local event—the county fair, a new business opening up or a natural disaster—that directly affected family members. It could be a long-term occurrence, such as a population migration or war. Or it could be a contemporary issue they shook their heads over.

I'm starting close to home with my grandfather's school and work, but there's a lot to explore. These free articles will help in your social history search: Check out all's social history articles (both free and Plus) here.

A fun approach to discovering social history (and reminiscing with Mom and Dad) is our book Remember That? A Year-by-Year Chronicle of Fun Facts, Headlines, & Your Memories, which lists news and facts on politics, fads, sports, music, movies, inventions and more from 1930 to 2010.

You'll also find places to start in our downloadable Resource Roundup of social history websites. Also don't miss the History Matters column in every issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Do you have a favorite social history tip or resource? Click Comments below to share it.

Libraries and Archives | Oral History | Research Tips | Social History
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:51:56 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
FTU Virtual Genealogy Conference: Meet the Presenters on Facebook and Twitter
Posted by Diane

Family Tree University’s Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference, happening online Sept. 14-16, gives you an all-access pass to 15 family history video classes presented by the same experts you might pay an arm and a leg to see at a regular genealogy conference. You'll also get to share ideas and tips with other attendees in exclusive live chats and on our conference message board.

And it's all from the comfort of home (or wherever you have internet access).

In the coming weeks, you can meet six of our conference presenters, learn about their classes and ask them questions during our free upcoming “Meet The Presenters” social media series.

To participate, just hop onto Facebook or Twitter at the scheduled times below (remember to translate into your time zone) and like or follow Family Tree Magazine:

Virtual Conference classes



Thomas MacEntee
  • Power Up Your Web Searches
  • Tricks For Using
  • Research Logs For The Rest Of Us

Facebook Chat

Wed., Aug. 22

2 pm EDT/
1 pm CDT/
noon MDT/
11 am PDT

Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Best Websites for Finding Historical Maps

Facebook Chat

Mon., Aug. 27

4pm EDT/
3 pm CDT/
2 pm MDT/
1 pm PDT

Lisa A. Alzo
  • Secrets to Tracing Female Ancestors
  • Canadian Immigration Records

Facebook Chat

Tues., Sept. 4

3 pm EDT/
2 pm CDT/
1 pm MDT/
noon PDT

Gena Philibert-Ortega
  • Top 10 Tools For Social History
  • Cook Up Answers About Immigrant Ancestors

Tweet Up (#FTUVC)

Wed., Sept. 5

4:30 pm EDT/
3:30 pm CDT/
2:30 pm MDT/
1:30 pm PDT

Diana Crisman Smith
  • Smarter Online Census Searching
  • Finding Land Records Online

Facebook Chat

Tues., Sept. 11

3 pm EDT/
2 pm CDT/
1 pm MDT/
noon PDT

Rick Crume
  • Using UK Civil Registrations
  • Tracing Irish Ancestors In Griffith’s Values

Facebook Chat

Thurs., Sept. 13

1 pm EDT/
noon CDT/
11 am MDT/
10 am PD

Visit Family Tree Magazine on Facebook here.

And here we are on Twitter.

Pssst! Want to win a registration for the Virtual Genealogy Conference? Click here to enter our Virtual Conference Sweepstakes before Aug. 22 at 11:59 p.m.

Family Tree University | Genealogy Events
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:38:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 14 August 2012
New on Genealogy Conferences and Events Calendar
Posted by Diane

Looking for a genealogy conference or workshop where you can take classes and meet other family historians? Want to get the word out about your genealogy society's conference or workshop?

We've started a Genealogy Conferences and Events Calendar on, where we'll list upcoming national, local, regional and online genealogy events. Stop by to look for workshops and conferences near you.

Send us an email about upcoming events you'd like to see listed. We'll need to know:
  • event name
  • date
  • city and state where it's taking place
  • theme (if there is one)
  • URL of a web page where people can learn more about the event

Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 12:57:11 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 09 August 2012
FamilySearch 1940 Census Index Grows to 37 States
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has added six more states/territories to its free 1940 census index, for a total of 37 states indexed here. The additions are
  • Arkansas
  • Missouri
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington, DC
  • West Virginia
Volunteers for the 1940 Census Community Project, a collaboration among FamilySearch, and, have finished indexing the 1940 census records. Index data for the remaining 14 states are still being processed. 

Now on FamilySearch, you can search 1940 census records for all the indexed states at once here (I like this interface so much better than the previous map with the state progress pop-ups that were constantly covering up other states).

Or you can narrow your search to a particular indexed state here

You can search 1940 census records for all states on, whose index will be free through 2013.

Want to improve your genealogical skills and connect with other family historians—all from the convenience of home? Check out Family Tree University's Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference, taking place Sept. 14-16. Early bird registration ends Friday, Aug. 10 at 11:59 p.m.—just enter code FTUVCEARLY at checkout to save $50! | | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases
Thursday, 09 August 2012 11:40:19 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 08 August 2012
Record Relatives' Stories With New, Free iPhone App
Posted by Diane

If you're headed to a family reunion or even just visiting Grandma's house, here's a free app you might consider downloading to your iPhone (let's hope there's an Android version out soon):

The Saving Memories Forever app lets you record family stories, then store them on the Saving Memories Forever website.

The app is free, as is a basic membership on the site. An enhanced site membership (lets you have unlimited "Story Tellers" and "Story Listeners," add photos to stories and more) costs $3.99 per month. You'll find a comparison between the basic and enhanced memberships here.

From the app's Quick Start guide (download it from the Saving Memories Forever website), it looks like the app is designed to record responses to questions, rather than a freeform oral history interview.

If you don't have an iPhone, you can upload audio files from your computer to the Saving Memories Forever website, but they must be mp3 files. Learn more about how the site works here.

Not sure what to ask Grandma? We list 20 questions to ask your family members on (free article). 

And if your interviewee isn't much of a talker, you'll find our downloadable guide to oral history interviews with reluctant or reticent relatives on

Become a better genealogist and connect with other family historians from the convenience of home at Family Tree University's Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference, taking place Sept. 14-16. Hurry! Early bird registration ends Friday, Aug. 10 at 11:59 p.m. Just enter code FTUVCEARLY at checkout to save $50!

Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | Oral History
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 15:43:54 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, 07 August 2012
Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference: Get Family History Help From Home
Posted by Diane

Would you love to soak up all the genealogical knowledge and fellowship you can handle—but you don't have the time or extra income to travel to a family history conference in another city?

We've got the perfect opportunity for you: Family Tree University's Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference. This weekend event, taking place Sept. 14-16, gives you online access to video classes, live chats with genealogy experts, our conference message board and a swag bag of freebies from

Attend from wherever you have a computer and internet access. Watch the classes and post to the message board whenever you want during the event; chats take place at scheduled times (conference attendees can view the chat transcripts later).

And you can save $50 with our early bird registration special, but only through August 10 (use code FTUVCEARLY ).

Classes, taught by pros including Thomas MacEntee, Rick Crume, Diana Crisman Smith, James M. Beidler, Lisa A. Alzo, Denise Levenick and others, are organized into three tracks:
  • Genealogy Technology: includes Power Up Your Web Searches, Smarter Online Census Searching, Tricks for Using, and more
  • Research Strategies: Secrets to Tracing Female Ancestors, Paperless Pedigrees: Organize Your Genealogy Electronically, Research Logs for the Rest of Us, and more
  • Ethnic Research: Mastering German Place Names, Using UK Civil Registrations, Tracing Irish Ancestors in Griffith's Valuation, and more
Chat topics cover cloud genealogy, source documentation, courthouse records, brick wall problems and more. I always look forward to the chats, tossing around research questions and advice with genealogists from all over the place.

Here are the Family Tree University Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference basics:
  • When: 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16
  • Where: your internet-enabled computer
  • What: all-access pass for 15 half-hour recorded video classes, live chats, our conference message board and swag
  • Registration fee: $149.99 through Aug. 10 with coupon code FTUVCEARLY

We'll see you at the conference!

Genealogy Events
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 16:35:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, 06 August 2012 New York Offers Free New York Genealogy Records
Posted by Diane

An agreement between and several New York genealogy organizations has created New York, a free searchable database of New York records on

Records include state censuses, naturalizations, marriages, military records from several wars and federal special censuses from 1850 to 1880.

Free access to New York is available to New York State residents, but you'll need to set up a free account if you're not already a subscriber. Start on this state archives web page, where you're directed to type your New York State zip code into the search box. You'll be redirected to the New York page on Run a search there, click on  a search result, and set up a free account when prompted (don't click on the trial offer or Subscribe link) to get access to the New York records.

I'm hoping something similar is in the works for other states!

Researching New York ancestors? Check out our online video class New York genealogy Crash Course: Find Your Empire State Ancestors, available in

Want to improve your genealogical skills and connect with other family historians—all from the convenience of home? Check out Family Tree University's Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference, taking place Sept. 14-16. Early bird registration ends Friday, Aug. 10 at 11:59 p.m.—just enter code FTUVCEARLY at checkout to save $50! | Free Databases
Monday, 06 August 2012 16:36:03 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Friday, 03 August 2012
Genealogy News Corral, July 30-August 3
Posted by Diane

  • Recent records updates to bring the site's free Slovakian records collection to more than 5 million searchable records. Plus, you can browse the Slovakia 1869 census on Other record additions come from South Africa, Canada, Poland, Portugal and the United States.
Click here to see the updated collection and link to each on on

FamilySearch | NARA | Social History
Friday, 03 August 2012 12:04:58 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
1940 Census Now Fully Searchable on
Posted by Diane has announced that its 1940 census index is now complete—you can search it for ancestors in all 48 US states (Alaska and Hawaii hadn't yet become states in 1940) plus territories.'s index will be free to search through 2013.

FamilySearch isn't far behind. Its volunteer-created index is almost complete, and only 19 states' indexes remain to be added to the site's search. The 1940 census index is free on as well as its 1940 Census Community Project partners and | | census records | FamilySearch | Free Databases
Friday, 03 August 2012 09:18:47 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, 02 August 2012
Scanning Old Family Photos With Flip-Pal
Posted by Diane

Now that we're carrying the Flip-Pal mobile scanner in, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I gave it a try on one of my favorite pictures: My great-grandparents on their porch in Bellevue, Ky., about 1925, judging from my grandma's age (she's the baby).

The scanner is nice and light, about the size of a book, and it runs on four AA batteries. The scanning window is smaller than a desktop scanner, 4x6 inches, so you need to scan a larger document in parts and then stitch them together. (The scanner comes with Easy-Stitch software to do this.)

You can scan at a resolution of 300 or 600 dpi. 300 is the lowest recommended dpi for images you want to digitally archive, and will allow you to make a good print that's the same size as the original photo. 600 dpi is even better, because you can enlarge the photo before printing it.

I tried the Sketch Kit, sold separately from the scanner, which lets you annotate photos and documents in a low-tech way. It's a clear acrylic panel you place over your picture and write on with an erasable marker, like so:

Then to scan the annotated photo, you pop out the Flip-Pal lid, flip the scanner over and press the big green button to scan the Sketch panel on top of your picture:

(I kept accidentally pressing the green button during the lid removal and flipping.) Here's that scan:

You'll also want the photo itself, minus the Sketch panel. For that, you pop the lid back in and place the picture face down on the scanner, as you would for a desktop scanner. The scan:

The images are saved onto an SD card. I discovered just this morning that my computer here at work has an SD card reader—perfect. (The scanner is also compatible with wireless Eye-fi SD cards.) If you don't have a card reader, you can plug the card into the included SD-to-USB adaptor and stick that into your computer's USB drive.

You can see technical specs for the Flip-Pal scanner here and FAQs here. I did these two quick scans without reading instructions, but I'll check them out to learn more about the scanner settings and how to use the stitching software.

You can find the Flip-Pal scanner and accessories such as the Sketch Kit  and a carrying case in If you're trying to decide whether to buy, we've also got a Flip-Pal product review article download.

Got a bunch of family photos and heirlooms you need to archive and share? Learn how in our Aug. 9 Digitize Your Family History webinar.

Editor's Pick | Photos | saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Thursday, 02 August 2012 13:02:43 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [12]