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# Friday, September 28, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 24-28
Posted by Diane

  • Got family who landed in Australia? This weekend, Ancestry.com.au (Ancestry.com's Australia site) is giving free access to its Australian Birth, Marriage and Death and Cemetery indexes, containing more than 17 million records of those who were born, married or died in Australia from 1788 until the early 20th century. The free period runs through Monday, Oct. 1, 11:59 p.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time on Monday 1 October, 2012 (that's 9:59 a.m. Monday EST in the United States). You'll need to set up a free registration with the site to search the records.
  • Registration is open for FamilySearch's  2013 Rootstech genealogy conference, taking place March 21-23 in Salt Lake City. Organizers are planning for the 2013 conference to have a 40 percent larger exhibit hall and more classes, including a new track for those beginning their family history research. Registration fees range from $19 for a one-day pass to the Getting Started track ($39 for all three days) to a $149 early bird special (regularly $219) for a full three-day pass. Click here to register for the conference.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | International Genealogy | Vital Records
Friday, September 28, 2012 1:14:50 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Celebrating Family History Month 2012
Posted by Diane

Monday, Oct. 1, starts Family History Month!

In the past October has been officially proclaimed a month for celebrating family history; recently, it's become an unofficial celebration among genealogy researchers and organizations.

So let the celebration begin! Family Tree Magazine has ideas for you to mark Family History month on our Family History Month resources page (it includes our free Discover Your Roots webinar). 

It's a great time to find classes and presentations at genealogy libraries and societies near you—many free or for a small fee. Check the website of your local library or society or call to ask about special events. Be sure to register for the event if it's required.

Here's a sampling of Family History Month events across the country. Feel free to click Comments below and tell us about events you know of:
  • Cincinnati: The public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will hold a Day with the Experts on Saturday, Oct. 6, with genealogy tours, a Researching Your Civil War Online class, consultations with experts and a presentation on Cincinnati's legendary military officer Gen. William Haines Lytle. For more details, call (513) 369-6905 or email history@cincinnatilibrary.org.
  • Conroe, Texas: The Montgomery County Library will have a Genealogy Basics Boot Camp Oct. 10, a Get Your research into Shape session on Oct. 20, and more. Here's the library's October events calendar; hover over a listing to learn more about it.
  • Fort Myers, Fla.: The Fort Myers-Lee County Public Library is holding a Family History Month Series on Saturdays in October covering topics such as tracking your research, using courthouse records, finding censuses and substitutes and using immigration records. Click here to find out more.
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.: Of course the biggest public genealogy library in the country, the Allen County Library, is celebrating with classes on cemetery research, state and regional research, census research, photograph analysis, brick wall research and more. The library's Genealogy Center also will have extended research hours on Oct. 26. Learn more and download a class schedule here.
  • Oakland, Calif.: The African-American Genealogical Society of Northern California and the Oakland FamilySearch Center are holding a Black Family History Day Oct. 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the FamilySearch Center. Click here to learn more about the event (including how to register for a free family history consultation).
  • Santa Barbara, Calif.: The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society has classes all month long, including a Genealogy and DNA workshop (Oct. 5 at 10 a.m.) and Beginning Genealogy (Oct. 8 at 10 a.m.). Registration is required, with a fee for nonmembers. You also can go to free open houses on Sept. 30 and Oct. 13, 14, 20 and 27. To learn more, go to the society's website and click READ HERE to download a PDF listing the events.
  • Tucson, Ariz.: The Pima County Genealogy Society and the Pima County Public Library are teaming up to offer family tree workshops at the library throughout October. See the dates and times here.
  • Vermilion, Ohio: Ritter Public Library is holding genealogy classes on researching a house history (Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.), creating a computerized family photo project (Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.) and getting started (Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m.). Learn more on the library's blog.


Family History Month | Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun | Genealogy societies
Friday, September 28, 2012 12:02:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, September 27, 2012
Find Your Ancestors' Military Records Online
Posted by Diane


Just about everyone has an ancestor (or more) who served in the military, and the records of their service can be rich with genealogy answers: compiled military service records (aka CMSRs), pension applications, bounty land warrants, draft registrations, discharge papers, citations, regimental histories, burial records, veterans questionnaires—the list goes on.



Our upcoming webinar Online Military Records: Document Your Family's Service will help you use online resources to find your family's US military records. You'll learn:
  • what types of military records might exist for your ancestors and where to find them
  • how to track down draft registrations (even if your ancestor never served)
  • how to trace ancestors' service in the American Revolution, Civil War, World Wars and other US wars
  • the best websites for finding military records, including Fold3, the Daughters of the American Revolution genealogy database and more
Plus you'll be able to submit your own military research questions to presenter David A. Fryxell both when you register and during the live webinar.

The hourlong Online Military Records webinar is Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. ET (that's 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT and 4 p.m. PT).

Your registration includes access to the webinar recording to watch again as often as you want, a 25-page handout of the presentation slides, and a six-page handout of additional information on finding online military records.

Click here to lean more about our Online Military Records webinar (and save $10 on your registration with our early bird discount).

Fold3 | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Thursday, September 27, 2012 9:59:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Courthouse Research Tips from the Virtual Genealogy Conference
Posted by Diane

Courthouse records can be some of the most revealing sources about your ancestors.

These Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference tips come from our live chat on Researching Courthouse Records, hosted by the Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell.
  • Types of records you might find at a courthouse include civil and criminal court records, naturally, but also deeds and mortgages, tax lists,  county commissioner meeting minutes, vital records, business licenses, voter registrations, cattle brand registrations and more.
  • But depending on the place your family lived, older records may have been turned over to a local or state archives, historical society or library. Check in advance before you plan a courthouse trip.
  • "Keep in mind is that most of these facilities aren't really archives," Russell advised. "They're working offices trying to keep up with the day-to- day business of government. For the most part, they're not set up to do a lot of hand-holding." Find out as much as you can about the records you need—the date, a microfilm number or volume and page number, where they're located, etc.—before you go.

  • More things to know before you go: Check online for courthouse hours, holiday schedules and access information. The court may have limited hours when staff will pull files. Some won't allow personal scanners or cameras. Different types of records might be in different buildings or rooms. The local genealogy librarian and genealogical society are good sources to ask ahead of time about courthouse quirks.
  • See if the office holding the records you need has a busy season. Russell gave this example: "If the records you really want are the tax records, and the tax office's busy season is October, then going there in October just about guarantees that nobody is going to be available to help you—and they may not even allow record lookups at that time."
  • One chat participant advises you to dress nicely—"so you look like you might be a lawyer or paralegal." And if you have allergies to dust or mold, bring medication.
  • Look for an online or microfilmed index so you have all the volumes and page numbers you need in advance. Also see whether the Family History Library has microfilm of the records you need or even posted them online at FamilySearch.org.
  • "Even 'burned counties' have some records," Russell said. "And don't forget many people re-recorded deeds, etc., after a courthouse fire."

Ready to head to the courthouse now? Click here to find out about our downloadable guide to researching in courthouse records, available in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Video classes from our Virtual Genealogy Conferences are available in ShopFamilyTree.com. And mark your calendar now for our Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference, Feb. 22-24.


court records | Genealogy Events | Research Tips
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:21:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, September 24, 2012
Get Free Admission to 100s of Museums Across the Country on Sept. 29!
Posted by Diane

This Saturday, Sept. 29, is Museum Day—when hundreds of museums across the country open their doors and let you visit for free.

You do need to sign up for your free tickets on the Museum Day website (each ticket is good for admission for two people). Tickets will be emailed to you; print them and take with you to the place you visit on Museum Day.

Click here to find a participating museum near you.

A few I like for the history-minded:
  • Out West in Nevada, you can step into your Silver State ancestors' shoes at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, which features American Indian artifacts, fossils, a recreated ghost town and underground mine, and more.
  • At the Western Heritage Center in Billings, Mont., you can see special exhibits on Montana Women at Work and how the railroad shaped Billings. One of the museum's galleries replicates a 1930s dude ranch lodge.
Have fun!


Museums | Social History
Monday, September 24, 2012 2:02:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 21, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 17-21
Posted by Diane

  • This week MyHeritage.com announced the launch of its automatic Record Matching premium service. The service automatically searches the 4 billion records on MyHeritage.com websites (which now include World Vital Records and FamilyLink) for matches to people in your MyHeritage family tree. MyHeritage users will receive weekly email updates of new Record Matches and can visit MyHeritage.com to review, filter, sort, confirm and reject matches.
On his Genea-Musings blog, Randy Seaver has some detailed posts about using Record Matching to find information.
  • Genealogy search engine Mocavo has acquired ReadyMicro, a company that develops document digitization technology. On its blog, Mocavo says it's planning several exciting announcements in the coming weeks about offering searchable records and forming partnerships to digitize organizations' records "at a very low cost and even, in many cases, at no cost." Stay tuned ...

  • British burial records site DeceasedOnline has added records from London's Charlton Cemetery, opened in 1855. Records include scans of burial registers and some photographs. You can see a list of all the cemeteries included on the site here. You can search the site and get basic search results free; purchase credits to view additional details and records.
  • Don't forget to enter our giveaway for a year's subscription to our Family Tree eBooks website—it's a digital library of dozens of ebooks on genealogy, history, heirloom identification, sharing and preserving your family history, and more, plus many issues of Family Tree Magazine. Click here to enter by September 30!


Cemeteries | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 21, 2012 2:27:33 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 20, 2012
5 Connecticut Research Tips from D. Joshua Taylor
Posted by Diane

D. Joshua Taylor, the New England genealogy expert who delivered genealogy news to several famous folks on NBC's "Who Do You think You Are?" is hard at work putting together the Connecticut Genealogy Crash Course webinar he'll present next Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Josh shares these Connecticut research tips, which he'll expand on in the Connecticut Genealogy Crash Course
  • Many of the common resources for Connecticut research have been published, transcribed, retranscribed, and republished in various formats, so always look for the original source of the information. In the webinar, we'll discuss key resources for tracing Connecticut families, including the Barbour and Hale records collections, which require a bit of sleuthing to use effectively.

  • Connecticut keeps probate records by districts, rather than by counties or towns. But there's a quick way to search all of Connecticut's probate records through one central source! Tune in to the webinar to learn how.

  • Connecticut's shared borders can cause dilemmas for genealogists. We'll talk briefly about the complexities surrounding the western border with New York and ideas for tracing Connecticut families who might've spent time in and around Dutchess County, NY.

  • Subscribe to the Connecticut Society of Genealogists' quarterly The Connecticut Nutmegger. It'll keep you up to date on Connecticut resources and provide book reviews, record abstracts and other guidance.

  • If you have a chance, visit the Connecticut State Library. Although many of its resources are on microfilm (much of it available through interlibrary loan or from the Family History Library), there's nothing like researching on-site and using resources in the original formats.
Got Connecticut ancestors? Register for the Connecticut Genealogy Crash Course now and you'll save $10 with our early bird special and get a chance to submit your Connecticut research question to Josh ahead of time.


Editor's Pick | Research Tips | Webinars
Thursday, September 20, 2012 10:31:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Genealogy Apps for Your Tablet
Posted by Diane

Last weekend's Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference was a great chance to learn from professional genealogy experts and from other researchers like me via video classes, message boards and live chats.

Mark your calendar now for our Winter 2013 Virtual Genealogy Conference, Feb. 22-24.

I'll bring you a few of my favorite conference tips and tidbits over the next few weeks, starting with great apps from our Best Genealogy Tablet Apps chat. Interestingly, they're not all expressly for doing genealogy. These are some of the apps chat host Kerry Scott and other participants use to track their trees, manage time, digitize documents, search websites and more:
  • 30/30 for time management—you work for 30 minutes or another set length of time, then take a break (iPad)
  • Ancestry for displaying your Ancestry member tree and doing quick record lookups, though the search capabilities are limited compared to the full version of the site (Android and iPad)
  • AroundMe for finding gas stations and food in unfamiliar towns  (iPad)
  • CamScanner for digitizing documents and turning them into PDFs (iPad and Android)
  • Civil War Today for newspaper accounts, diaries, letters and more from this day 150 years ago (iPad)
  • CousinCalc for figuring out exactly how you're related (iPad)
  • DropBox for sharing and accessing files across devices (iPad and Android)
  • Evernote for taking notes and making them searchable and accessible across devices—you can get Kerry's video class on using Evernote for $10 off in ShopFamilyTree.com (iPad and Android)
  • Find A Grave for searching the cemetery transcriptions and info on Find A Grave (Android)
  • Focus Time for time management; you work for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break, with a longer break after four cycles (iPad)
  • GoodReader for reading PDF files (iPad)
  • Google Translate (iPhone and Android)
  • LastPass for keeping and generating passwords (IPad and Android)
  • MyHeritage for displaying your MyHeritage family tree and searching the site (iPad and Android)
  • PrinterPro for printing wirelessly from iPad to printer (iPad)
  • Reeder for managing blog RSS feeds (iPad)
  • RestingSpot for adding your ancestor's burial location GPS coordinates to the RestingSpot database (iPhone and Android)
  • Scanner Pro for digitizing documents and turning them into PDFs (iPad)
  • Symbaloo.com as an iGoogle replacement (iPad and Android)
  • Wikipanion (iPad) or Wapedia (Android) for using Wikipedia
  • Wolfram Genealogy & History Research Assistant for a variety of tools including historical weather to an inflation calculator (iPad)
  • Zite for finding news stories and blog posts about your pet topics, such as genealogy (iPad and Android)
Video classes from the Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference will be available soon in ShopFamilyTree.com (and you can check out classes from past Virtual Conferences now).

And if you're hungry for more ways to use your iPad for genealogy, you'll find them in the new book Turn Your iPad into a Genealogy Powerhouse by Lisa Louise Cookeclick here to learn more.


Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Research Tips | Tech Advice
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 12:34:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
We're on the Prowl for Hilarious Holiday Photos
Posted by Diane

You expect to see Halloween decorations everywhere this time of year, but can you believe some stores are already stocking Christmas decorations?

We’re celebrating the joys of both holidays—as well as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Earth Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and other special days throughout the year—with an upcoming book called Hilarious Holiday Photos.

Want to join in the fun? Share your funny holiday photos of people or pets, and they could appear on the book’s Facebook page and even in the book itself.

For example, this Halloween photo, courtesy of a coworker here at Family Tree Magazine HQ, cracked us up:



Like the book’s Facebook page to see more funny photos and click here to submit your pictures online.


Genealogy fun | Photos
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 10:57:48 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, September 18, 2012
New, Free Family Tree Magazine Podcast: Tips for Diagnosing Sick Genealogy Sources and More!
Posted by Diane

Our September 2012 Family Tree Magazine Podcast is available (and free!) for your listening enjoyment!

Host Lisa Louise Cooke (also of the Genealogy Gems Podcast) and guests including Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, FamilyTreeDNA President Bennett Greenspan and  Family Tree University instructor Charlotte Bocage share research tips on
  • preventing "sick" sources in your family tree
  • documenting genealogy sources
  • using DNA testing in your genealogy research
Plus, you'll get news from the genealogy blogosphere and hear what's coming up next from Family Tree Magazine.

Listen to the Family Tree Magazine Podcast in iTunes or on FamilyTreeMagazine.com. Visit FamilyTreeMagazine.com for the show notes, too.

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


Genetic Genealogy | Podcasts | Research Tips
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10:12:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, September 14, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 10-14
Posted by Diane

To celebrate the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the US Constitution, the National Archives is featuring a “Tweet the Preamble” contest now through Sept. 17 on Twitter (@usnatarchives). The archives' Twitter followers can enter by summarizing the Preamble of the Constitution in 140 characters (using #Constitution225). The Archivist of the United States will choose the winner, who will receive a pocket Constitution from the Foundation for the National Archives. Get more contest details here.

The Kansas Historical Society (KHS) has announced that 250,000 images from its record collections have been uploaded uploaded to Kansas Memory, KHS’s online archive of photographs, letters, government records, newspapers and objects. You can search teh collections or browse  by place, date, topic, record type or any number of other ways.  You can see the 250,000th image on the KHS blog.

Genealogy website ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk is celebrating its 10th birthday this month. Since its launch in mid-September 2002, the site has grown to more than 90 million digital records and more than one million registered users from across the world,making it the biggest online resource for Scottish census, birth, marriage and death records. British company brightsolid, which also owns findmypast.com, enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland.


Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, September 14, 2012 1:34:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Budget Cuts to Close Georgia State Archives as of Nov. 1
Posted by Diane

The Georgia state archives in Morrow, Ga., will close to the public starting Nov. 1 due to state budget cuts, announced Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Thursday. Staff will be cut as part of the closure.

"To my knowledge, Georgia will be the only state in the country that will not have a central location in which the public can visit to research and review the historical records of their government and state," Kemp says.

The public will be able to access the archives by appointment, but appointments may be limited. You can read Kemp's announcement here.

As part of a 3 percent cut ordered across the state government, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal instructed the secretary of state’s office to cut its budget by $732,626 during the remainder of this fiscal year and in the fiscal year starting next July. 

"I will fight during this legislative session to have this cut restored so the people will have a place to meet, research, and review the historical records of Georgia," Kemp says.

You can sign an online petition to stop the closure on Change.org and visit the Georgians Against Closing State Archives Facebook page here


Libraries and Archives | Public Records
Friday, September 14, 2012 9:11:28 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 13, 2012
Take the Course, Luke: Tech Tips from a Genealogy Jedi
Posted by Tyler

For our final Guest Blog in our ‘Meet the Presenter’ series, we have a piece by genealogy Jedi Thomas MacEntee. Here’s what he has to say:

Welcome to the Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference at Family Tree University. Once again, I’m pleased to be a part of this unique, on-line event that provides important educational content to the genealogy community.

What’s So Great about a Virtual Genealogy Conference?

A virtual genealogy conference is just like a conference you attend in-person but with more flexibility and just as many opportunities to network with other genealogy researchers. At the Fall Virtual Genealogy Conference you’ll find pre-recorded webinars (a total of 15!), scheduled chats where you can ask the experts various questions, a message board and even a virtual gift bag filled with genealogy goodies!

The upcoming conference is a great alternative for busy genealogists as well as those that can’t travel long distances to attend genealogy conferences.

Why Technology Should Matter To Genealogists

I’m of an age where I remember the introduction of the personal computer and its impact on not just genealogy, but life in general. I don’t consider myself a “techie” especially since my academic background is more in the arts, language and literature. However, I’ve come to realize that if I don’t keep on top of technology that I risk being left behind. So even though it can be similar to “homework” in school, I make it a point to stay informed and to try out different apps, websites and other technologies. I may not incorporate them as part of my genealogy research, but knowing is better than not knowing.

That’s why I try to ensure that several of my presentations focus on how genealogists can use specific technologies to advance their own research. My goal is to present these new sites and apps in an easy-to-learn atmosphere where you’ll feel comfortable asking questions and making your own decisions as to what technology is best for your own situation.

My Presentations and Chats

During the conference I’ll be offering three new presentations covering tips for working with search engines, how to get what you want from the FamilySearch website, and easy ways to use a research log for your genealogy. In addition, there will be a live, on-line chat session covering cloud computing and genealogy where you’ll get to “pick my brain” on various programs and which program is best for you.

  • Power Up Your Web Searches: Feel like your Google and website searches are going nowhere? Learn to pull those elusive ancestors out from the depths of search engines and genealogy websites with this session on how to sharpen your search skills. We’ll cover Google’s Search Tools and specialty search engines including Mocavo and others. (Recorded session)
  • Tips for Using FamilySearch.org: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ free genealogy website offers a plethora of searchable family trees, historical records and resources—but how do you find what you’re looking for? This class will show you how to become a seasoned and savvy FamilySearch navigator. (Recorded session)
  • Research Logs for the Rest of Us: From Captain Cook to Christopher Columbus, numerous noteworthy explorers kept comprehensive journals to document their adventures, so why should your genealogical expedition be any different? In this class, you’ll learn why you need a research log and how it can help you make genealogical discoveries more effectively and efficiently. (Recorded session)
  • Choosing a Cloud Genealogy Program: Working in the “cloud” can be confusing and the concept of working with data stored on a remote server is just catching on with the genealogy community. If you are tired of keeping your genealogy research data on multiple CDs, DVDs, flash drives, hard drives and in different locations then you owe it to yourself to learn more about cloud computing. During this chat you’ll learn not only how cloud computing works, but also the latest cloud programs and how to keep your data secure and private. (Live on-line chat session)
  • Stay In Touch

    For me, the best part of any conference is making new genealogy friends and staying in touch with them. Sometimes we meet up again in person, or we stay in touch on-line. Either way, it always helps to network with other genealogists. Feel free to keep tabs on what I’m up to by following my websites GeneaBloggers and High-Definition Genealogy , or email me at hidefgen@gmail.com.

    The conference starts TOMORROW! But there is still time to register--click here and use the code FRIENDSOFTHOMAS at checkout to save $40.



    Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Research Tips | Tech Advice
    Thursday, September 13, 2012 12:53:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Wednesday, September 12, 2012
    Spice Up Your Roots: Family History and Food Collide at the Fall Virtual Conference
    Posted by Tyler

    Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist, author and contributor to Family Tree Magazine. Her primary passions are history and food, which she'll blend together like cake batter at this weekend's Fall Virtual Conference. In this guest post, the author of From the Family Kitchen talks in detail about her VC sessions:

    Social history and genealogy go hand in hand. As family history researchers we tend to focus solely on the dates and places of our ancestor’s life. That’s important, but it’s one thing to know the dates and places and another to fully understand what was going on during that historical time period. Social history is the story of people’s everyday lives. Social history places your ancestors in context. It will even help make your research more interesting to the non-genealogists in your family. The session itself is called "Top 10 Tools For Social History", in which we'll talk about resources you can use for any research project. These will include images, online catalogs and collections.

    My second presentation, "Cook up Answers About Immigrant Ancestors", is a chance to see social history in action. What does food have to do with your ancestor? Everything! Food is so integral to everything we do in our families. It’s part of celebrations, holidays and even somber events. Food and food history resources can help us learn far more about our ancestors. I can’t wait to tell you about all the available resources, such as community cookbooks.

    Please join me at the Virtual Conference. What a great way to spend a weekend. Talking genealogy from the comfort of your own home!


    ACT QUICKLY:Only three days until the conference! Register now for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $40 with coupon code FRIENDSOFGENA.



    Family Recipes | Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Social History
    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9:28:10 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Monday, September 10, 2012
    Prepare to Plot Your Ancestors
    Posted by Tyler

    Lisa Louise Cooke is both an author and podcaster extraordinaire. She produces the Genealogy Gems podcast, as well as the official podcast of Family Tree Magazine. In this guest post, she writes an open letter to those considering coming to her sessions for Family Tree University’s Fall Virtual Conference:

    In the real estate world they say it’s all about Location, Location, Location! And the same holds true in the Genealogy world. Location is a key element in understanding the context of our ancestor’s lives and obtaining coveted genealogical documents. What better way to zero in on a location than with maps? My class Best Websites for Finding Historical Maps delivers the goods in a big way!

    If you have ever listened to my show The Genealogy Gems Podcast at http://www.genealogygems.com then you know that maps, and working with them in programs like Google Earth, is one of my specialties. Historical maps offer an exciting way to do your own genealogical time travel. Please join me in a map-packed half hour that will provide you the best resources for obtaining FREE downloadable historical maps that will take you back to the time, and place, of your ancestors. See you in class!

    NOTE:Act quickly—the conference starts this Friday, Sept. 14! Register now for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $40 with coupon code FRIENDSOFLISACOOKE.



    Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Historical maps
    Monday, September 10, 2012 4:16:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
    Get Your Connecticut Genealogy Questions Answered!
    Posted by Diane


    Calling genealogists with Connecticut kin: Get help tracing your Constitution State ancestors in our upcoming Connecticut Genealogy Crash Course webinar.

    Presenter D. Joshua Taylor, whom you might recall revealing roots information to the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Rob Lowe on NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?," will share secrets to discovering your family tree in Connecticut.



    What will you learn? Among the strategies Taylor will show you:
    • how to find resources such as vital records (going back as early as 1650!), church records, censuses, court records and more
    • tricks for tracing Dutch, English, Italian, Irish and other ethnic ancestors
    • the best places to search for Connecticut ancestors online
    You'll have the chance to submit your Connecticut genealogy questions to Taylor when you register, and again during the webinar.

    Registrants also get copies of the presentation slides plus handouts including Family Tree Magazine's Connecticut State Guide and New Haven City Guide, and they can to view the webinar again as many times as they like.

    Here are the Connecticut Genealogy Crash Course basics:
    • Date: Thursday, Sept. 27
    • Time: 7-8 p.m. ET (starts at 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT and 4 p.m. PT)
    • Price: $49.99 (register now to save $10 with our early bird special!)
    Click here to join us for the Connecticut Genealogy Crash Course!

    Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
    Monday, September 10, 2012 1:16:18 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Friday, September 07, 2012
    Fresh Fall Sale (Plus Friends & Family Savings) at ShopFamilyTree.com
    Posted by Diane

    I wanted to do a quick post to let you know we're having a a big sale—the Fresh Fall Sale—in ShopFamilyTree.com! You can save up to 50 percent off select genealogy how-to CDs, DVDs, Video Classes, books and Family Tree Magazine back issues. 

    You could get
    • on-demand webinars such as Using Probate Records or our Illinois or Michigan genealogy crash course
    • the Genealogist's Census Pocket Reference to keep handy (it's full of information and tips, and it really does fit in your pocket)
    • our Family Tree Essentials CD with how-tos on the basic genealogical records you need to search for
    • any number of Family Tree University Independent Study courses
    ... and lots more. Plus I'll let you in on our Friends & Family savings, which gets you another 15 percent off when you enter code FAMILY (expires Sept. 14) at checkout.

    Shop the Fresh Fall Sale here, now through Sept. 15!


    ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
    Friday, September 07, 2012 4:49:59 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
    Genealogy News Corral, Sept. 3-7
    Posted by Diane

    Congratulations to all the ISFHWE competition winners—you can see their names here!


    Family Heirlooms | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
    Friday, September 07, 2012 4:14:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
    Of Census Searches and Landlubbers
    Posted by Tyler

    Diana Crisman Smith has been researching genealogy since childhood and has served as a lay librarian at the local Family History Center for more than 20 years. She has written for numerous genealogical publications, including current regular columns in the National Genealogical Society’s NewsMagazine and the Association of Professional Genealogists’ APG Quarterly. In this guest post, she talks about the two sessions she is presenting at Family Tree University’s Fall Virtual Conference: “Smarter Online Census Searching” and “Finding Land Records Online”.

    I’m Diana Crisman Smith, and I’ve been researching my family since I was eleven years old. I have been helping others with their research for more than twenty years through writing, speaking, teaching and volunteering at the Family History Center. I have roots throughout the US and Europe, but US research is the starting place for all my family branches. Two of the most useful tools I use in US genealogical research are land records and census records.

    Now that so many of the US censuses are available in online images or indexed online, researchers have a wonderful opportunity to use these important records. We all know that they are not perfect, since we can’t always find what we want easily. Join me to learn some tips to make the best use of these records by searching smarter.

    I also love “playing in the dirt” with land records. If your ancestors were farmers, they are critical for you; if they were city folk, they still may have land purchases (they bought houses just like we do, which means land records). For those who were in the “Western states” (essentially west of the original colonies, plus a few special states), the Bureau of Land Management website is one of the most useful, but little-known, resources of the Federal Government. Come learn to use some of the great information available through this source.

    Act quickly—the conference starts next Friday, Sept. 14! Register now for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $20 with coupon code FRIENDSOFDIANA.



    census records | Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Land records
    Friday, September 07, 2012 10:20:37 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Thursday, September 06, 2012
    Virtual Genealogy Conference Sneak Peek Video! Using Maps, Photo Restoration, German Places and More
    Posted by Diane

    In this three-minute video, several Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference expert instructors give snippets from their video classes. Watch to hear about
    • Google Earth and using maps in your research, with Lisa Louise Cooke
    • photo restoration, with Denise Levenick
    • using a genealogy research log, with Thomas MacEntee
    • immigrant ancestors and their foods, with Gena Philibert-Ortega
    • German place-names, with James M. Beidler


    To see the Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference course catalog of 15 video classes, the live chat schedule, presenter bios and other details, visit FamilyTreeUniversity.com. (You can save $50 on your conference registration with discount code FTUVCFACEBOOK.)

    And don't forget about our free upcoming "Meet the Presenter"social media chats—click here for information.


    Genealogy Events | Research Tips | Videos
    Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:33:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
    Get Strategies for Solving Brick-Wall Genealogy Problems
    Posted by Diane


    Maybe it's Great-great-grandma's maiden name or a 10-year gap in an ancestral family's whereabouts. Or your immigrant ancestor's passenger record is nowhere to be found. 

    Whatever genealogy brick wall or elusive ancestor you're struggling with, we've put together a research kit that will help you conquer it. The limited-edition Ultimate Genealogy Problem Solver Collection gathers top tools and tricks for solving tough genealogy problems.



    The collection includes:
    • Quicksheet: Historical Biographer's Guide to Cluster Research with advice from renowned genealogist Elizabeth Shown Mills

    • 101 Brick Wall Busters with Family Tree Magazine experts' answers to readers genealogy questions

    • Research Remedies CD with guides to research obstacles from maiden name mysteries to incognito immigrants

    • Using Cluster and Collateral Searches to Beat Brick Walls recorded webinar with techniques for getting clues from records of your ancestors' friends, neighbors and relatives

    • Step-by-Step Guide: How to Fix Common Genealogy Errors, a digital download article with strategies for spotting errors in your family tree (and keeping them from coming back)

    • They're Alive! Finding Living Relatives recorded webinar has tips from genealogy sleuth Thomas MacEntee on finding cousins who might have family information

    • Family Tree Problem Solver by Marcia Hoffman Rising, the newly revised classic book with strategies and case studies for breaking through brick walls
    Only 35 or so more Ultimate Genealogy Problem Solver Collections are still available (depending when you read this), and they'll be gone after September.

    The price for all this is $69.99—a $100-plus savings over buying each item individually.

    Get your Ultimate Genealogy Problem Solver Collection now in ShopFamilyTree.com!


    Editor's Pick | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
    Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:11:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Wednesday, September 05, 2012
    Finding Female Ancestors, Searching Online and More: Tips From Virtual Genealogy Conference Experts
    Posted by Diane

    We're holding live, free Facebook and Twitter chats with our Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference expert presenters to give you sneak peeks at the genealogy tips you'll get from this online family history conference.

    We've got three chats to go:
    • Today, Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 4:30 p.m. ET, join our Tweet-up on Twitter with Gena Philibert-Ortega, who'll be talking about social history and tracing immigrants (we'll be using hashtag #FTUVC).
    • Stop by our Facebook page Thursday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. ET to get Rick Crume's advice on tracking down ancestors in UK civil registration records and Ireland's Griffith's Valuation.
    Remember to translate the chat times into your time zone. You don't have to be a Facebook or Twitter member to see the chats, but you must be a member to post a question.

    The chats we've already had are chock-full of research help! Here's where to find them:

    The Family Tree University Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference, taking place online Sept. 14-16, gives you access to 15 video classes, live chats, our exclusive conference message board, and our virtual exhibit hall (where you can win prizes by being part of our exhibitor scavenger hunt).

    To learn more, visit FamilyTreeUniversity.com. (Pssst!: You can save $50 on conference registration with coupon code FTUVCFACEBOOK.)


    Family Tree University | Female ancestors | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | Research Tips | Social History | Social Networking
    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 12:34:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
    English, Irish, Welsh or Scot: In Genealogy Research, it Matters Not
    Posted by Tyler

    Genealogy guru Rick Crume is a long-time contributing writer for Family Tree Magazine. At next week’s Fall Virtual Conference, he breaks free from his written word wheel house and brings you two interactive video presentations: "Using UK Civil Registrations" and "Tracing Irish Ancestors in Griffith's Valuation." No matter where over the pond your family hails from, the resources exist to dig out their stories. In this guest post, Rick gives a brief synopsis of his search-stimulating sessions:

    If you have ancestors who emigrated from the British Isles in the nineteenth century, free online indexes are the perfect way to start tracing them. English and Welsh governments began recording births, marriages and deaths in 1837, but until recently, researchers had to physically visit Great Britain or spend hours scrolling through microfilm to thoroughly search the indexes. Now they’re available for free on several websites. By finding your ancestor's name in an index before requesting a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate, you’ll get faster service, as well as ensure that the record you are requesting is for the right person.

    Before beginning research on family history anywhere in Europe, it’s often important to first identify the specific place where your ancestors lived. While many Irish records have been lost over the years, a tax survey conducted across Ireland between 1848 and 1864 survives. This can now be used to help locate your ancestors’ exact parish of residence. Armed with that information, you can then pursue other Irish records for information on your family.

    Join me next week for two courses: "Using UK Civil Registrations" and "Tracing Irish Ancestors in Griffith's Valuation." You'll learn where to find the best free online indexes to these resources, tips for searching them effectively and how to use them as springboards to assist with future record finding.


    Time is running out! Register now for the Fall Virtual Conference and save $20 with coupon code FRIENDSOFRICK.

    Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Research Tips | UK and Irish roots
    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 10:07:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
    # Tuesday, September 04, 2012
    Show and Tell! Birmingham Public Library's Genealogy Research Heaven
    Posted by Diane

    After setting up Family Tree Magazine’s booth for last week’s Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Birmingham, Ala., I headed down the street a few blocks to the Birmingham Public Library to check out the Linn-Henley Research Library. It's in a lovely 1927 building (renovated in 1984) and holds the library's collections on Southern and local history and genealogy, maps and the city archives.

    Local records here include municipal and county records; church, civic organization and business records; personal papers of local business and community leaders; and more. You'll also find plenty of microfilm here, including censuses and military records.

    I’ve blogged a bit about the library and its digital collections, but here are some visuals to whet your genealogy research appetite:

    The main Linn-Henley library entrance.

    The main reading room, decorated with murals by Ezra Winter. Someone commented on Family Tree Magazine's Facebook page that the room "smells just like a library should," and that's exactly right. I love the smell of old books!

    The print city and suburban directories start in 1883 and go into the 1990s.

    Here's a small part of the family histories collection.

    Many libraries have surname files like this one, full of assorted records and papers organized by family name. (There was nothing for Haddad or my other surnames—I wasn't expecting anything but you can bet I checked.) That envelope peeking out at the top of the photo was attached to 1990s letters relatives sent each other about their family history.



    Visit the Birmingham Public Library's genealogy resources web pages here.

    Genealogy Events | Libraries and Archives
    Tuesday, September 04, 2012 11:01:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]