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# Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Top Tips for Finding Colonial Ancestors
Posted by Diane

Having roots in Colonial America is both a source of pride and frustation: How awesome that your ancestors have been on American soil so long and helped shape the direction of our country—but how difficult to trace them in centuries-old, unfamiliar and often-incomplete records. 

Here's your chance to get Colonial genealogy research advice from one of the best: New England genealogy expert D. Joshua Taylor.

Top 25 Tips for Finding Your Colonial Ancestors

Josh will present our next webinar, Top 25 Tips for Finding Your Colonial Ancestors, taking place Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7pm ET (that's 6pm CT, 5pm MT and 4pm PT). He sent us a few tips to keep in mind when you're tracing Colonial kin:
1. Verify, verify, verify. Because so many of our Colonial families have "already been done," it is important to verify data that has already been published. Mistakes in Colonial families can filter through several generations and cause headaches for genealogists.

2. It hasn't all been done. It is important to get over the common mindset that "my colonial families have all been researched," as there's still so much to discover. During the webinar, we'll talk about a few new resources for tracing Colonial families that are largely untapped by genealogists.

3. Study your history. The Colonial period is a fascinating time in our history, and it is important that you know exactly what was happening in the areas your ancestors were living. Boundary changes, disputes, conflicts with American Indians and a host of other events did impact the lives of our Colonial ancestors.
In the webinar, Josh will show you key strategies for discovering early American roots and tracing Colonial immigrants, which groups settled which areas during the era, common and lesser-known resources for Colonial kin, and the best websites to use.

Once you're registered for the webinar, you'll get
  • Participation in the live presentation on Nov. 13
  • The chance to submit questions before the event and again during the webinar
  • Access to the webinar recording to view again as many times as you like
  • The 75-page PDF of the presentation slides for future reference
  • Eight pages of additional handouts
Click here to register for Top 25 Tips for Finding Your Colonial Ancestors (if you hurry, you'll save $10 with our early bird special)!


Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:35:37 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Tips for Finding Your Ancestor's Death Record
Posted by Diane

When my husband and I were house-hunting awhile back, we looked at a house adjoining a small pioneer cemetery nearly concealed by trees. Which I thought was cool—you could see the area's history in the names on the worn stones. My husband said, "Quiet neighbors."

But a few friends looked stricken and said they might have to think twice about coming over.

So it goes for many of us genealogists. We're fascinated by cemeteries and death records; other people think that's creepy. But in the spirit of genealogy and Halloween, here are some tips on finding your ancestors' death records:
  • Death records are generally available after the state passed a law that counties or towns had to keep records and forward them to the state health department or vital records office. To find out when that was for your ancestor's state, download our free US Vital Records Chart (PDF document) from here. Compliance with the law wasn't always 100 percent, so keep that in mind.
You can get websites and contact information for state vital records offices from the Centers for Disease Control Where to Wrote for Vital Records listing.
  • Restrictions on public access to death records are generally shorter than those for birth records—depending on the state, it's usually 25 to 50 years if you're not immediate family. Check the state vital records office website for this information.

The town or county health department or a local genealogical society where your ancestor lived can tell you when death recording began there. Remember that these early records often aren't complete.

  • No official death record to be found? Look to other sources, such as newspaper obituaries and death notices, cemeteries, church records, US census mortality schedules and probate records. 

Learn more about tracking down death information for your ancestors from these Family Tree Magazine expert resources:


Research Tips | Vital Records
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:24:01 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Friday, October 26, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 22-26
Posted by Diane

  • The Chronicling America free, searchable database of historic US newspapers, has posted its 5 millionth newspaper page. Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2007 as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, the site digitizes newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. It now has more than 800 newspapers from 25 states. 
  • Old Weather, a joint project from the National Archives and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will have citizen scientists transcribing historic Arctic and worldwide weather data from digitized Navy, Coast Guard, and Revenue Cutter ship deck logs. Digital images of the logbooks will be available on the project's website and on Archives.gov. The records offer access to weather data and climate patterns from your ancestor's day, as well as details on US maritime history, military operations and scientific exploration. Learn more about the project and participate at OldWeather.org.
  • A new volunteer genealogy lookup site called Gen Gathering has announced it's looking for volunteers to do simple lookups for others in their home libraries or nearby repositories or cemeteries. You also can use the site to find volunteers who might be able to do lookups for you.  Learn more on the Gen Gathering website


Got Iowa ancestors? Our Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar, happening Tuesday evening, Oct. 30, will help you find their vital records, US and state censuses, land records and more. Learn more about the Iowa Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Genealogy Apps | Genealogy societies | NARA | Newspapers | Social History
Friday, October 26, 2012 11:30:38 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [31]
# Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Switching Things Around With Reverse Genealogy
Posted by Diane


I've just recently started the phase in my genealogy search where you contact distant cousins to exchange family information. It's a fun phase!, and not just because of the enlightening genealogy information and ancestral photos that turn up. It's neat to see how we're related and think about all the other folks out there who could by my cousins.

This is what reverse genealogy is all about: finding cousins, sharing family information and memories, and breaking down research brick walls. 

It's starting with your ancestors and working forward in time to find living relatives (the reverse of what genealogists typically do).

Our Reverse Genealogy Value Pack has all the tools you need to locate folks who may hold the keys to your tough family history problems:
  • Research Strategies: Reverse Genealogy article download by Lisa Louise Cooke: Get advice for making like Sherlock Holmes and finding cousins, including tips for figuring out where to look, as well as the best websites and directories to use.
  • Reverse Genealogy independent study course download: This course, also developed by Lisa Louise Cooke, has in-depth instructions on tracing your family lines forward to find living relatives.
  • They're Alive: Finding Living Relatives on-demand webinar by Thomas MacEntee: Learn about using people-finding websites, how to approach a possible cousin (without feeling like a stalker) and more.
  • Step by Step Guide: Safely Sharing Data Online article download by Rick Crume: You want to find relatives and you want them to find you, but how do keep from putting "too much" out there (and maybe letting the wrong people find you)? This advice will help you stay safe.
Right now the Reverse Genealogy Value Pack is just $49.99, a 66 percent savings. Get yours in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Editor's Pick | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 2:32:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Arlington National Cemetery Launches Burial Database
Posted by Diane

Arlington National Cemetery has unveiled a public database of the 400,000 burials there.

Called ANC Explorer, the database is available online and as a Mobile app. You can search it to locate gravesites on a map; get details including birth, death and interment dates, and branch of service; generate front and back photos of a headstone or monument (where available); and get directions to those gravesites.



Building it led to the first review, analysis and coordination of almost 150 years of Arlington Cemetery records. The Army photographed 259,978 gravesites, niches and markers and instituted a rigorous process to review each headstone photo with cemetery records and other historical documents. The effort grew out of reports in 2010 of misidentified graves and poorly kept records at the cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery was established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, once the estate of the family of Martha Custis Lee, wife of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Veterans and family members from the Civil War and every subsequent US war are buried on its 624 acres.

The first soldier buried there is Pvt. William Henry Christman of Pennsylvania, on May 13, 1864.


Cemeteries | Military records
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 4:21:50 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, October 22, 2012
Cemetery Research Tips & More in the October 2012 Family Tree Magazine Podcast
Posted by Diane

The October 2012 Family Tree Magazine podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, celebrates Halloween with cemetery research tips, including:
  • Advice for cracking the "tombstone code"—the symbolism in carvings and inscriptions—from contributing editor Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

  • How to preserve the genealogy and history information cemeteries hold, and share those details with others, from Family Tree University instructor and Find A Grave volunteer Diana Crisman Smith

  • Tips for visiting a cemetery (what you can do from home, what to bring and what to look for once you're there) from Family Tree University Cemetery Research 101 course instructor Midge Frazel

  • Tombstone rubbing dos and don'ts with Family Tree Magazine publisher and editorial director Allison Dolan
And Lisa and I chat about some recent big acquisitions in the genealogy world.

You can listen to Family Tree Magazine's free genealogy podcast in iTunes or on FamilyTreeMagazine.com. Show notes are on FamilyTreeMagazine.com, too.

Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

↑ Grab this Headline Animator


Cemeteries | Genealogy Industry | Podcasts | Research Tips
Monday, October 22, 2012 1:10:54 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
European Private Equity Firm to Purchase Ancestry.com
Posted by Diane

Online genealogy company Ancestry.com, rumored for months to be seeking a buyer, has found one in European private equity firm Permira.

Ancestry.com announced that company owned by the Permira funds and co-investors has entered into a merger agreement to acquire Ancestry.com for $32 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at $1.6 billion. Ancestry.com president and CEO Tim Sullivan, as well as its CFO/COO Howard Hochhauser, will keep a majority of their equity stakes in the company. Spectrum Equity will also remain an investor.

The transaction, subject to stockholder approval and other closing conditions, is expected to close in January 2013.

According to the announcement of the agreement, Ancestry.com will keep its focus on content, technology and user experience. It'll continue a growth strategy led by content acquisition and technology investment, with the support of the Permira funds and the investor group. It'll also expand its product offerings in areas such as DNA, and build the Ancestry.com brand and the family history category on a global basis.

There are no anticipated changes in Ancestry.com’s operating structure. Ancestry.com will remain headquartered in Provo, Utah, with a continued large presence in San Francisco, Dublin, London and other international markets.


Got Iowa ancestors? Our Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar, happening Tuesday evening, Oct. 30, will help you find their vital records, US and state censuses, land records and more. Learn more about the Iowa Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Ancestry.com | Genealogy Industry
Monday, October 22, 2012 9:04:57 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 19, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 15-19
Posted by Diane

  • Look for a new blog soon from the Library of Congress: To complement its Civil War in America exhibition, the LOC will debut a new blog in November to chronicle more than 40 folks from the North and South whose lives were affected by the war.

    Posts will use first-person accounts such as diaries, letters and published memoirs. “Bloggers” will include people such as Robert E. Lee, Clara Barton, Stonewall Jackson, William Tecumseh Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant,  Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Keckley, Eugenia Phillips and John F. Chase. You can find the blog starting Nov. 12 at blogs.loc.gov.
  • Military records website Fold3 reached a milestone this week when when the site exceeded 100,000,000 images of historical records. Read more about this achievement on the Fold3 blog. The site, which launched in January 2007 as Footnote, has worked with partners including the National Archives, Allen County Public Library, FamilySearch and others to digitize records. Ancestry.com purchased the site in 2010 and last year rebranded it Fold3.com.


Got Iowa ancestors? Our Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar, happening Tuesday evening, Oct. 30, will help you find their vital records, US and state censuses, land records and more. Learn more about the Iowa Genealogy Crash Course in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Ancestry.com | Civil War | Fold3 | Free Databases | Libraries and Archives | Military records | Newspapers
Friday, October 19, 2012 3:08:37 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 18, 2012
See 1911 British Census Transcriptions Free Through Nov. 18
Posted by Diane

British genealogy websites genesreunited.co.uk and findmypast.co.uk are offering their members free access to all 1911 census transcriptions now through Nov. 18.

The 1911 census of England and Wales has details on places of birth, family members, occupations, how many children had been born to a marriage, how many were still alive at the time of the census, and how many had died.

You'll need to register for a free account at either site to view the full transcription of a census entry. To view the original census record, subscribe or purchase credits on the site.


census records | Free Databases | UK and Irish roots
Thursday, October 18, 2012 8:41:58 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Ancestry.com Death Records Challenges Offer Chances to Win
Posted by Diane

Ancestry.com is issuing daily mystery genealogy challenges and that come with chances to win prizes. Use the site's death records collections to answer a challenge (or you could just wing it) and you'll be entered into a Nov. 2 grand prize drawing for a new iPad.

New challenges will be available Oct. 19, 22, 24, 26, 29, and 31.  If you answer the challenge correctly, you'll either be entered into a prize drawing for that challenge (Monday and Wednesday challenges) or receive a bonus entry for the grand prize drawing (Friday challenges).

Challenge prizes include gift certificates, Ancestry.com subscriptions and a DNA test (scroll down and click the terms and conditions link on this page to see the list of prizes).

Click here to see the current challenge.

In addition, several genealogy bloggers also are offering their own contests sponsored by Ancestry.com, with three-month Ancestry.com World Explorer subscriptions as prizes. They include:
  • Genea-Musings (ends Oct. 21); this blog will hold a second contest Oct. 23.
(If there's another blogger I missed, please click Comments below and let me know.)

Ancestry.com | Genealogy fun | Genealogy Web Sites | Vital Records
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 4:37:38 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Four Tips for Researching Military Ancestors Online
Posted by Tyler

Last chance for Online Military Records!

Almost every genealogist has an ancestor who spent some part of his life in service to our country. Today these individuals are immortalized in collection upon collection of digitized military records.

Jump into the fray with an hour-long webinar from expert presenter David A. Fryxell, who will discuss such conflicts as the Colonial Wars, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War and many more.

Some sample tips from this workshop include:

  • Service records and rolls are available for browsing via Fold3 if you know your ancestor's unit.
  • Resources vary depending on the conflict. For instance, Revolutionary War records are available via the Daughters of the American Revolution online library, whereas state websites are often an excellent resource for the Civil War.
  • There were three different types of WWI draft cards. Along with basic info such as name, age, address, etc., the 12-question Draft Card included occupation and any claimed draft exemptions.
  • Records that are not online can still be ordered using the eVets system available from Archives.gov.

Want to learn more, see demos of the sites mentioned here, and have your questions answered by our presenter? There's still time to register for the live webinar—Online Military Records takes place Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 pm Eastern time (4 pm Pacific).

Can't make Thursday's presentation? No worries! Every registrant receives a copy of the recording to watch as many times as you wish, along with a PDF of the slides/handouts for reference.

See ShopFamilyTree.com for more details about this and other Family Tree University webinars.


Family Tree University | Military records
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 2:15:03 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, October 15, 2012
FamilySearch.org Adds Free Records for 20+ US States & 20 Other Countries Including Italy
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has added more than 70 million indexed genealogy records to the free FamilySearch.org over the past couple of weeks.

The indexed records come from the United States and 20 other countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.

Updated or new US records are from more than 20 states, plus New England passenger lists.

You can access FamilySearch.org's indexed records by using the search boxes on the FamilySearch.org home page (which will give you results from all the indexed records on FamilySearch.org) or by using my favorite method—searching that specific collection.

You can find the search page for a specific collection in one of two ways:
  • use the place filters on FamilySearch.org: Scroll down on the home page, choose a world region next to the map, then choose a country, date range or collection on the left to narrow the collection list to those covering your ancestor's lifetime. Then click on the title for the collection you want to search.
Got Italian ancestors? More than 8.3 million new browsable images of civil registrations and church records from Italy also were added. Because these aren't yet indexed, you'll need to find the page for the collection and then view records for the place in Italy your ancestor lived. Click here for FamilySearch.org's list of Italian record collections.


FamilySearch | Free Databases | Italian roots | UK and Irish roots
Monday, October 15, 2012 10:54:30 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 12, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 8-12
Posted by Diane

  • Ancestry.com has released a new Ancestry Facebook app that helps you use Facebook to add to your Ancestry.com family tree. The app lets you use your Facebook credentials to log into Ancestry.com, get hints about Facebook members who may be family, add family members on Facebook to your Ancestry tree and send copies of your tree to those relatives (which they can use to start their own trees on Ancestry.com). Watch a video of how the app works and get the app on Ancestry.com.
Note that when you add information from Facebook to your Ancestry.com tree, you grant Ancestry.com permission to use the information according to its Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statement.
  • Our Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor's book The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation, will soon become a historical film! Visit LastMusterFilm.com to learn more about the project and how you can help the stories of the book's subjects come to life through a donation to the Center for Independent Documentary.
  • FamilySearch is holding a Genealogists Say "Thanks!" video contest. Submit a video sharing an ancestral find in FamilySearch indexes and thanking FamilySearch volunteer indexers for their work. Five winners will each receive  a $25 Visa gift card and have their videos published on teh FamilySearch indexing Facebook page. The submission deadline is November 5; see the FamilySearch blog for contest rules and other details.
  • British genealogy website Genes Reunited has added a Keepsafe feature where the site's members can store digital copies of their family records, photos and memories. Keepsafes can be public, private or shared with select others.  Also new are Relation Profiles, where members can view and edit details about people in their Genes Reunited family trees. Check out the recently revamped Genes Reunited here.


Ancestry.com | Celebrity Roots | FamilySearch | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Web Sites | Photos | Social Networking | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 12, 2012 11:04:26 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 11, 2012
It's a Great Time for Finding Ancestors' Military Records Online
Posted by Diane

In this quick preview of our Oct. 18 Online Military Records webinar, presenter David A. Fryxell explains why it's a great time to be researching your military ancestors.



The webinar will cover how to find online records for ancestors in specific US wars, the best websites for researching military ancestors (such as those David included in our 2012 list of the 101 Best Websites for genealogy), answers to webinar attendees' military research questions and more.

The Online Military Records webinar takes place next Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. PT).

We're offering a package deal with our Family Tree University US Military Records course: When you register for the course session starting Oct. 15 for just $79.99, you'll get a coupon for additional $20 off the Online Military Records webinar (the coupon code will be in your course registration confirmation email).

Check out the US Military Records course here and the Online Military Records webinar here.


Family Tree University | Military records | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Videos | Webinars
Thursday, October 11, 2012 9:17:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Iowa Genealogy Tips From Our Crash Course Webinar
Posted by Diane

Although the state of Iowa draws its name from the Ioway tribe of American Indians, it was also a home to colonists from New France, as well as farmers who made it part of the Corn Belt.

Whether your Iowa ancestors were European explorers or arrived with westward settlers, our upcoming Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar by Diana Crisman Smith and Gary Smith will answer all your questions about Hawkeye State heritage.

 Iowa Genealogy Crash Course

Diana and Gary let slip these "preview" tips from the webinar to share with you:
• Iowa is the 29th state, attaining statehood in December 1846. Birth and marriage records began in 1880 and death records in 1891. There are some online indexes (and even record images) you can use from home—at least to get enough information to request original records. We'll help you use these online sources, and tell you where to go for the originals.

• Iowa is one of the lucky states with great state censuses. In the webinar, we'll talk about when they were taken, what information they include, where to find them, and how to use them. You'll see examples of one of the greatest censuses in the country (in our opinions:) and the three pages of information on each enumerated individual.

• Land has always been one of Iowa's most important assets. The first sale of most land was from the federal government to individuals. Using the Bureau of Land Management's General Land Office database and other sources, we'll show you how to find land records and what they mean to your research.

• The Iowa Genealogical Society is large and active. We'll have some tips on researching using the society's library in Des Moines. If you have Iowa roots, this is one society you should join.
The Iowa Genealogy Crash Course webinar takes place Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. ET (that's 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT and 4 p.m. PT). Once you're registered, you'll receive access to view the recorded webinar again as many times as you want, a PDF copy of the presentation slides and 12 pages of additional handouts that'll help you find Iowa ancestors.

Sign up for the Iowa Genealogy Crash Course now to save $10 with our early bird discount!

Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales | Webinars
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 1:32:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Coming Soon: The Genealogy Event
Posted by Diane

A brand-new genealogy event is happening soon, and it's called, well, the Genealogy Event. The conference, taking place Oct. 26 and 27 in New York City at the Metropolitan Pavilion, is full of classes, special events and exhibits.

And advance tickets to the Genealogy Event cost just $15 per day! (Click here to order online) On-site tickets cost $20 per day.

The roughly 40 half-hour power-learning sessions cover topics including getting started, genetic genealogy, house history, Irish research, Jewish research, African-American research, family photos, tracing New York ancestors and more. Download a schedule from the website's Attendees page.

Family Tree Magazine is excited to sponsor Past to Apron, a separately ticketed event ($30) that's all about where food meets history. It features a talk by our editorial director Allison Dolan about discovering and sharing your family's food heritage, a giveaway of our beautiful book From the Family Kitchen by Gena Philibert-Ortega (see how pretty it is?)

From the Family Kitchen

and a tasting of the winning dish from the Past to Apron recipe contest (now concluded; judging has commenced). You can choose from sessions at 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday; order tickets at the same time you get your tickets to the Genealogy Event.

Genealogy Event exhibitors include companies (such as Family Tree Magazine in booth 406), research organizations and societies. Among those offering specials, Photo Detective Maureen A. Taylor will be offering 15-minute consultations about your mystery photos for a just $30. You can reserve your spot here.

Find out more on the Genealogy Event website and Facebook page.

Family Recipes | Genealogy Events
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 10:41:47 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, October 08, 2012
Canadian Genealogy Websites, Tips and Resources
Posted by Diane

Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in Canada! The second Monday in October (that's today) is the holiday when Canadians celebrate the harvest.

The holiday hopped around from Nov. 6 in 1879, to the third Monday in October for many years, until Parliament set the date on the second Monday of October in 1957. You can read more about the history of Canada's Thanksgiving on the Armchair Genealogist blog.

If you've got the day off for Canadian Thanksgiving (or if you're American, for Columbus Day), take some time to trace your Canadian kin with advice from these FamilyTreeMagazine.com articles (all free) and resources from ShopFamilyTree.com:



Canadian roots | Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, October 08, 2012 11:03:34 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 05, 2012
Genealogy News Corral, Oct. 1-5
Posted by Diane

  • UK genealogy website Origins.net is making its York Marriage Bonds and Allegations Index (1613-1839) free to search until Monday, October 8 at midday BST (if midday is the same as noon, that would be Oct. 8 at 7 a.m. EST). Learn more about this index here. You'll need to set up a free registration on the site to search. If you find a record you need in the index, you can order a copy by clicking "Add to cart."
  • Free, collaborative family tree site WikiTree has reopened member registration after closing it in January. The closure was "to give the WikiTree community time to absorb the flood of information that had been added by people who registered for a free membership and uploaded GEDCOMs, but did not take the time to integrate their genealogy into the shared family tree."
To help ensure that new members understand the site's mission, newly registered members now receive a temporary and limited Guest Membership. Those who want to become permanent members can volunteer to participate in the community as a Wiki Genealogist (requires signing an honor code), or they can ask if a Wiki Genealogist will help connect their family to the shared tree. 


Genealogy Web Sites | Military records | Social History | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 05, 2012 3:46:32 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, October 04, 2012
Finding Family History Books About Your Ancestors
Posted by Tyler

Most genealogists rely primarily on records to root out their relatives. However, the Internet has opened the doorway to other digitized documents. In particular, I'm referring to an oft-underutilized family research resource: Published Genealogies.

The new First Steps course from Family Tree University, Finding Family History Books About Your Ancestors, will show you where to find these manuscripts and what they might contain.

Genealogy is not a new pastime. During the colonial period, genealogy was seen as an attempt by early settlers to secure a measure of social standing within the British Empire. The truth is, people have been conducting family research for centuries, and many of these individuals might have published family trees--a resource that you now have the opportunity to plunder. From articles in genealogical society journals to entire books outlining specific lineages to searchable online databases of user-contributed family trees, this new course shows you how and where to look for the work others have already done, allowing you to save time and add branches to your family tree.

You'll learn to search for manuscripts on databases such as:

# Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Ancestry.com Acquires 1000memories
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy website Ancestry.com just announced it has acquired San Francisco-based 1000memories.

1000memories, founded in 2010, has a website where people can store and share digitized photos. Shoebox, the site’s accompanying mobile app for iPhone and Android, lets you use a cell phone camera to “scan” and upload documents to the site.

The app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times since its launch.

Ancestry.com has already begun incorporating the app into its services. To mark this announcement, 1000memories has launched a new version of ShoeBox for iOS (iPhones), enabling Ancestry.com members to post photos directly to ancestors profiles in their Ancestry.com member trees.

“This is the first step in a broader plan that will see tighter integration of the two services in the coming months,” according to Ancestry.com’s official press release.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites | Photos
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 11:55:31 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Research Logs Tips from the Virtual Genealogy Conference
Posted by Tyler

Detailed logs are an important tool in organizing your genealogy research.

These Fall 2012 Virtual Genealogy Conference tips come from the video session "Research Logs for the Rest of Us," hosted by Thomas MacEntee.

  • It's important to understand the "why" of using a research log. If you're using a log only because you know other people who are doing so, then you're wasting your time. Understand the benefits of tracking your research journey.
  • Select a format that you will continue to use. For instance, it is a poor idea to start your research log in Excel if you don't like using spreadsheets. Use a format you are comfortable with. Otherwise you'll only frustrate yourself and abandon the log.
  • Spend time setting up headings or categories. When you use a spreadsheet or table, take time to consider which headings to use. Don't be afraid to add or remove headings over time. It's only through constant use of the research log that you'll figure out the best headings for your research.
  • Shoot for a "one pass" goal. When you find a record or piece of information, note all of the information as if you might never find it again. This means noting the date you found it, the type of record, and even whether you are transcribing or abstracting it. You're only kidding yourself if you say that you'll come back to it later.
  • Maintaining a research log is a discipline. A discipline created through handwork, dedication and repetition until it becomes habit. Realize that you will make mistakes the first few entries, then you'll become better at entering information accurately and quickly.
  • Source citations matter, but take a shortcut! Create a cheat sheet--a document or spreadsheet tab where you can keep the most commonly used source citation formats. Then you can copy and paste them over to your research log to fill in the blanks.

Ready to start your own research log? Click here to buy this video session and get started documenting your research today.

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.


Research Tips | Tech Advice
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 10:27:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, October 01, 2012
This week: ShopFamilyTree.com Purchases Help Fight Breast Cancer!
Posted by Diane

Your ShopFamilyTree.com purchases will support a great cause this week!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and ShopFamilyTree.com wants to help. From today, Oct.1, through Friday, Oct. 5, we'll donate 30 percent of all ShopFamilyTree.com proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which provides free mammograms, education, support to those with breast cancer, and early detection services.

Your registration for the upcoming Online Military Records webinar, for example, or your purchase of our 2013 Best of the Photo Detective genealogy desk calendar or limited-edition Ultimate Family History Essentials Collection could go to help women in need of breast cancer prevention and treatment services.

Click here to check out the genealogy how-to books, CDs, video classes, Family Tree Magazine back issues and more in ShopFamilyTree.com!



Monday, October 01, 2012 9:12:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]