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# Friday, March 29, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, March 25-29
Posted by Diane

There's lots of free stuff in this week's genealogy news roundup:
  • Do you love finding out about people's heirlooms? Were you one of the thousands of people to attend the "Antiques Roadshow" taping in Cincinnati last summer? I was! The three episodes filmed here will be broadcast Mondays April 1, April 8 and April 15, at 8/7 central on PBS. 
  • More Cincinnati news: The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County genealogy department has added two more volumes of its Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to its free Virtual Library. Volumes 7 and 8, which cover Norwood and eastern neighborhoods in 1917, conclude the set that staff began digitizing four years ago. I've already made a note in my research log to dig further into this collection. View the maps here.



Get research tips for solving your genealogy brick walls in our weeklong workshop Genealogy Brick Wall Busters: Tips and Advice to Overcome Your Genealogy Brick Walls, April 19-26.


Family Heirlooms | Free Databases | Libraries and Archives | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 29, 2013 10:02:47 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 28, 2013
History at Your Fingertips
Posted by Diane

Did you know that your California Gold Rush ancestors from the East Coast traveled around six months and spent about $200 to make the trip?

That the city of Vicksburg, Miss., didn't celebrate Independence Day from 1863, when residents surrendered on July 4 after a 47-day Union siege, until 1945?

That during the Oklahoma Land Rush of April 22, 1889, two cities of 10,000 residents each (Oklahoma City and Guthrie) sprang up in less than a day?

The Genealogist's U.S. History Pocket Reference by Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Nancy Hendrickson delivers fascinating facts such as these, plus timelines, charts (one, for example, summarizes the dates, causes and outcomes of the major Indian wars), maps, important dates (including censuses), and lists of popular foods, books, music and trends. It encapsulates historical phenomena you might need a refresher on, such as the Triangle Trade and Bleeding Kansas. 

An awareness of the events your ancestors witnessed can unlock records in your family history research and provide context for the records you've already discovered.

This conveniently sized book is chronologically organized into historical eras for easy browsing of the time periods important to your genealogy research—and to your understanding of your ancestors' lives.

Learn more about The Genealogist's U.S. History Pocket Reference in ShopFamilyTree.com.


Genealogy books | Research Tips | Social History
Thursday, March 28, 2013 8:26:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Archives.com Launches Millions of Lutheran Church Records
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site Archives.com has released its collection of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) birth, marriage and death records, which genealogists have been anticipating since Archives.com announced the digitization project nearly a year ago.

The collections, appearing online for the first time, total nearly 4.6 million records from about 1,000 rolls of microfilm. The records date from the mid-1800s through 1940 and include births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, and burials.

You usually have to know which church your ancestors attended in order to request the record from the church or find it on microfilm. Because these ELCA records are indexed by name, though, you don't have to know the church before you start your search.

Details in the records vary by church, but they often include parents' names, dates and places of the event, and other biographical details. Many of the churches has concentrations of immigrants from Norway, Sweden or Germany as members—so the records could be the key you need to start researching ancestors in Europe.

You'll learn how to find additional records of Lutheran ancestors—including congregational histories, communion lists, synod publications and more—from our guide Religious Records: Researching Lutheran Ancestors, available in ShopFamilyTree.com. 


Archives.com | Church records
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:02:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, March 25, 2013
Genealogy Records for "Hearing" Your Revolutionary War Ancestors' Voices
Posted by Diane

Did your ancestors fight in or witness the Revolutionary War firsthand? Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Maureen A. Taylor shares the records she's found especially helpful in doing research for her forthcoming documentary "Revolutionary Voices: A Last Muster Film," a project with award-winning documentary producers Verissima Productions:
  • Diaries and letters: This is Eleazer Blake, an apprentice in a wheelwright shop in Rindge, NH, who kept a diary.


In his diary, he mentions the Battle of Lexington and Concord as well as details of his everyday life. These statements let you relive parts of his life. Though your Revolutionary War-era ancestor may not have been a diarist, the writings of his contemporaries will help you understand the tense times he lived in.
  • Pension applications: While some men exaggerated their wartime exploits in their Revolutionary War pension applications, other documents make for painful reading. James Allen Jr. of Maine applied for a pension several times, but lacked proof of his service. Allen’s brother submitted a deposition with a plea on his brother’s behalf: “I have no doubt my brother served in the Army of the Revolution as he has always stated to me, and I know that he has for the last 20 years or more been trying to obtain a pension.” (The November 2008 Family Tree Magazine has online resources for pension and other military records, as does our Family Tree University course US Military Records: Trace Your Ancestor's Service.)
  • Memoirs: Seneca chief Chainbreaker, also known as Gov. Blacksnake or Tash-won-ne-ah, dictated his life story to a neighbor, relating how he served for the British in the bloody Battle of Oriskany in New York. George Avery wrote in his memoir that being taken prisoner at Royalton, Vt., in 1780 was a turning point. “I felt the evil of my life and the Divine Justice of Providence.” Use WorldCat, which includes the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (1986 and later), to help you find published and unpublished memoirs in library collections.
Don't forget about women of the Revolutionary era: They left behind personal writings, pension documents and memoirs as well. The stories of their lives as daughters, wives and widows can also be found in materials left by their fathers, brothers and husbands. (Family Tree Magazine's Ultimate Tracing Female Ancestors Collection can help you learn more about the women in your family tree.)

You can hear more life stories about the Revolutionary War generation by following Maureen's Revolutionary Voices: A Last Muster Film project. Find out how you can help make the film happen here.


Female ancestors | Military records | Research Tips | Social History
Monday, March 25, 2013 8:23:48 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Friday, March 22, 2013
Genealogy News Corral: RootsTech 2013 Edition
Posted by Diane

Because the genealogy world has turned its eyes to Salt Lake City and FamilySearch's RootsTech conference, this edition of the Genealogy News Corral focuses on news from the conference.
  • In his keynote talk this morning, Ancestry.com president Tim Sullivan made several announcements:
Over the next five years, Ancestry.com will commit at least $100 million to digitize and index new content.
 

Over the next three years, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch will collaborate to digitize and index 140 million+ pages of US probate records spanning 1800 to 1930. He called this the organizations' "most ambitious collaboration" yet, and added the caveat that permission to put records online must be negotiated with repositories holding these records.

Ancestry.com is about to release new version of its iPhone iPad app with enhanced social media sharing, the ability to compare trees and other features. A third of new Ancestry.com registrants are through the site's mobile apps (there's also one for Android), and half of users over last 2 months come to Ancestry.com through a mobile device.

The Ancestry DNA database contains 120,000 DNA samples and has delivered more than 2 million fourth cousin relationships. To increase the size of the database, the price of the test will be lowered to $99, whether or not you're a subscriber.

(Update: Sullivan didn't include this in his keynote, but Ancestry.com has announced that test-takers can now download their raw DNA data.)
  • In addition to a new logo unveiled to RootsTech official bloggers, FamilySearch will redesign its website with an emphasis on photos, as a way to engage more people. It'll also add a fan chart view to its online Family Tree program. Blogger Renee Zamora has lots of details on the information presented during the dinner.
  • According to the Ancestry Insider, who attended Wednesday's dinner for the bloggers, FamilySearch is experimenting with broadcasting sessions to 16 satellite locations in seven countries (with translation where necessary). If successful, next year the number will be expanded to 600 locations. That increases to potential reach of the conference to 120,000 people.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | RootsTech
Friday, March 22, 2013 1:43:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 21, 2013
FamilySearch News From RootsTech
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch's RootsTech conference is going on now through Saturday in Salt Lake City, and FamilySearch is taking the opportunity to make some announcements: 
  • More than 6,700 people were pre-registered for RootsTech, which is huge for a US genealogy conference. The number is helped by the conference's location in Salt Lake City, home to the Family History Library and to many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for whom researching genealogy is a religious calling.

  • About 2,000 teenagers signed up for a youth program on Saturday.
  • FamilySearch will soon be available in nine languages for access by more people around the world. This is consistent with the organization's increasing focus on historical records from places besides the United States.

More RootsTech news to come!


FamilySearch
Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:42:34 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Discover the Best Websites for Irish Genealogy Research
Posted by Diane

Having a hard time making progress with your Irish genealogy search? Maybe you're not looking in the right places. Our March 28 webinar, Best Irish Genealogy Websites, will help you find ancestors using websites that provide key resources for Irish research.

In this sneak peek video, Irish genealogy expert Donna Moughty talks about Irish civil registrations and the indexes on the free FamilySearch.org, as well as other sites.



The Best Irish Genealogy Websites webinar is Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m. ET (that's 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT and 4 p.m. PT). Attendees have the opportunity to ask Donna your Irish genealogy questions during the Q&A session. They'll also receive a copy of our Irish research guide, a PDF of the presentation slides, and a link to view the presentation again as many times as they want.

Register here for our Best Irish Genealogy Websites webinar.


Editor's Pick | UK and Irish roots | Webinars
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 3:59:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
What's New and Notable at RootsTech 2013
Posted by Diane

Genealogists are flocking to Salt Lake City this week for FamilySearch's third annual RootsTech conference, March 21-23. What's notable and new about the conference this year?

Glad you asked—there's even something for the folks stuck at home:
  • The RootsTech expo hall, which is free to the public, is 40 percent bigger this year. It includes opportunities to get research help in a FamilySearch mini-lab, have a photo or album digitized, get a large family tree printout, and receive a free copy of Family Tree Magazine (when you stop by our booth, tell Tyler, our online community editor, that I said hi).
  • RootsTech attendees can register for just the Getting Started track of classes for $19 for one day or $39 for three days.
  • A Developer Day on Friday will consolidate the presentations geared toward creators of genealogy technology tools.
  • We know of two scavenger hunts occurring in conjunction with the conference—RootsMagic's scavenger hunt includes an at-home component for those not at RootsTech, and the Heirloom Registry will hold a conference hall version of its online scavenger hunt from a few weeks ago.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:31:05 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 18, 2013
Spring Clearance Sale at ShopFamilyTree.com
Posted by Diane

Who doesn't love a good clearance sale? I sure do. And a genealogy clearance sale is even better.

We just happen to be having one at ShopFamilyTree.com. Through tomorrow, March 19, you can get 30 to 50 percent off a ton of genealogy goodies, including our:
Time to go shopping! Click here to see everything in our ShopFamilyTree.com Spring Clearance Event.


ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Monday, March 18, 2013 3:08:25 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Family Tree eBooks Giveaway Winner!
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to Joyce Shepard of Bedford, Ind., who won our Family Tree eBooks subscription giveaway! She'll enjoy a year of access to our digital library of genealogy how-to books and Family Tree Magazine issues.

Looking for more opportunities to win? Check out our Irish Ancestry Photo Contest—share a picture of your Irish ancestors, and you could win a download of our video class Finding Ancestral Clues in Irish Census Records.

Click here to submit your photo—the deadline is March 26, 2013.


Genealogy books | UK and Irish roots
Monday, March 18, 2013 8:21:29 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 15, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, March 11-15
Posted by Diane

  • RootsTech, the FamilySearch genealogy conference taking place in Salt Lake City March 21-23, has announced its lineup of 13 sessions you can watch free online. They include the opening day keynote by FamilySearch CEO Dennis Brimhall and storyteller Sid Lieberman; Researching Ancestors Online with Laura Prescott; and From Paper Piles to Digital Files by Valerie Elkins.
Click here to see the list of sessions that will livestream and the times you can watch (note that you'll need to translate the times from Mountain Daylight Time to your own time zone).
  • The Irish Genealogical Research Society has launched a new website, IrishAncestors.ie,  that broadens access to resources from the group's library. The public area of the website offers resources including a fragment of the 1871 census for the parish of Drumcondra, County Meath, a database of Irish marriage records and more.
  • FamilySearch has added 1.7 million indexed records and record images to collections from Australia, Austria, China, Dominican Republic, England, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and the United States. US records come from Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina and Tennessee.
You see the list of updated collections here and click to search or browse them for free on FamilySearch.org.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 15, 2013 3:28:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Ancestry.com, Origins.net Offer Free (for a Limited Time) Genealogy Databases
Posted by Diane

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, two genealogy websites are offering free records for a limited time. Note that you'll need to set up a free account with each site in order to view your search results:
  • UK and Irish genealogy website Origins.net is offering access to its collection of Irish directories from March 16 until March 18 at midnight GMT (that's about 8 p.m. ET in the United States). Recently added is Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for 1845 to 1900. You could learn the person's exact occupation, as well as address and parish of residence. Note that the most "disadvantaged" classes—small tenant farmers, landless labourers and servants—are usually absent from these directories. Learn more about Origins.net's Irish Directories collection and start searching here.
  • Ancestry.com is opening up its US passenger lists and border-crossing records through March 17—search here whether your ancestors came from Ireland or elsewhere. The search here initially netted zero results for my name search on Edward Norris born in 1827, but after I clicked Edit Search to bring up the advanced search window, and then clicked Search again, it worked.


Ancestry.com | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 15, 2013 9:28:52 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Irish Ancestors Photo Contest
Posted by Diane

Do you have Irish roots? Show them off! Share a photo (or photos) of your Irish ancestors with us, and you could win a free download of our half-hour video class Finding Ancestral Clues in Irish Census Records. We'll also feature the winning photo here on the Genealogy Insider blog.


Library of Congress, LC-DIG-nclc-05036

Click here to submit your photo online. For publication purposes, please tell us who's in the photo, when it was taken and the occasion for the photo (if you know).

The submission deadline is March 26, 2013. Our staff will choose one favorite picture from all the photos we receive. The winner will be notified by email and announced on the Genealogy Insider blog no later than April 4.


Genealogy fun | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 15, 2013 7:54:56 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 14, 2013
Best Records for Female Ancestors
Posted by Diane

Are you searching for female ancestors? I hope so! This is my own great-grandmother with my grandma in the 1920s:



Although we're giving lots of attention to Irish roots this week, we haven't forgotten that March is also Women's History Month.

This rundown of the best genealogy records for finding the women in your family tree comes from this month's Ultimate Collection: Tracing Female Ancestors.
  • Cemetery records: Check the woman’s tombstone and note surrounding ones, which may belong to her family.
  • Church records: Witnesses on a woman’s or her children’s religious records may be her relatives.
  • Court records: Women typically didn’t leave wills (in many times and places, married women legally couldn't), though a widowed or unmarried woman may have. Your female ancestor or her relatives may be named in her father’s or husband’s will. Also check divorce records, which may have been filed even if a divorce wasn’t granted.
  • Home sources: Examine letters, needlework and quilts, recipe books, address books, baby books, wedding albums, Bibles and calenders for names of—and details about—female ancestors. 
  • Land records: Women rarely owned land but may be named in deeds. A married woman may have signed a release of dower when her husband sold land. Those selling land to a couple, especially for a small sum, may be the woman’s relatives. Also consider that the neighbors may be her family.
  • Marriage records: These might include a license, certificate, return, church register, banns, bond or newspaper announcement.
  • Military pensions: A woman could file for a military pension when her husband or unmarried son died of war-related injuries. Widows had to send marriage records to prove the marital relationship. 
  • Naturalizations: Until 1922, wives automatically became naturalized when their husbands did. Unmarried women rarely sought naturalization. Post-1922, look for separate records for married women.
  • Newspapers: Pay special attention to society columns, announcements of births, engagements or anniversaries, and obituaries.
  • Vital records: A woman’s death record may name her father (later records are more detailed). Birth records often give the mother’s maiden name.
The Ultimate Tracing Female Ancestors Collection gives you a 63 percent discount on our best tools for learning more about the women in your family tree. It includes:
  • Finding Female Ancestors Family Tree University Independent Study Course from Family Tree University
  • Secrets to Tracing Female Ancestors video class
  • Research Strategies: Female Ancestors 7-page digital download
  • Female Ancestors Cheat Sheet
  • The Hidden Half of Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy by Christina K. Schaefer (Genealogical Publishing Co.)
 Start searching for your grandmothers, great-great-grandmothers, aunts and other female relatives. Click here to learn more about this Ultimate Collection!



Thursday, March 14, 2013 6:10:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Win a Genealogy Library at Your Fingertips
Posted by Diane

Here's a chance to win a genealogy reference library at your fingertips: We're giving away a full year's subscription to our Family Tree eBooks site, which lets you access our digital collection of how-to books on genealogy, history, heirloom identification, sharing and preserving your family history, and more, plus dozens of information-packed issues of Family Tree Magazine. See the contents listing here.



This demo video shows you how easy it is to use the Family Tree eBooks site (there's even a mobile app).

To enter our Family Tree eBooks sweepstakes, fill out this form by 11:59 p.m. ET March 14, 2013. The winner will be chosen at random from all entries received and notified by email. Good luck!

Genealogy books | Genealogy fun
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 3:00:32 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Six Irish Genealogy Websites
Posted by Diane

Take it from someone who's 1/16th Irish: Americans are proud as can be of even the tiniest sliver of Irish heritage. Especially around St. Patrick's Day (which falls in the middle of Irish American Heritage Month).

A strong sense of community amid many hardships helped build that pride. During the 19th century, the heaviest era of Irish immigration to the United States due to the Great Famine (1845-1852), Irish arrivals faced prejudice, poverty, substandard housing and other problems. Some numbers for you:
  • Almost 3.5 million Irishmen entered the United States between 1820 and 1880. Most stayed in large East Coast cities, partly because they couldn't afford to continue west and partly because they could create close-knit communities with others from their place of origin.
  • In 1847, the first major year of famine emigration, 37,000 Irish Catholics arrived in Boston, according to the History Place, where they packed into slums. A sobering statistic from the site: "Sixty percent of Irish children born in Boston during this period didn't live to see their sixth birthday. Adult Irish lived on average just six years after stepping off the boat."
  • The same year, about 52,000 Irish arrived in New York City. About 650,000 Irish arrived there during the entire Famine period.
Are you ready to research your Irish ancestors? Start with US records and work your way back to the immigrant generation, looking for a place of birth in Ireland—you'll need this info to search in Irish records.

These are some of our favorite Irish research websites (several are free):
  • findmypast.ie: This new subscription site (with a pay-as-you-go option) has records of births, marriages and deaths (aka BMDs); courts and prisons; military; immigration; land and estates; as well as newspapers, directories and Griffith's Valuation.
  • Information Wanted: Also free is this database of "missing friends" from the Boston Pilot newspaper, which published notices from those looking for lost friends from Ireland. The column ran from 1831 to 1921; this site has 1831 to 1893 plus 1901 and 1913.
  • Irish Genealogy: This site from the Irish Minister of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is dedicated to Irish genealogy and genealogical tourism. You can search nearly 3 million pre-1900 church records free, and view the actual record if it's been digitized.
You can learn how to research your Irish genealogy online in our Best Irish Genealogy Websites webinar with Donna Moughty, taking place Thursday, March 28.

Then there's also the in-depth guidance in our Irish Genealogy Research 101 and 201 FamilyTreeUniversity courses.


Family Tree University | Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots | Webinars
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 8:21:54 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 11, 2013
Sequestration Reduces Research Hours at NARA DC-Area Locations
Posted by Diane

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has announced that effective this Friday, March 15, sequestration will affect public hours at NARA locations in Washington, DC, and College Park, Md.

From March 15 through Labor Day, both facilities would normally extend research hours until 9 p.m. three days a week. But that won't be happening this year: To help meet across-the-board budget cuts, research hours will remain 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday all spring and summer.

Exhibit spaces at NARA in DC will be affected, too—they'll be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, instead of staying open until 7 p.m. three days per week.

Sequestration is a series of automatic cuts to federal government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. It's explained here.


Libraries and Archives | NARA
Monday, March 11, 2013 2:56:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 08, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, March 4-8
Posted by Diane

  • WikiTree, a free worldwide family tree website, has launched a new feature called Surname Following that lets you get updates when other WikiTree users post content related to names you're interested in. Log in to WikiTree and follow surnames to receive an email alert when related content is added to the WikiTree database or a related question, answer or comment is added to the WikiTree G2G (“Genealogist to Genealogist”) Q&A forum.
  • FamilySearch has added 10.5 million indexed records and images to its free historical records search over the last two weeks, including 8,613,673 document images added to the New York Probate Records collection (1629 to 1971). Other notable collection updates are Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965, and Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996, collection.
Collections for Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, and the US states of Minnesota and Ohio also have been updated. See more details and click through to the updated collections here.
  • If you're up against a brick wall with some part of your genealogy research and you'll be in the Washington DC area on Saturday, March 16, the National Archives is holding a “Help! I'm Stuck” Genealogy Clinic. You can visit the Research Center main desk that day to sign up for a free, 20 minute consultation with an archivist between noon and 4 p.m. For details on this and other programs at teh archives, see the Archives.gov calendar.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | NARA
Friday, March 08, 2013 12:13:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, March 07, 2013
Organize Your Genealogy Research: Challenges and Solutions
Posted by Diane

Organization figured into Virtual Genealogy Conference participants' time-saving research tips (see yesterday's post) in a major way. Forgotten research steps, piles of unfiled papers, digital documents scattered all over your hard drive, and an overflowing email inbox: All of these take away from your research time and make genealogy research seem more like a chore than a joy. 

Here's my organization problem (well, one of them): I'll be at work and come across a a relative's record or a website to search. I'll email the record or URL to myself to check out later. Then I either forget about the message or waste time looking for it (and all of its sad, forgotten friends). I need a better way to keep track of and prioritize these reminders.

Family Tree University's One-Week Workshop: Organize Your Genealogy will teach you—and me—how to better manage the process and products of genealogy research. It'll cover how to archive family keepsakes and heirlooms; effectively arrange data, paper and digital files; and keep an orderly research log.

The workshop, taking place March 15-22 (that's a Friday through Friday), includes:
  • six pre-recorded video classes, with demos of recommended websites and strategies
  • excerpts from our popular Organize Your Genealogy Family Tree University course
  • daily message-board discussions with workshop participants and instructors
  • A day when Denise May Levenick, organization expert and author of How To Archive Your Family Keepsakes, will be on hand to provide consultation and answer your questions
I'll be there, looking for solutions to my organization problems.

What's your biggest genealogy organization challenge? The One-Week Organize Your Genealogy Workshop will have ideas to make you a more-efficient researcher, too.

Sign up now with coupon code FTU0313 to save 20 percent on your workshop registration


Editor's Pick | Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Research Tips
Thursday, March 07, 2013 10:33:46 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Time-Saving Tips for Busy Genealogists
Posted by Diane

The Time-saving Tips for Genealogists chat at last month's Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference was especially interesting to me, considering my recently expanded family.

Of course I didn't have the half-hour to attend the chat, but Virtual Conference participants get transcripts of all the chats, so I'm still able to benefit from other researchers' wisdom and share some time-saving tips with you:
  • Everyone agreed that organization, staying on-task and information overload are time drains when it comes to genealogy research. Social media also distracts us, and catching up after being away from research steals time, too.

  • Organization was a theme. Be organized from the start—using a research log to keep track of your to-do list for each family line and place you're searching really helps. At least one participant uses Evernote to keep her research log. Trello also was recommended (especially for those who think visually).

  • Keep track of negative search results, too (i.e., you didn't find the record you were looking for) so you don't repeat the same search. Track your online searches of growing databases, so you can go back to look for new results.

  • Schedule your genealogical research time on your calendar, just like any other appointment you have.

  • When visiting a repository, plan ahead, use online tools (such as a library catalog and visitor information) to prepare, and call to verify hours, what you can bring in, etc. This gives you more research time.

  • To-do list apps chatters use include Remember the Milk, Any.do and Wunderlist.

  • Sometimes getting away from home to research is better, because you face fewer distractions.

  • Set a research goal for the week (or a period of time that works for you).

We'll host another Virtual Genealogy Conference this Fall, so stay tuned! In the mean time, check out our Organize Your Genealogy One-Week Workshop, taking place March 15-22.


Genealogy Apps | Genealogy Events | Research Tips
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 3:55:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
FamilySearch Family Tree (Finally) Opens to the Public
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has opened its Family Tree online family tree service for public use. See?



This is what I saw when I went to FamilySearch.org. Until now, Family Tree was open to only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and select others, as FamilySearch refined the service.

The long-awaited public debut came without a formal announcement from FamilySearch—I read about it on Genea-musings, whose blogger Randy Seaver read about it on the Larry Cragun Family and Genealogy Blog

The goal of FamilySearch Family Tree is to get everyone working on one family tree, sharing information, comparing research and avoiding duplication. Read more about the development of FamilySearch Family Tree on the Ancestry Insider blog.

From that first page, you can either get started using Family Tree, or access training materials.

If you click Get Started (and you don't already have a tree here), you'll see this:



This tree works a little differently from your five-generation ancestor chart. Each box, instead of holding one person's name and vital information, includes a couple. So both of my parents go in the box to the bottom right of my name, and my husband's parents go in the top box.

I clicked Add Husband in my parent's box and was directed to a search page—the goal is to keep me from adding a new person for my dad if someone else has already put him in the tree.



If you instead click the Add Person tab, Family Tree will still look for that person first. If it finds matches, you can either select the right person or add a new person.

Once you add someone to Family Tree, you can't delete the person, but you can delete certain details about the person. Other Family Tree users can change details about any person (and you can change them back), but they're supposed to explain their reasoning and add sources. Changing a person from deceased to living, though, requires a review from FamilySearch admins before it takes effect.

There's a lot to Family Tree, and this isn't even close to an exhaustive review. You can access a basic user guide plus other training materials here, and look for our upcoming Family Tree Magazine article about FamilySearch FamilyTree.

Have you tried FamilySearch Family Tree? What do you think?

Update: Here's an announcement from FamilySearch about the launch of Family Tree.

FamilySearch | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 9:26:02 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Monday, March 04, 2013
Sharing Stories of Heirlooms—Old and New
Posted by Diane

When it comes to preserving and sharing the stories of family heirlooms (something we talk a lot about here at Family Tree Magazine) I think it's important to log not only antiques that have been in your family for generations, but also newer objects you hope will become heirlooms.

That's why, as part of the Heirloom Registry Scavenger Hunt, I registered my childhood rocking chair in Houstory's Heirloom Registry.



The registry is a site where you can keep a log of your family heirlooms. You affix an Heirloom Registry sticker to an inconspicuous spot on each item, and your descendants can use the code on the sticker to look up what you had to say about that object.



This chair is something I played with, and I hope my daughter Norah will play with it. Santa (aka Mom and Dad) gave it to my two older sisters and me when I was about 18 months old, which would have been in 1975. My mom says that I "kind of took over ownership." This makes me feel better about my sisters always hiding my dolls and calling shotgun first when we were kids.

I  considered posting a photo of myself sitting in the chair, but the only one we have is a diaper shot. So instead I offer this:



Yes, I get to kiss those chubby almost-4-month-old cheeks every day.

Even if you don't want to register your family heirlooms online, pleasepleaseplease write down information about them (you can use the free downloadable Heirloom Inventory on FamilyTreeMagazine.com) and share copies with loved ones. Please.

Now for the scavenger hunt fun! 
  • If you’d like to start the scavenger hunt now, go to The Houstory Hearth blog’s special Scavenger Hunt Page. There you’ll find information about the hunt, the prizes, and the list of the other three blogs you’ll need to visit today.
  • If you already know what you’re doing, here’s the Heirloom Registry ID Code you need to obtain my secret word: CEFD-304-562-5138-2011
  • If this is your final stop for Hunt No. 1, be sure to submit your entry form with your secret words before Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at midnight PST. Instructions for Hunt No. 2, which starts on March 6, will be posted at the Houstory Hearth blog at 12 a.m. EST on March 6. Good luck—and happy hunting!
 


Family Heirlooms | Genealogy fun | saving and sharing family history
Monday, March 04, 2013 11:15:32 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Family Photo Detective Book Winner!
Posted by Diane

Congratulations to the lucky winner of our Family Photo Detective book sweepstakes: Patti Wier of Artesia, NM!

She'll receive a copy of the hot-off-the-presses Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries by Maureen A. Taylor.



Patti will be able to take advantage of Maureen's advice for using clothing, backgrounds, props and photographer imprints to learn more about who's in her old family photographs. Blending this type of photo research with research in genealogy records is a great strategy for discovering details about your ancestors.

Family Photo Detective is available at booksellers including ShopFamilyTree.com.

Genealogy books | Genealogy fun | Photos
Monday, March 04, 2013 9:24:38 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, March 01, 2013
Genealogy News Corral, Feb. 25-March 1
Posted by Diane

  • The new Legacies of British Slave Ownership database holds the names of 46,000 slave owners in British colonies who received compensation for the loss of "property" when Britain abolished slavery in 1833 (it outlawed the trade in 1807). The database doesn't name slaves, but it could aid those who are tracing African ancestors by researching the slave-owning families. Search the database here
  • The Civil War Trust's annual Park Day takes place Saturday, April 16 at more than 100 participating battlefields in 24 states. Volunteers help clean and maintain these important Civil War sites by raking leaves, picking up trash, painting signs, clearing trails and more. To learn how you can help, visit the trust's Park Day page and click on the name of the participating Civil War site you're interested in (note that some sites are holding their volunteer events on alternate dates).
... and don't forget about the Heirloom Registry Online Scavenger Hunt taking place next week. Have a good weekend!


African-American roots | Civil War | Historic preservation | Italian roots | UK and Irish roots
Friday, March 01, 2013 11:05:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]