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Friday, May 30, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: May 26-30
Posted by Diane
recently updated collections come from Brazil, Canada, Chile,
Czech Republic, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, and the United States.
They include Quebec notarial records, Freedmen's Bureau records,
and New York passenger arrival records from 1909 and 1925 to
1957 (that's after the time period you can search at
EllisIsland.org, and it includes air passengers). Go here to read
more about the updates and click through to search or browse
- Record additions at subscription website findmypast.com include Irish
marriage and death notices from American newspapers, 4 million
British army service records dating from 1914 to 1920,
19th-century marriage and death notices from New York City
newspapers, and more. It's part of the site's 100 in 100 campaign
to release 100 new record sets in 100 days.
- The ScotlandsPeople website has added the wills of 31,000
soldiers from 1857 to 1964. They include records of 26,000
soldiers who died in World War I and 5,000 who died in World War
II. A few hundred come from earlier wars. You can read more
about this digitization project and sample records here
(click Image Gallery). Register for free with the site to search
the wills and view basic information; it costs 10 credits
(about $2.90) to view a document.
FamilySearch | findmypast | Genealogy books | Military records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 30, 2014 12:00:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Your Comments Needed on New Standards for Genetic Genealogy Research
Posted by Diane
A committee of genetic genealogists and scientists have drafted
ethical and usage standards for genetic genealogy research, and
they're asking for your feedback by June 15, 2014.
the Genetic Genealogy Standards and Ethics document as a PDF or
view it online here, and click the Comment link on the left
side of the page to contribute your comments.
The three-page draft has 21 guidelines intended for use when
purchasing, recommending, sharing results of, and writing about the results of
DNA testing for genealogy. They address topics such as:
here to read more about the document's purpose and see names of
members of the Genetic Genealogy Standards Committee.
- privacy of test-takers (especially when the person who takes
the DNA test is someone other than the person who purchases the test and/or uses the results)
- DNA sample storage
- raw DNA data (this refers to the data on the alleles at each single nucleotide
polymorphism, or SNP, that the DNA test analyzed)
- unexpected test results
- health information
- understanding the types of available DNA tests and their
- interpreting results
- combining DNA testing with other genealogical evidence
- citing genetic genealogy sources (it looks like this standard
is under development)
If you could use help understanding how to use DNA testing in your genealogy research, look into Family Tree Magazine's on-demand webinar, Using DNA to Solve Family Mysteries.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:58:39 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 23, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: May 19-23
Posted by Diane
It's important to note that for some collections, such
as Civil War service records, you can search an index on
FamilySearch.org, but the index links to the record image hosted
on Fold3.com, where you'll need a subscription to view it.
- Genealogist and Family Curator blogger Denise Levenick
announced the winner of the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial
Student Genealogy Grant: Paul Woodbury, a Brigham
Young University senior
from Provo, Utah. You
can learn more about Paul and the grant program, named to
honor Levenick's mother, on the Family
- The Civil War Trust has opened its annual Civil
War Photo Contest for entries. Submissions can be in five
categories, including Civil War Battlefields, People on Civil
War Battlefields, Preservation Threats, Then and Now
(contrasting early images with your photo of the same site now),
and Civil War 1864. The entry deadline is Aug.15, 2014. See
contest rules, instructions and how to enter at CivilWar.org.
Civil War | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Newspapers | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 23, 2014 11:53:03 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Ancestry.com Offers Free Military Genealogy Records Through Memorial Day
Posted by Diane
has joined the sites offering free military records to help you
research your family's service members this Memorial Day.
Ancestry.com military collections are free through Memorial Day
(Monday, May 26), totaling more than 145 million records. Free
collections include this sampling:
Here's the WWI draft card for my husband's great-uncle. So far, he's
the earliest Leo we've documented in the family. Leo also was my
father-in-law's middle name, and it's the name we chose for our
- Sons of the American Revolution membership applications
- the new collection of Alien Draft
Registrations for selected US states (1940–1946)
- also new, New York National Guard enlistment cards
(1923-1947), as well as other New York military collections
- WWI and WWII draft registration cards, a great source for learning about
male ancestors even if they didn't serve.
It gives his date of birth, address, employer (looks like a family masonry company I need to research), his mother's address (this card says just "mother;" on most, you'll also get the nearest relative's name), and more.
here to search Ancestry.com's free military records. You'll
need to sign up for a free account (or log into your account if you
already have one) to view records.
Ancestry.com | Free Databases | Military records
Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:27:43 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
FamilySearch Centers Add Free Scanning for Your Old Photos and Documents
Posted by Diane
If you have bunches of old photos and records you've been meaning to scan, here's a new option for getting 'er done: FamilySearch has added a free photo and document scanning and
preservation service in more than 2,800 of its FamilySearch Centers
in North America. (The service is in the works for international centers.)
The scanning equipment, called "multifunction products" (MPFs) is
available through a partnership with Lexmark. The MPFs have software
that scans your family history materials directly to your account on
FamilySearch.org. There, you can tag and share the images, and
attach them to people in your FamilySearch family tree.
You also can opt to save your images to a flash drive to take home
To use the service, just bring your photos and documents to your
local FamilySearch Center (I would call first to double-check the
center's hours and make sure the equipment will be available there
for your use).
FamilySearch Center Locator to find the closest location to you.
can see what the scanners look like in the FamilySearch
announcement. From what I can tell, they're flatbed-style
scanners, in which you set the photo or document face-down on glass
and lower the lid on top. That makes the service best for paper
prints. It's usually safer to digitally preserve fragile items, old
albums and cased images (such as daguerreotypes) by photographing
are tips for using your camera to "scan" photos and records.)
FamilySearch | Photos | saving and sharing family history
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 2:40:38 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Free Military Genealogy Records on MyHeritage This Memorial Day Weekend 2014
Posted by Diane
Genealogy website MyHeritage is offering free access to US
military old records over Memorial Day weekend. You can search
and view the collection free from May 23 through May 26, 2014.
To see a list of the military collections on MyHeritage, go to this
page and look under the headings for Draft, Enlistment &
Service; Pension Records and Military Documents. Click on the "More"
links for each category. Some of the collections are:
Click here to
search MyHeritage military genealogy records (remember, the
free period is May 23-May 28).
- Korean War casualties list
- WWII Army enlistment database
- WWII draft registration cards from various states
- index to service records of Civil War Confederate Soldiers
- War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records
of the Union and Confederation Armies (the "OR")
- index to Revolutionary War pension records
- Official US Army Register for various years
- Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United
States Navy and Marine Corps and Reserve Officers on Active Duty
for various dates
Get in-depth search help for MyHeritage.com genealogy records in our MyHeritage.com Web Guide digital download, available now in ShopFamilyTree.com.
Also, here's our post
from last year about the origins of Memorial Day and the
nationwide minute of silence and remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial
Free Databases | Military records | MyHeritage
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 10:58:09 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 16, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: May 12-16
Posted by Diane
- The genealogy series "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis
Gates Jr.," which traced the ancestry of well-known Americans
using DNA combined with traditional research, will return to PBS
on Tuesday, Sept. 23, according to PBS'
recently released fall lineup.
The lineup doesn't mention
"Genealogy Roadshow," the 2013 series that researched genealogy
claims in the families of non-famous folks. It's looking like the
US version of this series isn't coming back. (Ireland's
version will return.)
- The Civil War Trust has released a new Battle App, this one
for the Atlanta Campaign, which began 150 years ago between the
forces of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and Gen. Joseph E.
Johnston. Available for iOS and Android, the App takes users on
a virtual tour with videos, maps, photos and more. You can
download the Atlanta Campaign and other Battle Apps using the
links on the
Civil War Trust website.
- British and Irish genealogy website Origins.net now has a new,
full index plus digitized images for the 1881
census of England and Wales, covering all counties. The
records are available with a subscription to Origins.net.
Celebrity Roots | Civil War | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies | Genealogy TV | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 16, 2014 10:38:56 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Free WWII Records on Fold3 Through May 31
Posted by Diane
Historical records subscription site Fold3 is opening up its WWII military records collection
free through May 31, in honor of Memorial Day. You'll need to set up
a free membership with the site to view the records.
Highlights of these records include:
(WWII service records, available from the National Archives only to
veterans and their next of kin for privacy reasons, aren't
- draft registration cards
- Army enlistment records
- Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File
- Navy muster rolls
- missing air crew reports
- casualty lists
My grandfather and his brother served in WWII, and their Army
enlistment records (taken from the
National Archives' database) are on Fold3, with basic facts
about them at the time of enlistment: birth year, marital status,
education level, occupation category, enlistment date and place, and
Army serial number.
I'll show you another relative's record—the "Old Man's Draft" card
for my great-grandmother's brother (this is the front of the
The Old Man's Draft was the fourth registration for World War
II, for men born between April 28, 1877 and Feb. 16, 1897. It's
worth searching Fold3's WWII collection for relatives born during
those years, even if you know they didn't serve.
Search Fold3's WWII collection
here. Learn more about this free records offer on
the Fold3 blog.
You'll find search strategies and tips for Fold3 military,
naturalization, city directory and other records in Family Tree
Web Guide download, available at
Fold3 | Free Databases | Military records
Friday, May 16, 2014 9:50:10 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Websites and Organizations for Italian Genealogy Research
Posted by Diane
David Rumsey Map Collection
From 1880 to 1920, more than 4 million Italians immigrated to the
United States (often, traveling back and forth a few times first), where they tended to live alongside
other Italians in urban areas. Today more than 17 million Americans
can claim Italian ancestry.
Among exciting new resources for Italian genealogy are 137
collections of civil registration, church and other records at
the free FamilySearch.org. Most aren't indexed, so to
find an ancestor's records, you'd need to know the comune (the basic administrative division, similar to a municipality) and
frazione or contrada (similar to a neighborhood) where he or she lived. An ongoing Italian
Ancestors Project is organizing volunteers to index these
Tree University's new Italian Genealogy 101 four-week online
course, starting May 19, will help you use American records to
figure out where in Italy your ancestors came from, then delve into
Italian genealogical records.
Ancestry.com has an Italian sister site, Ancestry.it, but it also
of Italian records available with a subscription to the US
Ancestry.com site. Some of these will duplicate what's on
FamilySearch.org, after an international
records-sharing agreement last September.
Many other websites and organizations that aren't quite as
well-known also have resources for tracing Italian roots, including
Genealogy 101, you'll learn about all these and other
resources for researching your Italian ancestors, including how to
access and understand Italian records, and how to deal with common
brick walls in Italian family trees.
Genealogy 101 starts May 19 and runs through June 13. You'll
find a course outline and a link to register at
Ancestry.com | Family Tree University | FamilySearch | International Genealogy | Italian roots
Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:00:02 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Citing Genealogy Sources for Regular People
Posted by Diane
Source citation is something of a hot button in genealogy. It's easy
to become petrified you won't do it right, or to imagine that citing sources will take up all your precious research time.
That's why I love the idea of our Source
for Regular People webinar with Shannon
Combs-Bennett, coming up this Tuesday, May 20. It's perfect
for you if ...
You'll learn how information you collect about a source varies with
the type of source. For an 1870 census record found online, for
example, your citation will contain:
- you're new to citing genealogy sources
- you're not sure what information to put in a citation, or what
order it should go in
- you're having trouble finding appropriate citation templates
- you're not sure what to do with your source citations once
you've created them
Here are a few more tips from the webinar to remember when
collecting and organizing your source information:
- collection name
- county and state
- type of
schedule (such as population or mortality)
- town or city
- dwelling and family number
- name of the person or household
- whether you looked at an index or record images
- website name and
- date you accessed the site
- source of the websites
images (such as a National Archives microfilm number).
- Document the source of the source. If you use a record
from Ancestry.com that was digitized from FamilySearch’s
microfilm copy of the original, your source citation will
include each of these “steps” in the publication process. In
this case, the information about the record on Ancestry.com
would be followed by the word citing and then the
about the FamilySearch microfilm. There's a good post about this
- Note whether you’re using an index or an actual record.
Source citations for information from an online index generally
indicate this by including the word database. Citations
record images found in online collections generally include the
words digital image.
- Census citations vary by year. Because of the
differences in US censuses over time, the information in
census citations varies slightly by year. For pre-1850
population schedules, cite the page number and line number. For
1850 and later, cite the page number and family or dwelling
number. Also note the schedule you used (population,
- Keep citations with the source. Include source
citations in your online tree or genealogy software when you
attach the record, and wherever you add or update a fact or
from that record. Most programs have a source
management feature to help you create and use citations.
Add citations in the margins or to the back of paper copies.
Use a photo-editor or Acrobat to add citations to digital
copies. You also can keep a database of numbered citations, and
add the numbers to your family tree facts and copied records.
Everyone who registers for the Source
for Regular People webinar receives unlimited access
to view the webinar again whenever they want, as well as a PDF
handout of the presentation slides. Learn more about this webinar in
- Source family stories. In family history narratives,
add numbered footnotes at the bottom of the page or endnotes at
the end of the text. Place the corresponding numbers within the
text, where you mention information from each source. Word
processing software can automatically format footnotes or
endnotes and renumber the notes as you edit.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 12:50:25 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 09, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: May 5-9
Posted by Diane
This week's genealogy news roundup includes a few announcements from
the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond, Va.
For more detail on classes, the exhibit hall, and more, Randy Seaver
is keeping an NGS
2014 Conference Blog Compendium with links to posts and videos
of bloggers reporting on the conference.
- FamilySearch will hold an International Day of Spanish
Indexing Saturday, May 17, for indexing Spanish genealogy
records to be posted at the free FamilySearch.org website. Learn
more here and link to a Facebook page (in Spanish) about
this effort. Planning is underway for another indexing day, with a worldwide focus on
indexing records in your native language, on July
- FamilySearch also announced it has added more than 5.4 million
digitized images to its record collections over the past week.
That includes collections from
England, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Spain and
the United States. See
the list of updates and click through to search or browse each
FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy societies
Friday, May 09, 2014 1:53:15 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Free Mother's Day Weekend Access to Mocavo's Universal Genealogy Search
Posted by Diane
Genealogy website Mocavo is
offering free access to its universal search for Mother's Day
weekend. The site contains more than 340,000 databases of genealogy
Mocavo's records are always free when you search one database at a
time. This weekend, though, you can search across all Mocavo
databases at once and try out advanced search features—benefits
normally reserved for Mocavo Gold members.
Note that I could view records, but I wasn't able to download them without having a Gold membership.
You'll need to sign up for a free Basic membership to take advantage
of this offer.
Read more about this free
access on Mother's Day weekend on the Mocavo blog.
Free Databases | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, May 09, 2014 1:50:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, May 08, 2014
We DO Want Mom's Advice—And Her Family History!
Posted by Diane
According to a new survey, nearly two-thirds of adults want to know
more about their family history.
The survey about moms, commissioned by A Place for Mom, asked
adults about topics they'd like to know more about. The top four
It makes me sad that more than a quarter of the adults surveyed said
they don't, or didn't, know their moms as well as they'd like.
- family history (64 percent of the folks surveyed said this)
- Mom's personal history, such as her childhood memories and how she
met Dad (59 percent)
- family medical history (45 percent)
- Mom's life advice (42 percent), a statistic I'll definitely
remember. I'd hate for my children to one day wish for
all the words of wisdom I withheld as unsolicited
know where these survey respondents can find a great
magazine to help them learn more about their family history
and their moms.
When you see your mom this Mother's Day, ask her about her family
history and her life. Here are
some good oral history interviewing questions to start with.
If your mom is no longer with you, write about these topics for your
own children, or for other young people in your family.
can read more about this survey here.
Happy Mother's Day!
Oral History | Research Tips
Thursday, May 08, 2014 1:17:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Six Classic Genealogy Brick Wall-Busting Tips
Posted by Diane
You probably have at least one unanswered genealogy question, an
ancestor who's really difficult to trace, or a family with gaps in
These classic brick wall-busting tips come from our upcoming Conquer
Your Research Challenges: Solutions and Advice to Overcome Your
Genealogy Problems one-week workshop:
- Go over what you've found. Reviewing and organizing
your records is a way to spot new clues. Also consider whether
one of your sources could contain wrong information, or even
whether you have a record for a same-named person who isn't
actually your relative.
- Write it up. Many genealogists abstract
information from their records and/or write up research reports
to help themselves process the information and draw
- Create a timeline. Using your records to create a
detailed timeline for the problem ancestor can help
you sort out a confusing jumble of events and zero in on gaps in
- Follow the people in your ancestor's life. The
records of your ancestor's siblings, other relatives, friends, neighbors and
coworkers might name your family.
Your Research Challenges one-week workshop includes eight 30-
to 60-minute video courses (which you can download to watch again
and again) to show you strategies for tackling brick wall problems.
You'll also get expert advice on your research problems via our
exclusive workshop message board, networking with other researchers,
and our 101 Brick Wall Busters ebook.
- Explore social history. Learning about the lives of
other people who were like your ancestor (maybe they immigrated from
the same place or lived in the same neighborhood)
can help you form theories about your ancestor's life. You'll
also learn how local events may have affected your ancestor.
It takes place online May 23-30. See
the video session lineup and register here.
Family Tree University | Research Tips
Thursday, May 08, 2014 9:41:17 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
New Genealogy Webinar: Making MyHeritage Work for You
Posted by Diane
Much earlier than the Elvis came along in Tupelo, Miss., in
1935, a baby girl named Elvis was born in 1817 in England.
With the recent announcement from MyHeritage that the website now
includes 5 billion historical records, folks there had fun searching
the site for famous names—including James Bond, Elizabeth
Taylor and others—in the site's birth, marriage, death, immigration,
military and other collections. Fun
facts they found are in an
infographic on the MyHeritage blog.
MyHeritage, which also owns the World Vital Records and Geni
websites, has quickly become a formidable family history resource.
So quickly that many genealogists aren't familiar with the research
potential in the site's record collections, Super Search search engine,
Record Matching tools, and family trees.
You can find out how to discover your ancestors with MyHeritage and
its sister sites in our Making
MyHeritage Work for You webinar with Gena
Philibert-Ortega. It's happening Thursday, May 22, at 7 p.m. ET (6
p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. PT). The webinar includes
Everyone who registers for the webinar will receive access to view
the webinar again whenever you want, plus your own copy of the
- a tour of the MyHeritage and World Vital Records historical
record collections, photographs and family trees
- how to use the Super Search and Record Detective features
- how to use the site's tools to connect with cousins
- how to create a family website, chart, timeline and calendar
- how to use Geni.com
more about the Making MyHeritage Work for You webinar here.
MyHeritage | Webinars
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 2:48:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Friday, May 02, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: April 28-May 2
Posted by Diane
Ancestry.co.uk has added The Collection which details the
crimes of thousands of boys admitted to three institutions for
children in West Yorkshire, England. The records, which date between
1779 and 1914, also contain information on nearly 400,000 adult
offenders. You can find them in separate collections of reformatory
school records, prison
records and police
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is seeking genealogy
bloggers, societies, writers and editors to be ambassadors for its
2014 conference, happening Aug. 27-30 in San Antonio, Texas. You can
see the requirements and benefits, and register, on the FGS
Ancestry.com | Genealogy societies | Genetic Genealogy | MyHeritage | UK and Irish roots
Friday, May 02, 2014 10:30:21 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Thursday, May 01, 2014
What to Bring When You Hit the Road for Genealogy
Posted by Diane
This time of year marks the start of genealogy road trip trip
season, whether it's to a conference—the National Genealogical
Society annual conference is in Richmond, Va., May 7-10—or to
As you plan this year's genealogy travels, here are things I've
found useful to bring (or not bring) when attending conferences and
going to libraries over the years:
Extra layer. No telling whether a conference classroom or
library will be sweltering or over-air-conditioned, so bring a
- Early-bird mindset. If you want to sit somewhere in particular for a
class, arrive early to secure your spot. For some speakers, such as
Elizabeth Shown Mills
Jones, it's a good idea to arrive early if you want to sit at
- Extra bag. "I wish I had another bag" is a common comment by genealogists who pick up freebies and make purchases from
Family Tree Magazine at conferences. Carry an extra tote bag around with you for purchases,
handouts, syllabi, etc.
- Small comforts. Other things you might wish you had include hand
sanitizer, tissues, a bottle of water (concessions can be pricey),
address labels (for entering prizes at a conference), Dramamine (to
help with microfilm reader motion sickness), your headache remedy of choice,
gum (for a conference; it's usually a no-no in libraries), and more-comfortable shoes.
- Drink and a snack. I rarely want to stop my research to go get
lunch, and sometimes there's no place to get lunch even if I want a break. You can leave water and a granola bar in the car for consumption
outside, if there's no snack room.
- Only what's allowed. Visit a repository website ahead of time for
info on what you can bring inside, whether you can use a cell phone
or digital camera to photograph records, and how you'll make copies (such
as on a photocopier or scanner). Also double-check hours, any
special closures, and whether materials are pulled from storage at
- As little as possible. It doesn't always work, but I try to carry around
only the "stuff" I really need at the library, so I'll have less to keep an eye on and
can minimize fumbling around. Usually I have:
- my phone to access my tree, attached records and research log
(I download any important documents to my phone in case I can't
get a signal at my destination).
- a little purse with my phone, a flash drive for digital
copies, bills and change for copiers or copy cards
- a pen or pencil and a notebook with my prioritized list of materials I need to
find, with pertinent notes about the people I'm looking for
- depending where I'm going, maybe a tablet in a computer bag, but I do tend to be more of a paper-and-pen note taker
Knowledge from the locals. If you're going to a repository, cemetery
or conference that's new to you, ask local genealogists what you should know before you go.
You might get inside info on the best place to park and eat lunch, staying safe, or a librarian who's especially knowledgeable in your research area. If you don't know anyone to ask, a genealogy pal might be able to
put you in contact with a helpful person, or you could friend the local
genealogical society on Facebook.
- Back-up plans. Plan where you'll park, and where you'll park if you
can't find a spot there.
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Thursday, May 01, 2014 9:51:13 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)