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# Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Digital Public Library of America to Catalog FamilySearch Online Genealogy Books Collection
Posted by Diane

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and FamilySearch have signed an agreement that will make’s growing, free digital historical book collection accessible through the DPLA website.

The DPLA website catalogs more than 13 million digital resources from libraries, archives and museums across America. You can keyword search the site's catalog listings (but not the digitized items themselves) for names, places, military regiments, employers, social clubs and other terms from your family tree.

From search results on DPLA, you can click to view—and usually, keyword search—the digitized item on the holding library's website.

With this new partnership, DPLA will incorporate metadata from’s online digital book collection, making more than 200,000 family history books discoverable through DPLA’s search portal later this year. Users who find a FamilySearch book via DPLA will be able to click to see the digital book on

The digitized historical book collection at includes genealogy and family history publications from some of the most important family history libraries in the world. You already can search the collection on the FamilySearch website, but listing its contents in DPLA will make the books easier for a broader audience to find.

The March/April 2016 Family Tree Magazine has our how-to guide for finding ancestors in the free FamilySearch digitized books, and our Unofficial Guide to book helps you make the most of all the site's free genealogy resources.    

Genealogy books | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 09:29:47 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Braving the Inbox: Five Steps for Organizing Your Email
Posted by Diane

If you’re like many people, your email resembles Pandora’s box: full of unknown content that you might be afraid of opening. The scary part isn’t so much each individual message, but the unending stream of new content filling your inbox faster than you can deal with.

While some productivity gurus preach the elusive concept of “inbox zero,” you actually have a few practical ways to better manage your inbox. Co-host of The Genealogy Guys podcast and author of Organize Your Genealogy Drew Smith shares a few quick steps for organizing your mess of an email inbox:

  1. Set up an email account just for your genealogical research. This minimizes losing important personal and financial messages amidst genealogical correspondence. If you’ve been doing genealogical research a while and are reluctant to start over with a new email address, reverse the situation and create a new email address just for your non-genealogy work.
  2. Check your spam folder on a regular basis. You don’t have to do it every day—just do it often enough so that you won’t lose something due to the automatic spam-deleting system or when you were expecting something but couldn’t find it in your regular inbox. If you’re worried about forgetting to check your spam folder, add that (and any other research tasks) to your calendar.
  3. Learn as much as you can about your email software’s filters. This will allow you to automatically move low-importance email out of your inbox and into another folder, to be read when you have more time. Email that fits into this category might include messages from mailing lists and society newsletters.
  4. Use email filtering to identify important email and move it to a high-priority folder. This might include email coming from specific correspondents, such as another genealogist you are working with on a research project.
  5. Scan through the remaining items. Use the subject line to see if you can delete the item without opening it. In some cases, you’ll want to read the contents, but you’ll still be able to delete it after reading. In a few other cases, you can forward the email to someone else who can do a better job of dealing with it. If the email is something that you yourself can deal with in just a few minutes, reply right away (or do whatever quick task the email is asking you to do).

What remains are items that you want to save for reference (get this content into a note-taking system, such as Evernote) and items that will take some time to deal with (move these into a folder to be dealt with when you’ve scheduled a block of time to work on them).

Learn more about organizing your correspondence and genealogy research by purchasing your copy of Drew's Organize Your Genealogy today.

organizing your research
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 10:04:02 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Monday, 13 June 2016
Three Ways to Get a Closer Look at Your Genealogy With Evernote
Posted by Diane

Evernote isn't just a great tool for organizing your genealogy, it's also makes a good tool for analyzing the information you find.

Kerry Scott, who wrote How to Use Evernote for Genealogy and who will be on hand to answer questions in next week's online Evernote for Genealogy Bootcamp, has a ton of ways you can use Evernote to take a closer look at your genealogy research. Here's a quick look at three of them:

  • Create a table of contents: This is an easy way to see a list of certain notes at a glance. Simply select a number of related notes—here, we've chosen census notes for an ancestor—by holding down Control or Command and clicking (or you can use Control+A or Command+A to select all of them) and click Create a Table of Contents Note. Now, you have one note that lets you see at a glance a list of all the notes you selected. Just click on one of the notes in your list to link to that note.

  • Use tags to find patterns: When you create a note in Evernote, you can assign tags for the name, hometown, occupation, record type, etc. So you might have tags called Smith, Abigail St., Occupation: Railroad, WWII, Public School No. 52, and Census: 1910. Searching for all the notes with the same tag can be a helpful way to reveal hidden commonalities and details. Did two of your ancestors go to the same school or serve together in the military? Did all your farming ancestors turn to different work in the early 1900s? With information like this, you can form new theories and problems to investigate.

  • Save notes with the Evernote Web Clipper: With the web clipper, you can save screenshots of your search queries, websites that contain great historical background for your relatives' lives, and leads you want to follow up on. It would be difficult to keep these items together using another method. (This feature also is great for everyday life: Clip receipts for online orders, recipes to try, items for your holiday shopping lists, etc.)
Want to be more organized about your genealogy research? To have your information and records about each ancestor or family gathered into one place, where there easy to find and view wherever you are, and to know what your next research steps for each person should be?

You can do this with Evernote—learn how in Family Tree University's Evernote for Genealogy Bootcamp, taking place online from June 20-26. See how the bootcamp works and what's included at

Family Tree University | organizing your research | Research Tips
Monday, 13 June 2016 16:36:34 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 07 June 2016
3 Pre-trip Steps for Making the Most of Your Research Trip
Posted by Diane

Summer is the perfect time for taking road trips, including journeying to record repositories and libraries. Co-host of The Genealogy Guys podcast and author Drew Smith shares some thoughts about how to best plan for research trips.

In a time when documents from all over the world are being digitized and made available to us in online databases, we might not spend much time thinking about the need to travel to physical repositories, near and far. Libraries, archives, courthouses, cemeteries and churches continue to hold materials that may never be scanned during our lifetimes, and this means that eventually we genealogists need to pack up our travel kits and hit the road for hours, days or even weeks to accomplish our research goals.

But before you put the first piece of clothing in a suitcase—or even worry about which chargers to bring—you need to knock out a few quick tasks before planning the rest of a research trip;
  1. Do as much online research as you can. There is no point in wasting a single moment of precious research trip time in viewing materials that we could have seen from the comfort of our own research workspace at home.
  2. Learn all you can about each repository’s online catalog, including how to use it. This will help you not only do preparatory research, but also make you proficient in checking it when you’re at the physical repository. You should also read (and if possible, download) a copy of the finding aids for the research collections you plan to use. These finding aids will describe the scope of each collection, and may identify the specific boxes and folders you’ll want to request when at the repository. In some cases, you may want to request that the repository pull the items you so you can have them as soon as we walk in the door, saving you time better spent on examining the materials.
  3. Study the repository’s hours, rules and regulations. What can’t you bring into a repository’s research room? Can you make an appointment with an archivist or member of the staff? How long is the repository open? Knowing answers to these questions ahead of your visit will free you to do more research when you’re actually at the archive. Specifically, you might even email the repository in advance with your planned dates of visit and the kinds of records you’re looking for. The repository can then inform you of any unusual closures for local events or renovations, or if records you want to use are actually located elsewhere.

When you’re done with all of this pre-trip research work, you’re finally ready to create your research itinerary, book your flights and hotels, and think about what to pack. Safe travels!

Learn more about planning research trips and organizing your travel by purchasing your copy of Drew's Organize Your Genealogy today.

Libraries and Archives | organizing your research | Research Tips
Tuesday, 07 June 2016 09:59:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]