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# Friday, October 24, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: Oct. 20-14
Posted by Diane

  • FamilySearch has announced that Donny Osmond will be the Saturday keynote speaker at the 2015 RootsTech conference, taking place Feb. 12-14, 2015, in Salt Lake City (the 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference will be help in conjunction with RootsTech). You already knew the Osmond family is musical, but you might not have known they're also into genealogy. You can learn all about the family's history on the Osmond Family Organization website.
For those not attending the RootsTech/FGS conference: In past years, FamilySearch has broadcast keynote (and other) RootsTech sessions online. We'll keep you updated on those details as we receive them.
  • Family Tree Magazine Podcast producer Lisa Louise Cooke and contributing editor Sunny Jane Morton have teamed up to launch the free Genealogy Gems Book Club. The virtual, no-commitment club will feature a different family history-related book every three months. Genealogy Gems Podcasts (free and premium versions) will feature book-related content, including an exclusive interview with the author of each book during that third month. Learn more about the book club and see the first featured book on the Genealogy Gems website.
  • The Federation of Genealogical Societies has released its election results for officers beginning their terms Jan. 1, 2015. D. Joshua Taylor (who you know from the series "Genealogy Roadshow," as well as Family Tree University webinars including Top 25 Tricks for Finding Your Colonial Ancestors) was elected president for a second term. Six board members were elected or re-elected, as well—you can see them named on the FGS Voice blog. Congratulations to all!



Friday, October 24, 2014 1:06:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
How to Find the New German Genealogy Civil Registration Records on Ancestry.com
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com just added 31 new databases for researching German ancestors. The 11.7 million records cover civil registrations (government birth, marriage and death records) for various places in Germany, dating between 1874 and 1950. There's no single link to search just these 31 collections, so you could do a few things:
  • Searching one database at a time is your best bet if you know it covers the area in Germany where your family lived. Go to the card catalog and use the filters on the left: Under Filter by Collection, narrow the database list to Birth, Marriage and Death Records; and under Filter by Location; narrow by Europe, then by Germany.

    Then at the top of the list, use the Sort By dropdown menu to choose Date Added, and the new German databases rise to the top of the list. Click a title to search that collection.

  • You also can view a list of all German birth, marriage and death records by going to the Search All Records page and scrolling down to Explore by Location. Click the Europe tab, then click Germany. Under Germany Birth, Marriage & Death, you'll see a few databses listed; if you click the "View other" link at the end of that short list, you'll see all the German birth, marriage and death records. This list is arranged by record count, though, and you can't sort it in other ways.
  • If you want to search all the German civil registration records at once, run a global search for your German ancestor from the Ancestry.com Search All Records page. (At the bottom of the search form, make sure the box for Historical Records is checked.)

    Then narrow your results  on the left: In the Collection dropdown menu, choose Germany and click the green Update button. Next, under the All Categories heading, choose Birth, Marriage & Death.
    If you still have too many results, look at the top of your results list, click the Categories tab and choose the database titles that most relate to your search.

For more Ancestry.com search strategies, see our book Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com.

My third-great-grandfather Joseph Ladenkötter was born in 1814 in Rheine, Steinfurt, Germany. Rheine is not among the areas covered with this records addition, but I thought I might find a relative who was born, married or died elsewhere.

I searched on the surname Ladenk*tter (with the asterisk wildcard to pick up both Ladenkotter and Ladenkoetter), and found a 1911 marriage record for Auguste Gertrud Ladenkötter (it looks like her birth surname was different, so she may have been a widow) and Wilhelm August Friedrich. The records are in German, of course.

German Genealogy Records

The Ladenkötter surname is pretty unusual, so I suspect that Auguste Gertrud was married to one of my relatives before she married Wilhelm. (I see the record mentions Rheine.) My next step is figuring out what the record says, which should help me find out if my hunch is correct.

Are you researching Germans? Visit ShopFamilyTree.com to find out more about our German Genealogy Premium Collection. It contains six terrific research tools, including the Family Tree German Genealogy Guide and the German Genealogy Cheat Sheet (which will be the first thing I get out when I'm ready to start on the marriage record).


Ancestry.com | German roots | Research Tips
Friday, October 24, 2014 12:30:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, October 22, 2014
"Finding Your Roots" Traces Celebrity Chefs' Italian, Mexican and Chinese Immigrant Ancestors
Posted by Diane



Last night's "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr." on PBS focused on the immigrant ancestors of celebrity chefs of different ethnic—and culinary—backgrounds: Tom Colicchio (Italian), Aarón Sánchez (Mexican) and Ming Tsai (Chinese).

I don't have family heritage in these places, but I think this already interesting show would be even more interesting if you're researching in any of these areas.

I appreciated how this show detailed various motivations for immigrants to leave their homelands, and explained how some would travel back and forth between home and the United States before finally settling here. This was quite common, especially for men, who would come to earn money to take to their families back home. More than half of all Italian immigrants in the early 20th century, Gates said, were "birds of passage."

Here are some highlights of this episode:
  • Tom Colicchio's great-great-grandfather traveled to America in 1901, returned to Italy, then came back in 1906 and went home again in 1911. He was pressed into service in the Italian army in World War I, and finally brought his family to settle in the United States in 1947. The show described the burgeoning population, harsh taxes, crime and an earthquake that propelled Colicchio's family to leave their picturesque town of Vallarta.
  • Aarón Sánchez's great-great-grandfather was a prominent rancher in Mexico who lost everything he had and fled to the United States during the Mexican Revolution. He later was able to get his cattle back. Sánchez's third-great-grandfather, born in Spain in 1822, was the military commander Hilario Gabilondo. In 1857, Gabilondo ordered the deaths of about 70 filibusters (Americans attempting to seize land in Mexico) in an expedition led by former California state senator Henry Crabb. Read more about filibustering here.
The show's researchers traced Sanchez's ancestors in Spain back to his sixth-great-grandfather in the early 1700s. A DNA test revealed Sanchez has nearly 25 percent American Indian ancestry (the equivalent of having an Indian grandparent) and 3.7 percent African-American ancestry. 
  • Ming Tsai's grandfather was a comptroller of a university in China when Japan invaded before World War II. He was sent to a prison in Japan, where he was tortured and contracted typhus; he nearly died. He was able to return to his work after the war, but the Cultural Revolution, during which millions of intellectuals and "bourgeois" were persecuted and killed, forced him to flee.
Many historical relics were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, including steles, or carved stone tablets recording families. The Ming family stele was the only one remaining in their town. It led researchers records at the Shanghai public library (probably jiapu, or books recording paternal family lineage) that allowed them to trace his ancestry all the way back to his 116th-great-grandfather in the 27th century BC.
In trying to find out more about steles, I came across the House of Chinn website, about Chinese genealogy research and the author's own family. You might find it helpful if you're researching ancestors in China. You also can search a surname index to jiapu on subscription website Ancestry.com.
Each chef's cuisine is inspired by the foods of his ancestors; each recalled delicious meals with parents and grandparents. As the holidays approach, it's good to remember that food is a great way to introduce family members to their ancestors. You might even say that the way to a nongenealogist's heart is through his or her stomach.
You can watch this episode of "Finding Your Roots" online, at the show's website.


Asian roots | Celebrity Roots | Genealogy TV | Hispanic Roots | Italian roots
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 10:36:08 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, October 20, 2014
Call for Old Family Photos: Family Tree Magazine Seeks Ancestral Cover Model for 15th Anniversary Issue
Posted by Diane

We're getting pretty excited for Family Tree Magazine's big 15th anniversary issue in January 2015, and we'd love to put your ancestor on the cover!



Email us your ancestral photo before midnight on Friday, Oct. 31. We'll choose one photo to appear on our January/February 2015 cover, and other photos may appear with articles inside the magazine.

Here's how to submit:
  • Scan your old family photo at high resolution (300 dpi or greater). Old family photos of ancestors and relatives are fine, but no living folks, please. If you have a few favorite photos, it's fine to send more than one.
  • Include information you know about the photo, such as the name of the person or people shown, their relationship to you, when the picture was taken, etc. Also include your name, email address and phone number.
If we choose your photo, we'll contact you and get your mailing address to send you a copy of the issue.

By sending your photo, you affirm that you're the owner of the image, and you give us permission to use it on the cover or in the interior of Family Tree Magazine. We also may use it in other print or electronic media.

Remember to submit before midnight on Oct. 31!


Family Tree Magazine articles | Photos
Monday, October 20, 2014 1:07:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Free Immigration Records on Ancestry.com Through Oct. 23
Posted by Diane



Ancestry.com is offering free access to its immigration records collection
from now through Oct. 23 at midnight ET.

The promotion highlights this week's episode of "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr." which Ancestry.com sponsors. Watch chefs Aarón Sánchez, Tom Colicchio and Ming Tsai learn about their immigrant ancestors Tuesday night at 8 ET/7 CT.

Click here to start searching Ancestry.com immigration records.

You'll need to register for a free account with Ancestry.com (or log in to your existing account) to see full search results.

I gave the offer a try, and I'm relatively certain that this is the passenger record for my third-great-grandfather Franz Edward Thoss, showing his arrival at the port of New York, Feb. 10, 1837, on the Tiber, which left from Bremen.



This is for my great-granduncle, Ralph E. Thoss, coming back from World War II on the Vulcania, which arrived Nov. 10, 1945, from Le Havre, France. (Here's a neat website about the "cigarette camps" through which WWII troops moved when arriving and departing the port of Le Havre. Ralph was at Camp Phillip Morris.)



For more help using Ancestry.com in your genealogy search, check out our Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com book.


Ancestry.com | immigration records
Monday, October 20, 2014 12:34:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, October 16, 2014
Enter Our Family History Month Sweepstakes: You Could Win a Genealogy Shopping Spree!
Posted by Diane

Happy Family History Month! To help you get started celebrating and discovering your family's history, we're giving you a chance (or chances—see below) to win a $100 gift card to ShopFamilyTree.com.

The winner of Family Tree Magazine's Family History Month Sweepstakes can choose from hundreds of genealogy how-to guides, books, CDs, video classes and more in ShopFamilyTree.com.
Click here to enter the Family History Month Sweepstakes before midnight Eastern on Oct. 30, 2014.  (You'll find the official rules here.)

You can get extra chances to win, too: After you submit your entry, you'll receive a unique link to share with friends. For each person who clicks your link and then enters the sweepstakes, you'll receive an additional two chances to win.

Good luck!


Genealogy fun | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:15:55 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Wednesday, October 15, 2014
5 Websites for Norwegian Genealogy
Posted by Diane

If you have ancestors in Norway, their old records might be in Norwegian, Danish or Swedish. Their parish name might refer to a village, a fork in the road or the largest town in the area.


Scandinavia, 1831. Published by D. Lizars, Edinburgh.
David Rumsey Map Collection
.


Scandinavian genealogy expert Diana Crisman Smith is very familiar with these Norwegian research challenges, and she'll help you get around them in our Norwegian Genealogy Crash Course webinar, coming up on Thursday, Oct. 30.

Here, Diana gives you a sneak peek at the webinar by sharing some of her favorite online resources for Norwegian genealogy:
  • The National Archival Services of Norway, which has record indexes and transcriptions, along with some digital images. You'll also find interesting articles such as Norwegian Emigration to America 1825-1939.
  • Norway-Heritage: Hands Across the Sea, with searchable indexes and helpful explanationd for understanding Norwegian names.
  • Norwegian Genealogical Society (Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, or NSF) website, which lets you search an online index of its publication
  • FamilySearch.org, which in addition to online genealogy records, has abundant information in its research wiki.
  • Ancestry & History (Slekt & Historie), a site all about the authors' personal research, along with historical information and links to more than 100 additional resources.
In the Norwegian Genealogy Crash Course webinar, Diana will show you how to use these and other resources, and give you details about the most important Norwegian genealogy records, how to find those records, and tips for reading the records.

As always, anyone who registers for the webinar receives a PDF handout of the webinar slides, as well as access to view the webinar again as often as desired.

Learn more about the Norwegian Genealogy Crash Course webinar in ShopFamilyTree.com.

Genealogy Web Sites | International Genealogy | Research Tips | Webinars
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 11:03:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
"Finding Your Roots" Features Ben Affleck, Khandi Alexander and Benjamin Jealous
Posted by Diane



All three guests—Ben Affleck, Khandi Alexander and Benjamin Jealous—in last night's "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr." had connections to the Civil War and to the American Revolution, highlighting the contradictions in a country that supported the ideals of the American Revolution yet allowed slavery to continue.

Revolutionary War pension files were the source for most information on the ancestors' Revolutionary War service. Laws making pensions available to most veterans or their dependents weren't passed until years after the war, when the ranks of those eligible to apply were rapidly thinning.

Revolutionary War pension applications are on microfilm at the National Archives and the Family History Library. In addition, the records are digitized and available on subscription sites Ancestry.com and Fold3. FamilySearch.org has a free index you can search, then you'll link to Fold3 to see the record.

Learn more about military pension records for the American Revolution, War of 1812 and the Civil War in our Pension Records Workbook, available from ShopFamilyTree.com.

Here's a rundown of this episode's genealogy finds:
  • Ben Affleck, a Boston native, actor and producer, discovered he has a third-great-grandfather Almon Bruce French who was active in the Spiritualist movement that took hold of the country in the latter 19th century. He believed he was a medium and would travel around conducting seances so Civil War widows and orphans could "communicate" with their deceased loved ones.
His sixth-great-grandfather served in the Revolutionary War under Gen. George Washington in the summer of 1776. Gates also revealed that Affleck is 10th cousins once removed with his good friend and fellow Bostonian Matt Damon (Affleck seemed surprised, but this link was actually uncovered several years ago).
  • Khandi Alexander, an actor, knew nothing of her family history, which Gates pointed out is common in African-American families who chose to forget the painful experiences of slavery and segregation. She'd never even seen a picture of her grandfather, who she learned died as a young man in an industrial explosion in Florida. The newspapers called it an accident, but his family suspected it was rigged by employees who didn't want a black supervisor.
Alexander's second-great-grandfather, born a slave, was the son of an unidentified black slave and a white slaveowner. Through that man, Alexander is descended from a man who served in the American Revolution and went on to own 85 slaves on a large plantation.
Her DNA test showed she's about three-quarters African, and a more-specific analysis pinpointed the areas in Africa where her DNA originates.
  • Benjamin Jealous, a civil rights activist and past president of the NAACP, is a descendant of Peter G. Morgan, an African-American who was born into slavery, took advantage of the rare opportunity to learn a trade, and earned enough to purchase his own freedom just before the Civil War. He received special permission to remain in Virginia (the law there stated that freed slaves had to leave the state), and claimed ownership of his wife and daughters as slaves to help protect them from being kidnapped and sold into slavery. He freed them with a moving manumission statement in 1864.
In his white father's family, Jealous has eight ancestors known to have served in the American Revolution, including a 16-year-old who played the fife at the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Jealous' DNA test revealed he is 80 percent European and about 18 percent African.
You can watch the full "Finding Your Roots" episode with Ben Affleck, Benjamin Jealous and Khandi Alexander on the show's website.

And keep an eye on the show's Genealogy Blog, where genetic genealogist CeCe Moore is providing more information about the show's DNA testing strategy and the results revealed on air.


African-American roots | Celebrity Roots | Genealogy TV | Military records | Research Tips
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 10:49:04 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, October 10, 2014
Genealogy News Corral: Oct. 6-10
Posted by Diane

  • A genealogist has started the InstitutionalCemeteries.org website to catalog cemeteries established for asylums, poorhouses, prisons, orphanages and other institutions, whose residents often were buried unclaimed and forgotten. On the site, you can view maps by region of the country, and you also can submit information on any such cemeteries you know about.

  • FamilySearch has announced plans to digitize a portion of the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, starting with compiled family histories. The digitized documents will be available free at FamilySearch.org. You can read more in the announcement here.
  • For all you UK genealogists: Ancestry.com is holding a "Branching Out" sweepstakes for UK residents (a separate sweepstakes was held for US residents). The grand prize includes 20 hours of professional genealogy research, a one-year Ancestry.co.uk WorldWide subscription and a copy of Family Tree Maker software. The sweepstakes is open to residents of the UK (except for Northern Ireland), and you can enter here by Sunday, Nov. 9.
  • The TV series "Genealogy Roadshow" is filming in Philadelphia the weekend of Oct. 25 and 26, and producers are looking to cast men and women age 35-55 (the casting call doesn't say, but I believe it's to be the onlookers shown in the background as guests' genealogy mysteries are unraveled). This gig pays $75, and the chance to witness firsthand as family history legends are supported or shattered. You can submit your application here.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy TV | Libraries and Archives | NARA | UK and Irish roots
Friday, October 10, 2014 2:09:16 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
CNN Highlights Genealogy in "Roots: Our Journeys Home" Series, Oct. 12-20
Posted by Diane

CNN will highlight genealogy in a weeklong series "Roots: Our Journeys Home," Starting this Sunday, Oct. 12, at 9.p.m. The series will follow 13 of the network's most familiar faces as they trace their roots.

You'll see hosts and anchors including Anthony Bourdain, Anderson Cooper (who's having a great genealogy year, having also recently appeared on "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr."), Chris Cuomo, Wolf Blitzer, Sanjay Gupta, Christine Romans and others.

The series will touch on a variety of topics, ethnic origins and places: Bourdain travels to Paraguay; Blitzer visits the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland, where his paternal grandparents died; Michaela Pereira, adopted as an infant, goes to St. James Parish, Jamaica; Gupta explores the places where his parents were born in Pakistan and India; Kate Bouldan learns about her ancestral family's glass-blowing business in a tiny Belgian town.

The series culminates in a two-hour special on Monday, Oct. 20, at 9 p.m. ET, hosted by Cooper and Pereira.

You can see a schedule of CNN's "Roots: Our Journeys Home" series and an overview of each installment here.

And here's a video sneak peek:



Celebrity Roots | Genealogy TV
Friday, October 10, 2014 11:03:22 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]