RECORDS OF THE SLAVE CLAIMS COMMISSIONS, 1864-1867 - Volume Three: Journal of the First Maryland Commission

New Book Available:

Volume Three: Journal of the First Maryland Commission

From the Introduction:
Throughout the U. S. Civil War, from its beginning in 1861 through the end in 1865, the United States government attempted to end slavery as a way of weakening the Confederacy and ending the War. Among other options, President Abraham Lincoln supported the idea of “compensated emancipation,” whereby the federal government would pay slave owners for each slave that was freed.
E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant General, issued General Order 329, by order of the President, on 3 October 1863. The Orders began, “Whereas, the exigencies of the war require that colored troops should be recruited in the States of Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee,” and further ordered that recruiting stations should be established within these three states for recruitment under certain provisions. Among these provisions were the following:
4. Free persons, and slaves with the written consent of their owners, and slaves belonging to those who have been engaged in or given aid and comfort to the rebellion, may be now enlisted, the owners who have not been engaged in or given aid to the rebellion being entitled to receive compensation, as hereafter provided. ... 
6. Any citizen of said States who shall offer his or her slave for enlistment into the military service shall, if such slave be accepted, receive from the recruiting officer a certificate thereof and become entitled to compensation for the service or labor of said slave, not exceeding the sum of $300, upon filing a valid deed of manumission and of release and making satisfactory proof of the title. And the recruiting officer shall furnish to any claimant a descriptive list of any person enlisted and claimed, under oath, to be his or her slave, and allow any one claiming, under oath, that his or her slave has been enlisted without his or her consent, the privilege of inspecting the enlisted men for the purpose of identification.
7. A board of three persons shall be appointed by the President, to whom the rolls and recruiting lists shall be furnished for public information, and, on demand, exhibited to any person claiming that his or her slave has been enlisted against his or her will. [The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation go the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series III, Volume III (Washington: Govt. Printing Office, 1899), pp. 860–861.]
These three provisions, in effect, authorized the establishment of “slave claims commissions” in Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee, to review claims for compensation by loyal slave owners.


The Records of the Slave Claims Commissions are held in their original form at the National Archives and Records Administration Building in Washington, D. C. These records have not been microfilmed or digitized. The series is identified as “Entry 348” in PI17: “Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Adjutant General's Office (RG 94).” The records consist of fourteen total items: ten loose volumes, and four boxes containing additional volumes. The Journal of the First Maryland Commission is designated the third of these volumes.

Unlike the two previous volumes in this series of published records, the Journal of the First Maryland Commission is not a register of claims, but a journal of the proceedings of the “Board of Claims,” as the original Maryland Slave Claims Commission was called. The proceedings do contain the names of many individual claimants, and many of the slaves for which these claims were made. In addition to these names, however, this Journal also provides insight into the operations of the “Board of Claims,” and the development of the policies by which claims were awarded.

The Journal begins on 2 December 1863, with the last entry bearing date 4 June 1864.

This book is 112 pages, and is available in paperback edition, for $16.99, and as a downloadable e-book, for $12.99. The names of both claimants and slaves are fully indexed, separately.

For purchasing information, visit

Michael Hait

FGS Society Strategy Series Now Available to the Public

For Immediate Release
February 28, 2011

Genealogy Society Management Papers by Well-Known Authors

February 28, 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces that a vast collection of its Society Strategy Series papers is now available—free to the public—at the FGS website (

The Society Strategy Series is a collection of papers filled with suggestions and instructions for the management of genealogical societies, historical societies, and family associations. These papers have been expertly written by respected authors in the genealogy community to help you and your society grow and prosper.

Timely Topics by Well-Known Authors

Topics covered in the Society Strategy Series papers include:

  • Series I: Strategies for Societies
  • Series II: Strategies for Presidents
  • Series III: Strategies for Vice-Presidents
  • Series IV: Strategies for Treasurers
  • Series V: Strategies for Secretaries
  • Series VI: Strategies for Program Chairpersons
  • Series VII: Strategies for Librarians
  • Series VIII: Strategies for Editors

Most genealogists and genealogy society members will recognize the authors of the Society Strategy Series papers which include Jana Sloan Broglin, Karen Clifford, Betty Robertson Kaufman, Roberta “Bobbi” King, Gary Mokotoff, David Rencher, Curt Witcher, and the late Sandra H. Luebking and Marsha Hoffman Rising.

Newer Society Strategy Series topics are placed in the Members Only area of the FGS website for a period of one (1) year as a member benefit for FGS member societies. Additional new papers are being written and are planned for the coming year.

Helping Genealogy Societies Grow and Prosper

FGS is proud to make the Society Strategy Series available to the entire genealogical community as a means of helping societies become better at managing and growing their organizations.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Sheena Tait Appointed as Director of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies’ Scottish Certificate Studies Program

The following announcement was written by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies:

(Toronto, February 25, 2011) Louise St. Denis, Managing Director of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, announces the appointment of Sheena Trait as the new Director of the Institute’s Scottish Certificate Studies Program.

Sheena Tait, born of Scottish parents, grew up in Scotland. Just after Sheena’s father died, someone sent the family an article about her paternal grandfather proposing to submit to a genealogical magazine. This triggered the realisation that Sheena knew very little about her father’s family. The genealogical journey started.

Shortly after, work took Sheena south to England where, surrounded by—and learning—the English record keeping systems, she had to learn how to research at a distance and understand the Scottish systems, as most of her ancestors are Scottish. While in England, she met and married her husband - another Scot - and also researches his family. This provides different challenges from her own, including English links and seafaring ancestors.

In her early career, Sheena ran the computer systems for the military. However, her husband’s career as a serving military officer and the regular moves it involves made it impossible for her to continue her existing career.

About 10 years ago, she decided to combine her love of family history and the analytical skills developed through her work to start a new career as a genealogist specializing in Scottish and Anglo-Scottish research. As well as carrying out private research, Sheena lectures on a variety of Scottish topics, and was a regular contributor to the British-based Practical Family History and Family Tree magazines. Sheena is a member of both the Society of Genealogists in London and the Edinburgh-based Scottish Genealogy Society. Later this year, she will be one of the keynote speakers at the Third Australasian Scottish Genealogy Conference in Melbourne on 16 and 17 April 2011, organised by the Genealogical Society of Victoria.

"I’m delighted to take over as Director of the Institute’s Scottish Certificate Studies. I enjoy helping others discover for themselves the extent of their Scottish ancestry. There’s so much material that so many hobbyists don’t think of using. Hopefully, this will open up the doors to solving some of their brickwalls", says Sheena.

Louise St Denis indicates that "The Scottish Courses are an integral part of the Institute’s programs. We are so pleased to have Sheena onboard. As a Director living in England, she will bring a different perspective to the record courses for Scotland. We are really looking forward to the first of Sheena’s course. This will be an in-depth study of Scottish probate records, and will be available in early June. I’d like to thank James Thomson for the terrific course on 'Special Aspects of Scottish Research', which will remain part of the Scottish program. Past students highly recommend this course."

For those of you who are at the Who Do You Think You Are? conference in London from February 25th to the 27th, drop by the National Institute’s booth (#93) to meet both Sheena and Louise.

The National Institute also announced earlier this month that they will be offering a free course on Social Media in conjunction with their recent acquisition of GenealogyWise ( If you are at the London fair, register directly at The National Institute’s booth (#93), and also receive a free T-Shirt! The course—entitled, Social Media for the Wise Genealogist—covers social media tools vital to today’s genealogical research, including social networking sites, RSS, bookmarking, and more. This course, written by Brenda Wheeler and Gena Philibert Ortega, utilizes Drew Smith’s book, Social Networking for Genealogists. Social Media for the Wise Genealogist begins March 15th, 2011. To register, visit the National Institute’s website at

About The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

The National Institute has been offering genealogy and history courses for over 11 years. They now offer over 200 courses in genealogical studies to help enhance the researcher’s skills.

For those looking to acquire more formal educational training, The National Institute offers—in affiliation with the Continuing Education Unit of the University of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto—Certificate Programs in the records of Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, as well as a Librarianship Certificate.

Introducing GeneaWebinars

25 February 2011

We keep hearing about genealogy webinars held here, there and everywhere on the Internet. Thankfully,  GeneaWebinars provides a single place to find out about upcoming events. Imagine, one calendar, and links to information on each webinar presentation in a single, centralized spot on the web!

  • Researchers who want to attend genealogy webinars (online live seminars).
  • Societies and companies hosting genealogy webinars.
  • Individual presenters advertising  their upcoming genealogy webinars.


Researchers add the blog to their blog reader (perhaps Google Reader) to receive the latest announcements about upcoming webinars. Researchers may also join the GeneaWebinars Google Calendar to receive updates, and reminders as they are set by each organizer. Researchers switching between computers simply visit for the latest genealogy webinar information.

Webinar organizers and individual presenters can avoid booking an event at the same time another genealogy webinar is scheduled by posting each virtual meeting on the GeneaWebinar's Google Calendar. Webinar organizers and individual presenters may request access to the calendar and the blog, by simply sending a request.

Ol' Myrt here has done her part by setting up, the blog and the calendar with the webinars coming up during the next two months. Now I can step back as each webinar organizer maintains his or her part of the calendar, and posts info on the blog with details about upcoming events. 

There is so much to learn. Isn't it great that commuting won't be an issue with these genealogy webinars? It is amazing what the Internet can do for us.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy. 


FamilySearch Helping Preserve and Provide Access to African Records and Family Histories

Immediate Release
24 February 2011

FamilySearch Helping Preserve and Provide Access to African Records and Family Histories
SALT LAKE CITY—This month, millions of individuals of African descent are celebrating Black History Month by exploring their family history roots. In the U.S., FamilySearch volunteers have been busy helping digitize historic documents and create free, searchable indexes to them online. Throughout Africa, from Accra to Zimbabwe, where irreplaceable family information and traditions are at risk of being lost due to neglect, war, and deterioration, FamilySearch volunteers are also helping preserve this valuable history so Africans can connect with their roots. Researchers can search the millions of African-related records as they are published online at

FamilySearch, a non-profit, volunteer-driven subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been involved in genealogy since 1894, but the African culture presents a unique set of challenges to family history research. Because most family information is passed down orally, FamilySearch is focused on preserving both African oral traditions and related records that can help people learn about their ancestors.
“In Africa, there is a proverb that states, ‘When an old man dies, it is as if a library has burnt down,’ ” said Ghanaian Osei-Agyemang Bonsu, a FamilySearch manager in Africa. “Unfortunately, due to economic difficulties, many young people are moving from their villages, where they have the chance of obtaining information from the older people. The purpose of the oral genealogy project is to go to these old people and record what they know before they die.”

Most African tribes have a designated “storyteller” who is responsible to memorize the tribe’s oral traditions, including names of ancestors going back six to thirty generations. FamilySearch works with chiefs and local volunteers to visit these storytellers and record the information they have been charged to remember in their heads. Sometimes the interview is audio or video recorded, like the Ghana Oral Genealogy Project. If technology is not available, the information is written down on paper. Once it is recorded, the lineage-linked data is put into a spreadsheet and uploaded into a computer format developed by FamilySearch called GEDCOM. Currently, this GEDCOM file is put into FamilySearch’s Community Trees project, but it will eventually be integrated with the website.

FamilySearch is also working with children in South Africa to encourage them to write down their family traditions. FamilySearch volunteer Isebelle Krauss conducts training to help young people know how to interview the elderly people in their village.

“We encourage them [South African youth] to find their roots, to record it and to be proud of who they are,” Krauss said. Krauss works with the South African Department of Education and Heritage and the Department of Arts and Culture to hold oral tradition storytelling competitions in public schools.

“The children are encouraged to collect as many names as possible and come back to either sing, recite, or give a hard copy of their research,” Krauss said. “The pilot project was in Kwa Zulu Natal, and I was privileged to be one of the judges at the final round between 30 schools. What an experience! The little ones danced and sang their history and an eight-year-old won the competition with 15 generations.”

Although the majority of African heritage is oral, written records such as censuses and birth, marriage, and death certificates can help people verify the names, dates, and places in their family history. FamilySearch has worked with governments, archives, and churches in Ghana, South Africa, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Swaziland, Nigeria, Lesotho, Namibia, and Zimbabwe to digitize records of genealogical importance. FamilySearch employee Stephen Nickle says some of the irreplaceable records in these countries are in danger of being lost.

“There are various records throughout Africa that are at risk. Some are destroyed through war or deterioration or because there is a lack of room and other records are more important,” Nickle said. “When those records are destroyed, a part of Africa goes away. Preserving those records helps future generations know where they came from, which is an important part of maintaining a culture.”

Many of the records collected by FamilySearch are now available for free on More African records will be posted on the site in the coming months. Following are a few samples of some types of records at that may be of interest to those doing African or African-American research. 

Many of them are works in progress.
· Virginia, Freedmen's Bureau Letters, 1865-1872
· U.S. Arkansas Confederate Pensions, 1901 to 1929
· Ghana 1982-1984 Census
· South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951-1973
· U.S. Southern States Births, Marriages, and Deaths
· U.S. Naturalization Petitions

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. It is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Inc. Reports 2010 Financial Results

[NOTE: see for complete press release with financial tables.]

February 24, 2011 Inc. Reports 2010 Financial Results
– Subscriber Growth of 31% Year-Over-Year –
– 2010 Total Revenue Up 34% Year-Over-Year –
– Provides FY 2011 Outlook –

PROVO, Utah, Feb. 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM), the world's largest online family history resource, today reported financial results for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2010.

"2010 was a productive and very successful year for We drove substantial gains in our subscriber base both domestically and internationally, delivered strong financial results and executed on our plan to position the Company for long-term growth," said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of "Highlights included investments in our product and our talent base, the completion of three complementary acquisitions, and our highly successful partnership with NBC in bringing Who Do You Think You Are? to the U.S. The hard work will continue in 2011, but we believe these achievements give us a solid foundation for growth in the coming year and beyond." Web Sites Highlights

- Subscribers totaled 1,395,000 as of December 31, 2010, a 31% increase over the end of 2009 and up modestly since the end of the third quarter of 2010.

- Gross subscriber additions were 203,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to 165,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 252,000 in the third quarter of 2010.

- Monthly churn[1] was 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 4.0% in the third quarter of 2010.

- Subscriber acquisition cost[2] in the fourth quarter of 2010 was $96.87, compared to $85.21 in the fourth quarter of 2009 and $81.58 in the third quarter of 2010.

- Average monthly revenue per subscriber[3] in the fourth quarter of 2010 was $17.78, compared to $16.67 in the fourth quarter of 2009 and $17.75 in the third quarter of 2010.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2010 Financial Highlights

- Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $82.7 million, an increase of 37.6% over $60.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, driven by growth in our core Web sites revenues of 41.1%. For the full year 2010, total revenue was $300.9 million, an increase of 33.8% over the full year 2009, with Web site revenue growth of 37.7%.

- Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $17.9 million, compared to $8.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year 2010, operating income was $60.6 million compared to $32.0 million for the full year 2009.

- Adjusted EBITDA[4] for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $29.7 million, compared to $18.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the fourth quarter of 2010 was 35.9%, compared to 31.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year 2010, adjusted EBITDA was $101.0 million, compared to $71.6 million for the full year 2009. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the full year 2010 was 33.6%, up from 31.8% for the full year 2009.

- Net income was $12.6 million, or $0.25 per fully diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $9.1 million, or $0.20 per fully diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year 2010, net income was $36.8 million, or $0.76 per fully diluted share, compared to $21.3 million, or $0.51 per fully diluted share, for the full year 2009. The fourth quarter of 2010 included expenses of $1.0 million ($0.02 per share) associated with the November 10, 2010 secondary offering.

- Free cash flow[5] totaled $60.4 million for the full year 2010 compared to $29.6 million for the full year 2009.

- Cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaled $65.5 million as of December 31, 2010.

Recent Business Highlights

- Partnered with NBC for the second season of the Who Do You Think You Are? television series, which premiered on February 4, 2011.

- Added several new important content collections, including U.S. Military cadet applications, U.S. Penitentiary records, and early London parish registers spanning nearly 300 years.

- Released new iPad app, available for free at the iTunes App Store, allowing consumers a new way to share and update family trees, old photos and records.

- Released Family Tree Maker® 2011 for Mac on the Mac App Store.

Business Outlook

The Company's financial and operating expectations for the first quarter and full year 2011 are as follows:

First Quarter 2011

Revenue in the range of $86.0 to $88.0 million
Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $22.0 to $24.0 million
Ending subscribers of approximately 1,545,000

Full Year 2011

Revenue in the range of $370.0 to $375.0 million
Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $125.0 to $130.0 million
Ending subscribers of approximately 1,700,000 to 1,725,000

Conference Call & Webcast will host a conference call with analysts and investors today at 3:00 p.m. MT (5:00 p.m. ET). An accompanying slide presentation and a live webcast of the conference call will be available at the investor relations section of the Web site, Participants can also access the conference call by dialing 888-578-6632 (within the United States), or 719-325-2226 (international callers) approximately ten minutes prior to the start time.

A replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the call has ended and will be available through Friday, March 4, 2011. To access the replay, dial 888-203-1112 (within the United States), or 719-457-0820 (international callers) and enter the replay passcode 1368993. The webcast replay will also be available for 12 months on the investor relations section of the Web site,, under Events and Presentations.

Use of Non-GAAP Measures

Management believes that adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are useful measures of operating performance because they exclude items that we do not consider indicative of our core performance. In the case of adjusted EBITDA, we adjust net income for such things as interest, taxes, stock-based compensation and certain non-cash and non-recurring items. Free cash flow subtracts from adjusted EBITDA the capitalization of content database costs, capital expenditures and cash paid for income taxes and interest expense. However, these non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or superior to, net income and net cash provided by operating activities, or other financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation to the GAAP equivalents of these non-GAAP measures is contained in tabular form on the attached unaudited financial statements.

Our management uses adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow as measures of operating performance; for planning purposes, including the preparation of our annual operating budget; to allocate resources to enhance the financial performance of our business; to evaluate the effectiveness of our business strategies; to provide consistency and comparability with past financial performance; to facilitate a comparison of our results with those of other companies; and in communications with our board of directors concerning our financial performance. We also use adjusted EBITDA and have used free cash flow as factors when determining the incentive compensation pool.

About Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with nearly 1.4 million paying subscribers. More than 6 billion records have been added to the site in the past 14 years. Ancestry users have created more than 20 million family trees containing over 2 billion profiles. has local Web sites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at

ISGS 2011 Spring Tour Comes to Springffield, IL

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2011

“Behind the scenes” Tours with Genealogical Research Assistance

February 24, 2011 – Springfield, IL. The Illinois State Genealogical Society announces its annual “behind the scenes” tour of various libraries and archives in Springfield, IL on Saturday, April 2, 2011.

The ISGS 2011 Spring Tour is an annual event held each April to assist genealogy researchers in learning more about various archives and libraries and the vast resources available for pursing the “ancestral hunt.” The Tour is open to the public and participants can visit any or all of the following locations:

• Illinois State Archives: located in the Capitol Complex in Springfield, the Illinois State Archives is home to the ISGS office and provides access to censuses, military service records, vital records and land sale records.

• Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library: located at 112 N. Sixth Street in Springfield, the ALPL is home of the ISGS genealogical library collection and offers valuable resources including family genealogies; county histories, atlases and plat books; census schedule indexes and/or particular county transcriptions of enumeration records; cemetery inscriptions; and birth, death, naturalization and marriage transcriptions and/or indexes.

• Lincoln Public Library: located at 326 South 7th Street in Springfield, the Lincoln Library is home to the Sangamon Valley Collection providing in-depth resources for the study of Springfield, Illinois, Sangamon County and the eleven adjacent counties.

In addition to touring these locations, attendees can sign up to learn how to locate Illinois death certificates from 1916-1947 using microfilm at the Illinois State Archives.

The cost for each “tour session” is $10 for ISGS members and $12 for non-members. Reservations are required as space is limited and this event sells out each year. For more information and to register online please visit the ISGS website at

About Illinois State Genealogical Society

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) was organized in October of the Illinois Sesquicentennial Year, 1968, and is a non-profit, educational organization. ISGS was established for the following purposes:

• To stimulate an interest in the people who contributed to the establishment and development of the State of Illinois.

• To seek, preserve, and make available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois and to events which took place therein.

• To inform people of the value of, and need for, preserving family and local history for posterity.

• To encourage the formation of local genealogical societies and to coordinate and disseminate information.

The ISGS genealogical collection is located in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield and an administrative office is maintained in the Illinois State Archives. For more information visit

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Updated Version of Surname Atlas

Updated version of Surname Atlas

Surname Atlas, which was first launched in April 2003 at the Guild of One-Name Studies AGM & Conference in Liverpool, has been updated to version 1.1 and will be available at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show at Olympia London on 25th to 27th February 2011. Visit the Guild of One-Name Studies tables 36 and 37 and purchase a copy at the new price of £15.00.

Surname Atlas will also be available to purchase on-line at the Guild of One-Name Studies website

Surname Atlas plots surname and first name data from the 1881 Census. This is the simplest tool to use to demonstrate a surname distribution in Great Britain, and is regularly demonstrated at Fairs attended by the Guild of One-Name Studies. Even non-genealogists can get hooked! The Atlas can display at county level or at poor-law Union level, using absolute numbers or relative frequency.

The British 19th Century Surname Atlas is a fully interactive CD-Rom product that allows you to plot distribution maps for all of the surnames and forenames found in the 1881 census of England, Scotland and Wales. Using the program is simplicity itself: just insert the CD in your drive and wait for it to load. Then enter a surname in the data entry box and hit enter.

These are some of Surname Atlas’s features:

• Plot any of the 400,000+ surnames & variants that appear in the 1881 census. In many cases the maps will indicate the probable geographical origin of a surname.
• Plots any of the 160,000+ forenames, and view their popularity through time.
• Aggregate data by county or poor law union.
• Plot data as actual numbers, or a density (per 100,000 of the population).
• Include any collection of name variants on each map.
• Investigate surname elements using wildcards
• Show one or four surname maps at any one time.
• Zoom and pan the maps to frame exactly the area you want to see.
• Print maps, or export to the Windows clipboard.

Version V1.1 provides the following additional facilities/improvements:

• County Surnames tab added – identifies which surnames have a higher total percentage in a particular county than any other county. For example the surname “Beerling” is the most popular surname (by percentage) in Kent – with 93% of all “Beerlings” alive in 1881 being born in Kent.
• An increased program window dimensions increased to 1000x700 with a screen resolution of up to1024x768.
• Exports a map via the clipboard, including the map keys (i.e. the coloured boxes with associated values)
• Improved “look and feel”
• New design with larger graphics
• Results tab allows display of numbers as coloured-coded histogram bars
• Extended maximum zoom percent to 5,000% (mainly for London).

Steve Archer, Author of Surname Atlas, said today

“An old saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words. With Surname Atlas, it certainly is! Surname Atlas is a must-have for the people undertaking family history research who want to show the distribution of their surnames”

The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world's leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple). The Guild is a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting the public understanding of one-name studies and the preservation and accessibility of the resultant information. Founded in 1979, the Guild now has over 2,300 members spread across the world, studying over 7,800 individual surnames.

Archer Software specializes in developing programs and utilities to help with your family history. The main applications are GenMap UK an easy-to-use program that's handy for many historical and genealogical purposes; LDS Companion for converting IGI and 1881 census data to databases/spreadsheets, sorting and printing; and Surname Atlas as described above. Launches New Ottawa, Beechwood Cemetery Registers 1873-1990

   Few Canadian cemeteries are as decorated as Ottawa's Beechwood National Cemetery. Located in our nation's capital, Beechwood is one of only four cemeteries in Canada to be recognized as a National Historic Site. In 2009 it was named the National Cemetery of Canada.
So why all the fuss? Beechwood is the final resting place of remarkable Canadians such as Tommy Douglas, the former Premier of Saskatchewan and father of Canada's health care system; Sir Robert Borden, Canada's eighth Prime Minister; actress Ida Van Cortland Tavernier; and the inventor of organized hockey, James G.A. Creighton. Alongside these important individuals are statesmen, historical figures, sports greats, veterans and fallen soldiers from the Riel Rebellion in 1885 through to the First World War.
Beyond the notable Canadian figures at Beechwood, this picturesque cemetery is also home to local citizens including members of the Chinese and French-Canadian communities of Ottawa. The collection is a wealth of information that can possibly connect your family tree to a fallen soldier in the Veterans or Commonwealth War Graves sections of the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces. The collection includes 115,000 names including residence, occupation, cause of death and relationships to relatives or friends. Take a step back in time and connect with some of Canada's most extraordinary individuals in our newly released Ottawa Beechwood Cemetery Registers, 1873-1990, now available online at

NBC Picks Up Popular Alternative Series 'The Biggest Loser,' 'Who Do You Think You Are?' and 'The Sing-Off' for 2011-12

February 22, 2011

NBC Picks Up Popular Alternative Series 'The Biggest Loser,' 'Who Do You Think You Are?' and 'The Sing-Off' for 2011-12

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – February 22, 2011 -- NBC issued pickups for three returning alternative series in 2011-12 in "The Biggest Loser," "Who Do You Think You Are?" and the singing competition series "The Sing-Off."

The announcement was made today by Bob Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment.

"Alternative series such as these three bona fide hits are important not only to their loyal audiences but also as strong components of the NBC schedule," said Greenblatt. “They are each unique, attention-getting shows with terrific producing and talent auspices, and we're proud to be associated with them."

"The Biggest Loser 10" averaged a 3.1 rating, 8 share in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers overall in the fall and "The Biggest Loser 11" is averaging a 3.3/9 in 18-49 and 9.0 million viewers overall so far this winter. "The Biggest Loser" is NBC's #1 entertainment series among women 18-49 and women 25-54. The series consistently over-indexes in upscale demos.

Season two of "Who Do You Think You Are?" is off to a solid start, averaging a 1.4 rating, 5 share in adults 18-49 and 7.0 million viewers overall over its first two weeks, making it NBC's #1 Friday series so far this season in total viewers. Over those opening two weeks, "Who Do You Think You Are?" was #1 in the time period in all key female demos while scoring NBC's highest 18-49 and total-viewer results in the Friday 8-9 p.m. (ET) slot since October 8. Upcoming episodes will feature Kim Cattrall, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lionel Richie, Ashley Judd and Steve Buscemi.

This season's cycle of "The Sing-Off" averaged a 3.2 rating, 8 share in adults 18-49 and 9.2 viewers overall, jumping versus the prior season by 28 percent in 18-49 rating and 27 percent in total viewers. Each of the five telecasts this season out-delivered each of the four telecasts of last season in 18-49 and total viewers. This year's December 20 finale, in which Pop Gospel sensations Committed were crowned champions, tied as the #1 primetime telecast of that week in adults 18-49.

NBC’s popular series "The Biggest Loser" launched season 11 “Couples Edition” in January with two new trainers -- Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova who join returning trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels -- in an engaging new twist that has changed the game completely. Eleven teams of two came to the "Biggest Loser" ranch hoping to transform their bodies, their health and their lives. At the beginning of this season, host Alison Sweeney offered the 11 family and friend teams the unprecedented opportunity to choose whether to work out with trainers Harper and Michaels at the ranch -- or work out at a secret location with the two new trainers (Hoebel and Castronuova), whose identities were initially a mystery. What ensues is a riveting ride of intense emotions, surprising turns and "can’t miss" moments as the two groups fight their weight loss battles.

"The Biggest Loser" is a production of Reveille LLC, 25/7 Productions and 3Ball Productions. Ben Silverman (NBC's "The Office," "Ugly Betty"), Dave Broome ("Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope"), JD Roth ("Unan1mous," "Beauty and the Geek"), Todd A. Nelson ("Unan1mous," "Beauty and the Geek"), Howard T. Owens ("MasterChef," "The Buried Life") and Todd Lubin ("30 Days," "Nashville Star") serve as executive producers.

NBC’s acclaimed alternative series "Who Do You Think You Are?" follows some of today's most-beloved and iconic celebrities as they embark on personal journeys of self-discovery to trace their family trees. During each episode, viewers will be taken on a personal and often mysterious journey following some of America's best-known celebrities into their ancestral pasts, as they uncover stories of heroism and tragedy, love and betrayal, secrets and intrigue that lie at the heart of their family history. At the same time, "Who Do You Think You Are?" celebrates the twists and turns of a great nation and the people who made their way here in search of freedom and opportunity.

From executive producers Lisa Kudrow ("Friends," "The Comeback") and Dan Bucatinsky ("Lipstick Jungle," "The Comeback"), in conjunction with their production company, Is or Isn't Entertainment, and Shed Media U.S., the series is an adaptation of the award-winning hit British television documentary series from Wall to Wall Productions, created and executive-produced by Alex Graham. Jennifer O’Connell and Al Edgington also serve as executive producers.

"The Sing-Off" premiered this season on December 6 as a five-night event hosted by multi-platinum recording artist Nick Lachey. The celebrity judges who critique the singing groups with their expertise are Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five), Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) and Nicole Scherzinger (The Pussycat Dolls). The program showcases the country’s Top Ten a cappella groups performing popular songs like viewers have never heard them before. There’s no lip-synching, back-up bands or safety net. They are singing for America’s vote with the winner walking away with the ultimate prize -- a Sony Music recording contract and $100,000.

"The Sing-Off" is produced by Joel Gallen’s ("America’s Best Dance Crew") Tenth Planet Productions, Outlaw Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television. Joel Gallen, Deb Newmyer and Sam Weisman are executive producers. Josh Greenberg serves as co-executive producer.

SoCal Jamboree 2011 Course List Available

Stumped for a way to show your love for your favorite genealogist? How about a ticket to the best genealogy event on the West Coast - the 2011 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree?

Just in time for the big day, we have posted the PDF of the course list on the SCGS website.  It's a whopping 31 pages of information, including the name of the speaker, title and description of the talk, as well as the target audience, geographic or ethnic focus, and types of records addressed.

We do have a few missing blocks of course descriptions, so check back in a few days to get the updated schedule.  More information, including speakers and an updated exhibitor list, will be available in the coming days. We'll also publish our handy-dandy grid for your easy reference as soon as we are finished.

We are still awaiting confirmation of our outstanding banquet speakers, so be on the lookout for announcements.

We will be mailing the complete program in March. If you are not an SCGS member and you want to make sure that you receive a copy of the schedule in your snail mail, sign up here.

After checking the schedule, it's likely that you'll want to register right away.  You can register online at the SCGS website with your Visa or Mastercard.  Just click on the link for current or new members, non-members, and the Family History Writers Conference.  Or you can download the print version of the registration form and send in a check.

Check the Jamboree Blog for details on making hotel reservations at the Marriott, parking and directions, activities and resources in the Burbank area, and more. You can even keep an eye on the weather in Burbank.

We're ready for you!  Let the fun begin!

*You will need a copy of Adobe Reader in order to read these documents.

Family Tree Tours Announces New Website and Upcoming Genealogy Tours

For those who wish to journey to their ancestral hometowns and experience the lives their ancestors led before emigrating, Family Tree Tours announces a new website featuring research resources and German heritage trips.

WASHINGTON, MO—FEBRUARY, 2011—Family Tree Tours, a leading German genealogy tour provider for genealogy societies and individuals, announces its new website and preplanned group heritage tours for 2011.

For those who wish to know more about their family history and ancestral origins, a genealogy tour is a unique and exciting travel experience. Travelers have the advantage of researching their ancestors while visiting the town or region they came from, learning about the culture and local customs and traditions, and even meeting relatives for the first time.

“No family tree research is complete until you experience the place your family came from,” says Kathy Wurth, owner of Family Tree Tours. “There’s no feeling more exhilarating than walking the streets your ancestors walked. Even if you don’t know your hometown, our European Heritage professionals help you paint the picture of your ancestors’ lives. Our new website helps us make your research come alive.”

The website features an array of travel and research resources and books, as well as access to Wurth and her on-the-ground German expert Matthias Uthoff. The website also helps Family Tree Tours design a genealogy tour suited to each traveler. For those who like assistance from a guide, privately guided heritage tours are available. Wurth and Uthoff customize independent trips for those who prefer to research on their own, but would like the trip planned for them. Preplanned group tours are ideal for those who enjoy the camaraderie and security of a group.

Wurth notes, “Preplanned group tours for 2011 include the Northwest Germany Tour with 10 days of visiting towns around Osnabrüeck, touring castles, and exploring the Bremerhaven Emigrant Museum. The Rhineland—Southwest Germany Tour is popular, as is the Baden—France Tour, which includes visits to the Black Forest and the Strasbourg archives. No matter which stage you may be in your research, we have a trip perfect for you.”

About Family Tree Tours

Family Tree Tours provides research assistance to genealogy enthusiasts and ancestry trips to German-speaking countries. Whether a group heritage tour, private genealogy tour, or independent heritage trip, owner Kathy Wurth and on-the-ground German expert Matthias Uthoff provide you the opportunity to learn more about your family roots, to connect with family, and to learn about your ancestors before they made their emigration journey. With a passion for both genealogical research and travel, Kathy and Matthias work closely with you to ensure your family research trip is a success.

To learn more about planning German heritage trips and genealogical research, please visit

Aha! Seminars Now Offering Genealogy Webinars

Aha! Seminars

Tampa, FL – February 1, 2010 Aha! Seminars, Inc., is pleased to announce the availability of remote electronic seminars for genealogical societies, effective February 1, 2011. Aha!’s principal and primary speaker is George G. Morgan, internationally recognized genealogy expert, lecturer, and the prolific author of 9 books and hundreds of print and online articles. Other speakers will be added at a future date.

All of Mr. Morgan’s one-hour genealogy lecture topics listed at the company’s website at are available as live online presentations using GoToMeeting®, a product of Citrix Systems, Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Citrix is a leader in providing online meeting and training solutions for businesses and individuals. GoToMeeting allows for principal George G. Morgan to deliver live virtual seminars to genealogical societies via the Internet. These online seminars allow you to bring this speaker to your society meeting without the travel and hotel expenses of having him travel to your location. The society’s sole expense is the seminar fee. George can present one or two seminars at a per lecture price.

Full details about the equipment and Internet connectivity requirements are explained in the Online Genealogy Seminars page at the company’s website. Please contact the company at or at (813) 205-3032 for more information and to schedule your society's first virtual genealogy lecture!

About the Company

Aha! Seminars, Inc., is a Tampa Bay-based company that has been providing professional training to library consortia, library personnel, and to genealogists since 1996. The company presents seminars, provides consulting services, and plans meetings and genealogical tours.

FGS Announces Sandra H. Luebking Memorial

For Immediate Release
22 February 2011

Now Accepting Contributions to the War of 1812 Digitization Project

22 February 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the establishment of the Sandra H. Luebking Memorial as a way of remembering the work and achievements of an influential leader in the genealogy community, the late Sandra Hargreaves Luebking.

With Sandra’s passing on 17 February 2011, we lost a teacher, a mentor, a colleague and a dear friend who made numerous contributions to the field of genealogy and family history.

Those who wish to remember Sandra and to help improve access to genealogy research records can now contribute to the Sandra H. Luebking Memorial to help make War of 1812 pension files available to researchers. As an active member of the FGS family and as Editor of FORUM from 1990 to 2010, Sandra was a huge supporter of the Preserve the Pensions project ( This project was one of her personal choices as a memorial should anyone choose to honor her after her passing.

The Preserve the Pensions project is a national fund-raising initiative to raise $3.7 million to digitize of the War of 1812 pension files. The digitization process will enable online access by historians and family researchers to the memories and biographies of those who fought to protect our nation’s independence.

The pension records for the War of 1812 consist of more than 7.2 million documents in 180,000 files. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) receives more than three thousand requests per year for War of 1812 pensions, placing them among the most requested sets of records. Digitizing these valuable records will preserve the originals by removing them from continued heavy use. It will also make the images of the records much more widely available. NARA reports these important historical records already have been conserved and readied for digitization, so scanning could start as soon as funds are received. With the cost for digitizing and saving a single page from a pension file being fifty cents, supporters will see progress from the earliest days of the fund-raising initiative.

To make a contribution as a memorial to Sandra H. Luebking, visit the Preserve the Pensions donation page ( The names of donors will appear in FORUM and a notice will be sent to Sandra's family.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Advanced Genealogical Skills: A Seminar with Elizabeth Shown Mills

One of North America's most honoured and influential genealogists is visiting Toronto on 2 April 2011. The Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Canadiana Department, North York Central Library [Toronto Public Library] proudly present a day-long seminar of advanced genealogical techniques and research methodology for experienced genealogists and committed family historians.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, has been a leader in genealogical education for a quarter century, pushing the cutting edge of research methodology, standards, and quality, having served as president of both the Board for Certification of Genealogists and The American Society of Genealogists, and as an officer or trustee of other major organizations. During her 16 years as editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Elizabeth made that journal into the leading forum for the teaching of research methods and principles. For even longer, her Advanced Methodology Track at the Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research has been a rite of passage for serious family historians.

Among Elizabeth's countless publications are the award-winning Evidence - Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian and Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians. They are considered absolute essentials for both personal and professional genealogists. Her latest book, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, earned Library Journal's Best Reference designation in 2007.

A popular lecturer much in demand, Elizabeth is a featured speaker at major North American genealogical conferences. She also appears at academic, library, and archives events, and in media interviews. Her remarkable 2004 historical novel, Isle of Canes, a gripping tale of cultural and racial conflict, economic triumph and ruin, and unyielding family pride told against the backdrop of colonial and antebellum Louisiana, involved years of archival research.

At the seminar, Elizabeth will speak about professional techniques for dissecting and solving research problems, simplifying source citations, and finding female ancestors. Heralded by her peers as the genealogist who had the most impact in the post-Roots era, she offers a unique opportunity for sharpening your skills.

Advanced Genealogical Skills: A Seminar with Elizabeth Shown Mills
Date: Saturday, 2 April 2011
Place: Auditorium, 2nd Floor of the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St., Toronto
Time: The program begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
Cost: $45 public admission; $20 OCAPG members
Registration: Online at
(secure online credit card registration or payment by cheque)
Brochures with a registration form will also be available at some resource centres

Information: Refreshments will be available beforehand and during the day; lunch is not included. Brown bag it or visit the food court in the North York Centre, Books of interest will also be available for sale.

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Webinar Series Announced

For Release 22 Feb, 2011.  Burbank, California.   Riding close on the tails of the highly successful RootsTech conference, the Southern California Genealogical Society proudly announces the launch of a new web-based education program, the Jamboree Extension Series.

This innovative program provides family history and genealogy educational webinars (web-based seminars) for genealogists around the world. The program will offer Jamboree-style seminars for up to 1000 attendees per session, at no charge.

SCGS President Heidi Ziegler explained, "The Jamboree Extension Series is offered as a service to the genealogical community as part of the Society's mission 'to foster interest in family history and genealogy, preserve genealogical materials, and provide instruction in accepted and effective research techniques.'"

While the original webcasts are available to all genealogists, SCGS members will be able to review archived sessions at any time by accessing the SCGS members-only section of this website. Archive sessions will be available approximately three days following the webinar.  SCGS memberships can be purchased online at the SCGS website,

To view the webinar, attendees will need a computer with audio speakers or a headset. No special software is necessary.  Attendees with a fast Internet connection (either broadband or DSL) will likely have the most satisfactory experience.

Jamboree Extension Series presentations will be scheduled on the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. Saturday sessions will be held at 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time; Wednesday sessions will be scheduled at 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.

Several highly respected speakers have already agreed to participate in the program.  Thomas MacEntee, president of High-Definition Genealogy and founder of, will kick off the series on March 5 with his presentation "Social Networking – New Horizons for Genealogists."  Other instructors include George G. Morgan, Marian Pierre-Louis, Lisa Louise Cooke, Lisa Alzo, Michael Booth, Maureen Taylor, DearMYRTLE, Gena Philabert Ortega, and Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, CG, among others. Notices for new courses will be placed on the SCGS blog and in the Society's eNews and Notes electronic newsletter.

Course listings are available on the  SCGS website at  Also included on the page are registration instructions and links to each scheduled session.

Genealogy and family history speakers who are interested in participating in the Jamboree Extension Series are invited to submit proposals by contacting

Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society: Saving the Belleview School House

Meeting: February 28th, 2011
Meal at 5:30 p.m.; meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Sumner Regional Medical Center Board Room
1323 N. A Street
Wellington, Kansas

Saving a one-room school house wasn’t on Mike Brunhoeber’s mind when he drove past the deserted schoolhouse with the leaning chimney, peeling paint, and missing shingles.

Instead, Brunhoeber was looking for another farm building to store his farm equipment in. But after he went inside of the Belleview School and saw the original wood floors, beautiful molding, and the slate blackboard that countless children had written upon, Brunhoeber thought to himself, “there is no way I can tear something like this up.”

On February 28th, at 6:30 p.m., in the Sumner Regional Medical Center’s lower level board room, 1323 North A (highway 81 north) in Wellington, Mike and Valerie Brunhoeber, Caldwell, will share their story of “Saving the Belleview School House” in a PowerPoint presentation to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society.

After the Brunhoebers contacted the township that owned the schoolhouse they found out there were plans to burn it down. So the Brunhoebers asked how much the township wanted for the historic schoolhouse.

“I gave them a check for $50,” Brunhoeber said, adding that they bought the school house in September of 2009 and moved the 30,000 pound schoolhouse from its home along the Chisholm Trail northwest of Caldwell to its new home at their farm near the Chisholm Trail in February of 2010.

That’s when the hard work began…
“We’d quit in the field at dark, eat supper, get the kids in bed, and go work on the schoolhouse until one o’clock in the morning,” Brunhoeber said.

When they began to tear off the old wallpaper and take down the lowered ceiling, they were able to see that the school originally had a bell tower, two dressing rooms, and two entrances.  (One for the boys and one for the girls.)  Brunhoeber said that in the earliest school days, boys and girls were seated on separate sides of the room.  (Follow the Brunhoeber’s progress at

As near as they can estimate, because their school still had a stage at the front, and stages weren’t built much after the late 1880’s because too many teachers fell off of them, and because records indicate that the acre of land was bought in 1881 for $10, the Brunhoebers believe their school was built in 1882.

While none of the Brunhoeber’s ancestors sat at the desks or wrote on the blackboards, the Brunhoeber’s still enjoy walking into the school and hearing footsteps echo in the room and the floor creak when they walk across it and imagining what it was like when school children looked out of those same windows 130 years ago. 

What are the Brunhoeber’s plans for the school?
Brunhoeber said that often communities only had one building and it was used for the school, community building, and the church, and the Brunhoeber’s have already opened their school doors to the Caldwell Historical Society and to two school groups for tours.  In the future, they hope to re-enact school days of the 1880’s, including period clothing, lunches, the subjects that they learned, and the games they played at recess.

Brunhoebers said they are trying to keep the school authentic. There is no electricity, no air conditioning, and no indoor plumbing.  They hope to locate as much of the original equipment as they can, and are searching for photographs that will show them what the school looked like in its different stages.  They would love to find the original school bell that called the children in from recess.

“You walk in that thing right now,” Brunhoeber said, “and it looks like you are walking back into an old classroom.”

But when finding original equipment just isn’t possible, they plan to locate authentic period pieces.

A copy of the 1911 teacher’s class schedule tells them what subjects were being studied and what time they went to recess, and Brunhoeber said that they currently have some of the Sears and Roebucks desks that were used in the school house, but added that they were not the original school desks. 

Brunhoeber said that one lady who visited just liked to come back, sit in there and reminisce about her school days.

“You could see on her face that it brought back good memories,” Brunhoeber said, “we just kind of gave it a new lease on life.”

Jane Moore – meal reservations & weather cancellations – 620-447-3266
Sherry Kline – questions & weather cancellations – 620-326-3401

NGS 2011 Family History Conference - Early Bird Deadline

Where the Past is Still Present

(21 February 2011) —REGISTER NOW FOR THE CONFERENCE AND SAVE! The NGS 2011 Family History Conference will be held 11–14 May 2011 at the Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418. More than seventy-five nationally recognized speakers will provide over 180 lectures on a wide variety of topics including research in South Carolina and the surrounding states, migration patterns, religious records, research methodology, and problem solving. The conference program will also include lectures about researching various ethnic groups including Germans, Cherokee, African Americans, Irish, and Scots-Irish. Participants who register for the conference by 11 March 2011 will save thirty-five dollars on an early bird full-conference registration.

General sessions at the conference will include an update on the “Transformation of the National Archives and Records Administration” by David S. Ferriero, the tenth archivist of the United States; author Buzzy Jackson, PhD, will provide her perspective on “Shaking the Family Tree: A Writer’s Perspective on Turning Research Into Writing;” and South Carolina Senator Glenn F. McConnell will talk about “The Hunley: Where Science and History Come Together to Tell Time.”

Space is still available for several conference social events sponsored by the South Carolina Genealogical Society including a wine and cheese reception and tour of the Charleston Museum, a harbor dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Carolina, and a southern barbeque dinner at the Charleston Rifle Club. Also available are a choice of three luncheons each day sponsored by various genealogical organizations, which include an entertaining speaker. The featured speaker at the National Genealogical Society banquet on Friday evening will be Stephen B. Bacon, Major USAF (retired), whose presentation “Separating Fact from Myth: A Look at the US Civil War from Both Sides,” will include examples of uniforms, armaments, flags, and other memorabilia from the war.

Special Saturday workshops include an all day beginner's workshop, "Genealogy 101: Getting Started with Family History," and a "Kids' Kamp" for children and young adults ages eight through sixteen.

A detailed conference registration brochure can be viewed and printed at Space is limited to the social events and workshops, so register early.

An exhibit area with more than one hundred exhibitors will be open and free to the public Wednesday through Saturday and will offer the latest in genealogical software, online research providers, and DNA testing services.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, VA-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.  Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.

FamilySearch Training at St. George

February 18, 2011
Family History Expo to Be Held in St. George Next Week

Dear Family History Consultants, Center Directors, and Indexing Directors and Assistants,

This is a final reminder about the upcoming St. George Family History Expo sponsored by Family History Expos (a private company). The event will be held February 25–26, 2011, at the Dixie Center, located at 1835 Convention Center Drive in St. George, Utah.

Over 100 classes will be presented by more than 50 national and local speakers as well as FamilySearch employees and staff from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. With classes ranging from beginning to advanced topics, there is something for everyone. Many classes are dedicated to studying the latest techniques and technologies being used in genealogical research, as well as the most up-to-date information about different cultures being studied. You can review the class schedule at

There is no cost to attend the keynote address or visit the exhibit hall. Registration for the classes is $75 for both days ($65 if you preregister online) or $40 for a single day. The cost to attend a single class is $12 at the door. The following free classes will also be offered on Saturday for family history consultants, stake extraction directors and assistants, and priesthood leaders: 
  •  “Family History Work: A Vital Resource in the Work of Salvation.” This class will discuss the newly released Leader’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work: To Turn the Hearts, as well as new approaches to involve the ward council.
  • “Family History Centers and In-Person Assistance.” This class will discuss the evolving role of family history centers and how to integrate them more in family history research.
  • “Research Resources and Branching Out.” This class will review the latest developments in indexing, the research wiki, forums, and online training, and will discuss how these resources can best be used.
The St. George Family History Expo is a great opportunity for the ward members you are working with to learn more about finding their ancestors. You may want to share information about the expo with them.

All general questions about the expo should be directed to:
Family History Expos
PO Box 187
Morgan, UT 84050
Phone: 1-801-829-3295
If you have specific questions regarding FamilySearch or consultant training classes offered at the expo, they should be directed to: 
Phone—U.S. and Canada (toll free): 1-866-406-1830                                                                                                                  
Phone—International: Go to for more toll-free phone numbers.

RootCellar Announces Publication of Vol. 2 Sacramento County Coroner’s Records Collection Series, 1887-1969

February 17, 2011

Root Cellar - Sacramento Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the release of its latest publication in the Sacramento County Coroner’s Records Collection series, 1887-1969.

Family history researchers with ties to Sacramento County California have another valuable resource for finding clues about their elusive ancestor.

Root Cellar - Sacramento Genealogical Society has just published the second volume of the Sacramento County Coroner’s Records Collection 1887-1969. This new volume consists of three books: Record of Inquisition Certificates, 1903-1907; Coroner's Record of Inquests, 1903-1909; and Coroner's Record - Alphabetical, 1903-1914. The information to be gleaned from these books includes place, date or cause of death; date and arrangements for burial; and property description and name and relationship of the person receiving such property.

Root Cellar volunteers extracted and indexed these records from original books of the Coroner's Office of Sacramento County held at the Center for Sacramento History and acquired through the efforts of the Sacramento Old City Cemetery Committee.

This publication and others are available for purchase at under Publications.

About Root Cellar - Sacramento Genealogical Society

Root Cellar - Sacramento Genealogical Society was formed in 1978 to help members with genealogical research through education, publication of information and preservation of records. Membership meetings are every 2nd Wednesday of the month except July and August and include a formal program/speaker. A daytime workshop is held every 3rd Wednesday of the month year-round. This hosted yet informal gathering is designed for researchers to get help from others with their genealogical “brick walls” and frequently includes an overview of a handy genealogical resource or tool. The society maintains a genealogical library housed at the California State Archives, conducts an annual all-day spring seminar, publishes the periodical, The Preserves, extracts records held at the Center for Sacramento History and sells publications of those records. Find details about Root Cellar here.

ENG: Oxfordshire Studies and Oxfordshire Record Office are to merge

This petition has been passed to the FFHS by Wendy ARCHER, The Chairman of Oxfordshire FHS


The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS)

The Federation of Family History Societies is a Company Limited by Guarantee
Company Number 2930189 (England & Wales) - Registered Charity Number 1038721
Registered Office: Artillery House, 15 Byrom Street, Manchester, England M3 4PF

Oxfordshire Studies and Oxfordshire Record Office are to merge later this year in modified premises at St Luke's Church, Cowley. 

There are proposed staff cuts which mean the service offered would be a much restricted one compared with previously.

Oxfordshire County Council has set up the format of e-petitions as part of its on-going commitment to  listening to and responding to the views of the public.  An e-petition has been instigated by Malcolm Graham (Oxfordshire Local History Association) with relation to the proposed staff cuts at:

There appears to be no requirement for petitioners to live in the county, and e-petition guidelines of which I'm aware in another area state that petitioners should live, work or study in the area served by the Council, or use services provided by the Council.  So if you have ever had, or might ever have, a query for Oxfordshire Record Office or the History Service, or might want to order a copy document such as a will, this could be relevant to you.

Please read the petition statement, and consider making a response.

The Logon and sign ePetition link leads to a webpage where you can register as a new user.

Shortage of staff is likely to impinge on cataloguing, answering of queries, sending out of orders, production of documents in the searchroom, and
opening hours.

Chairman, Oxfordshire FHS

NYGBS: British Isles Research In-Depth

Saturday, May 21, 2011
The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society Headquarters
Join us for a day-long program on researching your British roots from the U.S.

Renowned British researchers and lecturers Paul Blake, FSG, and Maggie Loughran return to present a four-lecture program geared to researchers whose ancestors came from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

1.    Locating the Origins of your British Isles Ancestors
2.    Crossing the Pond: Emigration Records  
       Held in England
3.    The Best of British Genealogy Websites
4.    The National Archives of England, Wales,  
        and the United Kingdom
5.    Researching Catholic and Protestant nonconformists 

Registration: $75 members/$100 non-members
Program will begin 9:30 a.m. and end by 5:00 p.m.  
at the  
NYG&B headquarters,
36 West 44th Street, 7th Floor,  
New York, NY 10036-8105
Register via our online store or by calling 212-755-8532, ext. 211.