Thursday, March 31, 2011

FamilySearch Forums Update: User Name Changes

We are excited to announce that beginning on April 11th, you will be able to log in to the FamilySearch Forums with your FamilySearch or LDS Account, a single account that gives you access to all of the FamilySearch websites. This is the last FamilySearch website in English to switch to the new user account system, so with this change, all of your English FamilySearch websites and programs are accessible with this single user name and password. When the change is made, the forums will be “read-only” (meaning you will be able to read forum posts but not respond to them or create new ones) for about an hour, starting at approximately 10 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. (Watch the Forums for possible changes to this time.)

Capturing Your Forum History

It is important to note that when you first sign in to the Forums with your FamilySearch or LDS Account after this change, the Forums will show you as a “brand new” Forum member with zero posts. If you would like for all of your previous posts and user information to be connected to your FamilySearch or LDS Account user name, you will need to "merge" your old account into your new account. You will have until May 11th to do this.

To merge your accounts and capture your posting history, you will need to follow a few steps:

1. Before April 10th, write down your CURRENT forum user name and password.

If you can’t remember your forum log-in information:

i. Go to http://forums.familysearch.org.

ii. Log out (if it shows you as being logged in in the upper right corner).

iii. Attempt to log in.

iv. If you log in with the wrong information, follow the steps to retrieve your user name, or reset your password

2. When you see the changes on April 11th (it will be obvious because the forums will have a new look), you may log in with either your “old” Forums user name, or your FamilySearch or LDS Account.

3. The system will detect which one you are using and walk you through the steps of what to do at that point to merge the accounts together.

Note: If you do not yet have a FamilySearch or LDS Account, or don’t remember the user name or password of that account, the website will walk you through how to retrieve that information.

Once you have merged the two accounts, you will see that:

- Your old posts will still show under your old user name, but clicking on your user name will take you to your new user page.

- You will have to enter the user name and password each time you come to the site; the Forums will no longer save your user name and password and keep you logged in. This is for security purposes and can’t be changed.

Forums New Look

Additionally, the look of the Forums will be changing to match the FamilySearch.org website. Click here to see what the forums will look like after these changes.

If you have any problems, there will be prompts on the website to help you know what to do. If those don't help, visit the FamilySearch Help Forum, or call FamilySearch at 1-866-406-1830.

Thank you for your contributions and involvement in this work.

Share Recipes and Traditions for a New Family Tree Book


Food is a key ingredient in every family’s history: Dad’s Saturday morning pancakes, the marzipan Granny served every Christmas, the spaghetti sauce recipe passed down from your Sicilian great-great-grandmother. Family Tree Books wants to know about your family’s food traditions—we’re collecting short essays for a book to be published in spring 2012. We’ll select 8 submissions to feature in the book based on these criteria:

- Submissions should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.

- Essays should tell the story of a real tradition, specifically:
  - What is the tradition?
  - Who started it and when?

- What cultural or regional background does the dish or tradition represent? (for example, is it a US regional specialty or a product of your ancestry in Germany, Sweden, Mexico, etc.?)

- What does the tradition mean to you and your family?

- Submissions should include a recipe described in the story and a family photo—of the original chef, people described in the story or yourself. (Pictures of the dish itself may be submitted but likely will not be published.)

To enter: E-mail your essay to FTMedit@fwmedia.com with the subject line: Family Food Traditions no later than July 13, 2011. To be considered, submissions must adhere to the following specifications:

- Essays in Microsoft Word (.doc or .rft) or plain-text format. Do not paste your essay into the body of an email.

- Photos in JPG or TIFF format, 300 dpi or higher resolution.

- Name, mailing address, phone number and email address given in email message and within the essay.

By submitting, you acknowledge that your entry is your original, previously unpublished work, and you give F+W Media, Inc., permission to use your submission in all print and electronic media. Submitters of chosen essays will be notified via email by September 13, 2011, and receive a copy of the book after publication in May 2012.

Association of Professional Genealogists Prepares for 2011 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference

Association of Professional Genealogists Prepares for 2011 National Genealogical Society Family History Conference

APG Members to Educate Conference Goers on How to Hire a Professional Genealogist and How to Become a Professional Genealogist

WESTMINSTER, Colo., March 30, 2011—The Association of Professional Genealogists (http://www.apgen.org) will head to Charleston, South Carolina, this spring for the 2011 National Genealogical Society (NGS) Family History Conference. Conference attendees can visit the APG booth (#117 and # 216) to learn more about hiring a professional genealogist, as well as how to become one.

APG President Laura Prescott notes, “The popularity of mainstream genealogy television programs, such as Who Do You Think You Are?, has led to a rapid rise in demand for many of our members’ professional services. Professionals are called upon to provide a wide range of services, from researching a client’s entire ancestry to solving tough brick-wall problems. NGS provides an opportunity for APG and its members to educate a broad audience on the importance of ethics and standards in the field of genealogy.”

In addition to exhibiting at the conference, APG will host several events, including:

- The members-only APG Roundtable, to be held Tuesday, 10 May, 7–9 p.m. The panel discussion topic will be “Looking for Clients in all the Right Places.”

- An APG-sponsored lecture by Maureen Taylor, “Hunting History: Searching for the Revolutionary War Generation” on Wednesday, 11 May at 2:30 p.m.

- An APG Luncheon, to be held on Friday, 13 May, where Eileen O’Duill, CG, will present, “Mrs. Fancy Tart is Coming to Tea: Making Sense of Family Stories.”

The National Genealogical Society has posted information about APG show events on its blog at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/.

About the APG

The Association of Professional Genealogists (http://www.apgen.org), established in 1979, represents more than 2,400 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy, local and social history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FamilySearch Update 30 March 2011

New Free Records Online for Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain

Keep updating your wish list as FamilySearch continues to expand its online historical records. New collection additions this week represent seven European countries.  Millions of records were added for the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. Oh, and did we forget to mention that over a million new records were added for California, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Texas, and Washington State? See the table below for more details. You can search all of the record collections now for free at familysearch.org.

If you are enjoying the steady stream of free records added weekly, please consider "giving back" by contributing a little time online as a FamilySearch volunteer. You can start and stop volunteering at any time. Find out more at indexing.familysearch.org.

Collection Records Images Comment
Czech Republic, Northern Bohemia, Litoměřice Archive Church Books, 1552-1905 39,869 0 Added index records from various church parishes within Northern Bohemia from the State Archive of Litoměřice.
Czech Republic, Northern Moravia, Opava Archive Church Books, 1571-1905 0 68,345 Added browsable images from various church parishes within Northern Moravia from the Provincial Archive of Opava.
France, Quimper et Léon Catholic Diocese, 1772-1909 56,003 22,130 Added images and index to existing collection.
Germany, Miscellaneous City Records 0 74,517 Added browsable images for Neumarkt.
Poland, Roman Catholic Church Books, 1600-1950 0 197,923 Added browsable images from Lublin, Gliwice, and Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church Diocese.
Portugal, Catholic Church Records, 1530-1890 0 519,943 Added browsable images from Braga.
Slovakia, Church Books, 1592-1910 0 257,568 Added browsable images from the area of western Slovakia that are within the jurisdiction of the State Regional Archive of Bratislava.
Spain, Catholic Church Records, 1500-1930 50,278 293 Added images and index from Spain, Avila parish (Madrigal and Garganta) to existing collection.
Spain, Municipal Records 20,068 677,871  Added marriage record index for the city of Malaga, Spain; and browsable images from the Sevilla, Spain Municipal Archive.
U.S., California, San Mateo County Records, 1856-1967 0 9,030 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940 12,943 441,525 Added images and index to existing collection.
U.S., Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983 0 107,465 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Montana, Rosebud County Records 0 13,818 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Ohio, Cuyahoga County Probate Files, 1813-1900 0 36,230 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1934 195,240 158,733 Added images and index to existing collection.
U.S., Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977 120,536 0 Added index records to existing collection.
U.S., Washington State County Records; King, Kitsap and Pierce Counties, 1854-1950 0 30,216 New browsable image collection.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch 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 FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Season Two: The Generations Project debuts TODAY




The second season of BYUtv’s The Generation Project premiers Monday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. MDT. The Generations Project is a reality-based family history show that uncovers the remarkable stories and family histories of everyday people. The people take a hands-on journey to learn about their ancestors, and in the process they discover more about themselves.
The second season of The Generations Project “takes you from Germany to Holland to New York's 'Little Pakistan' and everywhere in between, following eleven journeys into the past: the Denkes explore the origins of their children’s life-threatening genetic disease. Kerry hopes his ancestors will help him find his estranged son, and Ty delves into his complicated heritage as a son of Nazi Germany. They along with eight other guests engage with the past to understand the present.”

BYUtv is available through many local satellite and cable companies. In addition, The Generations Project can be viewed live online at http://www.byutv.org (you'll need to register for a free account to view the show live). All episodes are also available to be viewed immediately after airing at http://www.byutv.org/thegenerationsproject/episodes (no registration required).

A link to more information has been placed on the home page of the FamilySearch.org website. 

Please share the information in this e-mail with others.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NARA: 7th annual genealogy fair April 20-21

March 24, 2011

NATIONAL ARCHIVES HOSTS 7th GENEALOGY FAIR, APRIL 20-21
Free two-day genealogy fair:  Become Your Family’s Detective

WHAT:          The National Archives will host its seventh annual Genealogy Fair:  Become Your Family’s Detective on April 20 and 21, 2011, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  This year’s two-day program will showcase the diversity of Federal records located at the National Archives as resources for family history research.  Speakers include National Archives staff, historians, and genealogy professionals. This popular fair – which attracted over 2,500 people last year – will provide information and guidance for experienced genealogy professionals and novices alike. The fair is free and open to the public, and presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives and with support from Ancestry.com.

Sessions include workshops on records relating to African-American history, the Civil War, naturalization, courts, the military, immigration, land, and the upcoming opening of the 1940 Census.  For a full schedule of lectures and demonstrations, see:  http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/know-your-records/genealogy-fair.  Exhibitors include National Archives staff and guest organizations demonstrating how to use Federal records and other resources for genealogical research.
WHEN:          Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, April 20, 9 a.m., Pennsylvania Avenue entrance.  Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, will cut the ribbon to open the fair. 

                       Genealogy Fair: Wednesday and Thursday, April 20-21, 2011, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.              
                                      
WHERE:        National Archives Research Center Lobby and Pennsylvania Avenue Plaza. 
National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC.
Fair attendees will be given buttons at the Welcome Tent allowing entrance to the building.  Government-issued photo ID or student ID is required to enter the building.  All attendees exiting the building must pass through security screening.
The closest Metro stop is the Archives/Navy Memorial stop on the Yellow and Green lines. The National Archives is fully accessible. To request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) please e-mail KYR@nara.gov or call 202 357-5333 at least two weeks prior to the event.

WHO:             Speakers include professional genealogists Claire Bettag, Jennifer Dondero, and Zack Wilske from USCIS; Harvard University Professor Daniel Carpenter; Quinton Atkinson from Ancestry.com; Gordon Atkinson from Footnote.com; and National Archives experts Elizabeth Carrington, Patrick Connelly, Rebecca Crawford, Damani Davis, John Deeben, Jake Ersland, Jeffery Hartley,  Claire P. Kluskens,  Bill Seibert, Katherine Vollen, Rebecca Warlow, and Reginald Washington.  
National Archives exhibitors include staff demonstrating how to use databases including the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) and Access to Archival Databases (AAD).  Staff at the “Help! I’m Stuck” table will be available to assist researchers. Guest exhibitors include the US Census Bureau, Library of Congress, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Footnote.com, and local genealogical societies.  

Background:  The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. For information on National Archives holdings see www.archives.gov.
For more information, e-mail KYR@nara.gov.
Follow the Genealogy Fair on Twitter! @GenealogyFair
Sign in to the Genealogy Fair on Foursquare!

Yahoo's MyBlogLog to close 24 May 2011

Received this morning via email:

Dear MyBlogLog Customer,

You have been identified as a customer of Yahoo! MyBlogLog. We will officially discontinue Yahoo! MyBlogLog effective May 24, 2011. Your agreement with Yahoo!, to the extent that it applies to the Yahoo! MyBlogLog, will terminate on May 24, 2011.[...]

From the website www.mybloglog.com
MyBlogLog will no longer be in service from 24 May 2011. We recommend Yahoo! Pulse as a service for you to see all your social updates from your favorite networks in one place. 

With Yahoo! Pulse, you can create your own identity on Yahoo! and you can easily connect and engage with the people, content, and applications that matter to you, wherever you are on Yahoo!.

If you have questions about these changes, please visit the Yahoo! MyBlogLog help pages.

Thank you for being part of MyBlogLog.

Tpstry.com and GenealogyFreelancers.com Partner To Make Family History Research Easier

For Immediate Release
March 24, 2011

Tpstry.com and GenealogyFreelancers.com Partner To Make Family History Research Easier

Family history research projects on GenealogyFreelancers.com get a boost by
using Tpstry.com to gather information.

Grand Rapids, MI and Nashville, TN – GenealogyFreelancers.com, which connects people seeking family history research with professional genealogists, and Tpstry.com, a website taking a unique approach to gathering family memories, announced today their partnership to make researching family history easier.

“One of the hardest steps for professional genealogists doing research projects is gathering all known information about a family at the beginning of the project,” says Deborah Irwin, CEO of IRBO, Inc., GenealogyFreelancers.com’s parent company. “Tpstry’s unique approach to gathering family memories provides a quick, easy way to gather all known family information in one place.”

While Tpstry.com’s main focus is to collect stories behind family memories, it also collects basic family history information such as names, parentage, birth dates, death dates and marriages. To assist researchers, Tpstry will soon be rolling out the ability to export family information as a GEDCOM file—a standard file format which allows different genealogy software programs to talk to one another. This basic family information gives researchers at GenealogyFreelancers.com a head start when investigating a family’s past.

“Tpstry uses family members and relatives as sources to answer family history questions,” says Matt Johnston, Founder and President of Tpstry. “If a question goes back a few generations, relatives often don’t know the answers. This is where a professional researcher, such as those found at GenealogyFreelancers.com, is very valuable.”

Users seeking help with a family research project can post a project prospectus at http://www.genealogyfreelancers.com and start entering known family information at http://www.tpstry.com for free.

About Genealogy Freelancers

Irbo Inc., owners of Genealogy Freelancers (http://www.genealogyfreelancers.com), continues to provide a welcoming platform that benefits those in search of their personal family history as well as for quality experts who are capable of providing assistance.

About Tpstry

Tpstry (http://tpstry.com) is a website that allows users to discover and share family memories. Through asking and answering questions, users are able to collect memories and knowledge from their family members and then reshare the information through a Family Memories Website.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Embeddable Family Tree Widgets for Bloggers and Website Owners


March 22, 2011: WikiTree.com

WikiTree is proud to announce the release of its new “widgets” that enable you to freely display a family tree or pedigree chart inside any web page or blog post.

You can start the tree with yourself or any ancestor, as long as you set the Privacy Levels to allow it. There are more than a dozen formatting options with different dimensions and content levels. Most include thumbnail photos of ancestors. Some have background images tailored to families from Chicago, New York, Boston, Nova Scotia, England, France and Italy.

See http://www.wikitree.com/about/family-tree-widgets.html for examples and instructions.

Names in widgets are linked to the full profiles and extended pedigree and descendant charts on WikiTree. Posting an incomplete tree on a blog may entice family members or distant cousins to help fill in the blanks. When they do, the widget is automatically updated with the most current information.
“Finally! My ‘collaboration’ brick wall is knocked down thanks to Wikitree and its Family Tree Widgets! For years, I’ve struggled with the ability to share my research in tree form with my family via my blog. Up until now, the best I could do was to insert an image without any dynamic links. Now … I can easily embed the data from my tree and have it display visually. No more image capturing, cropping and uploading. No extra work! I’m happy and so are my blog readers!”
--Thomas MacEntee, GeneaBloggers

About WikiTree

WikiTree's mission is to create a rich worldwide family tree resource by striking the perfect balance between collaboration and privacy. It gives families a free and easy way to privately share information and organize their facts, memories, and photos. At the same time, it enables distant relatives and strangers to grow a worldwide family tree and create a valuable resource for future historians. WikiTree was started in 2008 by Chris Whitten, the creator of WikiAnswers - one of the top 50 websites in the US. Content on WikiTree is owned and edited by its contributors. Join the free community at http://www.WikiTree.com.

9 Million Browsable Images from 9 Countries Added This Week

9 Million Browsable Images from 9 Countries Added This Week
New Records for Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, U.S., and Venezuela


The bounty just keeps coming from FamilySearch’s digital pipeline. Mexico collections earned the top spot this week, with nearly 5 million new browsable images added. The Mexico records date from 1545 to 1984. In addition to Mexico, FamilySearch continued this week to strengthen its free online international collections by expanding 7 more of its collections. Millions more records or images were added for Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Italy, and Venezuela. The U.S. collections were also expanded, with new data for California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Union Provost Marshal’s File, and Virginia. See the table below for more details. You can search all of the record collections now for free at FamilySearch.org.

If you enjoy the steady stream of free records added weekly, please consider “giving back” by contributing a little time online as a FamilySearch volunteer. You can start and stop volunteering at any time. Find out more at www.familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing.

Collection Records Images Comment
Brazil, Catholic Church Records 0 1,007,788 New images added to existing collection:

Minas Gerais: Diocese of Luz, Diocese of Patos de Minas; Paraná: Archdiocese of Curitiba; Rio Grande Do Sul: Diocese of Santa Cruz Do Sul; Sao Paulo: Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Diocese of Itapeva, Diocese of Presidente Prudente.
Canada, Quebec, Notarial Records, 1800-1900 0 113,475 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Chile, Concepcion, Civil Registration, 1885-1903 0 696,721 New browsable image collection.
El Salvador, Civil Registration Records, 1836-1910 0 41,876 New browsable image collection.
Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-1934 0 5,241 New browsable image collection.
Italy, Civil Registration, 1806-1940   0 115,035 New browsable images added to existing collection: Rovigo, Oristano, Trieste, and Teramo.
Mexico, Chiapas, Catholic Church Records, 1558-1978 0 752,385 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Guanajuato, Catholic Church Records, 1576-1984 0 168,067 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Morelos, Catholic Church Records, 1598-1969 0 1,448 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Nayarit, Catholic Church Records, 1596-1967 0 452,505 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, Puebla, Catholic Church Records, 1545-1970 0 4,378,429 New browsable image collection.
U.S., California, County Marriages, 1850-1952 281,432 0 New index collection.
U.S., California, San Diego Naturalization Index, 1868-1958 22,506 0 Records courtesy of Footnote.com. Indexed records linked to images on Footnote.com.
U.S., California, San Mateo County Records, 1856-1967 0 18,857 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Illinois, Probate Records, 1819-1970 0 244,131 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Louisiana Confederate Pensions, 1898-1950 0 198,414 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Louisiana, Orleans Parish Estate Files, 1804-1846 0 83,768 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Maine, State Archive Collections 0 13,919 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Montana, Rosebud County Records 0 40,990 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., Nebraska, Broken Bow Homestead Records, 1890-1908 39,373 0 Records courtesy of Footnote.com. Indexed records linked to images on Footnote.com.
U.S., New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 0 422,545 New browsable image collection.
U.S., New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923 26,082 492,465 Added images and index to existing collection.
U.S., Texas, Mills County Clerk Records, 1841-1985 0 1,506 Added images to existing collection.
U.S., Union Provost Marshal Files of Two or More Civilians, 1861-1866 0 107,471 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Virginia, Surry County Marriage Records, 1735-1950 0 19,618 New browsable image collection.
Venezuela, Civil Registration 0 88,680 New browsable image collection.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch 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 FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Zealand's Family History Fair - 26-27 August 2011

New Zealand's Family History Fair will be held at Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton on August 26-27. Following it's very successful introduction to the Events Calendar last year, the team have built on the concept and this year's event promises to be even better. 52 booths available for trade exhibitors, and regular seminars mean that everyone will find something of interest. So whether you are just starting out in genealogy/family history, or if you have been researching for a while, there will be something here to catch your interest. Tickets available from Ticketek.

NEHGS Provides Access to Massachusetts Jewish Cemetery Records

NEHGS PROVIDES ACCESS TO MASSACHUSETTS
JEWISH CEMETERY RECORDS

Access Program Part of collaboration with Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts and American Jewish Historical Society

Boston, MA–March 2, 2011 –The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) today announced that, together with the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts (JCAM), and the American Jewish Historical Society of New England (AJHSNE) have made available for the first time online access to a growing database that currently includes 13 Massachusetts Jewish cemeteries, with approximately 5,000 records. More records are being added weekly until all 106 JCAM cemeteries, which include more than 100,000 total records, are online.

The names in this extensive database cover the years 1844 to the present, and, when completed later this year, will offer access to more than 100,000 names of Jewish Americans buried in Massachusetts.

NEHGS President and CEO, D. Brenton Simons, said, “For genealogists and researchers, this database is a tremendous resource and provides unique access to a set of names vital to Jewish family research. We are pleased to work with AJHS and JCAM in this way. The Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts is a marvelous society for those with Jewish ancestry and we know countless people will benefit from having it available online.”

“This is one of the first of many benefits that will accrue as a result of our strategic partnership with NEHGS,” said Justin Wyner, chair of the Boston Board of Overseers of the American Jewish Historical Society. “This additional resource is of significant genealogical importance. AJHSNE now makes its home inside the NEHGS research center in downtown Boston.

According to JCAM’s Executive Director Stanley Kaplan, “This partnership with NEHGS and AJHS provides people with access to where their loved ones are resting, a source that is known for genealogy,” said Kaplan. “We have broadened …our reach within the community.”

For more information, visit the NEHGS website at www.AmericanAncestors.org , the American Jewish Historical site at www.ajhsboston.org or visit the Jewish Cemeteries Association of Massachusetts at http://www.jcam.org/.

About NEHGS

Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country's leading resource for family history research. We help family historians expand their knowledge, skill, and understanding of their family and its place in history. The NEHGS research center, located at 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, houses millions of books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, documents, records, and other artifacts that date back more than four centuries. NEHGS staff includes some of the leading expert genealogists in the country, specializing in early American, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, and Jewish genealogy. Our award-winning website, www.AmericanAncestors.org, provides access to more than 135 million searchable names in 3,000 collections.

Mocavo.com Launches as World’s Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine

Mocavo.com Launches as World’s Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine
Industry breakthrough provides instant search results for billions of names, dates and places worldwide

BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mocavo.com™ (http://www.mocavo.com), a free search engine geared toward genealogists and people interested in learning more about their family history, launches today. Mocavo.com enables the search of more than 50 billion words - including billions of names, dates and places, all within fractions of a second. Mocavo.com fills an important industry need by providing the first large-scale, free search engine for family history research. Coupled with the speed and accuracy by which search results are produced, Mocavo.com represents a major technological breakthrough within the genealogy world.

Mocavo.com has already been met with critical acclaim by several industry experts. Dick Eastman, writer of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and a top blogger in the field, wrote, “All my future genealogy searches will start on Mocavo.com. I've been using the site for a while during its testing and have been very impressed. I suspect you will always have better luck searching for your own surnames of interest on Mocavo.com than on any other search engine.”

Randy Seaver, writer of the popular Genea-Musings blog, said, “Mocavo.com promises to be a genealogist's dream - a search engine focused on free online genealogy resources." Mr. Eastman’s and Mr. Seaver’s full reviews can be found at http://www.eogn.com and http://www.geneamusings.com, respectively.

Starting today, the general public can use Mocavo.com for free. Visitors to www.mocavo.com are simply required to type in the names of interest and click on Search. All related results from industry sources such as genealogy message boards, family trees, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, various U.S. state archives, and many tens of thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals will be displayed. Similar to other search engines, Mocavo.com honors site owners by linking directly to their content.

Cliff Shaw, founder and CEO of Mocavo Inc., identifies the current trouble for genealogists and the solution that Mocavo.com provides, “Genealogy has always had the problem of information and potential clues being spread across thousands of disparate web sites and sources. Imagine a world where you have all of the Web’s free genealogy content at your fingertips within seconds. That is Mocavo.com.”

“Mocavo.com has the capacity to index every single piece of free genealogy content found anywhere on the web, and will be growing by leaps and bounds in the coming months,” said Mr. Shaw. “We expect Mocavo.com to shortly offer all of the web’s free genealogy information, searchable and accessible to all – something that has never been done before. It’s set to become the go-to search engine for every family history enthusiast.”

Mocavo Inc. is the brainchild of Cliff Shaw. Mr. Shaw is well known in the industry, having created four successful companies and many innovative technologies, including Smart Matching™, the most successful ancestor-matching algorithm. He created GenForum 14 years ago and it quickly grew to become the number one community for genealogists (now owned by Ancestry.com® (NASDAQ:ACOM)). In the early 2000’s, Mr. Shaw launched GenCircles and Family Tree Legends, becoming the number two family tree publishing site and number two family tree software package respectively (both are now owned by MyHeritage.com). More recently, Mr. Shaw launched the well-received BackupMyTree.com, the industry’s only automatic tree backup solution.

About Mocavo Inc.

Mocavo Inc. operates the world’s largest free genealogy search engine, Mocavo.com, giving genealogists access to the best free genealogy content on the web including billions of names, dates and places. Founded by industry veteran Cliff Shaw, and backed by prominent angel investor, David Cohen, (founder and CEO of TechStars), Mocavo.com seeks to index and make searchable all of the world’s free genealogy information. While Mocavo.com discovers new sites every day, some of the existing sites searchable on Mocavo.com include genealogy message boards, family trees, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, various U.S. state archives, and many tens of thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals. For further information, visit http://www.mocavo.com.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

FamilySearch: 9 million Hungarian Records added this week

 New Records for Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Philippines, Spain, U.S., and Zimbabwe Also Added


Can you believe that 11.5 million new international records were added this week? And 9 million of those were from Hungary! FamilySearch continued this week to strengthen its free online international collections by expanding 8 of its collections. It also added 2 million U.S. records. See the table below for more details. Search all of the record collections now for free at FamilySearch.org.
If you enjoy the steady stream of free records added weekly, please consider "giving back" by contributing a little time online as a FamilySearch volunteer. You can start and stop volunteering at any time. Find out more at www.familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing.

Collection Records Images Comment
Argentina, Catholic Church Records 0 202,698 Images added.
Brazil, Catholic Church Records 0 156,092 Images added. Minas Gerais, Diocese of Luz, Diocese of Patos de Minas; Paraná: Archdiocese of Curitiba;

Rio Grande Do Sul, Diocese of Santa Cruz Do Sul;

Sao Paulo, Diocese of Itapeva, Diocese of Presidente Prudente
Germany, Baden, Church Book Duplicates, 1810-1869 58,296 12,011 Portion of Achern index added.
Germany, Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census, 1890 37,625 864 Last portion of this census is now added.
Germany, Posen, Church Book Duplicates, 1794-1874 113,713 0 Records added to this collection. Images can be found at www.landesarhiv-brandenburg.de.
Hungary Catholic Church Records 9,065,513 0 Partial publication of records. First installment (38%) of a much larger collection that will be published over the next year.

Italy, Civil Registration, 1806-1940 0 119,921 More localities added: Revere, San Giorgio di Mantova, San Martino dall' Argine, Sermide, and Teramo
Philippines, Manila Civil Registration, 1899-1994 0 1,535,971 Images added.
Spain, Lugo Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1550-1930 11,629 0 Additional index data added to this collection.
U.S., Colorado State Census, 1885 0 3,520 New browsable collection.
U.S., Illinois State Census, 1855 256,004 0 Name indexes for the 1885 Illinois State Census. The census names the head of household. Schedules do not exist for the following

counties: Carroll, Champaign, Franklin, Gallatin, Henry, Jefferson, Jo Davies, Lake, Stark, Will, and Woodford.
U.S., Texas, Comanche County Records, 1858-1955 0 283,870 Images added to existing content.
U.S., Texas, Mills County Clerk Records, 1841-1985 0 61,358 Images added to existing content.
U.S., Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866 0 2,798 Images added to existing content.
U.S., Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933 0 1,800,495 New browsable image collection.
Zimbabwe, Death Notices, 1904-1976 0 328,546 Death notices from Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe, Rhodesia Death Registers, 1890-1977; Index to Death Register, 1892-1977 0 74,045 Register of deaths of citizens of Rhodesia.


FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch 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 FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ancestry.com Releases the Definitive 19th Century Irish Collection to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Ancestry.com Releases the Definitive 19th Century Irish Collection to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Nearly 37 Million Americans Claim Irish Ancestry including President Obama and Walt Disney


PROVO, UTAH (March 14, 2011) – In recognition of St. Patrick’s Day, Ancestry.com, the world's largest online family history resource, today launched The Irish Collection – the definitive 19thcentury collection of Irish historical records. The collection provides nearly 100 years of insight into life in Ireland in the 19thand early 20thcenturies. Because few records exist from this time period, the collection is immensely valuable to people researching their Irish heritage and anyone seeking a more comprehensive view of Ireland before and after the Great Potato Famine, during which time many millions fled Ireland in search of a better life.


Nearly 37 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry (or approximately 12 per cent of the U.S. population) according to the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. This number is more than eight times the population of Ireland itself (4.5 million) and means that many millions of Americans may have ancestors in The Irish Collection.


The Irish Collection, online and searchable now at www.Ancestry.com/Irishrecords, offers an essential resource for anyone researching Irish history. The records will help trace Irish family heritage during 19thcentury Ireland through detailed maps, photographs and land use records spanning almost 100 years. Ancestry.com has enhanced the collections by cross-referencing family names with other rich content such as photographs and land records.


The Irish Collection, 1824-1910 includes


- Griffiths Valuation, 1847-1864: One of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical resources for Ireland, this collection of over 2.5 million records provides a snapshot of ancestors who rented land or property throughout Ireland in the 1850s.


- Tithe Applotment Books, 1824-1837: In 1823 a law was enacted requiring all land holders to pay a tax or "tithe" to the Church of Ireland, regardless of their religious affiliation. With details like tithe payer, acreage of their land and amount of their tithe, these 600,000 records in effect provide a census of pre-famine Ireland.


- Ordnance Survey Maps, 1824-1846: The Ordnance Survey of Ireland maps relate to the first detailed mapping of Ireland undertaken during the 1830s and 1840s. The later part of the survey was produced during the height of the famine.


Lawrence Collection, 1870-1910: This collection of 20,000 photographs showcases the length and breadth of Ireland —Howth Head in the East to Achill Head in the West and from Malin Head in the North to Skibbereen in the South — through the eyes of William Lawrence's photography studio in Dublin.


Many key political figures in history have boasted Irish ancestry, including more than a quarter of United States Presidents, including John F. Kennedy, whose 2nd great-grandfather is listed in the collection.  Patrick Kennedy was living in Wexford, Ireland where he was renting a home.  His relative John Kennedy was living nearby. President Barack Obama’s4thgreat grandfather Fulmuth Donavan also appears, living in Ballygurleen, Bourney, Tipperary, in 1829 according to the Tithe Applotment records.


More notable Irish-Americans’ ancestors can be found in these new collections, including:


- Conan O’Brien:Conan’s 3rdgreat-grandfather Daniel O’Brien was renting a house, land, and offices from Kilner Brazier, Esq, in Lissard Townland, Galbally Civil Parish, County Limerick, Ireland


- Sean Hannity: Hannity’s great-grandfather, Thomas Hannity married Margaret Ward, who was born in 1845 to Edward Ward, a farmer, and his wife Alice Mulholland. Hannity’s 2nd great grandfather Edward Ward, also a farmer, was living in Ballymaghinghy, Drumgooland, County Down, Ireland. The lessor was Earl Annesley


Walt Disney – Arundel Elias Disney, the great-grandfather of the entertainer and founder of the Disney empire, is listed in Griffiths and Tithe records, recorded as living in Clone, Rathbeagh and Kilkenny.

(Original record images for each of these names are available)


Through records such as the Griffiths Valuation and Tithe Applotment books, Philadelphia resident Tom Rogers uncovered the dire economic conditions that his ancestors endured in 19th Century Ireland, including illness and severe poverty that forced the family into the poorhouse before immigrating to the United States.


“My paternal grandmother put the ‘old country’ behind her to start anew in America so much of the family history, especially our oral history, has been lost over time,” says Rogers. 


“Ancestry.com’s wealth of records has helped me paint a fairly vivid picture of my family and explain why they came to America, where they were from, who they married, who was a horse thief, who was a hero and so on.”


Ancestry.com is continuously adding to its global collection of more than 6 billion historical records. With the addition of these new collections, Ancestry.com now possesses more than 35 million[1]Irish historical records and will continue building the collection as more are  digitized.
“As more than one in ten Americans has Irish heritage, with these collections, we can now do more than just celebrate this St Patrick’s Day – we can actually explore where in Ireland we came from,” said Josh Hanna, Executive Vice President at Ancestry.com. “The U.S. has always closely identified with Ireland and Irish culture and so it is very exciting to make available records that can help so many of us to trace back to a particular person, place and time in Ireland more than 150 years ago.”


Starting a family history research project can be as simple as entering a name into Ancestry.com, allowing the powerful search technology to comb through millions of records and help uncover facts to develop family stories. To promote the new Irish collections, Ancestry.com users can enter a sweepstakes to win a trip to Ireland. To begin searching The Irish Collection, visit www.ancestry.com/Irishrecords.  For further stories and updates related to Irish family history research, you can also follow Ancestry.com on Facebook  and Twitter.

About Ancestry.com


Ancestry.com 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. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at www.ancestry.com.

FGS 2011 Conference Goes Green

FGS 2011 Conference Goes Green
Innovative Environmental-Friendly Initiatives Abound

March 14, 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), along with local host Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS), announce several environmental-friendly initiatives for its upcoming national conference, “Pathways to the Heartland,” scheduled for 7-10 September 2011 in Springfield, Illinois.  These include:

·       Flash Drives for Conference Syllabus: With the help of conference sponsor FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org), the FGS/ISGS 2011 Conference will provide each attendee with a 2GB flash drive containing the conference syllabus. Not only will this eliminate the need for a printed syllabus* or CD, it also provides attendees with a flash drive for saving and backing up genealogy research data!

·       Ride Sharing Program: Working with RideBuzz, attendees can now participate in the FGS/ISGS 2011 ride sharing program. Especially with rising gas prices, not only would you be helping the environment and saving money, but you can meet conference attendees in your area. 

Visit the FGS/ISGS 2011 Conference ride sharing program on RideBuzz at http://www.ridebuzz.org/events-group/fgsisgs-2011-conference-12865.html or visit the Travel & Lodging section of the FGS 2011 Conference website at https://www.fgs.org/2011conference/travel/ for more information

* Attendees will be able to print syllabus materials using the FGS 2011 Conference website (http://www.fgs.org/2011conference) and can purchase a printed syllabus for $30 when registering for the conference.

This year's FGS/ISGS 2011 Conference offers an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in researching their family history. Over 165 educational sessions and 13 luncheons are designed to balance the needs of genealogists at all levels, exploring a variety of records, strategies, and other tools available to those interested in researching their family history.

We look forward to seeing you in Springfield in September!

Learn More and Stay Connected
·       Subscribe to Conference eUpdates: 2011Conference@fgs.org
(place “Subscribe” in Subject line)
·       Visit the Conference News Blog: http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org
·       Follow the Conference on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fgs2011 and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/fgs2011
·       Discover Springfield: http://www.visit-springfieldillinois.com

Relive RootsTech 2011

Relive RootsTech 2011
Popular Conference Makes Select Presentations Available for Free Online

11 March 2011

SALT LAKE CITY—If you missed the popular inaugural RootsTech 2011 conference, you can now at least get a sampling of what all the excitement was about. The wildly popular new technology and family history conference held last month in Salt Lake City, Utah, made its keynote addresses and a few other popular presentations available online today free of charge. The six free presentations can be viewed at RootsTech.org.

“The scope of the RootsTech conference was unique. We wanted to try to fulfill a need to bring technology users (family history buffs and anyone interested in genealogy) and technology creators (developers, programmers, engineers) together in a unique, fun environment to collaborate and move the genealogy industry forward through technology,” said Anne Roach, RootsTech conference chair. And bring them together it did.

The inaugural conference, hosted by FamilySearch, was a runaway success. With over 3,000 in-person attendees and another 4,500 attending remotely over the Internet, it was arguably one of the largest genealogy-related conferences ever held in the country. In-person attendees hailed from 42 states and 15 countries. Some came from as far away as China, New Zealand, Australia, Namibia, and Israel.

Paul Nauta, RootsTech public relations chair, reported that there were over 40 bloggers in attendance. “Between online articles, blog posts, and nonstop tweets, the online community was buzzing 24 hours a day during the conference and for weeks following—and amazingly, articles and tweets are still going strong,” noted Nauta.

The new conference was pulled together quickly by industry standards—in about 6 months. “The fact that we were able to attract as many conference goers as we did in such a short amount of time testifies to the interest there is in technology and family history,” said Roach. “And we’ve put the videos of the keynotes and other presentations online for free to give others a chance to share in the RootsTech experience; to give them a taste of what they can expect for 2012,” added Roach.

A highlight of the conference was the extensive community networking—community zone (exhibit hall), collaboration stations, and unconferencing sessions. These integrated features produced an open conference atmosphere that seemed to be ideal to introduce technology creators to genealogy technology users and to foster discussions, learning, collaboration, and future industry developments.

Unconferencing sessions—impromptu, participant-driven discussion forums that promote brainstorming, the sharing of ideas, and innovation—were totally new to genealogy attendees, but were more familiar to the technologists. Attendees took advantage of unconferencing sessions to discuss user needs with technology developers and to brainstorm new ideas and solutions. “People emerged from these [unconferencing sessions] with eyes sparkling, and I overheard several people describing conversations between developers and genealogists that left both feeling validated and motivated,” said Polly FitzGerald Kimitt, an attendee and author of Pollyblog.

The RootsTech 2012 conference is scheduled for February 2–4 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In addition to the six video presentations mentioned above, video interviews of other conference speakers and developers can be watched at Genealogy Gems YouTube.

About RootsTech

RootsTech is a new conference designed to bring technologists together with genealogists to learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges faced in family history research today. The conference’s activities and offerings are focused on content that will help genealogists and family historians discover exciting new research tools while enabling technology creators to learn the latest development techniques from industry leaders and pioneers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WikiTree Reaches One Million Profiles


On Thursday, WikiTree.com passed its most significant milestone yet: 1,000,000 profiles. Since last fall, new profiles have been added at an average of 100,000 per month.

WikiTree’s early users were only creating a few dozen biographical profiles of their family members. The recent growth has been led by experienced genealogists importing GEDCOMs with hundreds or sometimes thousands of ancestors.

Although these genealogists grew their trees elsewhere they are choosing to participate on WikiTree for two reasons. First, it helps them get found by distant cousins. Every WikiTree profile has a public version (*) which will be indexed by Google.
"I have had my tree information listed on various websites for probably almost 10 years now. I have had a few people contact me through those listings, but in the short time I have been on Wikitree I have had many contacts from people interested in the lines I am researching." (**)
-- Paul Bech

Second, WikiTree makes it easy to share and collaborate with non-genealogist family members. Every WikiTree profile has a private version. These pages have extensive privacy controls and a user-friendly interface designed to make casual users feel comfortable adding personal facts and memories and uploading photos to profiles.

"I believe that many genealogists and family historians will appreciate the features in WikiTree especially if they seek a web-based application where they can share and collaborate with family or other researchers. The WikiTree site is easy to use, easy to understand and most importantly, it 'gets' concepts that are important to its users such as privacy."
-- Thomas MacEntee

* If the "Unlisted" Privacy Level is selected for a profile there is no public information.
** Quotes above are from GenSoftReviews.

About WikiTree

WikiTree's mission is to create a rich worldwide family tree resource by striking the perfect balance between collaboration and privacy. It gives families a free and easy way to privately share information and organize their facts, memories, and photos. At the same time, it enables distant relatives and strangers to grow a worldwide family tree and create a valuable resource for future historians. WikiTree was started in 2008 by Chris Whitten, the creator of WikiAnswers - one of the top 50 websites in the US. Content on WikiTree is owned and edited by its contributors. Join the free community at http://www.WikiTree.com.

Save $35 off Registration to NGS 2011 Family History Conference -- Early Bird Registration Ends Tomorrow, 11 March!



Who doesn't like to save money?

If you are planning to attend the NGS 2011 Family History Conference, early bird registration ends tomorrow, 11 March 2011!


Registration Fees
NGS Member Full Registration with CD Syllabus (all four days)
Early Bird deadline fee if postmarked by 11 March 2011 — $175
Postmarked after 11 March 2011 — $210
Non-member Full Registration with CD Syllabus (all four days)Early Bird deadline fee if postmarked by 11 March 2011 — $210
Postmarked after 11 March 2011 — $245

Single Day Registration with CD Syllabus
Single Day — either Weds, Thurs, Fri, or Sat — $95 per dayAfter 11 March 2011 — $100 per day 
NGS Member Full Registration with CD and Print Syllabus (all four days)
Early Bird deadline fee if postmarked by 11 March 2011 — $195
NGS Non-member Full Registration with CD and Print Syllabus (all four days)
Early Bird deadline fee if postmarked by 11 March 2011 — $230
Single Day Registration with CD and Print Syllabus
Early Bird deadline fee for Single Day — either Weds, Thurs, Fri, or Sat — $115 per day


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Mark Your Calendars
NGS Family History Conference, 11-14 May 2011, Charleston, South Carolina.

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