Ronald Ames Hill, PhD, CG, FASG: “Research Adventures in England” New Release in Voices of Genealogy Video Series

ARLINGTON, VA, 28 SEPTEMBER 2012: The National Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the September video release honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ): Ronald Ames Hill’s recollections of “Research Adventures in England.”

Dr. Hill was a physicist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he inherited a collection of early nineteenth-century letters from the collection of his great-aunt. Already a highly skilled scientific researcher, he went to work learning the stories of his ancestors with the same determination and thoroughness he brought to his profession. He undertook his first journey to Cornwall, to the parishes of his ancestors, in 1971 and by now has made sixteen such trips for fourteen months of on-site research. Since his retirement from Sandia in 1994, ancestral research and publishing have become a full-time occupation. He has published thirty-one articles in national genealogical journals (over twenty in the NGSQ) and four books based on his ancestral research.

Dr. Hill earned the certified genealogist credential in 1997. His The Tumultuous Achym/Fulford Relationship received the Jacobus Award in 2004 from the American Society of Genealogists (ASG). In 2005, in recognition of the quality and quantity of his genealogical writing, the ASG named him a fellow of the society. In 2008 he received the NGS Award of Excellence for a Genealogy and Family History Book for his The Ancestors and Descendants of Reuben Ball.

Hill is a former president of the New Mexico Genealogical Society and a former trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. He has been a speaker at national genealogical conferences since 1992 and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the NGSQ.

Previous releases in the Voices of Genealogy archive now playing at the NGS website ( are Robert C. Anderson, FASG; Mary McCampbell Bell, CG; John Frederick Dorman, CG (Emeritus), FASG, FNGS, FVGS; David L. Greene, PhD, FASG; Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG, FGBS; Harry Macy, FASG, FGBS; George Ely Russell, CG, FASG, FNGS; and Shirley Langdon Wilcox, CG, FNGS.

The Ronald Ames Hill video was produced by award winning filmmakers Kate Geis and Allen Moore from an interview by Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG, co-editor of the NGSQ. Ronald Ames Hill, CG, FASG, “Research Adventures in England,” is now playing for all NGS members at Members of the Society can also access Dr. Hill’s articles at the website.

Video interviews with leading genealogists represent just one of the many opportunities NGS offers its members for honing their skills. Members receive the society’s outstanding quarterly publications, the NGSQ and the NGS Magazine, and can also take advantage of free courses and significant discounts on publications, courses, and the NGS annual conference to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, 8–11 May 2013; Richmond, Virginia, 7–10 May 2014; and St. Louis, Missouri, 13–16 May 2015.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-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.

ourFamily•ology adds another dimension to the list of FHISO Founding Members

Franklin Lakes, NJ and Gilbert, AZ — September 21, 2012 — ourFamily•ology, Inc. and Family History Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) announced today that ourFamily•ology has finalized its plans to become a founding member of the organization. As part of this process, ourFamily•ology has designated its founder, Brandy Sacco, as an organizational member representative. Brandy will participate with other FHISO members from the global genealogical community in the development of standards for the digital representation and sharing of family history and genealogical information.

“FHISO offers the best hope for a community-driven genealogy standard. Finally, we’ll have a place where genealogists and technologists world-wide come together to discuss the new tools and technologies that we want and need,” said Brandy Sacco, ourFamily•ology Founder.

“Our community thrives on functionality and sharing. Innovative developers like Brandy Sacco deserve support from a modern, participatory standard development organization. Tools to help users build reliable family trees, enabling sensible privacy controls and soon to be released advanced media tagging features are examples of user functionality that Brandy has developed for ourFamily•ology. With innovators like Brandy Sacco participating in FHISO, just imagine what we’ll be able to accomplish,” said Robert Burkhead, FHISO Chairman,” said Robert Burkhead, FHISO Chairman.

ourFamily•ology provides web-based genealogy tools to inspire hobbyists and advanced users alike to build reliable family trees that can be shared with family and friends. The innovative Progress Rating Chart allows users to visualize their progress and see the big picture. Searching and adding genealogical records from FamilySearch is a snap. Soon to be released media tagging and flexible privacy controls will make it possible for users to securely share and collaborate in exciting new ways. Website resources provide tips and insights that explain what genealogy is, how to find documents, how to conduct research, and more. As part of its core mission, ourFamily•ology believes in being a part of the genealogy community and staying abreast of new developments. For more information about ourFamily•ology or to subscribe for a free trial, please visit

FHISO is a standards-developing organization bringing the international family history and genealogical community together in a transparent, self-governing forum for the purpose of developing information standards to solve today’s interoperability issues. To learn more about FHISO, visit

Please join us in welcoming ourFamily•ology and its founder, Brandy Sacco to FHISO!

New to the National Wills Index - Lancashire Wills Index (1457-1748 & 1793-1812) and Surrey PCC Will Abstracts (1736-1794)

Lancashire Wills Index (1457-1748 & 1793-1812)

Over 32,600 testators are now available for searching online within the Lancashire Wills Index. The Archdeaconry of Richmond comprised that part of Lancashire north of the River Ribble, and parts of Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire. It was further subdivided into deaneries. Wills from the western deaneries from following Lancashire & Cheshire Record Society volumes are included in this collection:

  • Volume 10 - Index to wills proved in the western deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond 1457-1680, plus index to abstracts (summary) of wills 1531-1652 proved in the Archdeaconry of Richmond (mainly deanery of Amounderness) where the original wills no longer survive. Published 1884.
  • Volume 13 - Index to Wills proved in the western deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond 1681-1748. Published 1886.
  • Volume 66 - Index to Wills proved in the western deaneries of the Archdeaconry of Richmond, and the peculiar of the Manor of Halton 1793-1812. Published 1913.

The index includes testator's name, place of residence, year/date of will and deanery in which the will was filed.

Full details of Lancashire Wills Index (1457-1748 & 1793-1812)

Surrey PCC Will Abstracts (1736-1794)

Our growing collection of Surrey records now includes abstracts to wills for Surrey testators proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) 1736-1794. Over 15,300 testators are included.

The PCC was the senior and most important of the pre 1858 ecclesiastical courts claiming over-riding jurisdiction over the whole of England and Wales. Wills of those dying overseas were also usually proved in the PPC.

The abstracts include all names and places appearing in the will, plus incidental information such as occupations etc where found in the original document. This information is both rich and valuable to the family historian.

Full details of Surrey PCC Will Abstracts (1736-1794)

Surrey Collections on

Surrey Marriage Index 1500–1846
Surrey & South London Will Abstracts 1470-1858
Surrey Peculiars Probate Index 1660-1794
British Record Society Surrey Probate Index pre-1649
Surrey PCC Will Abstracts 1736-1794
Plus many national collections!

Announcing Call for Papers - 2013 Genealogy Jamboree

For immediate release 24 Sep 2012

The Southern California Genealogical Society announces a Call for Proposals for the 44th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, to be held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, Burbank, California, Thursday through Sunday, June 6 through 9, 2013. Thursday will be a day of hands-on workshops.

Proposals for the 2013 Jamboree Extension Series webinars are also covered by this Call for Proposals. The very popular webinar series features sessions on the first Saturday and the third Wednesday of each month.
The theme of the 2013 Jamboree is "Travel the Path to the Past."  When it comes to genealogy,  travel can have several meanings. Travel thousands of miles to a distant homeland, or drive to a courthouse in the next county. Travel to earlier generations with just a few keystrokes, or by touching treasured artifacts, or straining to read faded ink on a long-forgotten document.

We look forward to receiving proposals for a variety of topics. We will be taking an in-depth look at the use of military records.

Special note to Samford attendees: Your schedule may conflict with attendance at Jamboree. Don't let that prevent you from submitting proposals. We will work with our speakers' travel schedules to permit appearances at both events.

The deadline for submission of proposals is October 21, 2012. Selected speakers will be notified by November 30, 2012, and contracts will be issued on January 1. What a great way to start the year!

Submission of proposals is done online through the Speaker Portal. Speakers are encouraged to download the submission guide to prepare the information in advance.

Please contact Vicki Hilb, Program Chair, at if you have questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Download the Call for Proposals document
Download a hard copy of the Proposal Submission Guide
Enter your proposals through the Speaker Portal

Paula Hinkel, Co-Chair
Southern California Genealogy Jamboree
Southern California Genealogical Society
417 Irving Drive
Burbank, CA 91504

Calico Pie Limited leads the UK as a Founding Member of FHISO

London (United Kingdom) and Gilbert, AZ (USA) — September 24, 2012 — Calico Pie Limited and Family History Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) announced today that Calico Pie has finalised its plans to become a founding member of the organisation. As part of this process, Calico Pie has designated its founder, Simon Orde, to be an organisational member representative. Simon will participate with other FHISO members from the global genealogical community in the development of standards for the digital representation and sharing of family history and genealogical information.

“Open standards make possible products and applications that even the creators of the standards themselves could never have imagined. Family Historian was built around one standard GEDCOM that has been hugely important for genealogy. We look forward to the opportunities and possibilities that future standards will bring. The emergence of FHISO is exactly what the genealogy world needs, and we are delighted and excited to be part of it”, said Calico Pie’s managing director, Simon Orde.

“Developing international standards requires a supporting network of vendors and users that extends across the globe. Thanks to the leadership of Calico Pie and Simon Orde, our world community became better connected today in a big way. This announcement is good news for Family Historian users and genealogists everywhere”, said FHISO Organiser, Tony Proctor (UK and Ireland).

Simon Orde founded London-based Calico Pie Limited in 1995. Its award-winning product, Family Historian, is the United Kingdom's leading genealogy software program. Ease of use, integrated visuals and graphics, emphasis on getting the most out of the data and bringing a balance to pre-configured and user-customisable features are just some of the goals and philosophy behind the development effort. In January 2012, Family Historian 4 was honored with the “Best Buy” award from Which? Computing. To learn more about Calico Pie and Family Historian or to take the latest release, Family Historian 5, on a test drive, visit the company website,

FHISO is a standards-developing organisation bringing the international family history and genealogical community together in a transparent, self-governing forum for the purpose of developing information standards to solve today’s interoperability issues. To learn more about FHISO, visit

Please join us in welcoming Calico Pie and its founder, Simon Orde, to FHISO!

Celebrating Ten Years of Tracing Scottish Ancestors - the 10th Birthday of the ScotlandsPeople Website

The family history website,, celebrates its tenth birthday in September 2012.

Officially launched in mid-September 2002, ScotlandsPeople was one of the first genealogy sites to arrive on the web. The site now contains over 90 million digital records and corresponding images, and adds new sets of fully-searchable historical records on a regular basis.
With over one million registered users from across the world, the website remains the biggest online resource for Scottish census, birth, marriage and death records. The website has evolved through a decade of huge technological growth and in a time where interest in genealogy has soared.

Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of brightsolid, the company that enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland, said:

‘ScotlandsPeople was our first ever family history website, and our partnership with the National Records of Scotland has undoubtedly enabled brightsolid to expand our business to become one of the world's leading publishers of online genealogy.

‘When the Scotlandspeople website was launched back in 2002, we were truly leading the way, offering a unique online product for family historians. We are immensely proud of how ScotlandsPeople has evolved over the last decade. We continue to add exciting new data sets and innovative search techniques to the site, making family history research easier and more accessible around the globe.’

George MacKenzie, Registrar General and the Keeper at the National Records of Scotland, said:

‘ScotlandsPeople has gone from strength to strength since its launch ten years ago. I am delighted that in our special birthday year we'll be enhancing this very popular resource for Scottish family history by adding hundreds of thousands of new wills from 1902 to 1925.’

Mocavo Announces Acquisition of ReadyMicro

Today represents an exciting milestone at Mocavo.  Over our years in both the genealogy and technology industries, we have had few occasions to meet an engineer as talented as Matt Garner.  Matt has deep expertise in the genealogy industry and has few peers in the art of historical record digitization.  We are excited to announce that Matt and his incredible team at ReadyMicro have joined Mocavo.  The ReadyMicro team will continue to operate out of their facility in Orem, Utah and we will maintain our office in Boulder, Colorado, while also adding more employees in both locations.

Now you might ask, “why does a genealogy search engine need digitization?”  The answer is, “Mocavo is no longer just a genealogy search engine.”  From the day the company was founded, our mission has been clear: to bring all of the world’s genealogical information online for free and give everyone the ability to discover their family history.  Over the past several months, we have been working tirelessly to gather genealogical records and connect with other genealogical Web sites.  In the next few weeks, we will make several exciting announcements about these additions that are sure to please family historians.

The acquisition of ReadyMicro gives us the ability to partner with other stewards of genealogical information to help them digitize their records at a very low cost and even, in many cases, at no cost.  In an era where government cutbacks are forcing archives to shut their doors, we will provide a valuable resource to our partners that will enable them to rapidly and cheaply digitize their invaluable collections.

Welcome aboard ReadyMicro and welcome to the new Mocavo!

Royal Greenwich burial records, London on Deceased Online

Two cemeteries' data in historic London borough available now, three more to follow soon

  • Burial records for the five cemeteries managed by the Royal Borough of Greenwich in South East London are being added to 
  • All records for Eltham Cemetery and over half for Greenwich Cemetery can now be accessed with the rest to follow within the next week

The data comprise:

  • Computerised records
  • Grave details indicating those buried in each grave
  • Scans of burial registers
  • Cemetery maps indicating grave locations
  • Some photographs of memorials and headstones

All records for Eltham Crematorium are already available. Data for the remaining three cemeteries will be online within the next few weeks. In total, the database for the Royal Borough of Greenwich will be approximately 450,000 burials and cremations

Deceased Online now has nearly 2 million records across London. See the database coverage section at for data details of all London and other UK areas.

Find out more about the cemeteries and the famous and infamous featured on Deceased Online. Read our new blog by historian and genealogist Emma Jolly.


NEHGS Announces New Assistant Vice President

Boston, MA – Sept. 5, 2012 – Brenton Simons, President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), announced today that staff member Ryan Woods, has been promoted to NEHGS Assistant Vice President for the Website and Library. Woods, a five-year veteran of the NEHGS staff, will oversee and the Boston-based library, bringing those two areas into greater alignment with each other and advancing the organization’s national mission. He will report to Thomas R. Wilcox, Jr., NEHGS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and will succeed Marie Daly, who has served as the Director of the Library for ten years. Daly will be staying on with NEHGS in a new role she helped to craft as senior genealogist, with particular emphasis on Irish research. A new day-to-day manager of the library has also been appointed.

Simons said, “This new role will help us centralize core activities, better serve our growing body of constituents, and allow for more productive experiences both online and in our library.”

Woods, who joined NEHGS in 2007, will work to re-staff several areas to manage increases in web traffic and visitors to the NEHGS Boston library, due in part to swelling interest and popularity of genealogy across the country. The moves take effect immediately.


Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country's leading resource for family history research. With more than 65,000 members and registered users, NEHGS helps 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,, provides access to more than 135 million searchable names in 3,000 collections.

1940 United States Federal Census Indexing Wraps Up

Volunteers have completed the final indexing batches for the 1940 United States Federal Census! The completed census for all states—132 million people—now fully searchable by name at and 1940 Census Community Project partners’ websites. It is anticipated that the free 1940 Census index online will be the most used index for US genealogical research for the next decade. US volunteer efforts will now be directed to the US Immigration and Naturalization project. Other new searchable collections online were added this week for Chile, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States. Search these diverse collections and 2.8 billion other records for free at

Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at

FamilySearch 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 and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Association of Professional Genealogists Recognizes Five Members for Achievements in the Genealogy Profession

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and WESTMINSTER, Colo., 31 August, 2012−Today at the 2012 Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference in Birmingham, Alabama., the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) honored five of its members for their contributions to the field of genealogy. APG President Kenyatta Berry presented the awards at today’s luncheon, which featured APG board member Mary Penner who presented, “Top Ten Reasons to Not Write Your Family History.”

Those honored with awards included:
  • Gordon Gray received the Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr., Award of Merit, an award honoring personal commitment and outstanding service to the APG. Gray served on the APG Board of Directors from 2006–20011; and was elected Treasurer twice, during the presidential terms of Jake Gehring and Laura Prescott. Gordon was responsible for working with the IRS to issue Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) for the APG chapters and worked with the chapters to gather financial information and worked on establishing procedures.
  • Janet Robyn Worthington, JP, NZRN, Dip. FHS, FSAG, was awarded the APG Professional Achievement Award. The award, created in 2007, recognizes exceptional professional achievement and ethical behavior with contributions to the field of genealogy. Worthington is a long-standing APG member and has been leader in the field of genealogical research and practice in Australia for the past 30 years. She served as a Councillor (1984–2008), Vice-President (1992–1996, 2005–2008), and Honorary Secretary (2007–2008) of the Society of Australian Genealogists, the oldest genealogy society in Australia, from 1984 until her retirement at the end of 2008. She continues to be a Benefactor of the Society and to support its work behind the scenes, and was elected Fellow of the Society in 1992. She has authored numerous books and articles.
Certificates of appreciation were awarded to three members:
  • Mary Penner was recognized for her outstanding service and significant contributions to APG, including her work on the newsletter, the Profession Issues Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the membership working group.
  • Harold Henderson, CG, was presented the certificate in recognition of his exceptional dedication to APG, especially for going well above and beyond in his service as Chair of the APGQ Advisory Committee.
  • Eileen M. O’Duill, CG, also received a certificate. She has served on the APG board for eight years and was instrumental in organizing APG’s participation in Who Do You Think You Are in London? Live conference in London.
“Congratulations to our award recipients,” said APG President Kenyatta D. Berry. “We are pleased to honor these volunteers for their outstanding service to the organization and to the field of genealogy.”

About the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists (, established in 1979, represents more than 2,600 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 and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter ( and Facebook (

ISFHWE Excellence-in-Writing Competition 2012

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors is pleased to announce the winners in this year's Excellence-in-Writing Competition. Any questions, please contact

Category I - Columns

1st - A Big Game for the Big Day – Shelley Bishop
2nd - Newel King, 91st Ohio Volunteer Infantry – Shelley Bishop
3rd - Wanted: Larger ‘Needles’ – James M. Beidler

Category II - Articles

1st - Blue Collar Breakthroughs – Sunny Morton
2nd - Academic Libraries: A Good Reason to Head Back to Campus – Mary Penner
3rd - An Identity Crisis: Using Indirect Evidence to Prove …. – Debbie Parker Wayne, CG

Category III – Original Research Story

1st - Common Ground – Courtenay O’Bryan Auger
2nd - [tie] The Long and Winding Road: The Search for the Clark Farm – Cheryl Roach
2nd - [tie] James Holmes: He Was Tickled to be Pickled – Marjorie Waterfield

Category IV – Unpublished Author

1st – The Butchers of Marshall Avenue – Carla Maitland

Category V – Unpublished Work by Published Author

1st - The Bones of Hobo Hollow – Paul K. Graham
2nd - Ella’s Letter – Nancy Waters Lauer
3rd- Civil War Perils of Springtime – M. Carolyn Steele

The details on the 2013 competition will be posted on the website in the next few days.

Congratulations again to the winners, and all those who participated in the competition.