Friday, March 30, 2012

HistoryGeo: new maps and pricing policy

HistoryGeo Announces Price Decrease (and a Whole Lot More) - March 30, 2012

We are pleased to be able to offer the finest historical map-viewing experience on the web for greatly reduced prices:

  • 3-Month Plans are now only $29.99
  • 6-Month Plans are now only $49.99
  • 12-Month Plans are now only $79.99
To take advantage, just head over to HistoryGeo.com, log-in using the email address that received this announcement, and click "Subscribe."

You'll be joining thousands of researchers who KNOW the value of being able to locate EXACTLY where 2.5 million (and growing) U.S. landowners, lived, worked, and built their Amercian Dream!

For example, just look at the content, we recently added:
  • Family Maps of Randolph County, Alabama
  • Family Maps of Cedar County, Iowa
  • Family Maps of Polk County, Missouri
  • Family Maps of Douglas County, Washington
  • Texas Land Survey Maps of Montague County, Texas
  • Texas Land Survey Maps of Tarrant County, Texas (Fort Worth and vicinity)
  • PLUS: FIVE HUGE COUNTY-MAPS - FULLY-INDEXED FOR:
    • Kings County, New York - 1872 (full of familes who've become household names)
    • Spotsylvania County, Virginia (Civil War period)
    • Maury County, Tennessee - 1878 (lots of James K Polk kinfolk here)
    • Columbiana County, Ohio - 1860 (Harvey Firestone's kinfolk are here)
    • Cleveland County, Oklahoma - 1900 (see if you can find James Garner's family!)
And coming in the next few weeks, you'll see:
  • Family Maps of LaGrange County, Indiana
  • Family Maps of Choctaw County, Mississippi
  • Family Maps of Smith County, Mississippi
  • Texas Land Survey Maps of Angelina County, Texas
  • Texas Land Survey Maps of Harrison County, Texas

Since you last looked at us, we have addeds lots of new content like what's mentioned above, and unless you've visited in the last couple of weeks, you've missed out on our vastly simplified Map Viewer. And the good news is that there are some killer new features slated for release in April.

We are making huge enhancements to our search engines, are acquiring more maps all the time, and are committed to providing our subscribers with that occasional "WOW" experience that makes genealogical and historical research SO rewarding. We've begun negotiating with some world-class map repositories and hope to be making some big announcements before summer about lots of unique content headed your way!

TRAVEL NOTES ---
If you're one to make it to genealogical conferences, we may be seeing you out on the road. We will be in Cincinnati, Ohio at NGS in May, in Birmingham, Alabama at FGS in August-September, in Lubbock, TX at the S. Plains Genealogical Society meeting on April 14 (Greg Boyd will be speaking), at the Oklahoma City Family History Expo on April 18, and are hoping we can slide into the St. Louis Gen. Society conference on April 28th. There's also the Angelina College (Texas) conference in July, where again, Greg Boyd will be speaking. We have lots of other trips planned later in the year, so stay tuned! Email us if you have have questions about any particular venue.

A few final notes:
In case you've missed it, we've added lots of training videos (www.historygeo.com/videos) and lots of knowledgebase articles (www.historygeo.com/learn) to help you learn how to use the most powerful historical map-tool in existence.

Thanks for hearing us out, and we hope you'll join some of the most discerning researchers on the planet. And while you're at it, please tell your favorite research library that we've got an institutional product now being installed all around the country. Be the first to tip them off!

We wish you all the best, and happy family history hunting . . .
The HistoryGeo.com Team!

email us at: info@historygeo.com
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of visit: www.historygeo.com

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The FFHS’s awards

The Guild of One-Name Studies is pleased to announce the results of the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) 2011 Awards especially where they impact on the Guild and its members. The awards were announced at the FFHS’s AGM which took place in London on Saturday 24th March 2012. The results were:

The Elizabeth Simpson Award for best Journal

Large Societies 1st Somerset & Dorset FHS – www.sdfhs.org; 2nd Oxfordshire FHS – www.ofhs.org.uk; 3rd Guild of One Name Studies – www.one-name.org.

One Name Societies 1st: Witheridge Family History Society – www.witheridgefhs.com; 2nd: The Dalton Genealogical Society – www.daltongensoc.com; 3rd: Stonehewer-Stanier Society – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~stanier/ All these one-name Societies have their surnames registered with the Guild of One-Name Societies.

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~stanier/

Overall Winner New Zealand Society of Genealogists

Large Societies 1st: The Families In British India Society 2nd: Guild of One-Name Studies 3rd: North of Ireland FHS

One-Name Societies 1st: Alabaster Society 2nd: Clan Davidson Association 3rd: The Filby Association. All these societies have their surnames registered with the Guild.

The Guild of One-Name Societies is delighted with the results of the FFHS’s Awards for 2011 for both its Website and Journal and looks forward to seeing ongoing improvements in the way the Guild provides information to its members and the genealogical community worldwide.

Details of the Guild’s facilities can be found at: www.one-name.org/guildsvces.html - where you can find:

  • more about undertaking a one-name study
  • the benefits of joining the Guild of One-Name Studies, and the assistance members of the Guild can provide to anyone researching their family history on any of the 8,000 plus names currently being researched

Keith Bage, the Guild’s editor in 2011, said today "It is very pleasing to see the Guild being recognised in its efforts to produce an informative, high quality journal for its membership."

Anne Shankland, the Guild’s Webmaster, said today "It is pleasing to note that not only was the Guild itself represented in the top three large societies for both Journal and Website, but that all six of the winning one-name societies were for names registered with the Guild."

The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world's leading organization 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 organization 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 2,500 members spread across the world, studying over 8,000 individual surnames.

FFHS Awards

The Elizabeth Simpson Award for the Journal making the Best contribution to Family History

The Elizabeth Simpson Award was first introduced in 1979 and is awarded annually to the society whose journal has, in the opinion of the judges, made the best contribution to family history during the preceding twelve months. The 2011 winning society received £250 in prize money, a trophy and a certificate. For full details please see the Best Journal pages.

The Best Website Award

The Federation organises an annual award to the member society with the best web site, in recognition of the growing importance of this media. The first award was made in June 2001 and sponsorship for this event is kindly provided each year by ABM Publishing who presented a £100 cheque to the winning society.

MyHeritage appoints industry heavyweights to spearhead global content growth

Appointment of senior executives boosts MyHeritage’s US presence, drives growth of historical content and kick-starts preparations for worldwide crowdsourcing project

PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel – March 30, 2012 MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, announced today the appointment of industry veterans Russ Wilding and Roger Bell to Chief Content Officer and VP Product, respectively. The former founders and lead executives of Footnote.com, acquired by Ancestry.com in 2010 for $27 million, will boost MyHeritage’s US operations in Utah by establishing a new department for adding historical content and rolling-out an extensive global crowdsourcing project.

The new hires will strengthen MyHeritage’s leadership in the global family history market. Their mission will be to substantially grow historical record content to complement the unique combination of family social-networking and massive user contributed content that has catapulted MyHeritage to becoming the world’s largest network for discovering and sharing family memories. The move adds significant momentum to MyHeritage’s expansion into historical content, following its November 2011 acquisition of FamilyLink Inc. with a library of four billion records, and its recent announcement to make the 1940 U.S. Census available to users free of charge in April 2012.

“We’re delighted to bring Russ and Roger on board as we enter a new period of vigorous growth”, said MyHeritage Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet. “Their impressive track record as social thinkers within the family history world will be an ideal fit for MyHeritage, as we realize our vision of enabling families around the world to explore their family history, share important memories and stay connected.”

A highly regarded visionary with proven execution capabilities within the family history market, Russ Wilding will establish and lead a new department that will acquire, license, transcribe, crowdsource and produce historical records - such as census, birth and marriage records. Russ brings a wealth of expertise in historical content acquisition, licensing and digitization from his previous 11-year role as CEO of iArchives, Inc. and Founder and CEO of its customer-facing website Footnote.com, which was sold to Ancestry.com in 2010.
As VP Product, alongside MyHeritage’s strong product team, Roger Bell will focus on building next-generation community infrastructure and tools for the crowdsourcing of historical record production. This massive community-based initiative will involve assistance and participation from the millions of users of MyHeritage in the deciphering of handwriting and the keying in of information from digitized historical records. During the four years he spent at Footnote.com as Senior VP Product and Development, Roger was instrumental in defining the strategic direction of Footnote.com and in the creation and management of the team. Prior to joining Footnote.com, he was Director of Product Management at Ancestry.com from 2002 until 2006, where he was in charge of the search engine, user experience and community tools. He was also a member of the CEO’s advisory committee.

“After a year of evaluating potential new ventures in the industry, MyHeritage emerged as the clear front-runner”, said the newly appointed Chief Content Officer at MyHeritage and father of five, Russ Wilding. “Enjoying phenomenal growth as the most social player in the family history industry, MyHeritage is poised to become the de-facto site for families, emulating what Facebook is to friends and LinkedIn is to professionals. With a talented and multi-national team, state-of-the art products and stellar investors, MyHeritage has all the ingredients to succeed. I am thrilled to join MyHeritage and look forward to a tremendous ride over the coming years.”

“I strongly resonate with the core vision of MyHeritage: helping families across the world stay connected, by creating the best experience to discover and share their heritage. MyHeritage is pushing industry boundaries by bringing family history to a worldwide audience in 38 languages. I look forward to playing a pivotal role in driving this forward with my desire to help keep meaningful family stories alive for generations to come, and my passion for delivering value to customers."

With more than 62 million registered users and 22 million family trees, MyHeritage has become the trusted home on the web for families wishing to explore their family history, share memories and stay connected.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. On MyHeritage, millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place to explore their history and share special family memories. Pioneers in making family history a collaborative experience for all the family, MyHeritage empowers its users with a unique mix of innovative social tools and a massive library of historical content. The site is available in 38 languages. So far more than 62 million people have signed up to MyHeritage. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit www.myheritage.com.

NEHGS to be featured on new PBS Series “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”

Show helps to uncover the mysteries of who we are and where we come from

Boston, MA – March 30, 2012 – The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is pleased to announce that it will be featured on the next episode of the new 10-part PBS series, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. NEHGS and Senior Researcher Rhonda McClure will be featured on the next episode of the show scheduled to run on Sunday, April 1st at 8pm ET on PBS.

On this episode, McClure helps uncover the family mysteries of Geoffrey Canada, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Geoffrey Canada has become recognized internationally for his ground-breaking work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform. In addition, television journalist and former co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News’ “20/20” as well as current creator, co-owner, executive producer and co-host of “The View,” Barbara Walters will learn and discover her fascinating ancestral background.

This season, Professor Gates examines the fascinating family histories of celebrities including Samuel L. Jackson, Harry Connick Jr., Condoleezza Rice, Kevin Bacon, Martha Stewart, Robert Downey Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, and many more.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to work closely with Professor Gates,” says NEHGS President and CEO, D. Brenton Simons. “All of us at NEHGS are thrilled to be a part of such an incredible television series and we wish Professor Gates and the rest of the production team a most successful season!”

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premiered nationally on Sunday, March 25th, and will continue to run through May 20th on PBS. Be sure to check out the next episode on Sunday, April 1st. Please check local listings for times.

###

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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Westminster Parish Records Published Online by findmypast.co.uk

Over a million baptism, marriage and burial records dating back to 1538 now available
First time that images of the original parish records from Westminster go online

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk has today published online for the very first time parish records held by the City of Westminster Archives Centre. The Westminster Collection at findmypast.co.uk comprises fully searchable transcripts and scanned images of the parish registers, some of which are over 400 years old.

The 1,365,731 records launched today cover the period 1538-1945 and come from over 50 Westminster churches including St Anne, Soho, St Clement Danes, St George Hanover Square, St James Westminster, St Margaret Westminster, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St Mary-le-Strand, St Paul Covent Garden.

Debra Chatfield, family historian at findmypast.co.uk, said: "The Westminster Collection is one of the largest regional parish record collections we have ever published online and contains some truly wonderful gems. Family historians, wherever they are in the world, can now search this historical goldmine and uncover the fascinating stories of their London ancestors."

Today's launch marks the start of a painstaking project to preserve digitally the City of Westminster Archives Centre's collection, and sees the first tranche of its baptisms, marriages and burials go online. The remaining records are set to go live over the coming months, along with cemetery registers, wills, rate books, settlement examinations, workhouse admission and discharge books, bastardy, orphan and apprentice records, charity documents, and militia and watch records.

Adrian Autton, Archives Manager at Westminster Archives commented: "The launch of the Westminster Collection is of huge significance making Westminster records fully accessible to a global audience. This resource will be of immense value to anyone whose ancestors lived in Westminster and to anyone wishing to study the rich heritage of this truly great city."

The records can now be searched free of charge by visiting the Life Events (BMDs) section at findmypast.co.uk, and then selecting parish baptisms or marriages or burials. Transcripts and images can be viewed with PayAsYouGo credits, vouchers or a full subscription to findmypast.co.uk.

The new Westminster Collection at findmypast.co.uk joins a growing resource of official parish records from local archives, including Cheshire Archives & Local Studies, Manchester City Council and Plymouth and West Devon Records Office, with many more in the pipeline and due to go live in the coming months. In addition over 40 million parish records from family history societies can be found at findmypast.co.uk in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies.

About findmypast.co.uk

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003, winning the Queen's Award for Innovation.

Findmypast.co.uk has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 875 AD. This allows family historians to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military, census, migration, parish, work and education records, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records. The company runs the official 1911 census website for England & Wales in association with The National Archives and has digitised several other record sets from the national collection.

About Westminster City Archives

Westminster City Archives aims to provide a centre of excellence, where archives and local studies materials are acquired, preserved and made accessible, in order to raise the profile of Westminster's unique heritage within a global context.

The Archives Centre is designated by the Bishop of London, under the terms of the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978, as the repository for ecclesiastical records for the pre-1965 City of Westminster and has also been appointed by the Lord Chancellor as a repository for specified classes of public records under the provisions of Section 4 of the Public Records Act 1958. These include Petty Sessions records, probate records of the Westminster Commissary Court and Coroner's Court records. It is also recognised by the Master of the Rolls as a repository for manorial and tithe documents under the Law of Property Act 1922 and the Tithe Act 1936.

The Archives Centre holds extensive collections relating to family, local, business and community history in the geographical area of the present day City of Westminster, including the former Metropolitan Boroughs of Paddington and St Marylebone. Among the resources available are books, pamphlets, directories, newspapers, journals, maps and plans, over 60,000 prints, drawings and photographs, local government records from 1460, electoral registers, census returns, parish registers, and business archives.

Monday, March 26, 2012

NARA: Launches 1940 Census with LIVE webcast 2 April 2012

National Archives Launches 1940 Census April 2 Online at 1940census.archives.gov
Live webcast of Opening Event, 8:30 A.M. EDT
Follow the 1940 Census on Twitter (using hashtag #1940census), Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and YouTube, and subscribe to our blogs: NARAtions and Prologue: Pieces of History.

The launch event is open to the media and to a limited number of members of the public on a first come, first served basis, by emailing 1940census@nara.gov

WHAT:          Washington, DC…Special ceremonial launch of the 1940 census.  The National Archives’ largest single release of digitized records will be online at 1940census.archives.gov. For the genealogical community, the 1940 census is the most eagerly-anticipated records release in the past decade.   Following remarks, the Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero will launch the first search.
Beginning April 2, 2012, users will be able to search, browse, and download the 1940 census schedules, free of charge, through the new 1940 census website:  1940census.archives.gov. National Archives partnered with Archives.com to build and host the site.

                          The launch event will be webcast live online starting at 8:30 A.M., please visit 1940census.archives.gov, closer to April 2 for the link.
WHO:             Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero                  
U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves
Archives.com Executive Vice President John Spottiswood
University of Maryland U.S. History Professor David Sicilia

WHEN:          Monday, April 2, 2012, 8:30 A.M.    
Electronic media preset 8:15 A.M.

WHERE:       William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
Enter through Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue and 7th Streets, NW              

View the National Archives 3:13 minute video short on its YouTube channel (http://tiny.cc/1940Census) and on www.1940census.archives.gov. The video provides a “behind-the-scenes” look at staff preparations and gives viewers tips on how to access the 1940 census data. This video is in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages the free distribution of it. 

Background on the 1940 Census
When the Founding Fathers mandated a decennial census in the U.S. Constitution, the intent was to use this as a basis to determine how many representatives each state was entitled to send to the U.S. Congress.  It is now a vital tool for Federal agencies in determining allocation of Federal funds and resources. The census is also a key research tool for sociologists, demographers, historians, political scientists and genealogists. Many of the questions on the 1940 census are the standard ones: name, age, gender, and race, education, and place of birth. But the 1940 census also asks many new questions, some reflecting concerns of the Great Depression. The instructions ask the enumerator to enter  a circled X after the name of the person furnishing the information about the family; whether the person worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps, Works Progress Administration, or National Youth Administration the week of March 24–30, 1940; and income for the 12 months ending December 31, 1939. The 1940 census also has a supplemental schedule for two names on each page. The supplemental schedule asks the place of birth of the person's father and mother; the person's usual occupation, not just what they were doing the week of March 24–30, 1940; and for all women who are or have been married, has this woman been married more than once and age at first marriage.

For the release of the 1940 census online, the National Archives has digitized the entire census, creating more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.

Bad news for Mad Men’s Don & Betty Draper: their names head U.S. endangered list, finds study marking 1940 US Census release April 2

The names that time forgot: ‘Donald’, ‘Betty’ are biggest losers in U.S. names league since 1940: study by findmypast.com

“Names can be genealogy what carbon-dating is to archaeology”

Donald Trump, Betty White still blooming but namesakes top threatened list


Santa Monica, CA; Monday, March 26 2012 – Once two of America’s most popular names, ‘Betty’ and ‘Donald’ are the baby names that have fallen farthest from favor since the time of the 1940 Census, reveals a new study.

Iconic owners of such names, like Betty White and Donald Trump, are still going strong but their monikers top the endangered list, reveals the study conducted by genealogy website findmypast.com to mark the Government’s release of the 1940 Census records April 2.

The news comes the very week that Don and Betty Draper return to TV in the hit show, Mad Men (Season 5) and the very month that Betty White has been voted America’s favorite Hollywood star.

Donald was the ninth most popular name for American boys born in 1940 but now ranks just 377th, while Betty was the fifth most popular name for American girls born the same year but no longer even makes the top 1,000!

“Baby names are like period pieces”, says Josh Taylor, a leading genealogist and spokesperson for findmypast.com. “Some recall a particular era, which can make them useful clues for researching family history. Indeed, you can sometimes guess roughly when someone was born simply by their first name. In such cases, names can be to genealogy what carbon-dating is to archaeology.”

Findmypast.com researchers trawled the records of the US Social Security Administration, which has recorded baby names, based on Social Security applications for births, since 1879.

Over 23,000 American babies born in 1940 were named Donald. Donald Trump was a forties baby (born 1946), who these days styles himself "The Donald.”

The best-known “Donalds’ in American life were born in the decades either side of 1940: Donald Rumsfeld in 1932, Donald Duck in 1934, actor Donald Sutherland in 1935 (albeit in Canada).

Betty’s hailing from the golden age of Betties include movie idol Betty Grable; Betty Crocker, an inventor character of cake-mix fame; and, of course, America’s favorite celebrity Betty White.

Famous Donald’s (And Their Birth Year)
Donald Rumsfeld (1932)
Donald Duck (1934)
Donald Sutherland (1935)
Donald Trump (1946)
Donald “Don” Draper (1926)

Famous Betty’s (And Their Birth Year)
Betty Draper (1932)
Betty Boop (1930)
Betty White (1922)
Betty Friedan (1921)
Betty Crocker (1921)
Betty Grable (1916)


Top U.S. Baby Names in 1940

Rank
Boys
Girls
1
James
Mary
2
Robert
Barbara
3
John
Patricia
4
William
Judith
5
Richard
Betty
6
Charles
Carol
7
David
Nancy
8
Thomas
Linda
9
Donald
Shirley
10
Ronald
Sandra



 

Top U.S. Baby Names in 2010

Rank
Boys
Girls
1
Jacob
Isabella
2
Ethan
Sophia
3
Michael
Emma
4
Jayden
Olivia
5
William
Ava
6
Alexander
Emily
7
Noah
Abigail
8
Daniel
Madison
9
Aiden
Chloe
10
Anthony
Mia

Source: Social Security Online

Note: Mary and James topped the U.S. rankings for baby names in 1940. In our time, Jacob and Isabella rank top. Jayden and Aiden both make the top 10 boys’ names, while Madison, Chloe and Mia are all in the girls’ top 10.

Biggest Losers In U.S. Baby Name Popularity Stakes Since 1940

Table: Most Popular Boys’ Names In 1940, Ranked By Size Of Fall Since


NAME
RANK 1940
RANK 2010
FALL (PLACES)
1. Donald
9
377
368
2. Ronald
10
342
332
3. Richard
5
127
122
4. Charles
6
63
57
5. Thomas
8
62
54
6. Robert
2
54
52
7. John
3
26
23
8. James
1
19
18
9. David
7
15
8
10. William
4
5
1

Source: Social Security Online

Table: Most Popular Girls’ Names In 1940, Ranked By Size Of Fall Since


NAME
RANK 1940
RANK 2010
FALL (PLACES)
1. Betty
5
Not in top 1000*
996+
2. Carol
6
Not in top 1000*
995+
3. Shirley
9
Not in top 1000*
992+
4. Judith
4
879
875
5. Barbara
2
710
708
6. Linda
8
624
616
7. Patricia
3
615
612
8. Nancy
7
521
514
9. Sandra
10
517
511
10. Mary
1
109
108

About findmypast.com

findmypast.com is a proud participant in the 1940 US Census Community Project and the new US addition to the global network of findmypast family history websites, with over 18 million registered members worldwide and over a billion genealogical records dating back to 1200.

From early April 2012, visitors to findmypast.com will be able to browse 1940 US Census images and find out more about their American family tree.

A full launch of findmypast.com will happen this summer. This will provide US customers with an extensive set of US records, in addition to a vast overseas collection, including a billion English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Australian and New Zealand records, plus millions of pages from the British Library's newspaper collection.

findmypast.com is owned by brightsolid online publishing.

Explore the 1940 U.S. Census on MyHeritage with free, easy and automatic discoveries

World’s largest family network pledges to make the 1940 U.S. Census available for free in 38 languages, searchable even on-the-go via mobile, with automatic matching to family trees

PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel – March 22, 2012: MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, today announced it will be offering the images and a searchable name index of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census completely free of charge, starting April 2 2012. Using sophisticated technology that automatically matches names, facts and relationships in the census to family tree data, MyHeritage will provide an easy and exciting way for families to explore their American heritage. Supporting 38 languages, MyHeritage will enable family history lovers not only in the US, but all over the world, to discover more about the lives of their American relatives during this transformative period in history.

More than 3.8 million images and 132 million records of the 1940 U.S. Census will be made available on www.myheritage.com/1940census where they will be searchable by multiple criteria on MyHeritage SuperSearch™, the industry’s fastest and most powerful family history search engine to be released by MyHeritage in April 2012. MyHeritage will also provide the 1940 U.S. Census for free on the other leading family history sites it owns at www.worldvitalrecords.com/1940census and www.familylink.com/1940census. In addition, users will be able to search the 1940 U.S. Census on-the-go with a new version of the MyHeritage Mobile App for iPhone, iPad and Android, to be launched in the first week of April.

As the largest and most recent U.S. census to be made publicly available, the 1940 Census opens a window into the lives of the generation that survived the Great Depression and lived through the Second World War, described as the Greatest Generation. Family historians will be able to use the 1940 Census to learn more about their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and other close relatives.

As an independent provider of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, MyHeritage will be releasing its own version of the index in high transcription quality, adding value by publishing data from states not yet available elsewhere. To facilitate discoveries in the easiest and quickest way, MyHeritage will automatically match the 1940 Census records as they are being added, with the millions of family trees built by users on MyHeritage, notifying them about relevant results and eliminating the need for time-consuming and repeated manual searches. This is especially helpful given that the 1940 Census records will be added gradually, so users won’t need to revisit the census and search again as new content is added and can look forward to an ongoing stream of effortless discoveries, for free.

“The release of the 1940 U.S. Census will undoubtedly be a significant milestone for the family history industry” said MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “With such an event occurring only once a decade, and as the largest and most comprehensive U.S. census ever to be released, the 1940 Census has deep emotional interest and revealing information in store for a great number of people. With the anticipated debut of our new and incredibly powerful SuperSearch™ engine, our new technology for matching historical records to family trees and our free offering of previously unpublished census data, MyHeritage will be taking the exploration of family history and American heritage to exciting new heights.”

The images of the 1940 U.S. Census will be released by the National Archives and Records Administration on April 2, 2012, following a 72 year privacy protection period. MyHeritage will then make all images immediately available to the public and begin the gradual process of transcribing them and making the index searchable, pledging a 98% or higher degree of accuracy.

Census information includes detailed family information, such as names, ages, addresses, occupation, race, marital status, birthplace, citizenship, home ownership and the relation of each person in the household. Several new and interesting questions appear in the 1940 U.S. Census for the first time identifying where the individual was living five years before (in 1935), information about wages and also educational attainment. Five percent of the population was asked supplementary questions including birthplace of parents, native language, usual occupation, and for women only – whether they’d been married more than once, how old they were when they were first married and the number of children they gave birth to.

With more than 62 million registered users, 22 million family trees and close to 1 billion profiles, MyHeritage has become the trusted home on the web for families wishing to explore their family history, share memories and stay connected. MyHeritage made a significant move into the historical content market in November 2011 with the acquisition of FamilyLink Inc. in Provo, Utah, obtaining billions of historical records through its website WorldVitalRecords.com. These records together with the family trees form the basis of MyHeritage SuperSearch™, on which the 1940 Census will be added.

About MyHeritage


MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. On MyHeritage, millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place to explore their history and share special family memories. Pioneers in making family history a collaborative experience for all the family, MyHeritage empowers its users with a unique mix of innovative social tools and a massive library of historical content. The site is available in 38 languages. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit www.myheritage.com. The 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be available on www.myheritage.com/1940census.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

PGSCTNE Outreach to Host Genealogy Seminar in Philadelphia April 28, 2012

New Britain, Connecticut, March 24, 2012: On April 28, 2012, the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast will present a free "how to" genealogy seminar from 10 AM to 2 PM at Nazareth Academy High School, 4001 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114. Speaking will be Prof. Jonathan Shea (Poland, Belarus, Lithuania) Matthew Bielawa (Poland and Ukraine) and Lisa Alzo (Slovakia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire).

The speakers will present practical steps to enable you to successfully trace your family from the U.S. to the location of the family's origin in Europe, essentially the immigration process in reverse. Session one will cover sources for family history information on this side of the ocean including church and civil records, census returns, records of ethnic organizations, ship passenger lists and anything and everything you can find locally to unearth information on your ancestors and discover places of origin in the Old World.

The second session will address historical geography and explain the oft-changing borders in Eastern Europe as well as present various print and electronic sources to pinpoint the locations of villages, provinces and counties on a map.

Session three will examine the format and location of the wide array of records awaiting researchers in Eastern Europe in the archives of Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine and Slovakia and provide instructions as to their translation into English. On line sources for doing family history will also be examined.

There is no admission charge to attend the lectures. However, if you plan on attending you must pre-register by e-mailing the local seminar coordinator Marie Dallas at philagen@gmail.com or telephone her at 215-360-3422. Please do NOT contact the high school.

To learn more, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/slavicrootsseminar


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mocavo's Free Social Security Death Index Advanced Search

If you’re in the genealogy community, chances are you’ve read, researched or at least heard about the ongoing battle over the Social Security Death Index. Our own Michael Leclerc has written a series of blog posts about the matter, and many of you have asked us as a company where we stand.

Today we’re answering that question by releasing a brand new, highly advanced and completely free feature of our site: the Mocavo Free Social Security Death Index Search. With this new search, we’re giving our users the ability to scour over 88 million death records with the most advanced SSDI search the web has to offer.

Those of you familiar with Mocavo Plus will recognize the layout of the search, complete with various tools such as Sounds Like, First Name Alternatives and Wildcard Searching, and multiple data-specific search fields, such as Issuing State, Birth & Death Dates, Age at Death, Last Benefit, and Last Residence.

So go ahead - test it out. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Facebook page. As always, we’re looking forward to your thoughts, feedback & questions.