Friday, May 30, 2014

8th Unlock the Past Cruise (Baltic)


Adelaide, South Australia, 29 May 2014 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces a great new opportunity to discover more about your family history while in great company and visiting great destinations.

The Baltic cruise, 11-25 July 2015, on the Celebrity Eclipse will leave from Southampton and visit Bruges (Belgium), Berlin (Germany), Tallinn (Estonia), St Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden), and Copenhagen (Denmark). Key presenters will be Chris Paton (Scotland), Paul Milner (USA), Cyndi Ingle (USA) and Carol Baxter (Australia).

Meet the featured presenters:

  • Chris, a Scottish based professional genealogist, is well known for his comprehensive and entertaining presentations on Scottish and Irish research
  • Paul, a professional genealogist and lecturer, specialises in British Isles and US research – he was born in England and settled in the US in 1975
  • Cyndi, webmaster of Cyndi’s List of more than 327,000 on-line resources, will open new doors for using the internet in your research
  • Carol’s focus will be on research and writing your family history

Several other presenters have also committed to the cruise – Eric Kopittke will speak on researching German and Danish families, Helen Smith on Australian and English records and medical topics and Rosemary Kopittke on online databases and Australian research. Others are yet to be announced.

Choose from about 100 topics, network with others of similar interest and seek one-on-one help from the experts … and, of course, be part of the ship’s own entertainment program.

Some comments on Chris Paton and Paul Milner from previous cruises:

“Chris Paton was fabulous”, “was a standout … he knew his stuff, could communicate it”, “a very entertaining speaker”, “always love Chris Paton”, ” very interesting and very humorous” - 4th cruise

“Paul Milner was outstanding”, “could not be topped”, “my favourite”, “brilliant”, “a knowledgeable relaxed speaker – superb”, “always interesting and hugely informative”, “very generous with his knowledge … a pleasure to listen to”, “his stamina in presenting so many talks with such enthusiasm was only to be admired”, “a standout” , ” a wonderful speaker and had so much expertise” – 3rd cruise

Visit the Unlock the Past website: www.unlockthepastcruises.com. Find out how to win a free cruise at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/win-a-free-cruise.

About Unlock the Past

Australian based Unlock the Past was established in 2009. It is the event and publishing division of Gould Genealogy & History which has served family and local historians since 1976. It is a collaborative venture involving an international team of expert speakers, writers, organisations and commercial partners to promote history and genealogy through innovative major events and a new publishing brand. After three cruises from 2011 to 2013, Unlock the Past cruises was established in mid-2013 to offer 3–4 cruises a year internationally It also maintains general and events directories online.

Poets, Crime Writers, Soldiers, Sailors and Explorers – the lives and deaths of historic Devonians revealed online


MILLONS OF NEW DEVON BAPTISM, MARRIAGE AND BURIAL RECORDS PUBLISHED ONLINE RECORDS REVEAL OVER 375 YEARS OF DEVONSHIRE HISTORY

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk has today, 30 May 2014, published online for the first time parish records in partnership with Devon Heritage Services, as the latest instalment of their 100in100 promise to launch 100 record sets in 100 days.

Spanning 1538 to 1915, the Devon Collection is a rich source comprising over 4 million fully searchable transcripts and scanned colour images of the handwritten parish registers held by the record offices in Barnstaple and Exeter. With Plymouth and West Devon Record Office’s records already available on findmypast, these new additions mean that findmypast’s Devon Collection is the best possible place to find Devonshire ancestors.


The baptism, marriage and burial records of many notable Devonians are stored within the collection. The baptism of literary icon Samuel Taylor Coleridge, author of ‘Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner’ and founder of the Romantic Movement, can be viewed in records from the parish of Ottery St Mary. Bad boy satirist John Gay, member of the Scriblerus club and author of ‘The Beggars Opera’, was born in Barnstaple in 1685 and records of his baptism in 1686 can be found from the Parish of Black Torrington. Crime writer Agatha Christie’s baptism record appears in the parish register of Tormohun in 1890 under her maiden name Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller. Legendary explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton, who was famous for completing the Hajj to Mecca disguised as a pilgrim, translating the Karma Sutra into English and becoming the first European to visit the great lakes of Africa amongst other exploits, was born in Torquay in 1821 and is recorded in the collection.

The records also include the polymath Charles Babbage, who is widely considered to be the father of the computer. Records of his 1814 marriage were kept by the parish of East Teignmouth. Sir John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough and ancestor of Winston Churchill was born in the parish of Musbury at the height of the Civil War. He was a legendary soldier who revolutionised the British army in the late 17th century and was, for a time, one of the richest men in England. Details of his baptism can also be viewed in the archives. VC winner and hero of the Zulu wars, Sir Redvers Henry Buller, is yet another famous military man from the county. Sir Redvers was widely celebrated before his disastrous leadership during the Second Boer War saw him sacked by the Minister for War, St. John Brodrick. He was born in Crediton in 1839 and died there in 1908, with both events being recorded by the parish.

Devon is one of the largest counties and therefore highly significant for family historians. As Maureen Selley, Chairman of Devon Family History Society www.devonfhs.org.uk, whose records are also available on findmypast, put it; “We all have Devonshire ancestors, it’s just that some of us haven’t found them yet.” Findmypast’s existing Devon records are already the most popular parish record set on the website.

The records are also of international significance as many historic Devonians emigrated to Canada, the US and Australia to work in the booming mining, fishing and agricultural industries. Devon’s position on the west coast meant that it was often used as a jumping off point for those headed to the United Sates. The Mayflower, the ship that carried the first pilgrims across the Atlantic, departed from Plymouth and the Devon Collection houses records that predate this famous voyage. These new records will help people from all over the world to trace their ancestral roots back to the county.

The Devon Collection adds to findmypast’s already extensive cache of parish records, the largest available online. These records allow family historians to go as far back as the 1500s, and with more parish records still to come as part of the 100in100 promise, family historians can now explore their more distant roots more easily than ever before.

You can view these exciting new records here: http://100in100.findmypast.co.uk/.

Debra Chatfield, a family historian at findmypast.co.uk, said: “The Devon Collection is one of the largest regional parish record collections available anywhere online and contains some truly wonderful gems. This is the first time that parish records for the whole county have been available to search in one place, enabling people all around the world to discover fascinating details of Devonshire ancestors they didn’t know they had in this historical goldmine.”

Tim Wormleighton, of Devon Heritage Services said: “ We are delighted that, after a lengthy process of preparation involving a lot of hard work by a large team, people will now be able to access high quality images of the majority of Devon’s parish register entries online for the first time ever through findmypast”.

To learn more about the records visit www.findmypast.co.uk. For further information about Devon Heritage Service call 01392 384 253, email devrec@devon.gov.uk, or visit the website http://www.devon.gov.uk/record_office.htm

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Registration opens for Eastern European Family History Conference


Registration is now open for the 2014 Eastern European Family History Conference to be held in Salt Lake City, August 12-15, 2014.

Hosted by the Foundation for East European Family History Studies (FEEFHS), the conference will feature courses on Russian, German, Polish, and Jewish research, Germans of Russia, and the Austrian Empire, which includes modern-day Austria, the Czech Republic, and parts of surrounding countries. Other presentations will focus on research essentials, specialty records, preparation for on-site research, and advanced techniques.

Featuring nationally recognized speakers, the conference program is structured to provide a strong foundation for those new to Eastern European genealogical research as well as more advanced information for the seasoned researcher. Pre-conference workshops “Finding the Village of Origin,” “Learning Cyrillic,” and “Ask the Experts,” provide opportunity for additional instruction and assisted research specific to individual needs. While all researchers are welcome, this program is most appropriate for those with a working knowledge of basic family history research principles and some research experience.

The program will open with a networking reception featuring Eastern European hors d’oeuvres, time to network with others researching in similar areas, and an entertaining presentation, “Homeland Lost,” by Rachael Patterson. Her historical non-fiction series (pending publication) follows a family of ethnic German colonists from Russian territory in war-torn Europe through exile, expropriation, conscription, and imprisonment, border wars and pogroms to their final settlement in Canada.

Gerald Schmidt, a former member of the San Francisco Police Department CSI Unit and recipient of the Crime Scene Investigator of the Year Award, will give the closing keynote address, “Family History Research – the CSI Connection.”

The complete schedule, speaker biographies, travel information, and registration information are available at feefhsworkshop.org.

FEEFHS was founded in 1992 to provide access to genealogical resources and educational programs relating to Eastern European family history research. Additional information may be found at feefhs.org.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

8 million newspaper pages online at The British Newspaper Archive


You can now explore 8 million newspaper pages at The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) after the website reached a major milestone today.

While adding editions of the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Cheshire Observer and The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, the counter on the homepage ticked over to display 8,000,000 pages.

Double the amount available at launch

The amount online has doubled since the website launched with 4 million pages in November 2011. The time period covered now stretches from 1710 – 1954 too, much broader than at launch.

If you’ve tried searching for a person, event or place before without success, it’s well worth trying again now. Visit www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to try a search for free.

More added all the time

Thousands of pages are added every week, so your chance of finding something amazing increases all the time. 825,000 new pages have already been added so far this year.

You can see a list of the newspaper titles that have been added or updated in the last 30 days at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/home/LatestAdditions.

About the British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership project between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History (formally known as brightsolid online publishing). From November 2011 to 2021, up to 40 million pages from historical newspapers across the UK and Ireland will be uploaded to the website www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Genealogists Initiate a Declaration of Rights



Richmond, VA, 12 May 2014: Jordan Jones, President of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), a sponsoring member of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), announced the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights before a crowd of more than 2,500 genealogists attending the Opening Session of the NGS 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, on 7 May 2014.

The Declaration of Rights is a statement advocating open access to federal, state, and local public records. The Declaration affirms America’s long history of open public records, which has been threatened the last few years over concerns about identity theft and privacy. The Records Preservation and Access Committee has worked with state and federal legislators as well as local public officials for more than twenty years in support of legislation and regulations that achieve a balance between access and privacy. The Declaration of Rights has been approved by the board of directors of the three sponsoring organizations: The National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS).

During the NGS 2014 Family History Conference this week, genealogists from almost all fifty states have signed the Declaration of Rights. Over the next few months, the Declaration will travel to the 34th IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 July–1 August 2014 and the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in San Antonio, Texas, 27–30 August 2014. The Declaration will also be available for signature at http://bit.ly/gen-declaration by genealogists not attending one of the conferences.

Genealogists advocate the right of access to records held by government agencies including but not limited to vital records (births, marriages, deaths, divorces); land conveyances and mortgages; tax assessments; guardianships; probates of estates; criminal proceedings; suits of law and equity; immigration; military service and pensions; and acts of governmental entities. Genealogists further advocate that they need to be allowed access to original records when photocopies, microfilm, digital images, or other formats are insufficient to establish clear text, context, or completeness of the record. The rights of genealogists specified in the Declaration object to numerous barriers created to deny them access to records.

Thousands of professional genealogists do research every day on behalf of clients, government agencies, and attorneys. Of particular note are the many forensic genealogists who assist the Department of Defense in locating heirs for the repatriation of remains from previous wars; assist county coroners in the identification of unclaimed persons; work with attorneys in locating missing and unknown heirs involving estates, trusts, real estate quiet title actions, oil and gas and mineral rights, and other similar legal transactions; trace and track heritable medical conditions where finding distant cousins can facilitate early treatment and possibly prevent a premature death; research stolen art and artifacts for repatriation; and identify American Indians, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians to determine eligibility for tribal benefits.

The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) is a joint committee of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) as sponsoring members. The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen), and the American Society of Genealogists (ASG) also serve as participating members. RPAC meets monthly to inform and advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to vital records and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices at the federal, state, and occasionally the local level.

Federation of Genealogical Societies Announces Upcoming Events


May 14, 2014 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is excited to announce its upcoming events lineup, which includes a 2015 FGS Alaskan Cruise, August 28th - September 4th; a 2015 New York Regional Conference in Syracuse in conjunction with the New York State Family History Conference, September 17th-19th; and the 2016 FGS National Conference in Springfield, Illinois, August 31st – September 3rd.

2015 Alaskan Cruise

Join your friends and fellow genealogists on the first FGS Cruise in the fall of 2015. This event promises to deliver a memorable vacation and education from leading genealogists on a variety of topics. Watch for additional information in late 2014.

2015 New York Regional Conference

The New York State Family History Conference returns to Syracuse, New York September 17-19, 2015. Organized by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and the Central New York Genealogical Society, the second biennial conference has expanded to include three tracks of lectures, a significant increase in attendance, and an enlarged space that will accommodate many more exhibitors and societies of interest to attendees. One of the conference focal points is researching New York families, a pursuit that offers unique challenges and requires special techniques and knowledge; the other focal point is building general research skills. In 2015, the event will be hosted as a regional conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) who will provide topics and events for genealogical society leaders and volunteers as part of the conference's activities.

2016 National Conference

Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies as we return to Illinois in 2016. Hosted in the Land of Lincoln, the 2016 conference will feature the latest news and updates from the family history community, a full exhibit hall, the popular Society Showcase, and sessions related to the Midwestern states, research methods, and other topics.

FGS President D. Joshua Taylor states, “As we watch our organizations meet the needs of today's genealogists, we are delighted to offer a variety of activities for 2015 and our return to Springfield for our 40th Anniversary in 2016.”

Currently, registration is open for the Federation’s 2014 National Conference, “Gone to Texas,” to be held in San Antonio, Texas, August 27th-30th. Further, the Federation has a Call for Papers for its 2015 National Conference, “Connect. Explore. Refresh.” to be held concurrently with Rootstech in Salt Lake City, Utah, February, 11th-14th.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

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

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).

New index of England and Wales 1881 Census on Origins.net


Origins.net now includes a NEW full index to and digitised images of the original 1881 Census records for all counties in England and Wales. The 1881 Census includes the personal details of 25,974,439 individuals and provides a snapshot in time for all households including any servants, lodgers, or visitors. For each person present in each household on the 3rd April 1881 details are given of their names, ages, address, occupations, relationship to head of household and place of birth.

Search England & Wales 1881 Census:
 
The latest censuses added to Origins.net - 1901, 1891 and 1881 are all NEW indexes from the original documents.
 
Census & census substitute collections on British Origins
  • England & Wales 1901 Census
  • England & Wales 1891 Census
  • England & Wales 1871 Census
  • England & Wales 1861 Census
  • England & Wales 1841 Census
  • Northamptonshire Hearth Tax Abstracts 1673-1674
  • Association Oath Rolls: City of London Livery Companies 1696
  • Association Oath Rolls: Surrey 1695
  • Somerset Electoral Registers 1832-1914
Search all Census & Census Substitutes on British Origins:
 
Census & census substitute collections on Irish Origins
  • Census of Elphin 1749
  • Dublin City Census 1851
  • Dublin City Census 1901: Rotunda Ward
  • Griffith's Valuation
  • Irish "strays" in England & Wales Census 1841
  • Irish "strays" in England & Wales Census 1871
  • Tithe Defaulters 1831
  • William Smith O'Brien Petition
Search all Census & Census Substitutes on Irish Origins:
 
Free search on all Origins.net collections

Our free search facility allows researchers to search any collection without the initial need to register or subscribe. You can either search the whole site or specific collections and only need to pay if you want to view the records. Start your free searching at: http://www.origins.net/Welcome.aspx

ABOUT Origins.net 

Origins.net, founded in 1997, pioneered the provision of genealogical database services on the web and offers exceptionally rich content for the genealogist, the family history researcher, and the social historian. Most of our content is not available online anywhere else. Based in the UK, we have partnerships with major content owners in the Britain and Ireland and are one of the main providers of high quality British and Irish genealogical data. New and exclusive data is regularly added to our databases and we are partnering with an increasing number of organizations who own high quality source material. Origins.net offers subscription access to a wealth of unique and hard to find family history records, dating back to the 1200s from Britain and Ireland. Collections include: Marriages, Burials, Baptisms, Electoral Registers, Census records, Apprentice records, Poor Law Abstracts, Passenger Lists, Griffith's Valuation, Court records, Militia records, Irish Directories PLUS the National Wills Index – the principal online resource for pre-1858 English probate material.

Utah Genetics Student Awarded Genealogy Grant


The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Committee is pleased to announce that Paul Woodbury, a Brigham Young University senior from Provo, Utah will receive $500 from the Freeman Memorial Grant program and 3-day registration to the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California from SCGS.

Paul Woodbury will attend the SCGS Jamboree June 6-8, 2014 and use the grant funds toward genealogy research and education. This is the fourth year that the Freeman Student Genealogy Grant Program and SCGS have partnered to offer a student genealogy award.

“We are delighted to recognize young genealogists with the grant program and encourage their future in family history,” notes Denise Levenick, Grant Chair. “It is exciting to see “The Next Generation of Genealogists” is already here!”

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with the Freeman Student Genealogy Grant Program to support this outstanding future genealogist,” said Paula Hinkel, Jamboree co-chair and SCGS vice president. “Paul will be recognized at the Jamboree Scholarship Breakfast on Sunday, June 8.”

Paul is an active member of the Utah Genealogical Society, the International society of Genetic Genealogy, and the NextGen Genealogy Network. He works and teaches classes at the BYU Center for Family History and Genealogy and is especially interested in the role of genetic genealogy to locate obscure ancestors and solve identity challenges of adoptees and abandoned children.

About the Grant Program: The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant Program was established in 2011 to help young family historians pursue their genealogy research and educational goals. In recognition of Suzanne Freeman’s enthusiasm for the nationally recognized Jamboree, the award is directed toward a student attending the SCGS Jamboree. Suzanne Winsor Freeman was the mother of genealogy blogger Denise Levenick, www.theFamilyCurator.com. For information about donating to the grant fund, please see SWF Grant.

About SCGS: The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree has partnered with the grant program each year to offer complimentary conference registration to the award recipient. The annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is an innovative leader in genealogy conferences offering webinars, live-streamed sessions, student registration rates, youth and beginner education, and a new DNA Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Excellence in Genealogy Scholarship and Service Honored by National Genealogical Society Awards


Arlington, VA, 9 MAY 2014: The National Genealogical Society held its annual banquet on Fridayevening, 9 May 2014, at the NGS 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, to present awards that acknowledge and honor genealogical scholarship and service. Each year, these awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to NGS programs or have performed outstanding work in the field of genealogy, history, biography, or heraldry.

National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame. Beginning in 1986, the National Genealogy Hall of Fame program, administered by the National Genealogical Society, has honored outstanding genealogists whose achievements in the field of American genealogy have had a great impact on our field. Qualified nominations are solicited annually from genealogical organizations. Those nominated must have been deceased for at least five years and have been actively engaged in genealogy for a minimum of ten years. Their contributions to the field of genealogy in this country need to have been significant in a way that was unique, pioneering, or exemplary. Such contributions could have been as an author of books or articles that added significantly to the body of published works, served as a model of genealogical research or writing, or made source records more readily available. Nominees could also have been a teacher or lecturer, or contributed to the field through leadership in a genealogical organization or periodical.

Entries are judged by a panel of genealogists from various parts of the United States. This year,Florence Harlow Barclay, whose nomination was made by The American Society of Genealogists and supported by the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the Cape Cod Genealogical Society, and the New England Historical Genealogical Society, was elected to the NGS Hall of Fame. The main body of her work consists of over fifty articles published in The American Genealogist between 1946 and 1971. She was appointed a contributing editor to The American Genealogist in 1951 and served as vice president of the society in 1964-65, chair of the publications and membership committees, and was one of the founding members of the Harlow Family Association.

Fellowship in the National Genealogical Society recognizes a valued servant of the National Genealogical Society. This year’s Fellow, Janet A. Alpert, served on the NGS Board from 2004–2012 as secretary, president, and past-president. During her four years as NGS President, Jan used her management skills, acquired from a thirty-five year career in the title insurance industry, to guide the Society toward a financial model based on best practices in the business community helping to create a solid financial foundation for the society.

Jan was 2011 Conference Chair in Charleston, a role that overlapped with her last year as NGS President. She is also Co-Chair in 2014 Richmond. Jan represented the Society and the genealogical community on several occasions, speaking on Capitol Hill advocating records access and preservation issues.

Although she has gone above and beyond what is normally expected in her many roles at NGS, it is her work with the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) and the impact that it has had and continues to have on record access that is of primary importance to both NGS and the genealogical community at large, She was unanimously chosen to become its chairperson beginning in January 2013.

For her years of service to the genealogical community and her volunteer efforts on behalf of the National Genealogical Society and the genealogical community at large, the NGS Board has elected Janet A. Alpert a Fellow of the National Genealogical Society.

The Award of Merit is presented to an individual or non-profit genealogical or historical organization to recognize exceptional contributions to the field of genealogy over a period of five or more years, which has significantly aided research or increased interest in genealogy. The Award of Merit goes toDon Eckerle of the German Genealogy Group, NY; John Martino of the Italian Genealogy Group, NY; and Bob Boeckle of the German Genealogy Group, NY. Together, the three men organized and led their fellow members and over 1,000 volunteers from the Long Island Genealogy Federation and beyond to create one of the most important databases in the US: digitized indexes to over 16 million records that include the earliest vital records for the five boroughs of New York City plus Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, plus naturalization indexes for all of these counties as well as NARA-NY’s entire naturalization collection from six district courts in New York and three in New Jersey. Don managed the computer and database creation for this work, John managed the thousands of volunteers, and Bob managed the scanning and printing of millions of records. This work represents only two of the many key searchable databases produced by these prolific, hardworking groups of volunteers who scanned and printed over 20 million records to offer these free indexes to family researchers all over the world as a gateway to finding their New York ancestors.

The Shirley Langdon Wilcox Award for Exemplary Volunteerism recognizes a volunteer whose generosity of spirit and time has greatly benefited the National Genealogical Society and the genealogical community in general over a period of years. Sharon B. Hodges of Alexandria, Virginia, has graded lessons for the NGS home study course for fifteen years and has also served as a judge for the society's newsletter competition.  She is a former secretary of the Fairfax (Virginia) Genealogical Society, is the current president of the Mount Vernon (Virginia) Genealogical Society, and serves as a Governor at Large of the Virginia Genealogical Society. For her many year of service to NGS and the genealogical community, the NGS Board has selected Sharon to be the fourth recipient of the Wilcox Award.

Family History Writing ContestLeslie Anderson of Silver Spring, Maryland, was the winner of the Family History Writing contest with her entry, Tabitha's Story: Survival, Struggle, and Success. This award is to encourage NGS members to write a family history that covers at least three generations and not more than four generations of their family. This scholarly article will be published in the upcoming December issue of the NGSQ.

National Genealogical Society Quarterly’s Award for Excellence: This award is presented for an outstanding article published in the NGSQ in the previous calendar year. For 2013, the editors have chosen Parentage of Martha Smith of Alabama and Mississippi: Overcoming Inconsistent, Incorrect, and Missing Records, by Laurel T. Baty, cg, published in the June 2013 issue of the NGSQ.

Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources: This year’s recipient was Ted O. Brooke of Cumming, Georgia. The title of his entry was Georgia Stray Wills, 1733-1900. This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles that discuss genealogical methods and sources, which serves to foster scholarship and/or advances or promotes excellence in genealogy. 

Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book: This year’s recipient was Robert V. Montague III of Navarre, Florida. The title of his entry was History and Genealogy of Peter Montague of Jamestown, Virginia (1603–2003). This award is for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a family genealogy or family history book published in the past five years. Entries serve to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advance or promote excellence in genealogy. 

Senior Rubincam Youth Award (for students in grades 10–12 or between the ages of 16 and 18):Rachel Hattok of Leavenworth Kansas, was this year’s winner. The title of her entry was Through the Years. The Senior Rubincam Award was established in 1986 to honor Milton Rubincam, cg, fasg, fngs, for his many years of service to the National Genealogical Society and to the field of genealogy. The award encourages and recognizes our youth as the next generation of family historians. 

Home Study Course ScholarshipKrista M Burnette of Galax, Virginia, was the winner of the Home Study Course Scholarship. Burnette received the award for having demonstrated her serious interest in pursuing a career in genealogy. Criteria include attending genealogy conferences and training, subscribing to genealogical publications, and membership in NGS. The renowned NGS Home Study Course provides a solid foundation for researchers just starting out and new possibilities for experienced researchers’ more difficult problems.

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.  Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Kent Will Abstracts 1328-1691 on the National Wills Index


This collection contains indexed abstracts (summaries) to wills proved in the Archdeaconry & Consistory Courts of Canterbury for people living in or near Faversham 1450-1642 & Thanet 1328-1691. The collection also includes abstracts to a small number of wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

Images of the abstracts are available online. These abstracts contain a detailed summary of the information found within each will including all names and places appearing in the will (testators, executors, witnesses and beneficiaries) plus incidental information such as relationships, occupations, date of death / burial place and value of estate where found in the original document.

The abstracts are in an easy to read format, eliminating the problems incurred in deciphering old handwriting and negotiating your way through the legalise found in what were very important legal documents. The original documents are unlikely to give any additional information.


The Consistory and Archdeaconry courts, in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Canterbury, intermingled and overlapped but basically covered Eastern Kent.


Search Kent Will Abstracts 1328-1691  http://www.origins.net/NationalWills/Search/kent/search_kentabstracts.aspx 

The value of wills to the family history researcher

Quite apart from the intrinsic interest of seeing what land or personal possessions belonged to an ancestor, wills are valuable documents because of the genealogical information they provide. And they are exceptional in the first-hand nature of their evidence.


At the most basic level, a will provides evidence of the death of an ancestor; the date on which the will is proved gives an approximate date of death. Where you have been unable to trace a death or burial record, the will may be the only evidence of death; or, in the case of a common name, it may confirm which of several burial entries in a parish register refers to a particular ancestor.

Unlike census records, which describe only an ancestor’s household, a will often provides evidence of the wider family, including nephews, nieces and grandchildren, and can be used to confirm family relationships deduced from records of birth or baptism. One of the great virtues of wills is they spell out the relationship to the testator of everyone mentioned. For example, bequests to a married daughter or her children should make it possible to identify the record of daughter's marriage and the baptisms of the ancestor’s grandchildren.

Outside the gentry, who have sometimes left complete pedigrees, wills are almost the only independent source of confirmation for family relationships suggested by baptismal and marriage records. And if you are researching the period before parish registers, a will may be the only evidence for a lineage.
But the value of wills goes beyond the pedigree — they also provide information on the occupation and social status of an ancestor, indicate the closeness or otherwise of the relationship to a spouse and children, and may allow you to identify in the present day a house or land owned by the family.

Search the National Wills Index - the largest online resource for pre-1858 English probate material:http://www.origins.net/nwiwelcome.aspx


Free search on all Origins.net collections

Our free search facility allows researchers to search any collection without the initial need to register or subscribe. You can either search the whole site or specific collections and only need to pay if you want to view the records. Start your free searching at: http://www.origins.net/Welcome.aspx

ABOUT Origins.net 

Origins.net, founded in 1997, pioneered the provision of genealogical database services on the web and offers exceptionally rich content for the genealogist, the family history researcher, and the social historian. Most of our content is not available online anywhere else. Based in the UK, we have partnerships with major content owners in the Britain and Ireland and are one of the main providers of high quality British and Irish genealogical data. New and exclusive data is regularly added to our databases and we are partnering with an increasing number of organizations who own high quality source material. Origins.net offers subscription access to a wealth of unique and hard to find family history records, dating back to the 1200s from Britain and Ireland. Collections include: Marriages, Burials, Baptisms, Electoral Registers, Census records, Apprentice records, Poor Law Abstracts, Passenger Lists, Griffith's Valuation, Court records, Militia records, Irish Directories PLUS the National Wills Index – the principal online resource for pre-1858 English probate material.

Stories of the Lost - Book Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2014

"Discovering the Stories of Our Heroes through Genealogy"

May 8, 2014 – Chicago, Illinois. Jennifer Holik announces the release of her latest book, Stories of the Lost, the first in a new series on World War II records and stories.

Imagine sending your son off to war. Will he return unharmed, unchanged, and whole? How long will he be gone? Will the war last forever? Will he return? Standing in front of you at the railroad station is a young man in uniform. He looks so handsome, so strong, and full of life. You hug him tightly before he boards the train. You wave goodbye and he’s gone.

Years later your son returns from the war. He arrives not walking off the train, but carried off in a flag draped casket. Dead almost four years now and buried in a foreign land, you did not know where he was buried for almost two years after he was killed. Your son is unable to tell his story of war. Who will tell his story?

This book is a collection of stories about my relatives, Michael Kokoska, Frank Winkler, Robert Brouk, and James Privonzik, who left by train to fight for our freedom and never returned. Three of the men were brought home after the war ended. One however, still sleeps in that foreign soil. It is also the recognition of the men who cared for them after death. The stories of the lost found through the military record.

Stories of the Lost is available through the author’s website: http://jenniferholik.com where you can also find a new World War II Toolbox! Also visit Jennifer’s Generations Blog for more information on military records and her Military Memories writing prompts available all month.

About Jennifer Holik

Jennifer is a genealogical, historical, and military researcher. Jennifer lectures throughout the Chicagoland area on World War II records and stories, women during World War II, kids genealogy, and Italian genealogy.

As a researcher and writer she can help you research and piece together the stories of your ancestors, particularly if they served during World War II.

Jennifer volunteers as the Genealogy Department Manager at Casa Italia in Stone Park, Illinois. There she hosts monthly genealogy and writing programs and works in the Italian American Veterans Museum.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

National Genealogical Society Presents Awards Honoring Excellence in Genealogy Newsletter Editorship and Service to NGS


For Release: 7 May 2014

National Genealogical Society Presents Awards Honoring Excellence in
Genealogy Newsletter Editorship and Service to NGS

Arlington, VA, 7 May 2014: The National Genealogical Society honored excellence in the categories of genealogy and family history newsletter editorship and service to the Society with the presentation of several awards at the Opening Session of the NGS 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia, on 7 May 2014. The Opening Session keynote speaker was Dr. Sandra G. Treadway, Librarian of Virginia and State Archivist at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, who spoke on the topic “The Evolving Library: Planning and Adapting to Meet the Needs of Twenty-First-Century Researchers” after which NGS President Jordan Jones presented the following awards.

Each year, the NGS Newsletter Competition recognizes the hard work, long hours, and creativity that editors devote to their newsletters. A panel of three judges reviews each newsletter on material interest, variety, organization, quality of writing and editing, readability, and attractiveness. This year’s categories and winners are:

Family Association Newsletter:

Winner: The Timen Stiddem Society Newsletter, newsletter of the Timen Stiddem Society, edited by Richard L. Steadham of San Diego, California.

Honorable Mention: The Killian Family Newsletter, newsletter of the Andreas Killian Descendants Historical Association, edited by Charles D. Killian of Ellenwood, Georgia.

County/Local Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with less than 500 members:

Winner: The Tracer, newsletter of the Hamilton County (Ohio) Genealogical Society, edited by Deb Cyprych of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Honorable Mention: The Newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum, edited by Patricia Mansfield Phelan of Freeport, New York.

Major Genealogical and/or Historical Society, for societies with more than 500 members:

Winners: PastFinder, the newsletter of the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group, edited by Janet Brigham of Mountain View, California and Der Blumenbaum, the newsletter of the Sacramento German Genealogical Society, edited by Shirley J. Riemer of Sacramento, California.

Honorable Mention: Penn in Hand, the newsletter of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, edited by Deborah Coombe Haas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The President's Citation is given in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy or the society. The National Genealogical Society President selects the recipient and this year Ronald Ames Hill of Star, Idahohas been selected.

Ron Hill was certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists as a Certified Genealogist in 1997. Since 2003, he has served on the editorial board for the NGS Quarterly. He has served as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists (2003−2006) and as president of the New Mexico Genealogical Society (1978–1979). He has published four books and 37 articles in peer-reviewed genealogical journals; and he currently has six articles accepted and awaiting publication. 

Ron earned the NGS Award of Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book (2008) for his bookAncestors and Descendants of Reuben Ball. In 2003, his book The Tumultuous Achym/Fulford Relationship: With Abstracts of Chancery Court Proceedings garnered him the American Society of Genealogists’ Donald Lines Jacobus Award for “a model genealogical work published within the previous five years.” That year, he was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. He coordinated the English track at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in 2009 and has lectured at many conferences, including the NGS 2013 Family History Conference in Las Vegas.

Ron is a consummate leader, scholar, and teacher who has tirelessly promoted excellence in genealogical research, writing, and teaching, all the while promoting adherence to the finest in genealogical standards.

NGS also recognized several individuals for their dedicated efforts in support of the NGS 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond Virginia.

The Award of Honor was presented in recognition of dedication and sustained service in support of the conference. The recipient of the award was the Virginia Genealogical Society.

Certificates of Appreciation were given to recognize the committee chairs who spent countless hours preparing for the conference. NGS is aware that there could be no conference if it were not for the volunteers’ efforts and commitment. So honored were:
Host Chair - Chuck Novak
Volunteer Co-chair, Developing Volunteer list - Don Moore and Pam Brady
Volunteer Co-chair On-site coordination - Carolyn Goudie
Registration Chair - Teresa Kelley
Hospitality Chair & Ask Me Volunteers - Alice Sweeney
Publicity Chair - Kate Parker
Vendor Chair - Alice Phillips

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.  Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy New Board Members Welcomed


The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy is pleased to announce its 2014-15 Board of Directors. Joining the board are:

Wanda Smith, Secretary: Wanda I. Smith is an attorney licensed to practice law in both Texas and Arkansas. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, Genealogical Speaker’s Guild, and Dallas Genealogical Society and serves on the board of the Collin County Genealogical Society. As an attorney, Ms. Smith spends much of her time locating lost and missing mineral heirs and performing courthouse title research. Ms. Smith is the owner of Wanda Smith Law, PLLC, and Professional Ancestry Research, LLC.

Juli Whittaker, Treasurer: Juli Whittaker is the owner of Genealogy Safari in Kansas City, Missouri where she focuses her research on kinship determinations. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Missouri State Genealogical Society, as well as other local societies. Juli has a BS in Accounting, an MBA and is a licensed CPA.

Amber Goodpaster Tauscher, Member Program Representative: Amber Goodpaster Tauscher is a professional genealogist based in Lincoln, Nebraska. She currently serves as the President of the Great Plains chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Amber has been researching her own family history since 1996 and started taking clients in January 2012. Her company, Antique Ancestors, provides forensic genealogy services plus family history research throughout the United States, specializing in Nebraska.

They join returning members Leslie Lawson, President; Michael Ramage CG, Vice-President; Kelvin L. Meyers, Registered Agent; and Catherine Desmarais CG, Mentor Program Coordinator.

The CAFG Board of Directors would like to thank outgoing board member Dee Dee King for her years of tireless dedication as CAFG's Secretary/Treasurer.

Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is a business league with a professional membership dedicated to the advancement of forensic genealogy.

OBJECTIVES

  • Advance public awareness and understanding of the profession.
  • Encourage broader use of the services of qualified forensic genealogists.
  • Promote and maintain high standards of professional and ethical conduct.
  • Encourage best practices in client services and business models.
  • Promote interchange of information through electronic forums, trade publications, meetings, and seminars.
  • Provide education and training for professional advancement.
  • Assist in professional development through mentorship, credentialing, and awarding of fellowships.
  • Influence legislation that impacts the profession or the ability to access public records.

To learn more, visit www.forensicgenealogists.org.