NEHGS Opens the Cemetery Gates with FREE Access

NEHGS’s Cemetery Collection on is FREE to search from October 30 through November 7

Your ancestors have been dying for you to uncover them—and NEHGS has opened the cemetery gates so you can start digging!

During Halloween, NEHGS offers family historians a FREE opportunity to uncover their ancestors.

NEHGS’s Cemetery Collection on is FREE to search from October 30 through November 7.

October 30, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—“Your ancestors have been dying for you to uncover them. NEHGS has opened the cemetery gates so you can start digging!”

Just in time for the Halloween celebrations and to add some fun to ancestral research this holiday, and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) have made their complete collection of American cemetery databases accessible for FREE to guest users on their data-rich website.

The collection of more than 100 databases comprising more than one million records is accessible FREE from Friday, October 30, through midnight on Saturday, November 7. The collection includes cemetery transcriptions from New England and other states and was compiled from many different sources to create a unique group of cemetery offerings.

Registration at is required as a FREE Guest Member to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of databases on and to access web content such as making purchases from the NEHGS online store. Unlimited access to more than one billion online records on the website and to other benefits is through membership at NEHGS.

Family historians may start digging for their ancestors in these historic American cemeteries at:

The cemetery databases included in this special offering and FREE Access event are:

  • American Jewish Historical Society - New England Archives: Jewish Cemeteries in Massachusetts
  • Boston, MA: Old Cemeteries of Boston
  • Brooklyn, NY: Cemetery Inscriptions, 1686-1882
  • Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections
  • Charleston, SC: Inscriptions in Old Jewish Cemeteries, 1762-1903
  • Dedham, MA: Church and Cemetery Records 1638-1845
  • Gloucester, MA: Burials in Gloucester Cemeteries
  • New York: Long Island Cemetery Inscriptions, 1652-1910
  • North Andover, MA: Burials in Ridgewood Cemetery, 1848-1950
  • Northampton, MA: West Farms Cemetery
  • Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Database Index
  • Sharon, MA: Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery
  • Sterling, MA: Leg Cemetery Records
  • Westbrook, CT: Cemetery Inscriptions
  • Western Massachusetts: Jewish Cemeteries of Western Massachusetts

About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 130,000 constituents through an award-winning website,

NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field, and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish research. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99–101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, is home to more than 28 million items, including artifacts, documents, records, journals, letters, books, manuscripts, and other items dating back hundreds of years.

New FamilySearch Collections Update: October 26, 2015

Added images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added images to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added indexed records to an existing collection
Added images to an existing collection
New browsable image collection.
Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at
About FamilySearch International
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. 
 © 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

BCG Trustee News

News Release 28 October 2015 – Board for Certification of Genealogists. The Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) met in Salt Lake City on 10 October 2015. Three new trustees joined the Board: Paul Graham, CG, Judy Kellar Fox, CG, and Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL. Two trustees retired from the board: Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL Both have served as president of the BCG and provided distinguished service to the Board and the community at large for many years.

The BCG Officers for 2015–2016 are: Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG President; Stefani Evans, CG Vice President; David McDonald, D.Min, CG Secretary; Michael S. Ramage, JD, CG, Treasurer; Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, and Richard G. Sayre, Members-at-large.

BCG is in the process of redesigning the website. Judy G. Russell issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on 26 October 2015. The RFP is for a redesign and update of the BCG website and overall BCG graphics for branding purposes.

The BCG trustees honored Miriam Weiner with Emeritus status. “The Board is pleased to recognize our thirty-year associate, Miriam Weiner, by granting her Emeritus status. Miriam was the first Jewish genealogist to become certified by the BCG and is known for her pioneering work in Holocaust research and Eastern European records,” said President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom. “The Board is grateful for her many contributions to the field of genealogy and for promoting genealogy standards during her distinguished career.”

BCG will host “meet and greet” events at two national conferences this year at NGS (4–7 May 2016, Ft. Lauderdale, FL) organized by Nicki Birch, CG and FGS (31 August–3 September 2016, Springfield, IL) organized by David McDonald.

For questions or more information, please visit or contact Nicki Birch, at

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations. The board name is a trademark registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.

RootsTech 2016 Announces Opening Day Keynotes, Bruce Feiler and Paula Williams Madison

RootsTech 2016 Announces Opening Day Keynotes, Bruce Feiler and Paula Williams Madison

SALT LAKE CITY, October 27, 2015RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, announced today the first three keynote speakers in its all-star lineup for RootsTech 2016. The first general session (Thursday, February 4, 2016) will feature three inspiring speakers, which include New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler, award-winning journalist Paula Williams Madison, and the president and CEO of FamilySearch International, Stephen Rockwood.

RootsTech 2016 - Bruce Feiler
Bruce Feiler is a bestselling author and columnist for The New York Times, where he writes the “This Life” column about today’s families. He is also the writer and presenter of the PBS Series Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler.

His latest book, The Secrets of Happy Families, reviews best practices for modern-day parents from some of the country’s most creative minds, including top designers in Silicon Valley, elite peace negotiators, and the Green Berets.

“RootsTech is the premier event for people who care about family history,” Feiler said. “I've become a passionate believer in the importance of telling your family history as a foundational tool for having a happy family. I can't think of a better audience to share my own story with.”

RootsTech 2016 - Paula Madison
Paula Williams Madison is an award-winning journalist who is a former NBC executive. Currently, Madison serves as chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, a media consultancy company based in Los Angeles with global reach. She’s been named one of the “75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise Magazine and was recently honored by the East West Players and AARP with their Visionary Award.

After a successful career in news journalism, Madison retired in 2011 and embarked on a search for her grandfather Samuel Lowe, who returned to his native China after living in Jamaica. Madison produced a documentary film on the topic, Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China. In April of this year, HarperCollins published a memoir of the journey Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem.

Attendees can expect to hear about Madison’s compelling journey, including the resources that helped her. “I used to research and try to locate my family in China. This system will help people like me find their families,” said Madison. “Family to me means bloodline—past, present, and future. You have to honor the past as you live in the present so that you can guarantee a future for your family.”

RootsTech 2016 - Stephen Rockwood
Stephen Rockwood is the new president and CEO of FamilySearch International and managing director for the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to joining FamilySearch, Rockwood was a successful entrepreneur, creating unique service offerings for worldwide customers and building several businesses from the ground up.

“We look forward to another great RootsTech conference as we invite attendees to discover their families in a world-class setting. We are thrilled to welcome Bruce Feiler and Paula Williams Madison,” Rockwood said. “Their personal experiences will be highly inspiring for many as we kick off this exciting conference.

Visit to reserve your seat now to hear Bruce Feiler, Paula Williams Madison, and Stephen Rockwood at the Thursday morning general session on February 4, 2016. Passes start at just $29.

RootsTech 2016 will be held on February 3–6 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Findmypast Announces Launch of 1939 Register aka "The Wartime Domesday Book"

The 1939 Register will be launched online on November 2nd by in association with The National Archives. Dubbed ‘The Wartime Domesday Book’, it is the most comprehensive survey of the population of England and Wales ever taken

The 1939 Register

Explore your world on the eve of war
41 million people recorded in one day on the eve of WWII

The 1939 Register will be launched online on November 2nd by in association with The National Archives. Dubbed ‘The Wartime Domesday Book’, it is the most comprehensive survey of the population of England and Wales ever taken

On November 2nd 2015, the eagerly awaited 1939 Register will be launched online by Findmypast, a world leader in family history. Anyone can now discover their family, their home and their community on the eve of WWII. Until now, the most recent information available was the 1911 census. Owing to the 100 year rule, the 1921 census will not be released until 2022, while the 1931 census was destroyed in the war and the 1941 census was never taken. The 1939 Register therefore bridges an important 30-year gap in history.

In September 1939, WWII had just broken out. 65,000 enumerators were employed to visit every house in England and Wales to take stock of the civil population. The information that they recorded was used to issue Identity Cards, plan mass evacuations, establish rationing and co-ordinate other war-time provisions. In the longer term, the 1939 Register would go on to play a central role in the establishment of post-war services like the NHS.

Comprising 1.2 million pages in 7,000 volumes and documenting the lives of 41 million people, the 1939 Register opens a window to a world on the brink of cataclysmic change. Each record includes the names of inhabitants at each address, their date of birth, marital status and occupation. A wealth of contextual information, including period photographs never before seen online, infographics, region-specific newspaper articles and historical and contemporary maps, are personally tailored to each record, offering a rich and unique user experience unrivalled by any other family history research tool to date.

Findmypast has undertaken a monumental task in digitising the 1939 Register. Stacked end-to-end, the hard copy volumes would have reached twice the height of St Paul’s Cathedral. Work on conserving, scanning, transcribing and digitising the Register has been ongoing for more than a year. Despite the challenge of translating 65,000 unique sets of handwriting, including updates that have been made by hand up until 1991, Findmypast guarantees at least 98.5% accuracy of readable records. The result is a direct route to the past that will allow users to glimpse their family, their home and their communities in 1939, as they’ve never seen them before.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast says: “The 1939 Register is one of the most important documents of modern British history. It allows us to see where our relatives were living, with whom and what jobs they did at the start of World War II. To help people understand the period better and to create a picture of our world in 1939, we have added a range of contextual information to bring the records to life. Maps, photographs, newspapers, and infographics will immerse the user in the period and give a flavour of what life was like for our parents or grandparents.

Audrey Collins, family history records specialist at The National Archives says: “The release of the 1939 Register is one of the most important events in family history in a long time. The significance of these documents cannot be underplayed; they provide a snapshot of life on the eve of war. The online publication of the 1939 Register offers us the chance to understand where our families came from, who lived in our neighbourhood, and how it has changed over the years.

The 1939 Register is available online only at The Register is free to search but there is a charge to view the records with different pay per view packages starting at £6.95. Owing to data protection, there will be some closed records at the time of launch, either because the individual recorded is still living and less than 100 years old or proof of death has not been verified. At time of launch 28 million records will be searchable. The Register will be updated weekly. Findmypast, working with The National Archives, will have an ongoing process to identify records which can be opened on proof of death provided either by matching against robust data sets or supplied by users. Records will also be opened as people reach the age of 100 years+1 day.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over four billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including the 1911 Census which they digitised in association with The National Archives.

About The National Archives

The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for research. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and England and Wales they are the guardians of some of the UK's most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. The National Archives brings together the skills and specialisms needed to conserve some of the oldest historic documents as well as leading digital archive practices to manage and preserve government information past, present and future.

For the latest stories, follow the Press Office on Twitter @TNApressofficer unveils next generation of online genealogy education

Legacy Family Tree announces updated genealogy education mobile-responsive site with new features now available for all 275 genealogy courses

New mobile-responsive site with new playlist, searching, browsing, and indexed jump-to features now available for all 275 genealogy courses

SURPRISE, Arizona; October 27, 2015—Millennia Corporation, a leader in family history software, today announced the release of a brand new responsive, mobile-friendly website for, the leading source for online genealogy education. The new site makes it easy to find topics of interest among the now-275 courses in the library. Genealogists will now be able to watch courses on their smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices.

Visit for a quick video tour.

Other new features include:

  • A new search tool to easily find courses.
  • Internal indexing of each individual course to allow easy access and jump to specific topics.
  • A new resume watching feature that lets members pick up where they left off.
  • A playlist to bookmark courses for future review.
  • Presenter pages that feature the individual instructor's courses and materials.

"We're very excited to make learning more accessible to the genealogy community and our members," explained Geoff Rasmussen, host of the webinar series. "Genealogists will be able to find what they need more quickly and watch on the platform of their choice. And they won't have to worry about remembering where they left off. They can focus on increasing their genealogy skills and less on navigating the website."

Rasmussen will demonstrate the enhancements and changes during upcoming free live webinars which are typically held at 2pm eastern every Wednesday. Website users will benefit from the changes immediately and will appreciate the upgrades that were made specifically with them in mind.

The new website can be found at

About Millennia Corporation

Millennia Corporation is located in Surprise, Arizona. The company strives to provide top-quality genealogy software so people can record and track their family history. It is also the publisher of the award-winning webinar series, now with 275 courses of quality genealogy education. For additional information on Millennia or the products they offer visit


21-23 OCTOBER 2016 | Courtyard by Marriott Brampton 

Derived out of a passion for family history, three Canadian genealogists banded together to develop a conference structure which has a mission to promote Canadian genealogists by providing them a platform to showcase their talents as well as share their knowledge and passion for genealogy with others.

Those three Canadian genealogists are:

Christine Woodcock of Genealogy Tours of Scotland

Kathryn Lake Hogan of Looking4Ancestors, and Dominion Genealogist, UELAC

Mike Quackenbush, professional genealogist specializing in English and Canadian research

The summit will feature five research tracks of interest to Canadian family history researchers: Canadian, English, Irish, Scottish, and French-Canadian. Other options include a pre-summit day at the Archives of Ontario and a Loyalist workshop with the Dominion Genealogist of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada.

Opening Keynote Speaker is Jennifer Debruin, author of the soon to be published book Daughter of Conflict.  
With deep ancestral roots in New France/Quebec, Upper Canada/Ontario, and colonial America, Jennifer is interested in exploring the human story within this rich history. Combining her passion and experience in writing, education, history, and genealogy, she writes fact-based historical fiction.

In addition to Christine, Kathryn and Mike, session speakers will feature:
Ruth Blair, PLCGS of Blair Archival Research. Ruth is a Canadian professional genealogist specializing in Irish research.

Louise St. Denis, PLCGS is the Director of the National Institute for Genealogical Research. Louise is home-grown French-Canadian and specializes in genealogical methodology and French-Canadian research.

Closing Keynote Speaker is
 The Armchair Genealogist. Lynn is a popular blogger, writer and author known for her passion for writing and sharing family history through stories.

All the details about The Great Canadian Genealogy Summit can be found at

Illinois State Genealogical Society Announces 2016 FREE Webinar Lineup

ISGS 2016 Webinar Series

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is happy to announce the continuation of its popular FREE monthly webinar program in 2016. The ISGS 2016 Webinar Series would not be possible without the generous contributions received throughout 2015 and the generous sponsorship provided by FamilySearch.

Registration for the 2016 webinars is now open! You’ll find a fantastic lineup of presentations and speakers and we hope you will join us for a wonderful educational experience.

The ISGS webinars, which are live lectures/presentations that you can attend via a computer with an internet connection, are held as a live broadcast on the second Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM Central. The live broadcast of each webinars is FREE to the public. ISGS members who are unable to attend the live broadcast are able to access recordings of all past webinars through the Members Section of the ISGS website, to watch at their convenience.

ISGS 2016 Webinar Schedule

So what does 2016 have in store? Here is our amazing lineup!

January 12 – Organizing Your Genealogy Research Process
Presenter: Drew Smith

February 9 – Reconstructing Black Community Life Through Benevolent Societies
Presenter: Angela Walton-Raji

March 8 – Researching in Archives & Libraries: Do’s and Don’ts
Presenter: Melissa Barker

April 12 – Letters, Ledgers, and Lodge Books: Finding Ancestors with Ethnic Resources
Presenter: Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

May 10 – Polish Immigration to America - When, Where, Why and How
Presenter: Stephen Szabados

June 14 – Using Social Media to Break Through Brick Walls
Presenter: Amie Tenant

July 12 – Special Delivery: Using US Postmaster Documents in Family History Research
Presenter: Jean Hibben, CG

August 9 – Misbegotten Children; Tracing the Family Lines of the Illegitimate
Presenter: Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG

September 13 – Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker: Using Occupational Records
Presenter: Amy Johnson Crow, CG

October 11 – Midwestern Gems: Back Issues of Genealogical, Historical and Sociological Journals
Presenter: Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGS

November 8 – Principles of Effective Evidence Analysis
Presenter: George G. Morgan
Registration: Stay tuned!**
** GoToWebinar only allows scheduling less than one year in advance. Check back after November 8, 2015, for the registration link.

December 13 – Without the Hint - There is No Story
Presenter: Bernice Alexander Bennett
Registration: Stay tuned!**
** GoToWebinar only allows scheduling less than one year in advance. Check back after December 13, 2015 for the registration link.

Additional Webinar Information
  • All webinars take place at 8:00 PM Central time.
  • Don't forget to spread the word! Forward this email onto your friends and colleagues, post the information to social media sites and/or your blog/website, or print out a few copies of our webinar flyer to hand out at your local society meetings. The flyer for the 2016 series can be accessed at
Again, a big thank-you to all of the webinar donation fund contributors and to FamilySearch for sponsoring the entire 2016 webinar series! We couldn't do it without you!!

The 2016 ISGS Webinar Series is sponsored by FamilySearch (

© 2015, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society